Destroying a Blade (saving a hand)


One of the really cool things from this year’s show, was getting to actually do the demonstration of the SawStop.  Not once, but 3 times 🙂


This is just after the safety mechanism has activated.  Unlike other demos (where I cut faster than I would normally, at least at the commencement of a cut), I did this one at my typical speed, and I could barely tell where the blade had touched the hotdog.  If it had been a real-life incident, it may not have even drawn blood.

The first time I set it off, I was expecting it to be quite a violent reaction.  In reality, other than a bit of a clang (and not much of that), it was almost anticlimatic, if it wasn’t such an incredible thing that had just occurred.  Being that you had just saved a lifetime of major issues (along with the initial trauma) from a moment of carelessness.

The speed is probably what makes it anticlimatic.  Your brain cannot register the speed of what happens – 5 milliseconds is simply too fast for the brain.  The time of a single flap of a bumble bee’s wing (and that is faster than a hummingbird). 8 times faster than a single frame of a movie.  80 times faster than the blink of an eye.

16 times faster than the brain can perceive.

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

One moment the blade is there cutting, the next moment, it is simply gone.  The motor has cut out, the blade has dropped below the table (or rather driven itself there as part of the mechanism is a release of a swing mechanism the blade is connected to, and the angular momentum carries the blade away, and away from you.

At that point it doesn’t matter that the cartridge has fired, and needs replacing.  It doesn’t matter that the blade is wrecked (some people talk about getting the blade out of the block, but why bother – it will have been distorted enough by the process to render it about as useful as a Chinese $10 blade from Bunnings).  Just the initial costs surrounding getting a cut in the workshop goes a long way to paying for that, let alone a serious injury.

And SawStop (through the local suppliers) will replace any brake free that has saved an injury.  By sending the brake back to them (through Gabbett Machinery), the onboard computer reveals a lot of information about the event – blade speed, stopping time, and the material being cut.  That will tell if it was a save because it hit flesh during normal operations, or cutting ferrous material, or a sausage, and if it has been a save, the replacement brake is free (otherwise, they are around $150).

The bottom line is this:

As much as I love my TS10L, I have always been very aware that it was a compromised decision because I really did want it to be a SawStop (and you can see the history of that in the articles at the time).

New shed.  New saw.  And it will be the Professional SawStop – the brand new model, and the first shipment has just arrived in Australia (literally – the ship arrived over the weekend afaik).  Some time in the next 2 weeks or so (perhaps even faster), it will be getting delivered to the Melbourne branch of Gabbett Machinery.  As much as I’d love it to arrive at my place instead, I need to wait for the shed, as I have nowhere else to put it.

So that is the big news from the show.  Pretty excited about it, I must say!.

SAS-PCS-3 3 Saw Stop BrakeCartridge2012081001046099 PW image assembly PW image profile 1

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