SawStop One vs. Finger Three — stitches that is!

The Cartridge Works!

I must admit that when the SawStop technology first came out I wasn’t  really in favor of it.  The first I heard about it was someone invented a good idea for saw safety but was trying to get rich from it by getting legislation that would require  every saw to have it.  Of course that would bring them royalties and I just saw it as a greedy money grab.  Well, over the years I changed my thoughts and when it was time to replace my worn out Jet, I purchased the SawStop cabinet saw with the sliding table and love it!  Here’s a LINK to when I first purchased it and if you search my blog with the keyword SawStop you’ll find many jigs and uses I have for this saw.   Oh yeah, my finger — I was ripping a piece of Baltic Birch Plywood that has that beautiful yet slippery ClearCoat finish on it.  As I approached the end of the cut, I reached for my push stick and all I can figure my hand slipped and just contacted the blade and WHAM, down and out of the way just like that!  I have triggered it before cutting gilded molding so knew what happened.  That was Sunday 11/3, it ripped off half of the nail and made a good slice that needed 3 stitches to close up, those came out this morning so I’m able to work much better.  To their credit, SawStop is sending me a replacement cartridge which they do if you send them the triggered one.  They’re able to tell if it’s a body part or nail — body parts get you a free replacement!  I’s scheduled to arrive tomorrow and lucky for me, this part of the project required my dado set so I used that cartridge.  Little tough working with the metal splint on my finger but I managed.

My current commission is building two cabinets that are designed to be “drying cabinets” for artists working at the Scottsdale Artists School.  This school is the premier artists school in the southwest and draws students and world class artists from around the world. It’s the primary reason Diane and I moved here from Las Vegas more than 3 years ago.  This job is a welcome  break from the more traditional work I’ve been doing but definitely not without its challenges!  The cabinets  (2 @ 2′ deep x 3′ wide x 6.5′ tall) are made of clear coat Baltic Birch plywood.  It’s a good choice for a project like this but it’s heavy!  Nothing sticks to the surface so dados and rabbeted shelves are needed to expose the wood and have the glue stick.  Construction is similar to this previously made Taboret project but much larger.  I enjoy doing furniture for artists and trying to fit that niche of making items customized for their personal work style.

Although challenging due to the size, dado’s and rabbets are pretty straight forward.  Each 4×8 sheet was ripped in half so that it fit in the shop.  Outboard supports and an L-Fence helped control them on the while using the SawStop sliding table — here’s some photo’s of those operations.

It took several hours to make this jig to accurately lay out the grooves, actually needed to make 2 before the spacing was even.  Never thought I’d use metrics but after doing the Kumiko work I realize how it’s easier to divide spaces in metrics.  Also use dividers a lot to double check and lay things out.

Making the slots and using the jig became a repetitive process, just need to concentrate because one wrong move and the entire piece would be ruined and extremely time consuming to remake — plus, I have no material left!  Here’s the process that begins by locating the jig for the first slot from the edge:

Making good progress, hopefully my next blog will show them assembled.


About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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3 Responses to SawStop One vs. Finger Three — stitches that is!

  1. BOOM! The saw just paid for itself. Glad you didn’t get hurt.


  2. Pingback: Custom Cat Furniture | Woodworks by John

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