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First off, let me agree with AndyGoodson about the quality of the comments here. FWW definitely isn't like reading comments on a political blog (and that's only gonna get worse in 2012...) But in response to Jeffe, the loss of fingers isn't close to an isolated incident, and these rules won't make a tablesaw perfectly safe. In 2001, about 36,400 people went to the emergency room for tablesaw accidents. Just about anyone working as a carpenter for any length of time knows someone who has lost a digit, or has come close themselves. Anyone working professionally has cut stock when they were tired- you can't just leave when the job needs to be done. The safety guards that come free with the saw are almost universally total crap- I know the risks, yet I remove them and put them aside because they get in the way too much.
I totally support new regulations. No one is going to keep you from having an old unisaw in your garage shop, but for any commercial shop with employees there is no excuse for the risk. I'm glad that government rules have forced car makers to add seat belts, airbags and crumple zones too, because they've certainly saved me from flying through the (laminated safety glass) windshield.
I, like most people here it seems, feel like this verdict is retarded. I don't know if there are further details about a shoddily built ryobi tool. I'm just saying that I cut a lot of both woods and metals on my restored Rockwell model 10. Sawstop is amazing technology, but they cannot cut metals without triggering the stop, and I spent as much as the cost of a ryobi on the Tenryu nonferrous blade that I have running half the time (which is done for on after a sawstop triggering). Between eliminating all aluminum and brass cutting and eliminating portable tablesaws under $500, this all but kills both the hobbyist and mixed media tool sales. Carpentry is like using drugs- it's thrilling, but be ready to pay the consequences if you're a dumbass, ok? (and don't use a tablesaw when you're on drugs).
I'm a woodworker in San Francisco, originally from the east coast, and I can absolutely identify with the your troubles with the california flakiness (and don't even get me started on the metal only shops). Some of the greatest folks out there to talk to and make friends with, but when it comes to something like sharing a shop, it's all but impossible. It seems like having a workshop on a porch would be the worst possible place, but I can understand how you ended up out there. The last post seems to have a lot of good ideas for dealing with the city though.
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