Bagdad, KY, US
Way back in junior high school, my "shop" teacher solved a similar recess-cutting problem by taking an inexpensive 1-1/2" spade bit and grinding it to a suitable semicircular profile, removing its spike in the process. To get around the problem of the very center's not cutting its way down, he first drilled a center hole in the wood, which also served as a visual cue for when he'd cut down far enough, by backing out periodically and seeing how much hole was left.
"Star Trek" replicator, anyone?
As a 30-year woodworker who still has all his fingers and all still full-length, I don't think I would do this /as shown/, i.e., freehand. But I can readily picture using this basic technique with a simple jig attached to the miter guage face that allows the workpiece to slide lengthwise against the blade, but not allow fore-and-aft or skewing movement, which might lead to kickback or binding. This would be combined with a quick clamp-on auxiliary fence having a fixed clear guard shielding the blade but still allowing me to see what I'm doing.
Regarding the problem of potential SawStop mandatory licensing fees reaching excessive levels:
There is a precedent in history that might solve this problem. The Wright brothers had critical patents covering the methods of controlling airplanes; court challenges by Glenn Curtiss and other aircraft manufacturers always ended up in favor of the Wrights. A few manufacturers paid the license fee to cover their own aircraft, but most persisted in ignoring the Wright patents for various reasons, and so the litigation wore on for years.
Came World War I, and the U.S. needed to have lots of military aircraft built in a hurry. But the Wright patents were a major roadblock to this. The federal government solved the problem by buying the patent rights from Orville Wright (Wilbur having died in the meantime) and then released the patents into the public domain, free for any aircraft manufacturer to use.
Perhaps something similar could be done here: the feds could buy the SawStop patent rights from Mr. Goss for a couple of million dollars, then release the technology into the public domain. I think then that marketplace pressure would push other saw manufacturers to incorporate the technology into their own new tablesaw designs fairly quickly (as has been pointed out by others here, it's impractical for most existing designs to incorporate it; it must be designed in from the start).
With other tablesaw manufacturers free from the spectre of unlimited license fees, I bet that within a decade or so, nearly all new cabinet-style and hybrid saws would have blade-stop technology on a voluntary basis. Contractor-style saws are another matter, though perhaps those could include just the blade-stop mechanism without the dropping blade. Sort of like how some cars now have a larger number of protective airbags than other (usually cheaper) cars do. All cars must have a minimum number of airbags, but more money buys more airbag protection.
Please, caption all the online videos for this new show. Many woodworkers, like myself, are deaf or hard of hearing and need the captions. PBS broadcast/cable programming is nearly always closed captioned, but the online presentations never are (whether they are online repeats of broadcast shows or original Web content). The technology does exist for captioning online streamed video; use it. Don't shut us out.
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