I love woodworking and in a few more years I will retire to my shop on a fulltime basis. I have had NO FORMAL TRAINING in woodworking. Sure I watched Norm (always read and follow the safety instructions that come with your power tools and most important of all->always wear these-safety glasses)and the This Old House gang and all the videos on woodworking I could-BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY FORMAL TRAINING, and yet after 25 years I still have all my fingers, toes, eyesight et cetera. BUT I work safely->RULE # 1 in my shop is NEVER LET A MOVING BLADE TOUCH YOU!!! I work slowly and safely and yet I make a ton of sawdust.
In my professional life I am a College Professor teaching Business, Economics and Law. I teach my students, everyday, that life in a free society is all about choices. THE CHOICES YOU MAKE DETERMINE THE LIFE YOU LEAD! Unfortunately this horrible decision (if not reversed on appeal) will make all woodworking power tools more expensive. Which will have a series of unintended consequences, most of which will make the average woodworker LESS SAFE!
One need only look at private aviation and the sad story of litigation against the small private plane manufacturers. More than 4 decades ago when I was a Boy Scout my Scoutmaster (a blue collar employee of Montana Power the local electric utility company) owned and flew a Piper Cub. We used to fly the freeze-dried food into the Bob Marshall Wilderness and put our “halfway” food cache for our Troop’s annual 110 mile 10 day trips at Schaefer's Meadows. Today the same person working for the same company could never afford to own and fly a small private plane->a tidal wave of litigation against small plane manufacturers has made private planes too expensive for blue collars workers. So the Boy Scouts suffer, the blue collar workers suffer and the rest of us lead lives that are less than they could be.
If the act of buying and using a table saw is not an assumption of risk by a citizen with free will-then this country is really on the road to Perdition and most likely is already doomed. I urge every reader and woodworker to do the math-> divide those $1.5 million + attorneys fees + loss of innovation and the added cost of further idiot-proofing every power tool manufactured and/or sold in the U.S. and ask yourself how much more will you be paying for tools because of this terrible decision.
By the way I own and use a Ryobi Table Saw, which I bought over a decade ago and built into a workstation with precision sawing and routing capabilities and I have NEVER so much as nicked myself with it. It has been a great tool, FOR THE PRICE! Everything in life is a choice so I choose low cost and by building my workstation around this Ryobi Table Saw I got great value and I continue to have all my fingers and toes.
I had always dreamed of buying a fancy cabinet saw for my retirement gift to myself-but I will not pay extra for the unsafe actions of someone who assumed the risk of owning and operating a table saw and then sends me the bill when they screw-up.
Finally is it just me or did anyone else cringe about what this decision means to the continuing destruction of personal responsibility and honor?
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