Saw Stop

Joe and all,
I manage a student shop in a college of architecture.
We've been running 2 of the first sawstops since Jan 05.
In the 18 months we've had the saws, the stopping mechanisms have triggered 8 or 9 times. So basically ~$50/month insurance policy. All but one have been user error: 1 chicken leg, 3 aluminum miter gauge/x-cut fence, 2 gap distance (between blade and brake cartridge), 1 foil backed foam, 1 aluminum sheet (forgot bypass), 1 green treated plywood. Hopefully we have fewer triggers as we and our our users learn where we need to change our modus operandi. Sawstop has given us maybe 3 free brake cartridges for our trouble. They have diagnosed "triggered" brake cartridges and called us with an explaination of what probably caused the event (green treated, gap distance).
If conductive materials are embedded in a piece of wood, the sawstop will not necessarily go off. In order for the brake to trigger, a circuit must be completed, so unless the metal contacts both the blade AND the saw table (or the operator) it won't go off. When I initially tested the machine, I cut through dozens of nails and staples that were clear of the table or my hand. the saw cut through them with no problem.
A couple months ago, the sawstop was demonstrated at a meeting of the minnesota woodworkers guild. Unsatisfied with the usual hot dog test, the demonstrator turned it up a notch. A 2' long summer sausage was swung into the blade like a baseball bat. The blade got about 3/8" into the sausage. I cannot imagine any circumstance in which a saw operator could move into the blade as rapidly as that summer sausage.
I continue to be impressed with the quality of these machines, and look forward to additional offerings from sawstop. Staven Gass recently mentioned that the "other" saw manufacturers are settling sawstop related lawsuits. I think it is only a matter of time until they license the system or develop something of their own. Basically, I think it will become too expensive for them not to improve the safety of their offerings.
Good Luck Kevin Groenke
Here are some comments I posted previously.

has been great. We've had a couple more triggers, each time we've contacted SawStop to let them know what had happened. On the occasions of a false positive, or other technical problem, SawStop has sent replacement brakes and addressed any problem. Each of the "triggers" was technically our fault, we should have known that the SawStop would have been activated (blade/brake clearance, green treated ply, foil faced foam) and should have by-passed the mechanism. SawStop has taken back the spent brakes to analyze the data and has sent us more new brakes than we've deserved. As they should be, the saws are still like new.

years ago(not saying much really). An extension table flatness problem has been mentioned, but our tables and rt wings are flat within .010". We never put on the left wings since we installed sliding tables, so I cannot speak to that issue. The trunnions, arbor shaft, bearings, and even the main table are beefier than comparable parts on a unisaw and a pm 66.

Height & angle adjustment are smooth and easy (of course the machines are brand new, so they better be) .

We will probably start with sanding out the gloss, then get rid of the black if it is still too annoying. Sawstop took the color theme WAY too far here.

be able to easily shut off the saw, but it will be a while before we stop doing so inadvertently. The arbor/arbor nut wrenches are WAY TOO BIG, this will encourage overtightening and our ARBORS will be STRIPPED in no time. Are you reading this Steve?

this is ok, but I don't really feel that they are flat/secure with no way to tighten them.

(beneath our sliding table) this is too hard to get to for routine blade changes etc...

throat opening is larger than a unisaw's. This is ok access-wise, but having less of a smooth, flat tabletop can be problematic.

"washerless" re-installation. (We had welded a washer to a nut to eliminate this on unisaws)

table (same as biesmeyer). I re-drilled and lowered, now 1 of the doors doesn't open past he rail, arggggh.

we have enough suction to move the nuts to the most inaccessible part of the DC pipe. I suppose it's time for an access port.

side of the cabinet and is a pain to get to with the sliding table attached to the saw, oh well.

Delta/Jet/Grizzly get sued (and lose) because they failed to provide such a system. Perhaps they will be beating a path to SawStop for licensing sooner rather than later. Let the market decide I suppose, should be interesting to watch.

etc. I enabled the bypass and cut aluminum, green treated and stapled pine. When in bypass mode you will get a code in flashing lights indicating whether the SawStop would have triggered. The lights indicated that the SawStop WOULD NOT have been triggered by cutting the green treated or the stapled pine, so I proceeded to cut them with the SawStop on.

easy it is to cut through a drumstick, pretty gory and except for the lack of blood, not unlike a shop accident. I've always thought of doing this during shop orientations, but decided that it could encourage sophomoric actions (the last thing they need is encouragement).

blade in order to get an idea how much damage would be done in the case of a slip or similar accident.

I could, the blade promptly disappeared and with virtually no resistance I proceeded to IMPALE the chicken leg onto the riving knife (oh the shame).

indicated that this happened too fast to discern). Since the drumstick was impaled on the riving knife, I have NO IDEA, how much damage the drumstick sustained from the blade before it's encounter with the riving knife. As you can imagine this was a little embarrassing. Here we've spent $6000 on saws that "save fingers", and I've got a chicken leg skewered by a chunk of steel, not so impressive.

as we had neglected to provide adequate clearance for the aluminum fence on the sliding table. DOH!!! Again observers were dumbfounded. Results: a tiny nick on the crosscutting fence.

was triggered, but aside from a solid THUD and the "disappearance" of blade, there are little dramatics.

Joe Bemier wrote:

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