A plethora of firsts

The first cuts on the SawStop


The first item made on the SawStop

The first item made in the new shed

I’m sure there a heap more I could come up with, but I think you get the point!  The drought is broken, there is sawdust in the air.  Actually, quite literally seeing as I have still to sort out the dust extraction.  Oh well, that will come soon enough.

More on what I was making later, but first, the SawStop.

I definitely have to do some checks to ensure it is set up correctly, but was in a bit of a rush, so had to assume it was right.  It seemed close enough, but in the long term I want to be positive rather than rely on assumption.  That actually goes for every other machine in the workshop.  Every one needs to be set up again, recalibrated, and in a number of cases, cleaned, lubricated, rust removed etc.  They have lasted reasonably, but storage is unkind to all tools.  If I had known how long it was going to be, I would (presumably) have been more diligent with oiling and wrapping.

Back to the saw.  It is pretty awesome to be honest.  Setting blade height and blade angle – you get a real feel for how solid the mechanism is.

So to “THE” mechanism.  Does it make a difference?  Yes – it really does.  I have absolutely no intention of ever accidentally setting off the SawStop.  I have no intention of wrecking a blade, replacing a brake, or finding out how much it’d hurt, even if the brake does save me from serious damage.  But that piece of mind is so much more significant than I ever considered.  I have always been particularly careful around the tablesaw, and that won’t change.  The stress levels have dropped to more reasonable levels, and as such, it is so much more enjoyable.

I don’t recall ever having used the TS10L at any blade angle other than 90 degrees, despite being a left-tilt blade (I’m sure I did on occasion, just very rarely).  In the current project, I happily flicked from 90 to 80, 70 and back again for different cuts.  Was I doing something risky?  Not at all – using the saw as it was designed.  Just now I’ve discovered an extra layer of confidence, and used the saw as it was intended, rather than finding another way.

Each time I buy a good tool (such as some Stihl gardening tools a couple of years ago, or Festool hand power tools), I am reminded (in a good way) of the decision to choose the quality brand, even if it does hurt the pocket a lot more at the time.  The SawStop adds a whole new dimension to that.  Not only the quality aspect, but the sense of real relief that I have chosen a safer option.  I may never use the SawStop brake (in a real save that is – not talking about a few sausages being sacrificed!), and I better not – I would be extremely disappointed in myself if that happens.  But if it happens, that sense of absolute relief and confirmation of the decision to buy it would be incredible.

In hindsight, is the extra cost of the SawStop worth it? Abso-frikin’-lutely.

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