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Thread: Sawstop

  1. #1
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    Default Sawstop

    Hi guys, have had my SAWSTOP for about 2 weeks and the cartridge activated for no reason at all. I use my table saw every day and I have had one (not a saw stop previously for over ten years) and I am very experienced. I was cutting very well seasoned silky oak on a cross cut sled, no metal, no wet wood and my hands where at least over 8 inches away! Not sure what has happened, but not impressed and it has cost me about $250 for the blade and replacement cartridge..... don't et me wrong, I love the saw and I appreciate the safety benefits......but.... anyway, has anyone else experienced this or am I just unlucky and maybe an isolated incident.

    IMG_0497.jpg

    Thanks,

    Wiggy

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  3. #2
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    Have you contacted SawStop about this? If there was a brake activation for no apparent reason, and given it's a new saw, I think they'd want to know about it.

    Given the newness of the unit, surely there is the potential for a fault somewhere that caused this? I believe they have diagnostic capabilities for activated brakes - they might want it sent in for analysis.

    As an aside, the blade may well be recoverable, but I suggest getting SawStop's approval to remove it from the brake (I'm working on the assumption they'll want the brake, and possibly blade for analysis, and may come to the party on repair/replacement cost).

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    Do you remember a time when they started putting electronics in cars?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fekit View Post
    Do you remember a time when they started putting electronics in cars?
    Yes and still haven't got it right

  6. #5
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    A friend's brake activated when someone stopped the saw with the on/off button switch than the stop paddle.

    Sawstop are keen to get cartridges back to analyse, and will exchange it for a new one free. I think Carbatec will handle this. But I'd suggest you follow Midnight's suggestions and have a chat to them or whoever sold you the saw first.

  7. #6
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    yep you can send the cartridge back to sawstop (via the company you bought it off) who analyse the data, and will offer you a free cartridge replacement.

    doesnt help with the blade replacement and downtime though.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wigwood View Post
    Hi guys, have had my SAWSTOP for about 2 weeks and the cartridge activated for no reason at all....
    IMG_0497.jpg

    ...

    A friend with a commercial joinery has deactivated his SawStop for the reasons you mention; the cost of cartridges, replacement blades, even bearings and the cost of work disruption and downtime were just too high. He does a lot of laminating work and steam bending and uses much air dried old growth timber dried to around 20% moisture content - it quickly drops to around 12% after steaming.

    His people have done a lot of analysis of the problem and he suspects that the errant firings were caused by:
    • moisture content, especially pockets of wetter wood,
    • metal intrusions - both proven and suspected,
    • sap pockets - unproven, but he is insistent, and
    • timber species - celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) is a mild electrical conductor; sufficient to trigger SawStop and he suspects some other species or subspecies may have this property. CTP is one of his (and my) favourite timbers.

  9. #8
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    Our Shed bought a Sawstop around four years ago. In the first year we had two cartridges fire spontaneously. We contacted SS - here’s their reply:

    We definitely want to get the two brakes back from you to be able to diagnose the issue. The nice thing is you don’t need to send them to us – you can send them to Carba-tec and they will upload a data file to us. From that, we can provide you some answers.”

    In our case the units were replaced. Can’t remember the explanation given by CT but I believe it was an issue of trigger sensitivity in an early batch of catridges. In the subsequent four years of using the saw five days a week we’ve has no repetition of a spontaneous firing.

    Personally I wouldn’t try to re-use the blade. The force of the brake slamming into a spinning blade doesn’t give me confidence in the integrity of the blade.

    Best regards,

    Brian

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    A friend with a commercial joinery has deactivated his SawStop for the reasons you mention; the cost of cartridges, replacement blades, even bearings and the cost of work disruption and downtime were just too high. He does a lot of laminating work and steam bending and uses much air dried old growth timber dried to around 20% moisture content - it quickly drops to around 12% after steaming.

    His people have done a lot of analysis of the problem and he suspects that the errant firings were caused by:
    • moisture content, especially pockets of wetter wood,
    • metal intrusions - both proven and suspected,
    • sap pockets - unproven, but he is insistent, and
    • timber species - celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) is a mild electrical conductor; sufficient to trigger SawStop and he suspects some other species or subspecies may have this property. CTP is one of his (and my) favourite timbers.
    I have often wondered just how sensitive the SS technology is and for the reasons you have listed. I decided that I would definitely not be an early adopter.

    Will the SS activate if it hits say a wichety grub, termites, wasp / hornet larvae, leaf cutter bee larvae????, all of which are pretty common in our Far North QLD timber piles.
    Mobyturns

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyturns View Post
    Will the SS activate if it hits say a wichety grub, termites, wasp / hornet larvae, leaf cutter bee larvae????, all of which are pretty common in our Far North QLD timber piles.
    It should not, as they won't complete the circuit (being such a small item).

    If you were holding the grub and hit the blade, then, yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Man View Post
    It should not, as they won't complete the circuit (being such a small item).

    If you were holding the grub and hit the blade, then, yes.
    I find SawStops explanation of their technology oversimplified with

    1. Monitor & Detect

    • The blade carries a small electrical signal.


    • When skin contacts the blade, the signal changes because the human body is conductive.


    • The change to the signal activates the safety system.


    For someone like myself who has an implanted cardiac defibrillator I need to know a lot more before I would consider using a SawStop. So far I haven't received any answers on potential false activations of a defibrillator.
    Mobyturns

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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Man View Post
    It should not, as they won't complete the circuit (being such a small item).

    If you were holding the grub and hit the blade, then, yes.

    I am unconvinced that this is correct, MM.

    I have had an electronics engineer explain how the SawStop technology worked and he emphasised that it is not about completing a circuit as that reaction would be too slow - it would stop the saw after it cut off your finger. He said that SS put a micro-pulse into the sawblade and then monitored the consistency of that pulse; it was variations in that pulse that triggered it. Cannot say that I really understood what he said, but I did try.

    There are too many seemingly random triggerings to dismiss any hypothesis that has not yet been disproven.

    The celery top pine hypothesis was initially dismissed as "impossible". There are suspicions with sasafrass, as yet not proven.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wigwood View Post
    Hi guys, have had my SAWSTOP for about 2 weeks and the cartridge activated for no reason at all. I use my table saw every day and I have had one (not a saw stop previously for over ten years) and I am very experienced. I was cutting very well seasoned silky oak on a cross cut sled, no metal, no wet wood and my hands where at least over 8 inches away! Not sure what has happened, but not impressed and it has cost me about $250 for the blade and replacement cartridge..... don't et me wrong, I love the saw and I appreciate the safety benefits......but.... anyway, has anyone else experienced this or am I just unlucky and maybe an isolated incident.

    IMG_0497.jpg

    Thanks,

    Wiggy
    Yes - had exactly this issue with bone dry radiata 50 x 100. No metal, no knots, no sap, no moisture, no fingers, no contamination any where. SawStop blade was fitted.

    I sent the cartridge & the off-cut to Cabitec with a complaint, but they claim that the data analysis of the chip in the cartridge showed it had hit metal. However the offcut clearly showed that there was no metal in the timber. Was VERY unimpressed, as they refused to replace the cartridge or blade under warranty. (I am tempted to get a saw doctor to replace the carbide tooth that was removed during braking.) So @haveabeer69 is wrong, they won't replace the cartridge unless their data collection showed it has hit flesh.

    When I finally get a big shed I'll be ditching the SawStop JobSite saw & trading up to a Euro Slider.

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    "An oscillator generates a 12-volt, 200-kilohertz (kHz) pulsed electrical signal, which is applied to a small plate on one side of the blade. The signal is transferred to the blade by capacitive coupling. A plate on the other side of the blade picks up the signal and sends it to a threshold detector. If a human contacts the blade, the signal will fall below the threshold. After signal loss for 25 micro seconds (µs), the detector will fire. A tooth on a 10-inch circular blade rotating at 4000 RPM will stay in contact with the approximate width of a fingertip for 100 µs. The 200-kHz signal will have up to 10 pulses during that time, and should be able to detect contact with just one tooth.[5] When the brake activates, a spring pushes an aluminum block into the blade. The block is normally held away from the blade by a wire, but during braking an electric current instantly melts the wire, similar to a fuse blowing."

    SawStop - Wikipedia
    Mobyturns

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    It was either June or July 2005 that I assisted installing 8 or 10 SawStop table saws at a Community College.
    (A two year institution, years 13 and 14 if you will.)

    Fast forward to AWFS 2019 in Las Vegas. The school had a recruitment booth at the show. The booth was staffed by an instructor that I knew. I sat down with him and had perhaps an hour conversation. Obviously the conservation turned to the SawStop table saws. I sked if they had any blade drops. His answer was "Dozens." That answer was absolutely shocking to me. The thirty or so years prior to my attendance, 2003 through 2005, the school did not have a single amputation. Think about that! The students ranged from "This is a piece of wood" to seasoned pros. My first class was for beginners had a practicing dentist, a practicing ER Doctor, two aero space engineers, a private college professor with a PhD and a slew of students needing an elective.

    Further into the conversation, the instructors belief was that the blade was touched by a metal measuring tape. He also felt that the method students were taught to change blades may be a problem. (Blade on the arbor, finger tight the nut, wrench on the nut and braced on throat opening, pinch blade between thumb and index finger pulling the blade toward the operator) He felt that if the blade was pulled too fast it would trip the cartridge and drop the blade. DUNNO But the schools safety record doesn't equate to that many blade drops.
    Rich

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

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