(My apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan–and, I suppose, Frederic and Mabel–for my title.)
Today will be a heavy day of work that will continue into the evening, so I took a break–as I suppose I am doing now!–to run an errand with my Beautiful Wife and to purchase some software I needed. My wife’s stop was Rockler, the woodworking and hardware store. This will not surprise many of you who know us and know that she is the table saw person and I am the pencil-pushing person.
I love my wife. And I love it that she enjoys working with wood and growing in her carpentry skills. In fact, the only thing I really regret is not being able to keep her supplied with enough (1) time and (2) money to enable her to do more than she currently does. (Part of having a Proverbs 31 wife, gentlemen, is trusting her (v.11) and supporting her (v.16 & v.29), among other things–after all, a Proverbs 31 wife deserves a Proverbs 31 husband!)
But, I will admit to morbidly worrying about the loss of one of her beautiful fingers. Or two of them. Etc.
I’ve known several who have lost a few digits–or portions, thereof–and while I am thankful to God for His protection, at the same time I really love my Beautiful Wife’s Beautiful Fingers, and I would like for her to retain a complete set as long as possible. I certainly don’t want to get into a Job 3:25 mentality, but, at the same time, I was an actuary that created accidental death and dismemberment policies, so I’ve had lost appendages on my mind more than most for a good part of my life.
Enter the SawStop! The moment I saw the display at Rocklers, I was intrigued: a table saw that is designed to detect the difference between wood and flesh and to stop instantly and retract the moment it comes into contact with a wandering digit, turning what would be a potential amputation into little more than an “I need a Band-Aid” situation.
The claims seemed too good to be true, but–like I said–I was intrigued, so we took the free marketing materials and watched the DVD pitch which showed the machine in action. I was impressed, and the system seems ingenious. You can check it out yourself by watching one of the many videos on the website (some slow-mo here, I think) where a brave hot dog stands in as a stunt finger. The marketing DVD had a lot on it, but much of it might be online, as well.
My wife was impressed not only with the safety feature (she’s thinking of my concerns, here, more than hers), but also with the apparent overall quality of the machine, apart from the safety considerations. Currently, she’s using an old (but appreciated) table saw we inherited when her mom and dad sold their house, and a SawStop (called by a reviewer on their website “the ‘Rolls Royce’ of table saws”) would be quite an upgrade.
So, I’m sold. I plan on getting my wife one as soon as it is feasible. It’s a bit expensive, and it may take an extended period of setting funds aside, but I think it will be worth it–all the more as I would like my children to begin doing more woodworking and learning all the skills I didn’t when I was their age.
And perhaps there are other systems out there that perform a similar function just as well, and this is simply the first one I have ever seen. After all, I think the SawStop has been out there for a decade-or-so, and perhaps there is something out there better. If any of you know of one, let me know, below. Until then, we’re going to start tucking away money into a SawStop account, methinks.