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I've been a martial artist and professional woodworker for nearly 40 years. When we enter and leave the dojo (practice hall), we bow. This simple gesture is taught initially as a sign of respect for our tradition and practice. In time it also comes to stimulate a Pavlovian response in which one's mind switches instantly to the serious attitude which the dangers of combat training demand.
One morning very early in my woodworking career, I had to clean a new stacked dado blade which had eaten the tips of my mentor's fingers in a carerless moment while he rushed to make a deadline the night before. From that day forward, I have made it my habit to bow upon entering and leaving my shop, as I realize that the potential for serious and permanent injury is at least as great there as in the dojo. I attribute the fact that I still have all ten fingers largely to this mental practice.
A serious mindset, along with respect for our tools and craft, forms the first line of defense against shop accidents. Whether or not you work with a SawStop, I recommend you try bowing.
In 1989 I patented the table extension method as shown in this article, except with the added element of a telescopic support leg at the end of the fence extension, an absolutely critical component as cited by the previous postings.
U.S. Patent # 4,817,693.
I marketed the product then under the trade name, Joiner's Edge, and developed it into a multi-function modular component woodworking system built around a very robust and precise four-sided T-slot extrusion. The system integrates fence, stop, table extension and flexible fixturing capabilities. The stops evolved to include a digital upgrade.
Nearing semi-retirement from 40 years of woodworking and carpentry, I have taken initial steps to bring the product back to market as of this past Spring. I've renamed it:
1-FENCE: The Operating System for the Thinking Man's Shop.
Right now you can see an archival vidoeo of the entire system in action (at IWF 1990) at:
(For now, you will be automatically re-directed to the Tech page of my woodworking site:
After you click on the red "1-FENCE" link, the first thumbnail at the top of the photo index will take you to the video.)
I have a new run of extrusion and deluxe stops available for sale right now, along with a limited stash of table extension and other components.
I expect to be ready for general sales of the entire selection of system components right after the first of the year. A complete new product presentation, a useful Small Shop Kit offering, and price list will appear on the www.1-FENCE.com site before Christmas.
(My heartfelt thanks to Fine Woodworking Online for this incredibly timely coincidental thread...)
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