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Saw Stop questions Options
Bill67
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:01:19 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/8/2008
Posts: 0
Location: rockaway NJ
After a few years of lobbying we got our Saw Stop. It replaces an older Unisaw. A couple of questions though: Our unit comes with an integral guard that only allows you to rip down to 7/8" or so until you hit the fence with the guard/splitter. This is not an uncommon operation around our shop. We "solved" this by clamping an L shaped jig of two pieces of plywood to the fence that will not hit the guard as the 3/4" plywood dosent obstruct the guard. Also when you dado with the machine, the guard is unusable as it is attached to the blade assembly. Finally the machine has "stopped" in the middle of cutting operations several times, no brake set off, just phantom stops. Saw Stop sent us a new on/off box to replace it. Unfortunately,it is of a different configuration than the one on our saw so it needs to be sent back. The unit is well thought out and solidly built, but have any of you guys had to deal with these issues? If so how?
klandin
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 7:08:54 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
Bill:

I’ve had my new SawStop since October and unfortunately I too have experienced some of these same problems. You didn’t specify exactly which model of SawStop you have, but mine, a cabinet style 5 hp industrial model, came with a riving knife in addition to the standard splitter/guard assembly. I have found that while the splitter/guard is very well thought out and highly effective for most ripping operations, it is too bulky to allow the use of a push stick for rips under 1 ½” in width. Whenever one of my students needs to make a rip under 1 ½” I instruct them to remove the splitter/guard and install the riving knife instead (I call it the “shark fin”). If your saw did not come standard with a riving knife then you should get one. The change over is very easy to do, my students are trained to do it themselves, and it completely solves that problem.

Your “phantom stop” problem is a whole different situation. After several months of flawless operation my machine has recently started having this problem too. Here’s what I know: I have repeatedly had the situation that the saw mysteriously stops about two inches into a cut. This has happened to both myself and my students, and it is unrelated to anyone touching the blade (a very bad thing), nor is it related to cutting wet or otherwise electrically conductive wood as all of the incidents have happened while cutting kiln dried White Pine. The most confusing part is that the error code being reported by the machine is “contact was detected during bypass”. This is particularly confusing because we were not in bypass mode during any of these cuts. The only advice that I could get from the tech department at SawStop was to check the gap between the blade and the brake cartridge. I have done this, and as you might expect that was not the problem. I still don’t know why the saw has been phantom stopping, but I have found that simply shutting it down and then re-starting it will often solve the problem. Barring that I have also had luck “fixing” the problem by removing and then re-installing the brake cartridge. I wonder if the problem might not be temperature related as this problem only started after the weather got cold, and my drafty shop often gets down to the forties and fifties. Mostly this is just further confirmation of why I prefer old-school mechanical devices to high tech electronic devices. In decades of use my Unisaw never once caused me this kind of aggravation.

Has anybody else had these problems?


Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
Bill67
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:40:48 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/8/2008
Posts: 0
Location: rockaway NJ
Keith,
Here I thought that I was the only one............ We have the same saw as you. So the riving knife by itself replaces the guard and anti-kick back fingers for narrow rips? How do you handle the Dadoing? As far as SS customer service goes they were responsive and addressed the situation quickly. I hope that the new switch does the trick. I know what you are saying about the unisaw, but the piece of mind that this saw gives to us guys is great. I registered the saw early on and I'm glad that I did. Just like in your shop, this machine is at the heart of everything. If it dosen't work, we don't work

Bill
klandin
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 10:07:06 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
Bill:

Please let me know if that new switch fixes the problem. If it does I will follow your lead. For now my "phantom stopping" problem remains inexplicably intermittent, and therefore very hard to pin down.

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
klandin
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 8:23:05 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
An open access door generates a different error code than the one Bill and I have been getting. But it is good to know that there are other annoying technical glitches to look forward to ;-)

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
tman67
Posted: Monday, January 03, 2011 3:15:25 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/5/2007
Posts: 0
Location: PIEDMONT/MO
I have looked into buying the Sawstop also.
A local university has one and I heard they set off when you use pine.
The pine having either moisture or sap conducting enough to set it off.
Has anyone experienced anything like this?
klandin
Posted: Monday, January 03, 2011 4:08:03 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
Not yet. (I'm knocking on my wooden head even as I type this).

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
woodnfire
Posted: Monday, January 03, 2011 10:38:14 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/16/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Bend, Oregon
I have 2 industrial models and one contractors model SawStops. I have not experienced any of the problems mentioned earlier. I also cut a lot of pine without problems.
awoodward
Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011 10:38:05 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/7/2011
Posts: 0
Location: Sacramento, ca
I have 3 Sawstops (2 industrial models and one contractors). I have not had any problems with my saws. We go through a lot of wood in 5 classes. I have had them for 3 years now, it is the only saw I will buy. The Dist. carpenters love them and come to my room instead going all the way back to the Carpenters Shop. I feel it is the best and safest for students.
Dave Cav
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:36:06 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 12/9/2010
Posts: 0
Location: Everett, WA
My district has three single phase ICS models at three high schools, and a contractor's model in the Stagecraft department. Our local Skill Center Construction Trades department also has one or two, but I don't know which model. The saws are about 2 1/2 years old. We normally cut KD alder in our shops although occasionally we will rip construction grade stuff or plywood. I have only had two brake trips in the shop; one was judged a finger touch (probably to the side of the saw blade plate) and the other was when I was cutting a miter using an Incra gage and the blade touched the end of the aluminum fence. I haven't heard of any chronic problems at the other two high schools (or excessive trips) but I did hear that at the Skill Center there was so much of a problem with students deliberately tripping the saw(s) with tape measures that the instructors have taken them out of service and made the students use Skil saws.

I agree the factory guard is good but limits rips, and I am on my 3rd clear plastic cover. I will have to start looking for (or order) the separate riving knife (shark fin) and begin using it for narrower rips.

I solved the dado problem by making a PM 66 our dedicated dado saw. Dados are only cut by 2nd year students or with me directly supervising, usually using a sled.
coedusa
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:51:59 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/28/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Avon Park /Florida
I have a sawstop in my shop. At 1st we had 3 unexplained activations. I sent the brake unit to sawstop and the said one was because bad chip in the brake. the other 2 were unexplained. The saw has worked great since then.
Northwood
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 4:00:29 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/23/2007
Posts: 0
Location: Bakersfield,Ca
I've had my sawstop for 4 years and never had a shutdown. I love the saw and I have been the only one to set it off. I was ripping some Limba 1/16 inch wide during my prep period and slipped with the push stick.Lost a bit more skin than the three hot dogs I've seen go through the saw though. Healed up and a week and found out from sawstop when you re-set the saw you have to jerk the arm back up or the blade will not come back up to normal height.They were very good helping from there support dept. Glad i didn't have any students in the shop at the time.
Warren
Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 5:06:45 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 10/15/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Okotoks, AB
We had this problem when we first got ours 240V 3 phase and it was something to do with a switch making contact with the outside of the housing in the motor unit. It created a false positive and the saw would stop with the contact detected message warning. We had it repaired with a different housing replaced by the retailer and no problems since.

Bill67 wrote:
After a few years of lobbying we got our Saw Stop. It replaces an older Unisaw. A couple of questions though: Our unit comes with an integral guard that only allows you to rip down to 7/8" or so until you hit the fence with the guard/splitter. This is not an uncommon operation around our shop. We "solved" this by clamping an L shaped jig of two pieces of plywood to the fence that will not hit the guard as the 3/4" plywood dosent obstruct the guard. Also when you dado with the machine, the guard is unusable as it is attached to the blade assembly. Finally the machine has "stopped" in the middle of cutting operations several times, no brake set off, just phantom stops. Saw Stop sent us a new on/off box to replace it. Unfortunately,it is of a different configuration than the one on our saw so it needs to be sent back. The unit is well thought out and solidly built, but have any of you guys had to deal with these issues? If so how?
bweids
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 3:24:13 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 12/13/2012
Posts: 0
Location: Minnesota
I had my 2nd phantom stop this morning, this time I was cutting a groove in maple for a drawer and the saw stopped part way through. The red light on the switch would not stop blinking so I shut off the the power switch as well. I turned the saw back on, the green light came on so I pulled the paddle shaped switch, the saw came on and before I could start a cut the blade slammed down into the stop. This is what happened last time as well. Does anyone have any ideas?
craigp
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 9:41:35 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 2/6/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Chesapeake City, Maryland
When we first got our Industrial SS at my last school, we had a few issues where it was a phantom stop. The problem was that there was dust in the connector for the cartridge and it caused the connection to break and without the cartridge it will not work. Another time it was because the brake was about a millimeter too far away from the blade.

Craig R. Patterson, CD
PLTW Teacher
Elkton High School
Elkton, Maryland
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