Saw and Scrolling Follow-ups, Plus (Proposed) Table Saw Regulation Reactions

Further A’s to Q’s

First up this time out, we have a few additional comments on questions featured in the Q&A section of last issue’s eZine.

For instance, here’s a reader who had a similar situation to the questioner with a “rumbling table saw.” – Editor

“I have experienced a similar condition with a Craftsman saw using a Freud Fusion full-kerf blade. When the centrifugal switch on the motor closes on deceleration, the motor provides a breaking action and the blade flexes or wobbles and enlarges the ZCI slot. I purchased the blade when they first became available and exchanged it about a year later when the Freud demo truck was here. The second blade behaves better during deceleration with less wobble. The second blade has a clear material in the expansion slots that may dampen the vibration characteristics. I have about a dozen different blades (five other Freud blade models), and the Fusion is the only blade that seems to exhibit this characteristic. The saw always emits the rumbling sound on deceleration.” – Joe Kaufman

Plus, some additional suggestions from a fellow scroll sawyer to the questioner who asked in eZine 288, “Will Ballast Dampen Scroll Saw’s Vibration?” – Editor

“I am an avid scroller and have a lot of fun making and selling my products. Over the years, what I have found in regard to vibration is that the solution to eliminating it is in direct relation to the saw itself. I started with a relatively inexpensive scroll saw, which was given to me as a gift in the 1990s. When run, it would shake like a cat in a dog pound. Nothing that I would do could eliminate that vibration. As I progressed in the craft and sought out advice and tips from other scrollers, publications, and blogs, I found that replacement of the old saw with one of better quality was the only solution. When I bought my Dewalt 788 (note: there are several other brands of excellent saws out there as well), all the vibration, as well as all other existing problems, vanished. So, the answer to your question is that you may be able to reduce the vibration a little bit by using various methods, but to achieve what you seek in having a saw that is a pleasure to use you are going to have to upgrade. Thus another affirmation of the old phrase, “You only get what you pay for.” Happy scrolling, Ralph. I hope this has been of help to you.” – Jim Tanner

Table Saw Rules – You Tell It

And, of course, readers had a lot to say about the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission’s proposed rules regarding table saw safety when it comes to blade contact. We’re always glad to hear from you, but we do want to remind you that, if you want your comments to be considered by the CPSC as they solicit public input before their decision, you do need to send your comments directly to them, either through the website www.regulations.gov, or via the physical address provided in Rob’s editorial in eZine 288. Deadline for your comments to reach the CPSC is Dec. 12, 2011. – Editor

“I shared the following comments with the CPSC: We have enough regulations protecting us from ourselves. How about my planer, my router, my miter saw my skill saw, my jointer, my lathe or even my drill press? Does this mean that every time somebody invents a device to instantly stop (damage) a machine when its cutting edge or moving parts touch or even gets close to any part of the anatomy that you guys are going to mandate that manufacturers spend millions redesigning tools to incorporate them? You could easily make purchasing these machines unaffordable for the average woodworker. What’s next? An electric carving knife for my kitchen that instantly stops if I get distracted and try to run it through my finger ? Accidents happen. Always have and always will. And they are usually a result of inattention, lack of training,modification or removal of existing safety devices or just plain bad luck rather than lack of a government regulation protecting us.” – Chip Conklin

“Thank you for bringing this proposed rule from the CPSC on table saw safety to your readers’ attention. I have submitted an extensive opinion to the CPSC outlining my objection to making SawStop (or other similar devices) a mandatory requirement for table saws. I am familiar with the device, and it is certainly an interesting safety development, but not without considerable flaws of its own. I also know that SawStop has had limited success on the open market due to a number of reasons and that they (as the petitioner to the CPSC for a mandatory requirement) would almost exclusively benefit financially. Thanks for the heads-up.” – Rudy Landry

“I thoroughly enjoy every issue of Woodworker’s Journal and the Woodworker’s Journal eZine. I am responding to your recent editorial, received online. I’m too old (69), tired and crotchety to follow all those confusing links to send comments to the idiots on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. (Five copies, indeed! And they won’t read any of them, anyway.) Please tell them for me that I want them to stay the “H— out of my shop; out of the toolmakers’ factories and my friendly retail tool supply stores, too! When I was six years old and ‘helping’ my dad in his shop, the first thing he said to me (as well as I can recall, 63 years later) was, ‘Don’t touch that!’ For as long as I can remember, neither my dad, myself or my grandchildren have ever forgotten Dad’s admonition …And we all remain intact as a result.

“I daresay that getting warnings, labels and directions foisted on us by government bureaucrats will not be likely to have any desired effect on us consumers. If we are so bloomin’ stupid and careless as to make physical contact with a spinning blade, then all the CPSC’s angst and the resulting extra dollars added to the cost of our new Craftsman 10-inch table saw is not likely to prevent our doing just that – and losing fingers in the process. They should pay more attention to putting annoying labels on our passenger-side rear-view mirrors, such as ‘Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.’ No! Really?! And here I thought that I had just developed a miraculously improved sense of sight!

“At my advanced age, I hardly think I need a bureaucracy such as the CPSC to watchdog me in an effort to make sure I don’t fall prey to my own stupidity and negligence and forget the safety rules I have successfully practiced for all these years! They should all be given a Dymo label-maker and go around and stick warnings all over their own dang stuff, if it would make them leave the rest of us alone. The last thing I need cluttering up my shop is some government watchdog, warning me, ‘Don’t touch that!'” – Rod Eisenbise

“‘Talking’ to OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] or the CPSC is like talking to a wall. I am a retired woodshop teacher. I taught for 19 years in five high schools, in two school districts. Safety was my main concern, six periods a day, five days a week. And I harped on it until students were ‘sick’ of hearing it. Then I did it some more. I’m proud to say, that on the table saw, I only saw two injuries in all that time. One was an avulsion of the tip of a thumb. The other was a laceration of the area between the thumb and the index finger, on the TOP SIDE of the hand. It was a ‘freak’ accident in which the student also repeated fault several times without prompting. He turned his hand over and it came in touch with the spinning blade. He ‘knew it was going to happen, but was powerless to stop it.’ It required 10 sutures to close.Without any prompting from anyone, the first admitted thathe was working faster than he should have. All safety guards were in place. A neurosurgeon at the County Hospital of Los Angeles tried to reattach the avulsed part; but it was too badly mangled.Both injuries did heal during the remainder of the semester. No injury caused any inconvenience to the student though to graduation or employment, beyond that.

“Considering my experience, I have developed some strong opinions about the table saw. You might think that I would be in favor of installing every available safety device on the market. That is false. In fact, quite the opposite is true. On my own computerized, Craftsman table saw, I have removed the guard because I can’t see the work though the plastic. I can’t use it anyway, because of my use of a dado blade to run rabbets. Removing the guard also removed the splitter. However, I retrofitted a splitter, because of the number of times that I have used a screwdriver to keep the blade from binding. I stand to the side, out of line with the blade to avoid the occasional kickback. A kickback claw only prevents me from withdrawing the stock back, to rip it from the other end. I don’t use a run-out table, because I’m limited in room. When I need space for a long piece of ripped stock, I wheel the saw outside the garage. I have rigged lots of light out there for night work. I do use a push stick. In fact, I may use two at a time depending on the width of the stock. I have no hold-down devices and would not install one.All other safety rules are applied, i.e., eye protection, no loose clothes, mitigating toxic dust of certain woods, hearing protecting, etc.” – Steve Green

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