I don't see many pros with that whirlwind thing.
It brakes the blade (rather slowly, IMO) when it senses human digits
under the saw guard. I'm sorry, but one main purpose of a saw guard is
to tell you, "Hey, don't put your hands here!" If you run your hands
under a saw guard and your own brain doesn't warn you, then you should
lose part of a finger as a life lesson. :-)
What that whirlwind won't stop, is a hand slip (from whatever cause)
into the blade. For that reason, and the fact that it has a giant
attachment arm on it, and it only works with the guard, it is worthless.
I think if this thing had come along *before* the sawstop, people would
be blown away by it. But now, it's the equivalent of inventing the CB
radio after the cell phone.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
I had a similar thought earlier today, on a scale of 1 to 10 with the common
blade guard being 1 and the Saw Stop being a 10, I place the Whirlwind at
about a 3.
BUT that is not to say that I discourage the Whirlwind people from improving
their product, it is not a game. I would love to see it out perform the
SawStop rather than be a little better than nothing and or the common guard.
They have a ways to go. As it is now it is an answer to the saws already
out there now that don't have this technonogy.
The wood working class I took offered by the local community college
stressed this practice at every opportunity as well as only raising
the blade only until the top of the material was equal to the gullet
of the blade.
While I agree for most instances, IME, a higher blade can actually help
to keep you out of trouble with some types of wood, like reaction wood.
Just another example of where rule of thumb can, and should be, trumped
by experience, which, in the real world, ultimately dictates what is
safe(r) and what isn't.
You can always find an exception to the rule; however, having the
minimum amount of the blade exposed while cutting is well within the
90/10 safety rule, IMHO.
Frankly since it is a college that is promoting this procedure via
their participation of offering a manual arts course, I'm more than
comfortable with it.
Since is part of the community college network here in CA, their
potential liability issues are enormous and to be avoided where
Afterall, this is CA, one of the most litigious places in the world.
I teach that running with the blade higher than it needs to be is the most
preventable way to reduce the severity of severe injury.
If you run your hand across the blade and do not hit the bone, there is a
much greater chance that your finger and its function can be saved.
I understand that the bones fracture and are hard as hell to save.
It sure pays to be careful.
"I probably became a libertarian through exposure to tough-minded
professors" James Buchanan, Armen Alchian, Milton Friedman "who
encouraged me to think with my brain instead of my heart. I
learned that you have to evaluate the effects of public policy
as opposed to intentions."
-- Walter E. Williams
The problem with lowering the blade at every opportunity is that you will
soon tire of that practice after doing it 3 or 4 hundred times during a
project and it certainly will introduce inconsistencies when cutting to a
Simply put, lowering the blade at every opportunity can increase safety but
it is not practicle as production can grind to a halt if you observe and
take every precaution to the letter. When you don't prescribe to the letter
you take risk. When you take risks you open up to the chance of an
accident. You have to weigh the risk and be your own judge.
Having hashed through this back and forth, now you agree. But the question
still nags concerning your attitude towards when to quit working with
woodworking machines. Will you quit when you think you are not capable of
working safely or after you have an accident and then realize you are no
longer capable of working safely?
"And *I* wouldn't buy one because when the time comes that my common sense,
agility, and attention to safety factors are so badly deteriorated that I
feel the need for the device I will discontinue using a table saw."
So how will you know when your common sense is gone? Seems to me common
sence would indicate that you and I both are imperfect and that neither of
us is prepaired for each and every possible accident that might happen in
the future. Commen sense tells me that I am imperfect, I can make a
mistake, and that I may not know that I am no longer capable untill I do
something that may lead to an accident.
Life is a gamble; you take your chances and you place your bets. You
could spend your whole life worry about less and less and less until
there was nothing left! Or you can allow it a little more interesting.
Naw, we don't need to bring any insect repellent to Mosquito Lake. : )
"When", "until", you take it as invevitable that everyone who lacks a
Sawstop is going to cut his hand off with a table saw. Earth to Leon,
millions of woodworkers make it through their entire lives without
cutting their hands off with a table saw.
Do you walk down the street wearing armored clothing and a crash helmet
because of an accident that might occur? If not, why not?
I have, over the years, accumulated some bit of knowledge of the function of
the human mind. My minor in college was psychology and my interest in the
subject has continued ever since. I have read all of Steven Pinker's tomes
as well as those of several other authors whose expertise on the subject
attracted my attention. As I have approached my more mature years it has
occurred to me that it would be wise to study the effects of aging. As
such, I have acquired some notion of the tribulations for which I felt wise
to prepare. I do not approach the afflictions of aging blindly.
You are obviously possessed of some of the problems that age will cause or
you wouldn't have expressed your concern in the matter.
Self awareness can be a valuable asset in addressing potential pitfalls. I
like to believe that I am somewhat "self-aware".
In addition, I have a son who visits my shop regularly. He has no
reservations about offering constructive criticism. <G>
I already have plans for the day I will sell or otherwise dispose of my shop
equipment and undertake other activities that interest me.
My other hobbies include photography, RV travel, reading and writing.
Your concern and advice is, as always, appreciated.
Exactly so. Well said, Leon. You hit the nail on the head. When your common
sense is gone, how will you know -- how *can* you know -- when your common
sense is gone?
My wife and I have an example of that right in our own household. Her parents,
both in their late 80s, have been living with us for nearly two years now.
Unhappily, my MIL is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease (or some
similar progressive dementia), which makes it completely impossible for her to
drive a car safely -- and also prevents her from realizing that. She can't see
either (can't even make out the big E on the chart), and she also can't
understand why *that* should stop her from driving.
;~) Ironic isn't it. I think I still have a bit of common sense...
although.... My wife and I moved into an new home 4 weeks ago. My 23 year
old son, his same age friend, and I tried once to move a large sewing
cabinet up stairs. After the first attempt my common sense told me loud and
clear that the cabinet needed to stay down stairs.
Thirty minutes later I had been talked into trying again against my better
judgement. We were half way up the stairs with the cabinet and I was still
not sure we could round the corner once we got up there when one of the
boys suggested that I get up under the cabinet and toss the lifting straps
up each side to the person at the top. My son was carrying the weight of
the cabinet from coming down on top of me. I did not waste much time
hanging around under the cabinet. ;~)
All I can say is I'm glad I don't work in your shop or ask you to be
part of a crew of a sailing vessel trying to make port for the first
time on a moonless
black night without the aid of functioning radar or any other shore
side markers such as even city light glow.
The prudent thing to do is to stand off, keep your pecker in your
pants, and wait for better weather.
Not the most pleasant thing to do, but the boat and crew both arrive
Same ideas apply to the shop, there is more than "..haste makes waste"
at work here.
There are countless events, including some with the best navigation
equipment, that ended on a lee shore.
Only the salvager benefits IF they get there fast enough.
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