Brian I guess what makes your comments seem so naive and scream
"inexperienced" is that you keep fabricating instances that have not
occurred in these threads. No one in this thread that I recall has made
the comment that they are going to rely on technology to keep them safe.
Like most people know, looking down the barrel of a loaded gun is not going
to save your butt if you pull the trigger and the safety is not engaged and
whether the safety is engaged or not it is a dangerous move. I think it
goes with out saying that most mature people realize that nothing is fool
proof and that placing a body part near a blade spinning at 100 mph is still
going to instill a sense of fear regardless if the operator knows that the
safety device will prevent injury 99.99% of the time.
The reason that you have not had an accident yet is because the safety
techniques that you practice have not yet been compromised by the mistakes
that you make. Yes you make mistakes. I know you do. You are not the only
that does not. Given enough use and time a mistake will happen when you are
not practicing a safety technique that you are so far unaware of. If your
grand father or father taught you all the safety measures that they know,
you have not learned all the safety practices. Your comments demonstrate
I fully agree, Leon. As another sidebar of this thread has discussed,
some of us here have served on safety review committees doing accident
analyses and root-cause evaluations. It is truly to be amazed by at how
many of these have as at least one cause either willful disregard for
accepted procedure(s) or actual disabling of one or more safety devices
thus allowing or precipitating the injury.
As another sidebar of this thread has discussed,
Oh man, did that make my hair stand on end - again. Haven't thought
about it for a long time, but all of a sudden I was back in 1964 sitting
down at a punch press for day after day of punching out zillions of 2
inch parts. Even though the press was old, it was fitted to prevent
getting fingers in the dies. Except that some genius must have thought
that using both hands to lower the press slowed them down too much,
because this one was modified. The left-hand handle was wired down and
the right-handle was wired to a home-brew foot pedal, so that you could
feed with the left hand, retrieve parts with the right hand and operate
the press with ONE FOOT. Even though it scared the shit out of me, I
knew I had to keep my mouth shut and just watch out for myself, or quit
the best paying summer job I could find. I was able to maintain
concentration for a couple of days, but eventually the mind-numbing
repetition took its toll and a couple of times I caught myself getting
out of sequence and reaching to retrieve the part while my foot was
starting to come down to lower the press. Never got hurt, and didn't
hear about anyone else getting hurt, but the experience obviously made
And back on topic, if I replace my Jet contractor saw, the Saw Stop will
be high on my list of possibles. Even though I know I am able to prevent
most accidents, some day something may distract me at the wrong moment.
No, most people know that standing in front of a loaded gun is stupid,
safety or no safety, just like reaching across a running sawblade
without a guard is stupid. It isn't any less stupid because you stick
a SawStop on it. Nothing is foolproof, it doesn't matter that you've
got a riving knife and anti-kickback pawls, you don't go standing in
the line of fire because that wood could come shooting back at you.
But you know, it isn't the safety equipment that makes you safe, it's
the techniquest that you use. Certainly the safety equipment can help
but it can never replace just being careful and thinking about what
It's funny, just about everyone I know who has had an accident has
said "I should have known better". Yes, they should have. Accidents
don't just magically happen, they are a failure on some level of the
operator or the equipment.
There's one nugget w/ which I agree. Of course, I had to take it out of
context to _fully_ agree, but, hey, you take what you can get... :)
I said I wasn't going to add more, but hadn't seen this response at the
time and this was too good an opportunity to waste... :)
BUT, the above truism said, your emphasis would say the punchpress the
previous respondent talked about would be perfectly safe if it were
designed originally to be operated as he described the jury-rigged
operation -- after all, all it takes is the operator not failing...
Simply for your consideration of the position of safety-related design
and equipment in the equation...
People think that they will not get hurt on a TS are stupid. Equil logic
Which just proves that they too ar human and had a lapse in judgement.
Accidents don't just magically happen, they are a failure on some level of
operator or the equipment.
Now you are getting the picture. Call it what you like practicing safety
does not prevent all accidents.
But millions of people do not get hurt on a TS every year, it is only
a tiny percentage that ever sustain serious injury.
It prevents the overwhelming majority of them and vastly minimizes the
damage if one ever does occur. If you are never standing in the line
of fire from a kickback, you will never get hit by one. If you
practice good tablesaw safety, it should take extraordinary
circumstances to ever get seriously injured by one. That's just a
fact of life.
This is simply another example of you not knowing even the more common of
situations of what can happen during a kick back.
Kick backs do not always go straight back. They can and do go all
directions back from the blade. Standing any where in the correct position
is always in the line of possible fire from a possible kick back.
I'll tag onto Brian's comment with a bit of reinforcement. I believe he's
right in that look how often we see posts here about accidents happening to
folks with all sorts of safety equipment on their tools. Yet, somehow the
accidents happen. Brian isn't arguing against safety equipment, he's
arguing in favor of the most fundamental of all safety equipment -
awareness. Wait long enough and a post will appear about someone who
whacked off a couple of fingers on a SawStop saw, just like we read about
kickback and fingers in blades with splitters and push sticks and...
That's absolutely true. I've already said that I think the SawStop is
a fine machine, at least from what I've heard and read in reviews, but
it is expensive, simply because it has a piece of technology on it
that doesn't stop accidents (like a blade guard, splitters, etc), it
just stops you, in theory, from getting injured in an accident. I'm
not saying that there's anything wrong with that, but the way to avoid
injury isn't to stick another piece of nanny technology on your saw,
it's to be more careful to begin with.
This isn't even like automotive safety equipment. In a car, you can
still have some other idiot run into you and cause you damage, but a
tablesaw is pretty much a solo piece of equipment. You're not going
to get sideswiped by someone else driving their tablesaw through your
shop. The cause of just about every tablesaw injury is user error,
using it while tired or impaired, not practicing sensible safety
precautions, making dangerous cuts, not waiting until the saw blade
has stopped, etc. *ALL* of these are completely avoidable. You'll
never need the SawStop if you never put your fingers into the blade,
as an overwhelming majority of woodworkers manage never to do.
Yes, they are all preventable. The real problem is human error. Aside from
you, the rest of us have made errors at times with varying consequences. I
certainly try my best to avoid accidents with tools, but if it does happen,
it would be nice to be able to have a method of making it less serious. We
have a choice available. We have the freedom to decide if we want to buy
Eye protection, hearing protection, its all a choice in a home shop.
Actually, the CPSC responded favorably, the position paper they wrote is
available by googling their site, but the other saw manufacturers filed
their own brief in opposition. It's still under consideration.
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