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I for one would like to have Saw Stop in my shop and I wouldn't object to the legislation. But the one point we all seem to agree on is that stupidity cannot be cured.
Let me illustrate with an example of epic stupidity.
My brother, who is also a woodworker, was visiting a friend of his some time last year (not important). The friend was in his garage working at his portable tablesaw. He was changing the blade. My bro, upon noticing that the saw was plugged in, explained to the friend that he should unplug first. Then, to his extreme surprise and horror, bro noticed that friend had rewired the saw to operate on a foot switch.
Yes! Changing the blade with the saw plugged in and triggered by a foot switch.
Once upon a time I worked at a shop that specialized in high-style projects. As such carved details were a fundamental part of capturing the historic flavor.
The owner was a talented man and capable enough to whittle out Baroque ornaments. However these days it's hard to make a living in Geppetto's workshop. So, most of our carvings came off of the CNC. That darn thing would fill the shop with MDF dust and a 30,000 rpm whine all day. No breaks. No lunch.
Please know that I chose this profession because it suits me. Also I completely understand and accept what it means to be a cabinetmaker. But that machine would wear me out more than the work ever did. I began calling the condition 'Noise Fatigue.' Long story short, if not for the therapeutic properties of imported ale the condition could have become terminal.
I am glad there are others like me and that my story is not unique. Noisy, dusty shops are epidemic. The craft I love is becoming an anachronism. I think about my grandfathers shop almost daily and I buy Yankee screwdrivers from shoeboxes on the ground at flea markets. I worry that someday my career opportunities will be reduced to titles like 'Assembler' or 'Machine Operator.'
It's time for me to get off of the soapbox so here are the Cliif Notes: woodworking is good, so is beer, and I hope to win those books because I love the sound, the smell and the feel of a sharp edge as it cuts through a piece of wood.
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