48 Follow-up on Flesh-sensing Saw and Tool Crate Reveal!
Manage episode 322399468 series 2922899
A listener from Madison, WI gave us a great follow-up to the table saw that stops instantly when it senses flesh. Scott sent us pictures too:
“Hi Amy, Alicia, and Kayla,
I just wanted to follow up on some of the gray areas around the
flesh-sensing saw technology. I have owned one for a few years.
The saws actually sense an electrical current that flows through the
blade, a current which changes if it contacts your body. The blade stops
and is retracted below the saw table in about 5/1000 of a second. There
is a lot of video online of people setting them off on purpose,
including of the inventor very cautiously putting his finger onto the
blade. It doesn't even break the skin!
The propulsion mechanism is a spring.
I've attached a photo of a new cartridge and one that I had the
misfortune of triggering, although it was through accidental contact
with my aluminum miter gauge, not my skin. You can see a few key things
in the photo:
First, the lower unit is obviously the one that was triggered. The chunk
of aluminum is the actual braking mechanism--it's driven into the
spinning blade to stop it. The row of little holes act as a crumple
zone. If you look closely, you can see that some of them are deformed a bit.
Second, the spring is exposed. The whole thing pivots around the large
circular hole, which fits over an axle. When the spring fires, it drives
the block into the blade, and the blade is also being driven (by its
rotational momentum) into the block, which is how it retracts under the
Third, in the second photo, you can actually see that there are some
carbide teeth embedded in the block. In general, when these things fire
the blade and the cartridge are both throw-away items. In theory you can
have the missing teeth replaced and the blade checked for straightness,
but it's more cost effective to replace all but the most expensive
blades. This was a rather costly dado set, and when I priced it out the
repair option was basically equal to replacement cost.
You can also see a data port on there--it looks just like the port that
was on your PC back in the 90s. There are a ton of electronics in the
saws. They actually have a boot-up cycle, and there are a bunch of
diagnostics that they run, including making sure that the gap between
the blade and the brake is correct. There's even a chart you use to read
error codes based on combinations of flashing lights. From what I can
tell looking at online forums, if people have problems with the saws
it's that they fire too much rather than not enough. I'm not familiar
with a case of one of them failing to fire.
You can also boot up the saw in what they call bypass mode. You would
use this to cut conductive materials like aluminum. It's also possible
that some very wet treated lumber might be wet enough to conduct current
at a level that would fire the saw.
At present the only brand available is SawStop. Bosch tried to introduce
a competitor a few years back but it got pulled from the market due to
The saws are expensive, that's true. I decide to get one because with my
insurance, every time I go to physical therapy it's over $100 out of
pocket, so in the long run avoiding an injury is going to be the cheaper
Thanks for the podcast!"
Coupled with the “first year of homeownership” task list, having an energy audit performed is also something to consider. This will help find energy leaks and how making upgrades in those leaky areas will save money in the long run. There are rebates for windows, doors, and heating systems among other things. Things homeowners can do to help include:
Installing or replacing weatherstripping
Caulking of windows
Wrapping pipes in unheated areas
Changing furnace filters (also a maintenance task)
Residential Construction Program at the Wood Technology Center update. The program has two full cohorts and we’re looking to increase the offerings to include journey level classes starting in the fall.
The contents of the Tool Crate are revealed. Much to Alicia’s chagrin, Amy shares what was in the first tool crate received. Like Christmas!!
Video of the opening can be found on www.facebook.com/amyworksseattle
Spyder Stinger drill bit set with quick connect. Mach-Blue armor plated, extreme metal durability.
Shears and a pocketknife with camo handles.
Klein power box with four outlets, 2 USB ports, a USB-C port and work light.
Speed square with an extension that gives a 12” straight edge
Diablo 24-piece driver bit set in a case.
A 5-piece bolt biter impact nut extractor and driver set.
11 in 1 tool that doubles as a belt buckle.
If you have anything you’d like to share, want to make a comment on something we’ve covered or have a question email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast is recorded at The Winterblue Room in Seattle.