Friday, March 1, 2013

SawStop Saw Stops

A thankfully minor misadventure involving a hidden nail laid low WoW's Sawstop table saw for a couple of hours.  The adventure began when volunteers Steve and Joe were attempting to trim the deteriorated base of the  compass binnacle belonging to the Herreshoff Meadow Lark, Suzy.  When they inadvertently struck a small steel nail buried in the plywood, the SawStop sensed the contact with something other than wood, and went into its accident protection drill, i.e., slamming it's brake's aluminum block into the blade and stopping it instantly.  Had the nail been a fingertip or other body part, the user would have been saved from serious injury.  That's why WoW bought the SawStop in the first place.

Recovering from the misadventure turned out to be an adventure of its own.  Bruce actually had to pull out the SawStop user manual and review the process.
The eventually removed brake assembly still has a firm grip on the poor blade.

Bruce reading the manual.  Steve is impressed.  Joe doesn't look happy.
What the heck is an arbor block, anyway?

The binnacle that started it all.
A bit of persuasion and a little adult language later, and the sacrificed brake assembly and the blade could be removed and replaced.  The brake is toast, as it is designed to be, but the blade can be repaired, having lost only a few carbide teeth.  Not a bad price, all in all, when you compare it to the damage that can be done to a finger or hand by a 3HP table saw.

Meanwhile, across the shop, all hands (at least all SAILOR program hands) were busy sanding the latest coat of paint on the nearly completed Beetle replica whaleboat.  
Many sanders make quick work, as long as they keep the sandpaper in motion.
Whaleboat number two is moving along nicely, with plank after plank being milled, cut, fitted, and fastened.  She is only one plank away from the sheer, so planking should be completed very soon, and frame installation can begin. Many of the frames have already been steam bent, and are awaiting their destiny, hanging from the rafters above the whaleboat.

Bruce and Newt check out the fairness of the next plank.
Charles continued working on the sea chest for the exhibit scheduled for May, but discovered that the shop's old table saw crosscut sled was not usable on the new SawStop table saw.  Voila! WoW now has a new crosscut sled, and the sea chest project only fell a few hours behind.
New crosscut sled in place on the SawStop. The sea chest project can proceed. 

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