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Sawstop question re: cutting wet wood

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I’m considering buying a Sawstop table saw, probably just the contractors model. While I’ve still got all my fingers, I’ve had enough close calls that it seems to make sense to take every precaution possible, at least within reason. My concern is about how it works with wet, or partially seasoned wood. I know there is a wet wood bypass switch that can be thrown to avoid having the brake activate. As turners we cut lots of green wood. I process spindle blanks and planks on the table saw from the center boards when cutting out the pith section of logs. Would this kind of use make it seem foolish to spend $$ on a new saw if much of the time the safety feature is disabled? I’m curious if anyone has experience with the brake accidentally activating on this saw when there was no flesh contact.
 
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Kevin, I’ve been doing it for years with no ill effect. Not rough wood, but for example, using a ripping sled to get a straight edge on a plank to work from. My bandsaw doesn’t have a long enough fence to do this well. Also, some fresh pressure treated wood comes soaking wet. Just my experience.
 
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I second Kevins choice of using a bandsaw for green wood cutting. I do have a Sawstop saw and only have used the bypass maybe twice. Every time you shut the saw off it deactivates the bypass. So you have to manually redo the bypass to reuse that feature. End yes I love my sawstop.
Paul
 
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I also have a SawStop and highly recommend it. I know too many people that wish they had one too late, and one that had his finger saved by it.

It’s very easy to deactivate the brake if you’re concerned, and the lights will tell you if you really needed to deactivate it or not (probably not). I have deactivated it for a cut once in a while if I’m concerned there might be a hidden nail, or because of moisture concern but it’s never really been needed to deactivate.

If you’re sawing really green wood where moisture slings off I would deactivate it, but frankly would highly recommend that be sawed on the bandsaw anyway as a tablesaw is just asking for kickback issues etc if the wood is that green and/or not reasonably flat.

I’ve used mine a lot, and know about least 3 other neighbors with SawStops; none have experienced an inadvertent firing (and one had his fingers saved by it).
 
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I've been using table saws since I was 14, I'm 71 now, and a certified industrial arts instructor. I had one ER run-in with a saw when I was in a hurry. Since then my arthritic hands and fingers have suggested a safer table saw. I bought a SawStop last fall. I used to use an aluminum push stick for really narrow cuts, now I use a plastic one, because the metal will activate the brake.

Something for me to note here, is that the SawStop is, in all ways, is a high quality machine even without the braking feature. I spent my previous life using big Delta, and Powermatic machines. This SawStop is every bit as good and precise, if not better.

It has been a rare occasion when I will de-activate the brake, but I have cut treated lumber and my own air dried wood without an expensive result.

The saw does have a unique feature: If you are powered up in stand-by mode, no spinning the blade- motor off, and touch the stationary blade with your finger or a questionable piece of wood, the warning light will flash, indicating that the brake is likely to activate. So you can test it before you cut it.
 
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Tom, thank you. I was not aware of that feature that lets you test a piece against the stationary blade. That’s very reassuring, as is you comment about the general quality of the machine.
 
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The saw does have a unique feature: If you are powered up in stand-by mode, no spinning the blade- motor off, and touch the stationary blade with your finger or a questionable piece of wood, the warning light will flash, indicating that the brake is likely to activate. So you can test it before you cut it.
This is true, but if you were to cut say 6” away from the spot on the wood you tested you may not get the same results. And have a resulting trigger.

Paul
 
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I have in, the past, used mine to trim green wood blanks but I agree that the bandsaw is a better choice. I de-activated to do this. I have also tried to cut a hidden nail! The trip feature is fast, loud and violent. Scared the sh.... out of me. Comparable to a kickback. If nothing else it teaches you a little respect for the dangers of a tablesaw.

Phil
 
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Somewhere I have a copy of a response from Sawstop that the static - blade stationary - brake trip test uses a different algorithm than the dynamic test that would trigger the brake. I had often wondered because the static test response is fairly slow and/or takes significant pressure before I get the red light, even with a damp hand resting on the table top. I have witnessed enough demo's that I have no doubt that it would be difficult to get a significant volume of red liquid under dynamic conditions.
 
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I have in, the past, used mine to trim green wood blanks but I agree that the bandsaw is a better choice. I de-activated to do this. I have also tried to cut a hidden nail! The trip feature is fast, loud and violent. Scared the sh.... out of me. Comparable to a kickback. If nothing else it teaches you a little respect for the dangers of a tablesaw.

Phil
So when the brake activated did it ruin your blade?
 
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Yes, it took out 3 carbide teeth. So the cost is a new cartridge and a new blade. Still...less than a finger!
On one hand, that is true, but if I had to buy a new blade for every nail I took a bite from it would be pretty costly. Personally, I don't mind snipping a finishing nail here and there-- that's one of the advantages of the the dis-engage switch.

On the other hand, if that nail you ran into was large enough, it likely would have taken out a few carbide teeth and ruined the blade as well.
 
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I'm also in the camp of using a Band Saw for most if not all of my rough/green wood processing. It was a tough habit to change, I was brought up in a Table Saw dominated shop. I only have a Kreg fence on my BS, and it is plenty for all the ripping I do, though some I still just do free hand, and then clean up with a couple swipes of a hand plane.
 
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Just a heads up, while we are talking about SawStops, on another forum there is a thread dealing with the issue of the Sawstop brake being triggered by cutting MDF.

It appears some of the import MDF has metal particles as the filler, enough to trip the Sawstop brake.
 
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Never tried green wood. Always use the bandsaw.. I did trip the brake once cutting dados in some treated lumber that I had bought years ago. Imade multiple cuts and then, of course, on what was the final dado, it tripped and destroyed my dado blade. #@#%$E$%E. should have know better than to try it on any treated lumber.
 
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Good thread....
I too have almost 50 years of using woodworking power tools. I have owned many brands of table saws. Oliver, Powermatic, Delta, Jet, etc...And - never a scratch let alone any loss of a digit. I made the mistake of taking the Mrs. with me to the annual Klingspor Extravangza 3 years ago ( a great woodworking show for hobbyists and tradesmen alike...). We unfortunately walked by the Sawstop booth - just as the "wiener demo" was taking place. It set off the brake - the crowd jumped and moaned....and quickly this turned to chuckles and applause - at the obvious saving of the "sausage" - representing the woodworker's finger. At this point my wife asked me - and loud enough to draw looks of jealously at the "opening of the purse-strings" moment...."Well...your table saw will do that - WON'T IT??".... And, of course at that moment I was compelled or embarrassed - not sure which - to examine the state of shine on my shoes, and anything on the floor...as I tried to deflect the question and said "I have a fine table saw - set up exactly as I want it - and..that is a LOT of money", as I pointed toward the Sawstop salesman who was suffering from an attack of some kind .( It caused his eyes to have dollar signs and a bit of drool from eh corner of his mouth...he smelled blood, and began circling like a shark coming of a 3 day fast....) She said "YOU IDIOT...even if it is $5000 that is LESS than our deductible. YOU are ORDERING ONE NOW!":rolleyes::D. So I did....and I was humbled at the experience, and thought that I needed this "feature." She drew applause from the now truly jealous and admiring onlookers....
Well - here is the surprise: the Sawstop is the finest built table saw I have ever owned. The assembly manual is a keeper. Seriously - you will not find another company that produces a manual and hardware pack that is THIS well thought out. The tech./customer service guys have been great with any questions as well. I am now embarrassed to admit that it took my wife to push me into being open minded about a table saw.he broadened my tunnel vision....We get that way with time I suppose. We get comfortable with something - and tend to not want o look at newer - maybe better/safer tools and methods. That human thing strikes again.....;)
But - I still prefer to cut green wood - yes even long rips - on my bandsaw. It is is a simple task to build a fold-down out feed table onto your bandsaw. And...BTW bandsaws are finger getters too. Be careful with that. Sawstop says they are working on a bandsaw as well. Will be interesting.
 
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Good thread....
<snip> She said "YOU IDIOT...even if it is $5000 that is LESS than our deductible. YOU are ORDERING ONE NOW!":rolleyes::D. So I did....and I was humbled at the experience, and thought that I needed this "feature." She drew applause from the now truly jealous and admiring onlookers....
Well - here is the surprise: the Sawstop is the finest built table saw I have ever owned. The assembly manual is a keeper. Seriously - you will not find another company that produces a manual and hardware pack that is THIS well thought out. The tech./customer service guys have been great with any questions as well. I am now embarrassed to admit that it took my wife to push me into being open minded about a table saw.he broadened my tunnel vision....We get that way with time I suppose. We get comfortable with something - and tend to not want o look at newer - maybe better/safer tools and methods. That human thing strikes again.....;)
But - I still prefer to cut green wood - yes even long rips - on my bandsaw. It is is a simple task to build a fold-down out feed table onto your bandsaw. And...BTW bandsaws are finger getters too. Be careful with that. Sawstop says they are working on a bandsaw as well. Will be interesting.
Bringing your wife along was either a stroke of genious, or a really bad move depending on the POV! That sort of scenario is how I ended up with a much larger boat. "Why don't we overnight like those boats?" Because ours is not big enough. "We should get a larger one, then". Off to the boat show we went...

I've heard nothing but good in terms of the quality of the SawStop itself, in terms of its actual function as a TS. The rest of the story, obviously, is polarizing to say the least.
 
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Kirk -

I think overall I got the better deal taking her with me. :D The usual negative chatter about the Sawstop - as best I can interpret from reading a lot of discussions...is a mostly user error - user lack of reading the manual. They will not trigger themselves without provocation. It seems that the owners sometimes do not understand what caused the brake to fire...so often out of frustration and embarrassment...the machine gets blamed. Wonder why we never blamed a machine when it cut off a finger...or worse?

Let me offer full disclosure: I stated that I had never even so much as a scratch in all my years of operating woodshed power tools. Well...that is true until recently. Ironic how we may gain wisdom with age...but lose fine motor skills. So - I was ripping some thin stock on the Sawstop. The tail of a piece of scrap I trimmed off pivoted toward the blade and slammed my thumb into the blade. It happened so fast I did not recognize what happened. The blade brake fired, and I spent the next minute or two ( after changing underwear...) trying to figure out what happened. No blood, but upon better examination...I had a scratch on that thumb that was not really bleeding. It was just barely into the tender under layer of skin. So, I put a bandage on it - more for personal justification of the event... and changed the brake/ blade ( now one assembly...:rolleyes:) And called Sawstop. They explained how to remove the blade, with the least potential of damage. I put a new brake cartridge and fresh blade on and continued. Sent the blade out to be checked for any loosened teeth and straightness - as I could see the potential of a warp occurring.. but it was fine. They checked, sharpened it and sent it back. And I sent the brake cartridge to Sawstop....and they sent me a replacement free of charge. What's to lose? Maybe a blade sometimes....but not a finger.
 
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Wow Tim! Quite a testimonial and endorsement of the company. I’m assuming I’ve got one in my near future. My wife, like yours, has been pushing for it. I have had trouble with the expense, but yes, our insurance deductible is higher.
 
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Lou -
Thanks, but...not intended as a testimonial. I have no connection with nor do I benefit from - in any way - my overly verbose re-telling of actual events above. Well...I benefit in the enjoyment of the memories. I suppose it is more of an embarrassment and admission of my mortality and imperfection.... :D. Truly - I think it is a decision of higher logistical value than most consider - hence my mention of insurance deductible. The nice surprise is that it is not just an average or even junky built saw surrounding one key marketing feature. It is quality throughout AND the added safety bonus of the braking mechanism. I would in good conscience recommend the Sawstop - without the brake were it available vs any other saws available in their size and capacity range.
 
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Tim,
Don’t worry, I didn’t hear it as any kind of paid representation. Just your “testimony.”

Definition:
  1. a formal statement testifying to someone's character and qualifications.
 
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As I said in my earlier post, the Sawstop is well made and I agree with all of Mr. Tuckers observations with the exception of that cheap, plastic, kinky, and stiff power cord. I replaced mine with SJ rubber cord.
 
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I second all of the above, but particularly the level of customer service. I bought a 14 y/o used ICS. Even before the purchase CS treated my many questions like I was a new purchase customer.
 
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