Recent comments

Re: Soup-to-Nuts Handplane Restoration

In fairness to Ed, this was never presented as a new series in the Video Workshop Series, which is still free to online FWW subscribers. Nevertheless, despite the video lead-in and the description in the first paragraph, I can see how someone could get the impression that this series is part of the online membership; those commenting either failed to read the description or didn't understand the distinction.

Anyway, it appears that Taunton is now following Popular Woodworking, among others, in offering on-demand videos. I trust this "new effort" won't have any effect on the quantity or quality of the Video Workshop Series.

Re: Gary Rogowski on how woodworking fulfills him

Gary Rogowski at his very best – eloquent, insightful, and fearless. Thank you, Gary!

Re: STL 57: Tablesaw Accident Update

A big thank you to JimKoren for pointing out the second elephant in the room. Unfortunately, the responses, or lack thereof, from the FWW editorial staff continue to disappoint on this issue. I too challenged FWW back in 2011, pointing out FWW's one-sided coverage of the CPSC investigation and subsequent report and the lack of journalistic engagement with PTI (Power Tool Institute) and their role in fostering the CPSC's actions. As I stated then:

"We still haven't seen an interview with PTI representatives or a single story/blog featuring the power tool industry's role in all of this. We do, however, have the other three constituents [CPSC, the Osorio court case, and Steve Gass] covered quite well."

I then listed the eight FWW articles/blog posts, which at the time--as far as I can tell--covered the entire editorial commitment to this issue, either online or in print, and not a single one covered PTI in any fashion. We were, however, given promises of a sort. On October 9th, 2011, Asa Christiana stated the following:

"Lots of interviewing still to do. My goal with these blogs was to ask the tough questions. You can be sure I'll be just as tough on PTI. That's a different blog, coming soon."

Tom McKenna also indicated on February 28th, 2012, that he was "trying to get more info about PTI's request" for the deadline extension, which many wrongly assumed was an underhanded tactic coming from the SawStop crowd.

It's been over two years now, and we still haven't seen a single PTI interview or PTI story let alone one that covers their role in bringing about the CPSC's actions. By any other journalistic standards, this would be a significant story, but nobody has bothered to pursue it. Why? If PTI has refused comment, as is the industry standard, that doesn't explain or excuse the lack of coverage on that front.

Finally, I very much appreciate Mike Pekovich's response in his attempt to navigate this issue in a way that doesn't offend the majority of FWW subscribers or the power tool industry while at the same time taking JimKoren's concerns seriously. As always, Mike did a great job in that respect. I find It almost impossible to be disappointed in anything Mike offers on FWW or elsewhere. Mike's knowledge, integrity, and passion for what he does commands respect for good reason. Nevertheless, I think his response demonstrates what seems to be an overriding financial and political set of interests at play here, and that sort of caution is deeply disappointing.


Re: Shop Talk Live 45: Taking the Fun Out of Fine Woodworking

Just adding my support, again, for the podcast in its current form. I enjoy the banter, sound effects, and even Ed on occasion... ;-) It's the best woodworking podcast out there.

You're doing a fantastic job, Ed!

Re: 9 reasons why I don't sharpen my plane blades as well as I thought

The event is called Kazaru Kai (planing competition) and was started in the mid-nineties in Japan as a way to "...encourage the preservation of traditional Japanese woodworking methods." It's an annual event that has drawn alot of attention and even found its way here in the U.S., at least in the recent past. It looks wicked fun, and I applaud these Japanese woodworkers for doing their part in promoting traditional woodworking. You can read a short blip about it here -

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

When I watch Deneb Puchalski use a router plane on a tenon cheek, utilizing a second piece of wood for an additional reference surface, I see proper technique being used not training wheels. When I watch other experienced woodworkers using shooting boards, miter blocks, marking pins with cut tails, or using their knuckles on the face side of a board they're jointing with a hand plane, I see proper technique not training wheels. The techniques apply the same principle.

As mentioned earlier, our collective obsession with "proper" technique has become its own justification with little consideration for what those techniques are meant to produce. Who knows, perhaps someday we'll have galleries showcasing only joinery, no furniture just two boards joined together with exquisite hand-cut dovetails hanging on gallery walls.

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

I was driving to work the other day and saw a survey crew using tripods with these fancy schmancy eye piece thingamajigs. I couldn't believe it! In my day, we could survey half a county by noon with just our thumbs, a keen eye and a tree branch. What's next... GPS?

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

Wasn't there a Far Side cartoon that had a caveman attempting to start a fire with some flint and the caveman standing next to him said "You're cheating"?

Anyway, it seems that technique has now become an end in and of itself. It's used as a platform for the purist to showcase a type of expertise that never needs to produce anything substantial. Demonstrating one's skill as a craftsman is simply a matter of producing clean and tight dovetails on an anonymous piece of wood or producing a cutting edge that results in wispy thin shavings that float in the air. I'm probably overstating the case, but it would be nice if some of our collective obsession with technique were balanced out with more focus on design.

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

For some people, woodworking is a competitive sport that requires critical commentary on every aspect of the craft, down to the size of one's micro-bevel.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Matt.

Re: Fine Woodworking's 15 Minutes of Fame

Ron Ulysses Swanson - "I made my first chair when I was five, but the quality of the wood was wanting, so when I turned nine I used my factory wages to purchase some beautiful local walnut."

Yep, that's where I went wrong. I squandered my factory wages at that age on knotty pine....embarrassing.

Re: Gets a Makeover

Wow! Very nice, Ed and team. I haven't had a chance to fully drive it around the block, but my initial impression is that the new format is a marked improvement - less clutter, more inviting, and I can still find all my usual haunts as quickly (or quicker) as ever.

Re: Shop Talk Live 20: Fine Woodworking on Primetime TV

Asa and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamshorts

Re: More Details -- A Bail Pull

OK, maybe not. Now the video doesn't want to load. I'll try later.

Re: More Details -- A Bail Pull

Thanks, Dave. I meant to say that the problems I and others have experienced are with blip videos generally not just yours. blip is not very friendly with folks who wish to browse without being tracked by advertisers. In any event, I was able to view the video only after diaabling certain addons, popup blocker, etc. I'm not a fan of blip for these reasons.

Re: More Details -- A Bail Pull

I wish I could watch your video, Dave, but I cannot get blip to work with my browser (IE9) here or anywhere else on the web. I really hope FWW is not moving over to blip as other online content providers have done... that would effectively end my online subscription with FWW. I'm not the only person experiencing these difficulties with blip videos.

Re: UPDATE: Hand Planing Techniques by Hendrik Varju

Here's my comment. Thanks, Betsy!

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

I agree with Ralph...very informative discussion and the different perspectives give a lot of food for thought.

Ralph, just make sure to use your SketchUp push stick when making that cut.

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

I'm curious about industry preferences between AutoCAD and SketchUp. Is what Ralph suggests the case? I honestly don't know. Does AutoCAD serve a particular industry niche that SketchUp can't touch and vice versa? Or are we talking apples and oranges here?

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

The addition of LayOut is the main reason, but I'd also like to learn how to use some of the other functions, e.g., the documentation and presentation features. Besides the direct usefulness of sketchup for my limited design needs, I'm really interested in the progeam itself and what it can do and what I can do with it. I just have a blast using it.

Re: Shop Talk Live 17: Behind-the-Scenes at Lee Valley Tools

Like many listeners, I too was disappointed when the decision to go with an audio-only podcast first came out, but with nearly 10 podcasts in this format, I can honestly say that the lack of video hasn't detracted one bit from its quality. In fact, the content is getting better.

The bottom-line for me is having Shop Talk Live continue in whatever format. I'm assuming this was Ed's baby from the start and he's done a fantastic job - the best woodworking podcast out there as far as I'm concerned.

So kudos to Ed and the rest of the FWW team for this informative and entertaining resource. Oh yeah, and the last time I checked it was still free!

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

Thanks for the report, Dave. SketchUp seems such a natural for tapping into kids' creative genius. I remember being amazed at the stuff my kids created with Legos. Imagine what they could do with SketchUp...

So here's a question that you really can't answer, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Given that a new version of SketchUp Pro is in the offing for 2013, do you think it's wise to wait for the new release before purchasing? It appears that version upgrades cost around $100, which is significant for my budget.

I'm itching to get into the pro version sooner rather than later, but knowing that a new version is on the horizon makes me hesitant to jump in now.

Re: Shop Talk Live 17: Behind-the-Scenes at Lee Valley Tools

Asa's interview with Robin Lee was fantastic, especially the discussion on the future of the craft. Rob's take on this important issue was very impressive as you would expect. It's their business to reflect on these broader trends and I found his thoughts to be insightful and thought provoking - smart man!

As I was listening, I kept thinking wouldn't it be cool to get Rob Lee, Thomas Lie-Nielsen, and other industry leaders together to discuss this very issue? It's a topic that's frequently discussed individually among hobbiests, professionals, bloggers, magazine editors/staff and manufacturers, but never collectively as a group with similar interests from different perspectives and expertise.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud here. Speaking of which, the Shop Stumper (aka Shop Quandaries) sound was decidedly NOT the triggering of SawStop's safety mechanism. It was the sound of Matt Kenney tossing Ed's sound-effects gizmo into the path of a Powermatic 5hp PM2000. ;-)

Re: Shop Talk Live 16: A Lethal Dose of PEG?

Count me as a fan of the chit chat...

Re: Shop Talk Live 15: Curvy Cabinet Conundrum

My vote is for design #1. Something about #2 doesn't jive with me. Perhaps it's because there are less places for hiding stuff....if I happen to move to California....for medical reasons. ;-)

Another great Podcast, guys!

Re: Sliding Dovetails

Very cool, Dave! And I had no idea about double clicking the push/pull to remove waste. Thank you.

Re: UPDATE: Refinishing Furniture Made Simple (with DVD) by Jeff Jewitt

Count me in. Thanks!

Re: Shop Talk Live 14: Who Needs Half-Blind Dovetails?


See this link -

Re: A New Maintenance Release for SketchUp 8

derek, here's a link for SketchUp on Wine that you may already know about:

Re: A New Maintenance Release for SketchUp 8

Thanks for the heads up, Dave. Other than the new logo icon, is there any substantive reason to update with this maintenance release? I'm not an Apple user.

Re: Shop Talk Live 11: That Sinking Feeling

I really liked the discussion about what the future may hold for emerging furniture styles or the lack thereof. As always, Mike has such great insights. And I completely agree with Asa on boutique versus LN/LV hand tools in terms of usability, but I think a similar dynamic is happening here with hand tool users, namely, a deep appreciation of the handmade artistry that goes into the tool itself whether vintage or new. Knowing Bertha (aka Al) and the rest of the hand-tool gang over at lumberjocks, the usability of a tool is crucial but it goes beyond that because these guys are artisans themselves.

Anyway, you guys hit on an interesting theme this week. By the way, I think you should have titled this episode - "The Beard For No Good Reason..."

Hey Ed, for some reason the link for this podcast is resolving to episode 9 and not 11 - just a heads up.

Re: Veritas Introduces New Tool Steel for Plane Blades and Chisels

This is very cool. It's nice to see the current strides in nanotechnology directly reaching woodworkers. And there's perhaps a bit of irony in all of this too. The most *technologically* advanced tools in the woodworker's shop may be hand tools rather than power tools.

Re: Neckties and Tablesaws Just Don't Mix

According to the Senate Office of Public Records, 2011 was the first year that SawStop spent any money on lobbying. They hired the firm Cuneo, Waldman & Gilbert for a total of $100,000. In 2011, the Power Tool Institute spent $200,000 on lobbying, hiring two firms - Bracewell & Giuliani and Webster, Chamberlain & Bean. In the previous 4 years (2007-2010) PTI spent $745,000 on lobbying, bringing the Power Tool Institute's total lobbying expenditures over those 5 years to $945,000. So far in 2012, the Power Tool Institute has spent $60,000 on lobbying and SawStop has spent $30,000.

Total spent on lobbying from 2007 through June 19, 2012:

Power Tool Institute: $1,005,000
SawStop: $130,000


Re: Shop Talk Live 10: Handplanes for a Desert Island

Hey Ed and Mike, just wanted to comment on your brief mention of Naphtha and its potential health hazards. The most immediate danger is its flammability, which shouldn't be surprising given the most common product associated with Naphtha is lighter fluid. The long-term health risks are relatively low as long as you don't drink it, breath/sniff it, or use it as eye drops. In short, typical skin contact on the hands (brief exposures) has a very low health risk under normal conditions - wash your hands after using it.

It's one of my favorite cleaning solutions in the shop, especially with removing glue residue on my granite sharpening surfaces. I also use it frequently to clean off the grime on the body and neck of my guitars - an old Luthier trick. Works wonders on cleaning up polished surfaces and evaporates quickly.

Granted, I've got a third arm growing out of my chest, but that's proven to be quite handy... ba dum tish.

Keep up the good work, guys!

Re: UPDATE: Arts & Crafts Style Coffee Table with Gregory Paolini

I'll even provide a video review... You betcha, with a fashionable tie and blue shirt. ;-)

Re: Intermediate Workbench Video Series

+1 on the podcast humor! I'm looking forward to the series. No more hiding behind the camera, dude...

Re: Shop Talk Live 8: Just a Splash of Water

The video definitely added to the quality and appeal even if it was just the two of you sitting at the bench. Seeing you guys visually was/is an important part of the overall context - communication involves more than just hearing the spoken word.

I haven't found you guys boring at all and you had something unique. I'll stick with Shop Talk Live whatever the format, but I'll miss seeing your ugly mugs. ;-)

Re: Should Woodworkers Say Goodbye to Ebony?

You can be sincere, caring, well-intentioned, dedicated to doing the right thing and still be wrong. Is Bob Taylor's model the wrong thing to do for Ebony? I honestly don't know. Is it the right thing to do for the guitar industry? Probably.

Mr. Taylor's present efforts will likely help in the short term and stop some of the hemorrhaging, which is sorely needed, but I suspect any sort of long-term solution will inherently conflict with what is right for the guitar industry among others.

Markets are what got us into this situation and for some bewildering reason we hold onto the twisted logic that trusts in those same markets as the solution. Faith is a funny thing isn't it?

Re: Win an all-access pass to Fine Woodworking Live!

Please count me in too. What a fantastic prize!

Re: Nick Offerman Talks Woodworking Obsession

And he can write like a pro too... uffda! Megan Mullally is one lucky lady.

Re: UPDATE: Practical Furniture Design from Fine Woodworking

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

Re: What I've Learned About the Online Woodworking Community

Just to be clear on the object of the title, "A Perfect Storm of Stupidity," it was never directed at bloggers. As Asa explained:

"To make matters worse, we originally titled the episode, “A Perfect Storm of Stupidity,” a quote from later in the show where Mike Pekovich and I talked about some of our recent dumb mistakes in the shop (we call those regular segments, “Smooth Moves.” Yup, the whole thing just drips with irony.)"

Speaking more generally, there is a woodworking community at large that spans all demographic and skill levels, and this larger community is made up of smaller woodworking communities that reflect and makeup this diversity. Fine Woodworking is one of the many smaller woodworking communities that many of us consider a home. It's like any other woodworking community out there, and I suspect most of us within the Fine Woodworking community have other woodworking homes as well, e.g., The Wood Whisperer, Popular Woodworking, Chris Schwarz's Lost Art Press, and so on.

I feel that I know Asa, Mike, Ed, Matt, and the rest of the crew at FWW very well. I don't always agree with everything that comes out of FWW, but then there isn't an individual or community on this planet that I completely agree with - no one's perfect. ;-)

In short, the folks at Fine Woodworking who provide us with excellent content day in and day out have the same passion for the craft as we all do and help drive that passion. I am privileged to be a part of this community and several others. It's important to not lose sight of our community network and to be supportive whatever the circumstances.

Re: What I've Learned About the Online Woodworking Community

I understand that, Ed, but I'm hideously ugly too, hence the outrage. Actually, I just want Asa to take your spot and zap you with your own sound effects. :-)

Re: What I've Learned About the Online Woodworking Community

I'm also surprised by the reaction. I thought episode 5 was one of the best yet. It's a live broadcast, more or less unscripted, and sometimes things are said that may offend someone, but that's its charm and why I enjoy it so much.

In my day job, being offended by someone or something, and displaying that affront, is almost an occupational prerequisite - that gets old very quickly. It's refreshing to get away from such hypersensitivity and give folks the benefit of the doubt for a change. Reserve the outrage and hurt for stuff that really matters.

Having said that, I am a little outraged that we never get to see Ed on Shop Talk Live... blog post to follow.

Re: Adam Carolla finds the funny in Fine Woodworking

Another nice catch, Asa! You're on a roll. So who's next? William H. Macy, Daniel Day-Lewis? Doing a piece with Day-Lewis would be quite the coup...

Re: Shop Talk Live 5: Compounding Errors

Funniest episode yet guys.

Asa: "Mike is a woodworking nut job in the sense of... he comes out of the lunchroom and all of a sudden there's a ballet of like BOOM, he's got half-blind dovetails..."

Now just imagine that sentence being read by Wolf Blitzer.

Re: Shop Talk Live 4: Dueling Cabinets

Just wanted to mention how much I'm enjoying Shop Talk Live. Unfortunately, I'm usually teaching when it's broadcast live, but I pick it up when it's available as a podcast and video. You guys are doing great!

Re: Video Sneak-Peek of New Groundbreaking Video Workshop Series

Classic Greg & Greg style... Great stuff, guys!

Re: California Considers Tougher Safety Standards for Tablesaws

NovaJoe writes: "I've been a pilot with a 45 year career and witnessed a major aircraft manufacturer stop production of an entire line of airplanes because of liability claims. This in the face of the fact that the overwhelming majority of accidents are due to the people flying them are the cause by some form of error. Bad decisions, bad judgement, disregarding weather briefings, trying to do what they or the aircraft are not equipped or qualified to do. And we have legislated those issues ad nauseum and people continue to be injured and worse. Was it Ron White who was fond of saying, "you can't fix stupid"."

And now that flesh-sensing technology for table saws has been available for quite some time and is proven to significantly reduce direct-blade-contact injuries, do you think the potential for "liability claims" will increase or decrease for power-tool manufacturers who have voluntarily refused to implement such a safety measure, knowing its effectiveness?

Perhaps we should let market forces take their course and when liability claims reach unbearable levels for power-tool manufacturers, they can then choose to either eliminate their table-saw product lines, like your "major aircraft manufacturer" did, or they can adopt the technology that prevents these types of injuries in the first place (and related liability clams) and continue to make profits on table saws as they always have – SawStop seems to be doing quite well in this respect.

In the meantime, I guess we'll just have to wait until those direct-blade-contact injuries and their attendant lawsuits reach that drop or adopt threshold. Don't you just love markets and litigated liability/responsibility outcomes?

Re: California Considers Tougher Safety Standards for Tablesaws

In the interest of not repeating the same old, tired, formulaic responses that make this issue such a bore, here’s my proposed solution, one that should satisfy both the libertarian-government-is-evil crowd as well as those of us who are tired of paying for such preventable injuries through no fault of our own.

I suggest that the entire burden of medical costs due to table-saw related injuries rest on those interested parties who gamble with safety, i.e., those parties who either refuse to use or implement proven technologies capable of preventing such injuries.

They would not, however, be allowed to rely upon insurance of any kind or transfer such costs to anyone else - friends, wealthy relatives, customers, employees, taxpayers, etc. The cost burden would be confined to only those who played a role in making decisions about the use or implementation of available safety technologies. It would be a 50/50 share of the burden, e.g., the individuals who were injured as a result of not (knowingly) using available flesh-sensing technology as well as the companies that did not (knowingly) integrate those technologies into the products they used.

So Billy Bob woodworker who’s pissed off at the government for messing with his Medicare and thus decides to exercise his individual liberties by buying a Delta table saw without that socialist SawStop technology would share the medical and related disability costs equally with Delta when he cuts off half his hand because that’s the price to pay for exercising one’s individual liberties. Hey, power to the people, right?

For the companies, however, the costs could not be absorbed within company budgets. These costs would be directly extracted from the incomes of those individuals who made the decisions, including those who have financial stock in the company. In other words, it would serve as a direct tax on those in positions of influencing company decisions and policies. Anyone with a capacity to influence or act upon the decision making process with regard to safety would be held directly responsible for the entire costs of injuries that resulted from those decisions. In other words, the risks and costs of not employing safety measures all along the chain would fall directly and completely on those making those decisions and assessments.

The beauty of this proposal is that it doesn’t mandate anything. No one is being denied their choice to produce, buy, or choose a table saw with or without flesh-sensing technology. It simply shifts the risks, responsibilities, and costs on those who make certain choices, namely, those who wish to gamble with their own or others’ safety. Choices have real-world consequences and those consequences should rest on those parties who have actually made the choices all along that chain.

Of course, such a proposal would never fly because we systematically refuse to believe that choices involve more than just individual decisions at the point of contact, i.e., we only acknowledge those at the very bottom of the responsibility food chain as culpable participants.

You can find my full assessment here:

Re: Shop Talk Live 1: The Big Debut

Great first show! Having Mike go to the white board to illustrate his points was very helpful. The only criticism (minor) is that I noticed Asa was not miked. The audio was perfectly clear but there was an echo chamber effect with Asa. I missed the first couple minutes of the show, so you may have touched on that at the beginning. I look forward to the next episode.

Re: Stephen Colbert Takes the Sizzle Out of SawStop

Wow! Given the responses in this thread, I can see how the material for the Colbert Report writes itself. Seriously guys, no one is going to take your table saws from you.

I tell ya what, if the government does takes your table saw from your cold (or warm) dead (or fully functional) fingers (however many digits), I'll buy you a brand new SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw fully loaded. I'll even use the phrase "nanny state" in a follow-up post.

Re: Stephen Colbert Takes the Sizzle Out of SawStop

Satire is one of the most effective means of demonstrating absurdity, and Colbert is our Jonathan Swift. I found this piece to be hilarious and a very effective reductio of PTI's position. Sure, it's an easy target but there's a reason for that.

So here's my challenge to you SawStop detractors. Create an equally effective satirical piece that demonstrates the absurdity of requiring power-tool manufacturers to implement flesh-sensing technology as an industry-wide safety measure for table saws.

Good luck!

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

Sorry, Matt, I misspelled your name - it's Kenney not Kenny.

Apropos of my embarrassing spelling and grammatical mistakes, which are more than a few, it would be nice if an edit feature were available for posted some love for us anal retentive types.

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

For my money, it's the magazine in conjunction with the web content that makes FWW the best. The editorial staff is top notch, the content both print and online is second to none, and they were able to get celebrity exposure on the David Letterman Show (way to go Asa!). Besides, the fact that Matt Kenny, a Ph.D. in Philosophy, is on the editorial team is what sold me. ;-)

FWW is worth the price and more. Keep up the great work!

Re: The Story Behind the Government's Pending Tablesaw Ruling

"So why didn't companies add SawStop in 2001/2002? The individual manufacturers I contacted were tight-lipped about it all, citing pending litigation. However, the PTI has a lot to say about the topic. Their first argument has to do with the injury statistics presented by the CPSC."

That is the key question and the answer continues to allude us; I suspect it will for quite some time. But what exactly is the "topic" that the PTI is so eager to talk about, and where is the (first) argument? Questioning the scope of the NEISS injury statistics certainly has nothing to do with why the power tool industry failed to adopt this technology a decade ago.

"Do the numbers tell the whole story?"

Or, are we getting the best account of the numbers? As reported in the CPSC's ANPR (p.8):

"According to PTI, estimated annual shipments of table saws have fluctuated widely in recent years. In 2006 and 2007, estimated shipments were 800,000 to 850,000 units. However, estimated shipments declined to 650,000 in 2008, 589,000 in 2009, and 429,000 in 2010."

"CPSC staff also obtained information from PTI regarding the expected useful life estimates for different categories of table saws, ranging from 6 years for an inexpensive bench saw, to 17 years for a contractor saw, to 24 years for an expensive cabinet saw. Based on these expected product lives and sales data for the different types of saws, PTI estimated the number of table saws in use at 8.0 million in 2001/2002, and 9.5 million in 2007/2008. CPSC staff believes that this estimate is generally consistent with independent estimates of table saws in use, based upon product population estimates using the CPSC’s Product Population Model (“PPM”). The PPM is used by CPSC staff to estimate the number of products in use, given sales estimates and information on expected product life. Assuming an average retail price of $500 per table saw, and average annual shipments of about 700,000 units, CPSC staff believes that annual retail sales may be in the range of $300 to $400 million."

"CPSC staff also reviewed tariff and trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission, which showed that China and Taiwan together account for more than $150 million dollars in annual imports. Allowing for markups of table saws at the manufacturer/private labeler level and the retail level, CPSC staff found that imports may account for a majority of the estimated $300 million to $400 million in shipments estimated. According to CPSC staff, exports from the United States appear to be minimal, less than $1 million annually."

The above is just a thumbnail sketch of the detail contained in the 222 page ANPR document. The CPSC has devoted years of work on this issue and produced a very thorough, balanced, and methodology sound study. Unfortunately, most people have neither the inclination nor patience to read through it to find out for themselves what the report contains.

Re: UPDATE: Deadline extended again for tablesaw safety comments to the CPSC

I appreciate that, Tom, and understand the editorial separation. However, giving a less than favorable review of a particular power tool is quite a bit different from providing a critical look at the entire power tool industry. Nevertheless, you're right, I have no evidence demonstrating you've pulled punches in this debate as a result and perhaps overplayed that accusation - my apologies.

Having said that, I still disagree that FWW has dealt with the power tool industry evenhandedly. With the exception of your most recent blog, the coverage has been disproportionately focused on the CPSC, the Osorio court case, and Steve Gass (see below). My problem is not with editorial opinions but with sufficiency. I think FWW's overall coverage of the power tool industry's role in bringing this situation to where we are today has been insufficient.

We still haven't seen an interview with PTI representatives or a single story/blog featuring the power tool industry's role in all of this. We do, however, have the other three constituents covered quite well:

Time to tell the government what you think about tablesaw safety (November 29th, 2011, Tom McKenna, senior editor) -

Appeals court upholds Osorio tablesaw verdict: Feds consider landmark safety standard (October 6th, 2011, Asa Christiana, editor) -

SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts (October 6th, 2011, Asa Christiana, editor) -

CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations (June 15th, 2011, Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer) -

Tablesaw Safety Goes Under the Microscope--Again (February 4th, 2011, Tom McKenna, senior editor) -

Defense Outgunned in Osorio Tablesaw Lawsuit (July 23rd, 2010, Patrick McCombe, contributor) -

How to Win $1.5-Million: Lessons from the Tablesaw Lawsuit (June 30th, 2010, Patrick McCombe, contributor) -

More Details on the Carlos Osorio Tablesaw Lawsuit (May 3rd, 2010, Patrick McCombe, contributor) -

Re: UPDATE: Deadline extended again for tablesaw safety comments to the CPSC

Quick note: I hadn't noticed Tom McKenna's blog article, "The Story Behind the Government's Pending Tablesaw Ruling," before posting my earlier response below.

A big thank you, Tom, for providing this informative account before the Dec. 12th deadline. Well done!

Re: UPDATE: Deadline extended again for tablesaw safety comments to the CPSC

Thank you for the response, Tom. I'll just say the following and move on.

This issue has been frustrating because it once again highlights, at least for me, the degree to which the corporate world directly and indirectly dictates the *possibilities* of almost everything in our daily lives. FWW like all other consumer magazines is a delivery system for advertisers, and advertising revenues are what generally pay the bills not subscribers. As such, it's never a good idea to piss off your primary revenue source, which in this case encompasses the power tool industry.

No, I'm not suggesting a conspiracy at all. There's no need for one. What I'm suggesting is just the opposite. It's business as usual, an unfortunate reality that we've all bought into (pun intended) and it seems there's not much we can do about it other than voice our concerns.

There are plenty of so-called bad guys to go around in this drama. It's just too bad that the biggest one in the crowd has been comparatively and conspicuously ignored.

By the way, I'm not at all diminishing the great work that FWW does. Quite the contrary. It's because of FWW's high-quality content and reputation that this particular "delivery system" is so important for all concerned.

Re: UPDATE: Deadline extended again for tablesaw safety comments to the CPSC

On October 6th, Asa Christiana blogged his interviewed with Steve Gass regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission's ANPR (advance notice of proposed rulemaking). On his reading, Asa found the ANPR document problematic, containing "many errors and assumptions," which apparently prompted his interview with Gass.

I found the ANPR document, while customarily repetitive and dry, to be exceptionally well researched and methodologically sound. We never really learned from Asa what he specifically found to be erroneous or assumptive in the ANPR report, but we did learn how well-versed and prepared Steve Gass was in answering Asa's "tough questions."

My concern, along with a few other FWW subscribers, centers on the stance of FWW with regard to this issue if not in letter at least in tone. That is, I think it's safe to say that anyone following FWW's coverage of this issue understands that they've been far from champions of a governmental mandate for implementing saw-stop-like safety measures on the power tool industry.

By extension, FWW has been unusually easy on the PTI (Power Tool Institute), which represents the interests of the power tool industry in this matter. This lopsided editorial coverage has been my central concern/complaint from the beginning. Thus far, the journalistic hot seat has been reserved for those pushing for safety regulations on an industry that has predictably ignored a proven, decade-old technology that effectively prevents the most common and devastating of all table saw injuries.

To quell such concerns and clarify his position on this issue, Asa made the following response in a comment on October 9th (

"Just to clarify, I'm not arguing against SawStop in general, either in this Q&A blog or the other one I wrote. And I'm not yet sure which side of the CPSC issue I come down on. Lots of interviewing still to do. My goal with these blogs was to ask the tough questions. You can be sure I'll be just as tough on PTI. That's a different blog, coming soon."

I just want to reiterate my enthusiasm and support for Asa's upcoming interview of PTI and his commitment to asking the tough questions across the board as a matter of policy. I also hope that this interview will be made public in a timely manner, allowing FWW subscribers who wish to submit comments to the CPSC a more complete picture before the December 12th deadline.

In short, to simply accommodate the PTI by providing a link to their website "to help people submit comments" is a very poor journalistic substitute for doing the real editorial work that FWW subscribers expect. I have no doubt that FWW will do the responsible thing for it's subscribers and all woodworkers who have a stake in this important issue.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

O ye of little liberty, yours is the day of woe and misfortune. The age of Gass will descend upon us like a blade unto a pawl. Safety will replace freedom, capacitance will replace cognition, and the greed of one will replace the greed of many.

In those days, woodworker will war against woodworker, the stupid will be made whole, and there will be much riving and splitting of teeth. Woe unto to you who bear the mark of flesh sensing technology, for ye is destined to hand toolery.

I beseech you in the name of Samuel Miller, resist the wiles of the CPSC for she rides the beast of regulation, consuming all that is good and affordable.

An ominous cloud is on the horizon. The end of woodworking is nigh.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

Fair enough, Asa. That's good news and I really look forward to your PTI interview.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

Imagine being the editor of a popular automobile magazine 50 years ago, a magazine that serves the average automobile driver and not industry leaders. Now imagine this same editor arguing against requiring the use of seat belts because the costs to the automobile industry and the automobile consumer would increase.

Now imagine this same editor being interviewed 50 years later about his earlier opposition to seat belts and being asked the following question:

Knowing what you know today regarding the successes of the seat belt, would you have thought or done anything differently?

Of course the advantage we have over our 1950s-60s counterparts is that we know more clearly today how such safety regulations work, that opposition to safety regulation from industry leaders has been almost universal even to this day, that from an industry standpoint - safety doesn't sell, that legislating safety measures and technology has always been resisted from industry and always will be, and that the benefits of implementing safety measures/features have historically outweighed their costs.

So predicting the response of industry to looming safety regulations is easy. Predicting the resulting benefits of requiring safety features designed protect the consumer is also easy. What's not so easy is figure out why an editor of a popular woodworking magazine, whose primary readership serves consumers of these power tools and not industry leaders, has aligned himself on the predictably wrong side of the aisle in this debate.

Mysteries aside, the safety regulations will go through in one form or another, the power tool industry will comply as they always do, woodworking as we know it will not disappear, and the number of saw-related injuries will drop dramatically.

So Mr. Christiana, would you be willing to answer the following question 10 years from now?

Knowing what you know today regarding the successes of sawstop-like technology in preventing serious injury, would you have thought differently about your opposition to regulations requiring this technology?

Re: Caption Contest Winner!

A light-switch cover... No, Pekovich gave me the dimensions and said something about a gestalt switch.

Re: Caption Contest Winner!

What is the interests for my projects? And what is the interest for the Fine Woodworking family? Why do you come to me? Why do I deserve this generosity?

Re: AWFS Tool News: Festool Launches Drill for Under $300

Lie-Nielsen bench plane? What's wrong with the Stanley bench planes? It shaves wood - that's it! Just kidding ;-)

Yeah, I also have a Milwaukee corded drill that suits me just fine, but I've heard that this new Festool has a feature that generates a tachyon field which creates faster than light speed holes...

Re: Build a Super-Precise Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

And thank you, Matt, for the great tip/tutorial!

Re: Build a Super-Precise Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

@GLJacobs, reread step two...

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

@danrademacher - best comment yet. Thank you!

@DRGoldZ - as the rest of my comment points out, FWW mentions nothing about the culpability of the power-tool industry in bringing about this situation by sitting on their hands for nearly a decade when the technology and R&D was available to improve table saw safety. Hence, FWW's skewed and in my estimation irresponsible position on the matter.

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

A question for the FWW editors. It's clear that this issue is a lightening rod for your constituents, and that by opening up this issue in such a free-for-all fashion as you have done here on FWW, you stand a very good chance of increasing FWW subscriptions, selling more Taunton published books than usual, generating larger hit counts on banner ads from advertisers, and so on. Nevertheless, do you think it's ethical to cash in on the hysteria and vitriol that has been so clearly demonstrated on your website and to do so in such a direct way?

Don't you think you could have approached this issue in a more responsible manner than with the "Here we go again..." opening? Did you think about presenting a more balanced perspective that might have included the refusal of industry leaders to implement such - decade old - technology?

Or was the sensationalism of Steve Gass' profiteering more "news worthy" than the profiteering of power-tool manufacturers' refusal to voluntarily make their products safer years ago when they had the chance? They still have that voluntary chance by the way.

You're current calculations have been very well played by any business standard and I'm sure you will be rewarded handsomely as a result. But since the emotive level around here is at such a fever pitch, let me offer my own emotive response.

If several years from now it's your child who loses a finger, hand, or arm in a table saw accident because the regulations that could have prevented such an accident were defeated, do you think you would change anything if you could?

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

The more compelling story here is not about Steve Goss but about the reasons why the power tool industry has not been proactive in providing such safety features when the technologies were available. The quick answer is that industries are never proactive when it comes to safety. They've always been forced through regulation to make their products and services safer. Industry has never been inherently interest in product safety or consumer protection and never will be, but once again we find ourselves standing at the side of industry interests to the detriment of our own interests. It's an all too familiar story with all the usual suspects playing all their usual roles. Oh how we love the music of the Pied Piper.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Hand Planes in the Modern Shop by Kerry Pierce

This would be a timely book for me. Please include me as well. Thanks!

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