Sunday, June 20, 2010


The 2x stock I get around here sometimes comes with a plastic staple, sometimes a metal one.  I have a SawStop PCS (which I love, btw) and metal staples always make me wonder if I'll pop the brake.

Long ago, I had a discussion with the SawStop tech folks.  Generally, staples won't kick the brake because they don't alter the detected capacitance of the blade.  Only those large staples used on large corrugated cardboard boxes might trip it based on capacitance alone.  The problem is this: sometimes when the blade hits the staple, the staple bends around the tooth and stays there until the tooth swings around to the brake.  There's only 1/16" clearance between the blade and brake so the staple can make electrical contact with the aluminum brake, which definitely changes the capacitance.  -bang!- another hotdog is saved.

Their suggestion was to put a strip of packing tape on the aluminum block that faces the blade.  The theory is this: when the staple flies by, it won't make electrical contact with the block and typically gets knocked off when it bumps it anyway.  This in no way affects the brake's performance as the detection mechanism will still detect the capacitance change for a finger or hotdog.  The other suggestion (not as preferred) is to back off the brake so there is more clearance (naturally, both methods can be used if you're super staple-paranoid).  The negative effect here is that the brake has to fly further to stop the blade so you might get a more serious cut.

In related SawStop news, summer 2010 will debut a new 1 3/4 hp @ 120V version of the SawStop PCS (which is 3hp @ 220V).  This can be great news for people unable to get a 220V drop.  Currently priced at $2,299.

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