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Encinitas, CA, US
The tablesaw is not the relevant point. Some guys seem to think this is about the quality of their Sawstop. Uh, missed the point son. One idiot that says these devices should be mandated for routers and every power tool. Well, what can you say to that besides not much? Obviously this is not about a tablesaw or offering a safety system. The real story is about the self respect we show in ourselves to own our personal actions.
One school of thought is that the Feds, in their infinite wisdom should take full responsibility for our choices. Has anyone considered placing guidelines or limits as to how far that could be taken? Oh, hey I trust the Feds to be reasonable, don't you?
The other train of thought is that we should take personal responsibility for our individual choices and actions. Hmm, a novel idea in today's culture but I'm in that camp along with most on this blog I'm sure.
Every time we tell government that it's ok and invited to invade our personal (responsibilities), we inch one step closer to losing everything we've ever fought for. In some sense what we have fought for IS the RIGHT to use less than perfect devices if we CHOOSE to, AND the responsibility to own the impact of our actions as well. I know that there are guys in here that will just not get that. They think choice is about what we want. For those that might not understand, choice is about what we are willing to take responsibility for. When we give up responsibility we are giving up choice and that is freedom. Where along the line did we lose that concept? I wonder in what age group that concept will not be clear.
So here's the real deal. My tablesaw is not going to jump out of my garage and dismember my next door neighbor. It's not using public roadways and will not harm anyone who does not approach it. It's an inanimate object that I do not need to be protected from. I will regulate and take full responsibility for my personal useage of it, as I have for many years. In fairness, if we're talking about a commercial environment where workers are mandated to use the tool, then let OSHA deal with it. That is their purpose in life after all. Do you want OSHA in your garage? I don't. Do you want to fund that rediculous endeavor? We couldn't if we tried. Is that really a far fetched concept? Nope
So great, offer the safety feature and if I choose to purchase it,, Fine. If not, it's my choice and the Feds have no business in my house. Get Out, Stay Out, collect your taxes and leave us the H alone. I think the Feds have bigger fish to fry anyway. End of story. [grin]
The Sawstop has an override which turns the feature off to prevent unintended tripping when cutting green wood. As with blade guards and other devices which make a saw less convenient, I wonder how many people will just leave the feature off rather than keep switching back and forth anyway?
A healthy respect for the blade in motion goes a long way toward preventing accidents. It would be interesting to see what happens to the accident ratio when the fear factor is removed and the safety feature is accidentally left off.
I guess we'll need to legislate redundant safety features to insure the previous safety features remain safe and in place. We need an oversight committee to mandate personal saw safety procedural training and periodic saw inspection. Load your saw in the car every two years and take it to the local Federal inspection station for a mandatory safety check. Of course we'll need a monitoring device to log the hours of operation with the feature left off and the saw will need to be internet connected so this information can be sent to the Bureau of Saw Safety. There should positively be a corresponding fine for using the saw in an unsafe mode. Hey, it's not about revenue, it's for your protection. Let's not forget tablesaw licensing, requiring an IQ test and a mandatory three month training program as a condition of purchase. Oh and a two week cool off period before taking delivery just to let you consider whether or not you really need such a dangerous device in your home. Do you have kids? Well just in case all tablesaws need an electronic locking system with retina scan biometrics. After all a small child might find a key or witness a code being entered, curious little buggers that they are. Ah the table saw of the future. Hey in California where I live, give an inch and some bonehead that's never seen an evil tablesaw would likely come up with all of it.
Legislation is a joke. Best intentions are ALWAYS taken to extremes and rarely serve anyone but the legislators that have to justify their existance. Protecting people from themselves is an industry of its own. After all, You are not capable of making rational decisions as to whether or not you need an expensive feature. YOU need to be told. How did we ever manage to survive without legislators?
Oh and as for remembering when people complained about seatbelts, I remember when a sub compact economy car didn't cost $30,000.00.
Loxmyth - the beam issue is surprisingly expensive. I just replaced a couple of load bearing walls in my 2 story home with 10" steel Ibeams 22' long tucked into the ceiling on my first floor. In steel, beams are remarkably inexpensive, only about $300.00 each here locally and that's in California where everything is over priced. The beams are supported by a doug fir 4x6 on each end bolted to the beam and the footing. The joist hangers are shot into the beams with a ramset which took all of an hour for both. The engineering and permits were cheap as well. Check craigs list for an engineer. Lots of guys out of work right now. Even engineers are offering deals and most will handle your permit submission as part of the service. I paid two thousand for engineering, two full sets of architecturals and permits for the entire home remodel including electrical, lighting, plumbing and all the title 24 stuff to keep the city and state in business. The biggest issue was moving these heavy buggers up into place. An A/C jack on each end took care of that. With only an 18' span and only one beam, the whole thing will likely cost you less than $1500.00 and your colums are history. Just a thought. C Ya
Really, if you look at the actual difference in price of a new wood river block plane and a Lee valley Veritas, come on we're not talking about breaking the bank. Fifty dollars is not going to kill most woodworkers. That's a couple boxes of sandpaper and a can of decent finish. I have several Veritas planes and every one of them performs perfectly from the box. I have a couple of Lie Nielsons as well but the veritas perform every bit as well and I just like the way they feel in my hand. The price difference between wood river and Veritas in some of the larger planes may be more significant but in any case, you'll spend more an a nice piece of figured hardwood than the difference between any of them anyway. A perfect tool is a pleasure to work with and a lifetime investment. Wouldn't you rather spend your time working with wood than wasting hours or days trying to make a second rate tool perform like the best?
Actually Mouppe, most of the Festool bashing I've read comes from Festool owners like myself. I don't own a festool Sander, but neither my Kapex or my Domino are particularly exceptional in quality. I have a Bosch 6" sander which annoys the heck out of me every time I use it. The disk grab will rip the thing out of your hand if you're not hanging on tight, especially if it's connected to a shop vac. I've been considering the Festool 6" RO but have been so disappointed in my previous Festool purchases, I've pretty much disregarded it as a choice. I know this, I won't ever buy another Festool product without personally trying it first. Not many dealers are set up to demo the products, at least not in this area.
As an actual owner, the name Festool does not overly excite me. I'm not saying they're bad tools. They are in fact good tools. They are however, seriously price inflated for what they are. You're right, price does not equal value. Just because a tool is triple the cost of other fine tools, does not mean it's the best in quality or function. In the end, I suppose as long as people are willing to drop the bucks, it works for Festool.
Dean2 - I happen to agree. I have a Festool Kapex and a dominoe Joiner and frankly they are rediculously over priced. The dominoe, while it is a good idea and a useful tool is lacking in registration lines and diffucult to adjust with any accuracy. The casting is pretty cheesy for what should be a precision tool. It's very poorly documented from the factory. I find myself learning more about the tool from Youtube than from the manufacturer. Festool should provide a better instruction for the price they command. The registration guides which are depicted as metal in their instructions have been replaced with plastic. They give you spare guides, probably because they know they will soon break and need replacement.
The kapex, does have some nice features but it's mostly plastic as well. Out of the box it neeeded subsatntial tweaking to get it set up correctly. Not to mention, you're stuck with a proprietary blade hole size which inreases the cost of useage substantially. I bought it because at the time, it was the only slide saw that could be placed against a wall. For the hefty price tag equaling two of any other quality slide saw, this sucker should be made of titanium. It's not!
Festool is OK stuff but not great stuff. I don't feel they are a good value at all. They've built a reputation as being the most expensive in every category simply by price fixing. You don't always get what you pay for. I'm not a bargain basement buyer by any means. I've spent a great deal of money on quality tools and for the most part I'm pleased with my purchases. Lie Nielson for example is well worth the price. Festool is not. Just my opinion.
Looks like a good show with potential. While everyone seems to focus on Norm's nail gun approach and I'm not knocking it by the way, I truly miss the David Marks Woodworks program. With less copying old designs, his unique creative designs and clean lines consistantly inspired me with new techniques and ideas. I'm hoping this show leans more in that direction of original design in fine woodworking. David, if you're following this blog, Thank You.
I suppose the purist might say true talent is all in the hand but is it really? Unique and captivating design comes from the heart, mind, eye and soul of an artist. Some have the talent and some not so much but a computer can't create. It's just one more tool in the arsenal.
On the other hand, to me knocking CNC is like saying if Bach played a synthesizer rather than an organ he could not be considered a composer. A mind such as Sam Maloof's still reflected pure artistic talent which ever group of instruments or tools he chose to utilize toward an end result. Whether or not he used a spoke shave or a router to round a curve is irrelevant. Would anyone here dare to judge? The end result was pure emotion. Hmm, for that matter, much of his latter work was created not personally but by his assistants under his supervision. His design, the hands of others, so what's the real difference? As long as one possesses adequate fundamental woodworking knowledge and employs solid construction principles in the design, the computer is no less of a tool than any other in the hands of an imaginative mind?
On a final note, let’s not forget that there are many highly artistic and talented people which for one reason or another may be impaired and less able to use hand tools. At 57 my own arthritis sometimes reminds me I'm not twenty any more. I've always been a future child of sorts. In my mind, technology opens new opportunities. Bring it on.
As much as I agree that a planer is a very important tool, most woodworkers will agree that beginning with straight, flat and properly dimensioned material is crucial to achieving a quality end result. A (thickness) planer is not terribly useful if you do not have a flat reference side to plane from. Running twisted or cupped material through the planer will result in a twisted or cupped piece that is quite uniform in thickness. Woodworking begins and ends with the cut. If the cut is not perfect the piece won't fit properly. Just a few of those and your project comes out,,, well let's just say less than what you imagined in your mind's eye. How many of those have we turned out over the years? Flat surfaces result in straight, clean and SAFE cuts. Any way you look at it, the simple fact is that irregular reference sides result in irregular cuts. It is also extremely dangerous do run cupped or twisted material through a table saw. Binding and kickback is not a fun experience.
For the purpose of this discussion, my thought is that any way you look at it, your first machine is actually three machines, jointer, planer, table saw. This to me is the foundation of every project. With the big three, virtually any commercially available material can be properly dimensioned. Any one without the other presents issues which need to be overcome and will likely minimize the resulting quality of the final project. After 50 years of making sawdust my words to the beginner are, start your shop off the right way and love what you do. Cut corners and spend most of your time trying to work around the mistake. If you need to save money, find good used machines rather than new, expensive ones. In these times there are plenty of deals to be found.
Just one guy's opinion.
I'll never turn down a chance to add to my library. Who knows where the next idea will come from? As much as the fundamentals may remain the same, regional influences often bring new and exciting creative inspiration. Add me to the mix and thanks for the opportunity.
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