Technology and Safety Working Together in the Wood Shop

Technology and Safety Working Together in the Wood Shop

This SawStop table saw uses revolutionary technology to keep our craftspeople safe on the shop floor.

What comes to mind when you think about woodworking? Beautifully built custom masterpieces? Large piles of dust that will require cleaning? How about equipment that can be dangerous if not used properly?


I heard a story about a high school shop teacher who was showing his students proper saw safety. He looked up at the students to tell them to never take their eyes off of their work and, as he was doing this, he cut his finger. Yes, it happens that quickly!

Here at Plain & Fancy, saw safety is an ongoing point of emphasis. The table saw is the main piece of equipment used by the skilled craftsmen in our custom cutting department. It is hard to imagine being without one. One thing is for sure though, table saws have changed very little over the last 50 years. They have a saw blade and a fence and that is about the extent of it. The beauty of what is created is mostly due to the skills of the people that use it.

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However, we recently added two new table saws on our shop floor that are technology marvels. The blade on this saw can sense the human hand, even something as small as a fingertip, and it will actually stop immediately and drop below the table to prevent injury to the user, all in the fraction of a second. Not only does it prevent severe injury, but it rarely leaves a scratch on the user!

The video below shows this process (representing the finger with a hot dog). This is how it works. The saw blade is grounded to the body of the unit and the emergency stop action is activated. When this action happens, the blade and brake unit are damaged beyond repair and will need to be replaced at minor cost, but most importantly is that the user is unharmed. It is an innovation that eliminates major injuries and keeps our employees productive. If you would like more information on this amazing piece of equipment, please visit or watch the video below.


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