SawStop "Fired"!!!

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Daryl Rosenblatt 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #5023

    Bill Leonhardt
    Participant

    I set off my SawStop brake today. Not as loud as I would have expected (I’ve still got clean undies), but the whole process worked as advertised. Pure carelessness on my part. I had just measured for a cross cut on the end of small board (with the saw running) and I didn’t pay enough attention to the tape measure rewinding. The end dipped down and hit the spinning blade. As I said, the safety mechanism worked perfectly. Stopped blade disappeared into the table faster than I could sense it. Just a nick in the tape measure, but it gets tossed. I may have ruined my favorite blade (from Ridge Carbide). I will take the blade to the NJ show next month and talk to John Ferrie of Ridge Carbide. He is good people and, if he thinks the blade can be salvaged, I will let him do it. Else, I will be buying a new blade along with a new brake cartridge. Not a cheap life lesson, but not an overly expensive one. AND, I know the safety mechanism works. I’m glad I had the foresight to get an extra cartridge when I bought the saw. Essentially no time lost from my honey-do list. One of the pictures shows the new cartridge next to the “fired” one for comparison.

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  • #5028
    Michael Luciano
    Michael Luciano
    Participant

    I thought the safety mechanism was set off when the circuit was completed by detecting “salt” on human skin or, as they demo,a hot dog. Did not realize it could bee triggered by hitting metal. Would like to see detail of the circuit which I am sure is proprietary.

  • #5029
    Michael Luciano
    Michael Luciano
    Participant

    Just did a little research. It seems they are detecting, someway, conductivity. They advertise that they detect skin which is smart advertising but they do not mention other elements. Glad it worked for you. Even if the blade cannot be salvaged a cheap price considering what it could have cost. They may be using a low voltage circuit, through the blade, when it is running.

  • #5030

    Bill Leonhardt
    Participant

    Mike, when I bought the saw, I didn’t really research the science. It just seemed that there was a lot of data that said it worked. I always thought it was some combination of conductance and capacitance.

    I monitor the SawStop users group on FaceBook. People have reported that the brake will fire with wet wood (how wet is not quantified) and also with wet glue. On the other hand, other people that use a lot of reclaimed wood report no problem when they hit a nail or screw. I guess it depend how the circuit is completed. If needed (say you want to cut aluminum), there is an over-ride switch for the brake.

    You’re right about a cheap lesson. Sort of a wake up call for being over confident.

  • #5035
    Michael Luciano
    Michael Luciano
    Participant

    As you know, wood is basically non conductive. If the wood is really wet the water is a good conductor.
    What is interesting is how fast the blade retracts. I am sure it is still spinning as it descends but still the mechanism is very quick. Detecting the conductivityand dropping the blade happens in a nano second. Great design.

  • #5038

    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    I believe saw Stop recommends NOT cutting pressure treated wood on the saw. I would guess any wood stored outside sucking up that much moisture would be a problem.

  • #5039

    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    I remember seeing an inventor/engineer demonstrating a different sort of technology that did not involve destruction of the blade. It was similar in that it stopped the blade instantly but it used a laser detection with a reverse current or electromagnetic force to stop the blade. If I remember correctly, this technology could be retrofitted to existing machines or at least to new production units. I guess he just never had the funding to continue.

  • #5103
    Michael Luciano
    Michael Luciano
    Participant

    Believe Bosch developed the system you are referring to. They use two explosive cartridges to drive the blade down. There is no damage to the blade. Install a new cartridge and you are back in business. Bosch and Saw Stop are probably in court over patent infringement.

  • #5105

    Bill Leonhardt
    Participant

    Obviously, it would be better to have a system where the blade is saved. Time will tell if mine is salvageable. I believe Bosch only had the system for job-site type saws and not for stationary ones. If I go back and think about my selection criteria when choosing a saw, Bosch is someone I was familiar with and I trusted their quality. SawStop was an unknown. After much, much research, I was convinced that SawStop had the quality I sought, and I went with them over the Powermatic, which was my first choice.

    NO REGRETS. I am very happy with my saw. I think if you ask anyone in the club (or outside), they will attest to the quality of the saw. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but quality costs and the safety feature is a welcomed bonus. I am much more comfortable letting others use the saw when in my shop.

  • #5107

    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    I love the technology, but never liked the way the SawStop people chose to operate the business, funding lawsuits so only their product could meet the standard. It also doesn’t address the kickback issue. Studies have shown that, like ABS systems in cars, people tend to buy back the safety. Accident rates stayed the same since people thought their cars were safer and drove a bit more recklessly (DWIs were different, there the entire human behavior system was altered). So I can see that, as more people think their SawStop let’s them be more reckless, kickbacks (and replacement blades and cartridge sales) will increase. I think I read it here, or someplace recently, where in high schools with the cartridge, kids trigger it on dares. One day one of them will fail……

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