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Table Saw safety - fineWoodworking magazine

Table Saw safety - fineWoodworking magazine

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Published by George Conk
This article from Fine Woodworking magazine about table saw safety discusses automatic blade brakes and shows illustrative prices - which are relevant `risk utility factors' in a design defect product liability case, such as Osorio v. One World, recently affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
This article from Fine Woodworking magazine about table saw safety discusses automatic blade brakes and shows illustrative prices - which are relevant `risk utility factors' in a design defect product liability case, such as Osorio v. One World, recently affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

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Published by: George Conk on Oct 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Most haven’t changedmuch in a generation,but a few are breaking new ground for safetyand convenience
Three saws relativelynew to the market—Laguna TS-10,Powermatic PM2000,and SawStop 31230—have put safetyon the front burner.That’s not a bad ideawhen you considerthat in 2001, thetablesaw was thesource of 38,000visits to U.S. hospitalemergency rooms,according to theConsumer ProductSafety Commission.
Riving knife reduces the chance of kick- back.
A riving knife, found on the Laguna TS-10,Powermatic PM2000, and SawStop 31230,helps prevent the workpiece from pivoting ontothe rear of the sawblade during a cut.
FINE woodworkINg
Phts, except hee nte: Tm Benal; this pae (tp) rney diaz
Finally, safer saws
enerally speaing, 10-in. cabinet saws have much in com-
mn. But, iven a clse l, ntable iffeences beint sh. A fe sas ffe impve safety featues; fexample, thee n have ivin nives, a bi impvement vetaitinal splittes. Sme manufactues ae impvin cnve-
nience, with features such as easy-access switches and one built-in
mbile base. In aitin, thee ae bi pice iffeences, fm al f abut $975 t a hih f almst $3,300.
To find out if any of the saws stand out from the bunch, I looedat 13 popular models side by side in the
 Fine Woodworking 
F testin cnsistency, I eviee left-tilt mels. The Launa
 was an exception, because it is available only as a right-tilt model.
 All f the sas ae 3-hp, 220v mels.
Safety is getting its due
 A 10-in. tablesa spins shap, ha teeth at aun 120 miles pehu. Use ppely, it can mae all sts f useful cuts safely.Use imppely, it can cut thuh sin an bne in an instant sht a cutff at yu lie it as fie fm a cannn. S it asencuain t see safety ettin its ue n sme machines.
SawStop senses skin, stops blade instantly— 
The SaStpsa featues a emaable safety evice, a bae that stps a spin-
ning blade within 3 to 5 milliseconds when the blade touches sin. At the same time, the entire arbor and blade drop below the table-top to further reduce the ris of injury. The brae wors so quicly that an errant finger pushed into the blade would end up with only 
a shall nic athe than a eep cut  an amputatin. when the safety evice fies, it uins the bae an the blae. A eplacement bae catie csts abut $80. But the cst f a
cartridge and blade is a whole lot less than that of a hand surgeon
an hspital stay. o, even se, the lss f a fine.
 A riving knife is important— 
Taling to people who have hadtablesaw injuries, I’ve learned that most of them were hurt by ic-bac, not body contact with a spinning blade. kicbac generally 
 SawStop blade brake.
This ingenious device on the SawStop stops a spinning sawblade the instant the blade is touched. Instead of a trip tothe hospital, the user ends up with only a shallow cut.
Kneeable switch.
In an emergency, the jumbo-size switch on thePowermatic PM2000 can be easily reached with a knee. The green-glowing center lets you know that the saw is powered up.
Fence deflection.
With the rip fences locked, Johnson appliedforce to the end of the fences and measured deflection.
 Arbor runout.
An arbor that wobbles will causevibration and rougher cuts, so Johnson lookedunder the hood to checkeach one.
Tabletop flatness.
To make sure the tabletops were acceptably flat, Johnson used a testing-quality straightedge and feeler gaugesto check them.
Johnson used a collection of measuring tools to check the accuracyof tabletops, miter slots, arbors, and fences.
Blade/miter slot  parallelism.
A 10-in.- dia. flat plate and dialindicator were used tofind out if the sawbladeis parallel to the miter-  gauge slot when theblade is at 90° (shown)and 45°. Misalignment can be corrected.
FINE woodworkINg
Measuring up close
ccus hen the piece maes cntact ith the teeth at the
bac of the blade—the ones just coming up from under the table.Under certain conditions, those bac teeth can grab the worpiece
an fie it bac at the peat’s by at hih velcity.The ivin nife is ne f the best tablesa safety featues,because it eatly euces the lielih f icbac. Unlie thesplitte fun ith mst blae-ua systems, a ivin nife iscuve f clse lcatin t the blae’s teeth an emains inclse pximity thuhut the blae’s ane f tavel. with aivin nife, the piece is much less liely t bin n thebac f the blae  t mae sli cntact ith the ea teeth. Asht ivin nife (n talle than the blae), alls the sa t beuse f blin cuts such as abbetin  vin ith the nifein place. The manufactues f the Launa TS-10, PematicPM2000, an SaStp sas eseve us f incluin ivin
nife/blade guard assemblies. A short riving nife is included with
the SaStp an is ptinal ith the PM2000.Still, ivin nives must be emve f sme peatins, s they shul  n an ff easily. Pematic an SaStp use lcinhanles t secue the nife. It t secns t each thuh thethat-plate penin, tate the hanle, an fee the nife. Launaelies n a scet-hea sce, s it asn’t quite as quic an easy.
Better blade guards— 
 A blae ua is imptant because itpvies a physical baie beteen yu fines an the blae.The Launa, Pematic PM2000, an SaStp have uas thatae ell-esine because they  ith ivin nives an can

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