Recent comments

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

Amen. Whatever method gets you were you want to go and provides the most pleasure and satisfaction along the way is the "right" method! Any time spent being petty and critical about how someone else is doing their thing is at best a waste.

I love watching other people do what they do. I almost always learn something from them, and I put what I learn into practice if I like it. About the only time I will jump in and tell someone about a different way of doing things is if I think I know a more effective way to get where they are going, and then I'm completely cool with them either accepting or rejecting my suggestion.

Love the process? Love the results? It's all good.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

In the 1970s I read Car & Driver magazine cover to cover every issue. I still remember how the writers and editors at the time bemoaned emissions and safety regulations for automobiles. Now a few decades later the fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles have dropped from the 5.5 to 6.0 range of the 1960s to less than 2.0 today. Meanwhile, our annual vehicle miles have climbed to about 3,000,000 million miles per year. (5.5-2.0) x 3,000 = 10,500. So, we are saving over ten thousand lives per year in the US largely thanks to improved vehicle design. I am quite sure that what partisans call "the nut behind the wheel" has not improved over these past 50 years.

I bring this up, obviously, because of the parallel with the arguments now being had over mandating something like the Saw Stop. "Improved User Education" is the argument manufacturers always use when the are trying to protect their profit margins instead of their customers.

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

I well remember how Car and Driver and the other car magazines regularly moaned and groaned about safety regulations in the the 1970s. Luckily, the regulations happened anyway. Today the traffic dealths per mile travelled on US roads are half of what they were fourty years ago.

Some of us are alive today thanks to these regulations.

Remember the guy who died recently when he smacked his head on the pavement during an anti-helmet law motorcycle rally?

The mainstream tool industry has shown almost no safety progress over the years unless forced do so by regulations and/or lawsuits.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

A wide resaw blade on a bandsaw along with a good fence and some stops can be set up to cut tenons much, much faster than this technique does, and with more safety margin as well.

Re: Appeals court upholds Osorio tablesaw verdict: Feds consider landmark safety standard

Regulators and courts may be ham handing in their approach to things, but one can hardly say that the major woodworking equipment makers have been at the forefront of safety improvements. Riving knives were known to be a superior technology for decades before US equipment marketers finally adopted them under pressure from the courts and regulators.

Much like the US auto industry in the 1950s, most woodworking equipment makers have long taken cost avoidance as their primary concern without looking at the larger picture of the consequences of their actions. "Safety doesn't sell" was, by and large, the cry of the auto makers and has been the mantra of the equipment makers as well. Meanwhile, professional and amateur practitioners have too often taken a "who, me worry?" attitude towards all manner of legitimate safety issues.

Absent legal pressures, very little safety improvements ever happen. They cost money, are sometimes (not always) inconvenient, and only help the fraction of users who avoid getting hurt. But, I'm not ready to go back to the highway death rates of the 1950s or the agricultural equipment death and injury rates of those days. Are you? Isn't it time that the woodworking equipment industry worked at getting ahead of the curve instead of constantly fighting positive change?

Advertise here for as little as $50. Learn how