Joe Y


Recent comments

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

There are two types of people -- smart people and stupid people. There is a slight difference between them. Smart people do stupid things occasionally. Stupid people do stupid things more often.

The purpose for safety equipment is to protect both smart people and stupid people from harming themselves -- and maybe others -- with their stupidity.

Unfortunately, manufacturers will not implement safety equipment until the government levels the playing field by making ALL manufacturers implement it. It is how we got safety belts, air bags, and antilock brakes in cars.

And when every piece of machinery is supplied with safety features, economies of scale will drive the cost down.

An extra $55 isn't going to prevent anyone from buying a table saw. For a lot of people, that's only a month's worth of beer money.

But if a person really takes issue with the government dictating safety requirements to him, he can always do something realllyyy stupid and disable the feature when he gets his new saw home. He can also remove safety belts from his car, safety guards from his portable circular saws, and of course, the safety locks on his gun collection.

Then, when his child or grandchild suffers harm because of his stoopidity, he can proudly say to his wife that he safeguarded the child's rights to be free of government interference.

I'm sure she'll understand.

Re: Blade brake inventor aims to compete with SawStop

When seat belts were first introduced, they were very clumsy affairs. There were two separate belts, with two clips, two length adjustments, and tow locking anchors. Nobody wanted to be bothered with them, and some were afraid that their clumsiness would prevent them from getting out of the car quickly in a fiery accident. But they got better with time.

This device seems to be going in the opposite direction. It doesn't work as quickly as a Sawstop; and it appears to be limited in its versatility and clumsy to use. I anticipate that after a short period of time, it will go to the back of the workshop along with the poorly designed splitters and anti-kickback devices of the past several years.

My daughter in law purchased as Sawstop contractors saw for my son -- primarily because they have a 5 year old son who may someday use the saw himself. I've personally used it on several occasions. The design was very well thought out, the switches are positioned conveniently, and set ups/chageouts are done quickly, easily and with few tools. The flesh sensing technology is almost completely passive; there is only a few seconds delay for system reset when you first power up the saw for your work session. The purchase price may be a bit higher than comparable models without the safety feature, and the blade and cartridge changeout may be an expensive inconvenience if the safety feature engages; but if it saves a finger, hand, or even an arm, it is well worth it.

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

Accidents happen. Sometimes they are due to negligence; sometimes ignorance, sometimes circumstance, sometimes times inexperience and sometimes stupidity. But they are accidents none the less.

Accidents happen in our lives very frequently, usually it is just some spilled milk, or a broken dish, sometimes it's a scratch on the car. But they are all accidents.

So someone uses his intelligence and develops a very clever way to avoid accidents. Thank you Mr. Gass, for saving many appendages and possibly keeping some people off of long term disability benefits.

So Mr. Gass tries to get manufacturers to license his technology. What's wrong with that? Shouldn't a person be rewarded for his cleverness and diligence? Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were.

But the manufacturers didn't want to price themselves out of the market -- because they apparently believed that woodworkers were too stupid, cheap, and/or arrogant to pay a premium for safety. Maybe they were right -- some woodworkers are proud of they wounds like military veterans with battle scars.

But litigation awarded a lot of money for one particular accident which obviously had many of the aspects listed above. And the manufacturers panicked. They were afraid of the precedent, so they probably petitioned the government to level the playing field for all of them by establishing consumer product safety standards for table saws -- which obviously must incorporate the latest SawStop technology. If the government didn't update the rules, who would?

So now, some anarchists are accusing the government of unnecessary intervention, prohibiting them from choosing between price and safety.

Yes, there is nothing in the Constitution which requires the government to provide a safe environment.
-There is nothing which requires street lights, traffic lights, caution signs, yellow lines and guard rails on our highways, but I'm glad they're there.
- There is nothing that requires safety switches, insulation, circuit breakers, and grounding devices in our homes, but I'm glad they're there.
- There is nothing that requires FDA regulations for food processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing , but I'm glad they're there.

So why are some woodworkers so adamantly opposed to safer tools?

Re: Tablesaw Safety Goes Under the Microscope--Again

This is a free country. People should be free to be stupid, lazy, untrained and incompetent. But let's not stop at shop safety. Let's banish ALL safety related items from manufacture. This will bring down costs and support Darwin's theory of Survival of the Fittest (and elimination of the 'stupidist'). While we're at it, let's also eliminate:
- seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, radial tires, windshield wipers and turn signals from cars. Let's especially eliminate car seats for will children learn to be careful if we prevent them from bouncing around the back seat? And who needs back up cameras. Anyone stupid enough to be behind a moving car deserves to be run over. The price of the car will probably go down at least a coupla hundred bucks, so it will be worth it.
- Let's eliminate seat belts and redundant back up systems on airplanes -- you just need one engine to fly a plane, why have two? And in the event of turbulence, just hold on tighter.
- Let's eliminate safety pins -- we could cut the cost of manufacture in half.
- Let's do away with safety protection in sports. Ice hockey was a lot funner when none of the players had any teeth.
- And of course, who needs safety razors -- straight razors are so much more 'manly'. Some women find a sliced up face full of tissue clumps down right sexy!!
The shop is the last refuge where real men can show their skill and bravery while shaping raw materials with large rotating machinery. Of course, accidents will happen, but the scars and amputations can be displayed proudly by those who survive. And that bird-house Christmas present will really be appreciated when the recipient realizes you literally sacrificed an arm or a leg to make it.

Re: How to Win $1.5-Million: Lessons from the Tablesaw Lawsuit

I cannot believe many of the comments about the injustice done to Ryobi. All manufacturers have a responsibility to provide safe products; and most consumers reasonably believe that the products they purchase have been made with safety in mind. Why would anyone want it to be otherwise? Money??

Ryobi didn't want the technology because no one else had it, and their prices would not be competitive. No other company wanted the technology for the same reason. So to be economically safe, no one had it; thereby compromising product safety.

Cars did not have seat belts until the mid '60s. That was only because safety was legislated by the government -- thereby making the playing field level for all manufacturers. Some people squawked and others circumvented the safety devices. I guess they wanted to protect their right to be thrown through a windshield...

Today, cars have safety belts, front and side air bags, anti-lock brakes, radial tires and other features which were inconceivable 45 years ago. Many states, in order to decrease injuries -- and therefore insurance costs -- have made it illegal for anyone to ride in an automobile without wearing a seat belt. All these features have increased the cost of a new car -- but they work wonderfully, and car related deaths are down substantially since the mid '60s, despite increased cars on the roads and increased yearly total milage.

So now, the government will level the playing field for table saws. It's about time. With the economies of scale, the prices will not go up that much, and in forty years, the loss of a finger to a rotating blade will be unheard of.

Re: Ideas for Woodworking's Own Reality TV

The question is, do you want to be primarily educational, with a little light entertaining thrown in; or do you want to be entertaining with a little bit of woodworking education thrown in.

This Old House and New Yankee Workshop kinda fits in with the former; American Chopper and Pawn Stars, the latter.

Personally, I prefer the former; but in a lot more detail. Suggested shows:
- Wood Theory. The difference between hardwoods and softwoods, typical applications for Cherry, Walnut, Ash, Oak, Teak, Cedar, Cyprus and why.
- Wood expansion. How expansion differs radially, axially, and tangentially. How moisture contributes to expansion. How expansion varies in the Southwest desert and the indoor humidity extremes in cold climates. Using green wood vs seasoned wood for different chair leg parts, how to accommodate seasonal movement for table tops with bread board ends, etc.
- How to choose the right wood for a project. Quarter sawn vs face sawn. Parallel graining for chair legs and spindles.
- How to sharpen and use various tools:
-- chisels
-- planes
-- marking knives
-- saws
- Different types of sharpening techniques
-- abrasive paper
-- slow speed abrasive wheels
-- natural and synthetic stones
-- diamond sharpeners
- How to measure
-- types of measuring rulers and tapes
--- story sticks and now blank 'story' tapes
--- centering rulers
--- golden ratio rulers
-- how to transfer measurements quickly and accurately with dividers, marking gauges, etc.
- Design basics
-- proper proportion
--- golden ratio
--- balanced design
---- shaker simplicity
---- excessive ornateness
---- top heaviness and how to avoid it.
-- form follows function
- joining techniques and when to use them
-- rabbets
-- dovetails
-- biscuits
-- dowels
- gluing techniques
-- types of glue
-- too much vs not enough
-- clamping
--- types of clamps and applications for each type
- Finishing techniques
-- sanding
-- scrapers
-- stains and dyes
-- laquer, shellac, oils, urethanes
-- waxes

This is easily a year's worth of programming. There is still much more to thoroughly address. I'll be happy to

Re: Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers

A workbench is a workbench, whether it is powered or not. It is a stationary tool to hold something in place while you are working on it.

I built a traditional bench with built-in vices and dog holes to hold my work. But I added a four-outlet box at each end, to conveniently plug in power tools like an electric drill, sander and biscuit cutter, as these are often used at the workbench.

I added a shelf under the bench about a foot above the floor. This is a convenient place to set the tools when they are not being used, and it keeps them from cluttering the work surface.

I added a sloped shelf about a foot above the bottom shelf to deflect dust and chips which fall through the dog holes -- keeping them off of the tools.

The outlet boxes are positioned on the inside of the legs, so that the plugs will not intrude into my legs, or interfere with anything that I may want to clamp onto the legs. The outlet boxes are connected to each other by a piece of heavy duty extension cord. You don't have to use Romex or cladded cable, since the bench can be considered to be a portable tool. Care must be taken to securely connect the extension cord wiring to the the terminals.

The wiring from one box to the other box is routed under, and secured to the bottom of the bottom shelf.

The power wire is again a heavy duty extension cord which is routed through a cord protector which lies on the floor. It terminates in a plug which conveniently plugs into a wall outlet, like any other tool.

I only have two hands and therefore, I only operate one tool at a time, so I'm not concerned with overloading the circuit.

Re: Is the Radial Arm Saw on its Last Legs?

I purchased a Craftsman 10" RAS in 1974 and it has been my primary shop tool for 35 years. I built a stable stand for it, and I extended the work surface to 4' on both sides of the blade.

I've used the saw for cross cuts, ripping, miters, crosscut dados and ripped dados. I occasionally used the aux arbor for a drill chuck and sanding drum. I have never had a problem with misalignment, unless I failed to properly lock the saw into position.

- you can see the blade in the cut, and you can easily fine tune the cut depth without having to move the workpiece.
- the extended table facilitates rip cuts by providing additional workpiece support for both the in-feed and out-feed.
- setup is quick and easy; blade changeout can be done without having to reach down into the table.
- the kerf spreader and anti kickback features can be easily implemented when needed for rip cuts.

- capacity for cutting sheet goods is limited and wrestling with sheet goods can be clumsy
- aux features are limited -- sanding, drilling, moulding, etc., but this is to be expected when using the saw for something it wasn't designed for.
- when dadoing or rabbeting warped or cupped boards, the blade will have a tendency to remove too much wood, rather than not enough wood (as on a table saw) due to the workpiece being sandwiched between the table and the saw blade. For best cutting, the board should lie completely flat on the work surface.

I have always respected the RAS but I have never 'feared it'. However, I have always felt uncomfortable with the tendency of older table saws to pinch the work piece, lift it up off the table, or fling it across the room

A few months ago, I purchased another RAS, so that I can have one dedicated to rip cuts (with a ripping blade) and the other dedicated to cross cuts.

Re: Man Wins Big Money in Tablesaw Lawsuit

The table saw is probably the most dangerous tool in the workshop. It doesn't have to be.

The Sawstop is a relatively expensive table saw. It doesn't have to be.

If the flesh sensing technology was applied to all table saws, the cost would drop to the point of being almost insignificant -- mass production has a way of doing that.

Most accidents are stupid and foreseeable -- in retrospect. Fortunately, I have never had a serious accident -- but I've had several near misses, for which I've kicked myself for not being more cautious. I'm sure that most of the other commenters have similar experiences.

Forty years ago, highway deaths averaged 45,000 per year. Today, there are twice as many people driving, and most of them are driving further than they did forty years ago -- but highway deaths have dropped to around 35,000 per year. Are cars more expensive? Yes. Are the safety standards worth the extra cost? Absolutely!! Have you, your spouse, your child or your grandchild avoided injury because of them? Most probably.

An industry, in order to remain competitive, will not incorporate safety features because most consumers are too cheap (or too ignorant) to recognize their value. So safety (or lack thereof) must eventually be litigated. And once litigation is successful, an industry will push for legislation in order to force all manufactures to comply -- thus leveling the playing field. This seems stupid and inefficient, but ultimately, it is effective.

So let us all be thankful for litigation and legislation -- they are the only means to save us all from ourselves.

Re: Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Woodcraft part ways

I have purchased planes directly from Lie Nielsen and also from Woodcraft. Lie Nielsen makes high quality -- heirloom quality tools. They are beautiful to look at and hold; and they perform wonderfully.

Woodcraft is a woodworking specialty store. They carry tools and supplies that the big box stores don't. Typically, their quality is reasonably high -- and so are their prices.

I found the introduction of Wood River planes surprising; and the quality of their Chinese manufacturing disappointing -- though unfortunately not surprising. On the sincere recommendation and endorsement of the salesman, I purchased a Wood River block plane. After spending considerable time polishing the the plane's sole and iron, I was reassembling the plane and noticed a serious crack in the cap. Upon returning it to Woodcraft, I was accused of mishandling and breaking the tool; and the cracked part was replaced begrudgingly.

I can see why Lie Nielsen no longer wants to be associated with Woodcraft.

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