Monday, February 02, 2009

Random thoughts about a woodworking school in Las Vegas

There's much more to assembling a woodworking school than you might think - but my main concern is safety. Woodworking tends to lose it's appeal when someone loses a finger.

I'm not the kind of person who does things entirely by the book. But in this day and age (i.e.... our litigious society), it's only smart to CYA. Great liability insurance is a must, but even better - a goof proof saw goes a long way in helping me sleep at night.

So the first thing I'm thinking about is a SawStop.

Now... I don't own their stock. I don't even know if they're publicly traded. But I do know that the technology behind their sawblade brake is amazing. Once their sawblade detects that it's cutting something soft (like a finger), the blade drops down and gets jammed into a soft metal brake pad. It stops completely within a fraction of a second.

Click here for some photos of finger cuts that people have received using this saw. They're not gross, I promise.

Unfortunately, engaging the brake on this saw not only ruins your blade, but it also requires the purchase of another computer module, in order to get the saw working again. Now, my favorite blade is a Woodworker II blade made by Forrest, and at roughly $115 per blade, this makes for an expensive mistake in the shop.

Add in the cost of a new computer module
(roughly $80) and you're talking a lot of $$$ for a momentary lapse in concentration on the tablesaw.

Here's a little tool porn for the geeks out there. The Cabinet saw (below) is my dream machine - but at roughly $4500, fully tricked out, it's a little pricey.

This Contractor's version is alittle more in my price range, but you know I'm salivating for the other one. Still, this version will set me back close to $2500.

I'm terrible at making decisions like this. The logical side of my brain says to buy the one I can afford. You know what the other side is telling me, right?


Stacey said...

Hey Jamie,
That leg holding up the extension on the $4500 table looks a bit flimsy. Are you really only paying extra for the stand? i know the $2500 one isn't as sexy but it has the same features doesn't it?

Stace in Los Angeles

Rick said...

Hey Jamie,
Re the saw stop. I hear you. A kid at a shop across town lost some fingers to a table saw. Oddly enough they were the guys that e mailed us the SawStop video.