That's possible. But he's not tooled up, he's contracting it out to
Taiwan or China, the same as the major tool companies. Without the
patent protection, what's to keep them from contracting with the same
Asian manufacturers? It's hard to believe that they couldn't get it made
cheaper without having to pay a patent license.
And, if they would buy it from him anyway, then there's no reason for
him to put his patents in the public domain.
A Taiwanese shop tooled up to produce 10,000 of something can still sell
them for less than ten Taiwanese shops tooled up to produce 1,000 each.
Sure, the tool manufacturers could each have a shop tool up to make their
lot, but one that has a contract with Sawstop would likely have a
non-compete clause in the contract.
Of course there is. It's called a "symbolic gesture" or "act of good
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Go to the original poster's reference, the NPR story, below. Once
there, look on the left side of the page for a sidebar that talks about
the Sawstop company's filing with the Government to mandate its usage.
They even convieniently link you to the actual filings. You can begin
Apparently the SawStop folks, when the saw makers decided to NOT jump
on board, then went to the Consumer Safety Commision to try and get
the inclusion of THEIR product on ALL tablesaws, claiming that all
tablesaws WITHOUT their device were inherently unsafe and a life and
limb hazard to owners.
Although the idea and even this solution has appeal, that attitude of
if the market didn't want their product, they would cram it down
everyone's throat by manipulating the govbernment produced a massive
backlash, making myself and many folks state that it would be a cold
day in hell before I would even think about buying/using their product
That plus it costs you a bunch to get your saw back up and running
once the SawStop fires, and they have NO long term statistics on this
thing firing when it is NOT needed makes a strong case against it
That plus the fact that many folks saw other things than just wood on
their table saw makes one wonder if this is going to prevent me from
using my table saw to cut something like aluminum track with my table
Bottom line, I certainly will NOT look at this product due to their
(in my opinion) unethical conduct in trying to generate sales by
forcing it down the consumer's throat via regulation/legislation
That is a potential problem If it save a finger, I'll gladly pay may times
the cost of a blade and cartridge. OTOH, if it goes off for no good reason,
I'd be red with rage at them.
False activation was a concern with air bags years ago. They've proven
themselves over many years now. My guess is the SawStop will take a few
years of a good track record to become a consideration for the masses. I
can also see down the road that OSHA and workman's comp insurance companies
would demand such a thing once the technology has proven itself if it truly
Also, WHO are you going to SUE when it doesn't work and you lose a
finger anyway, OR get more than the tiny cut they show with the wiener
demos?? Of course, right NOW the only one who is open for that
lawsuit is going to be SawStop. Wonder what their liability insurance
is running them per saw??
If it is NOT going ot be 100% then it is going to be a MAJOR liability
source, I can just see the lawyers flocking to class action suits when
the first failure with injury occurs - and I sincerely doubt that any
waivers they require folks to sign are going to be worth the paper
they are printed on
I'd might be really peeved if I did something stupid and ended up wit
a chuck of aluminum welded to an expensive carbide tipped blade...bu
then, I probably wouldn't be worrying about the blade much as
scrambled to find half of my finger in the bag of my dust collector!
Improvements in safety technology are generally a good thing, until th
goverment starts mandating their use.
One day, all that is legislated to protect us from ourselves is goin
to upset the delicate balance of natural selection
How many cars would have air bags or seat belts today, if the government
hadn't made them mandatory? In fact, the air bag technology languished
for several years, essentially unused until they were made mandatory?
It's a nice thought that the market will support safety devices on their
own merits, but history has shown that not to be the case. If not for
the government regulations, how much safety would there be in the
average commercial wood shop?
Nope. The "government" didn't make them mandatory, the people did.
Problem is, for every action there's a reaction. We've now proven that the
more you protect fools from themselves, the more fools you will have.
Airbag technology was implemented in the US before it was ready. Seat
belts, on the other hand, were in use in the 1940s by some, but weren't
mandated until much later. Some European makes had 3-point belts in all
4 seating positions back in the early '60s, which wasn't mandated in the
US until at least 15 years later.
Car companies who felt that safety was a valid design requirement
were using these things before they were mandatory. I'm not sure your
point holds water.
Nobody forces me to wear eye and ear protection when using certain
machines, but I do. So, I'd say "quite a bit;what's your point"?
Are you talking about your home shop or your workplace (they may be the
same, I don't know)?
If it's a shop where you work as an employee, how much say do you have
in how good a dust collection system is installed? Does your employer
take input from employees on emergency exits and whether they are
unlocked during working hours? The number of fire extinguishers
available and how often they are certified?
You really don't have to look too hard to see that employee safety and
the public good are not very high on the priority list of most
companies. You can have the great majority of mining companies dedicated
to protecting the environment and employee safety, but if those things
aren't regulated, they are going to have trouble competing with the
companies that don't care, because people are going to gravitate for the
most part to the best price. It's hard to justify paying more for a load
of coal (or whatever) when you don't see the dead miners or live near
the polluted streams.
To bring this back to the specific from the general, I don't know if the
SawStop (or a similar technology) should be mandatory, but I don't
dismiss it out of hand. I see too many areas where companies don't have
my best interests at heart.
Companies have more incentive to have a safe environment than Joe Woodshop
has. You've heard of OSHA, I assume? They don't put up with the crap
that was going on in, say, the Triangle Shirt Factory.
That would be the PCBs that, at the time, weren't known to be a problem,
that independant scientists agree are better left _undisturbed_ than
stirred up, and that people who feel about things rather than think about them
want dug up anyways, those PCBs?
I also notice you just morphed the issue from "employee safety" to
"seeing into the future to avoid environmental problems", was that
Those would be the ones. While they may have not known that they were a
problem, I doubt GE actually thought they were doing anyone a favor
(other than themselves) by dumping them in the river.
As to whether they are better off left undisturbed, a cursory look on
the Internet indicates that GE might have distorted the kind of dredging
that would be done. The final order from the EPA came during the George
W. Bush administration, and dredging was supported by Governor Pataki.
No, I didn't morph anything. I said earlier that "You really don't have
to look too hard to see that employee safety and the public good are not
very high on the priority list of most companies." It's just easier to
point out the cases where the public good is involved, because they get
As far as looking in the future, do you really believe that GE thought
PCBs were totally benign? Or was it just cheaper for them to look the
other way and dump their waste into the river as long as they could get
away with it?
Lots of industrial processes involve wastewater going into the local river
or creek. If not there, into the municipal wastewater system which eventually
goes to...anyone? Anyone?
I suspect that neither you I know enough actual facts on said situation
to make an informed judgement.
And yet, without knowing that a byproduct of whatever process will,
_in the future_ be found to be a hazard, it's impossible to consider
use of said chemical to be a disregard for public good. If we discover
tomorrow that Peanut Butter causes, oh, I dunno, wombat cancer, are you
going to say that Jif, in the 1970s, wasn't concerned about public safety?
GE: "Hey, any problem with this?"
EPA: "Nope, not that we know of."
GE: "Okey-dokey then."
EPA "Um, hey, how's it going. About that process...we need to talk..."
They had no inkling they were doing any harm. And again, please note,
GE was not 'dumping' PCBs in the conventional sense. The problem
stemmed from contaminated wash water, not dumping the stuff directly
in the river.
In the quantities they were putting into the water, definitely yes.
Remember for most of that time the only known health risk from PCBs
was chloracne in workers who were exposed to large amounts of the
GE was simply letting waste water from floor washing (and occasionally
from washing out capacitors damaged in floods ) flow down the drain.
There was no reason to think this was a problem for anyone.
It wasn't until the end of this period that the possibility of other
dangers was raised and it's worthwhile to note that it's hard to get
agreement on just what the dangers of PCBs in the environment actually
are. Originally it was thought to be a serious carcinogen, but more
recent work (including studies not financed by GE -- a fact some
people like to leave out) have found this apparently isn't so. Now the
danger is claimed to be an estrogen-like effect that messes up growth
and reproduction. The jury's still out on that one, much less the
doses that cause the problem.
(Note that the standards for PCB exposure were set under the
impression that it was both a powerful carcinogen and was causing
eggshell thinning in birds -- neither of which is now thought to be
true. They bear little or no relationship to the currently perceived
'problem' with the stuff.)
The other thing to keep in mind is that for most of the period we
couldn't even measure the bio-accumulation of PCBs. It wasn't until
the 1960s that we even had instruments sensitive enough to measure
The big problem with PCBs, and the reason everyone agrees it's a good
idea to control them, is that they do bio-accumulate, especially in
species toward the top of the food chain. But again, this wasn't
discovered until the end of the period in question.
Only if you assume the people at GE were able to see the future and
detect possible problems decades before they were discovered by
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