Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Local couple donate saw to high school

January 17, 2007

With a new table saw in use at Tonganoxie, students still have to be careful.

But if they do accidentally come in contact with a spinning saw blade, their wound may require a Band-Aid rather than a trip to the hospital.

Roger and Jilinda White recently donated a "SawStop" saw to the school.

Roger White, who owns a cabinet shop, said the technology for SawStop saws has been out for several years.

After seeing demonstrations of the saws, White decided it would be great for the school's shop to have one.

According to the SawStop Web site, each saw has a built-in safety system that detects when someone accidentally comes in contact with the spinning saw blade. The saw will stop in milliseconds, preventing serious injury.

When the saw detects electrical signals from a person's skin, a brake stops the blade in about 1/200 of a second.

"The technology is just so fascinating to me," White said. "What better place would there be than in a school where you've got beginning students learning to run a power tool."

The saw, which has a 10-inch blade, is on a 52-inch table. Teacher Steve Hughes said the saw, which sells for $3,900, is capable of ripping, crosscutting and making dado cuts.

"It's a generous donation to the school," Hughes said.

And, he noted, this fall was a good time for someone to donate a large piece of equipment, as this fall the school's new industrial trades classes, which also include agricultural, computer drawing and auto mechanics classes, moved into a new building. This means there was room for the new table saw.

White said he was considering the possibility of purchasing one of the saws for his shop as well.

"When I have employees in the shop that's the worst thing -- the fear of an accident," White said.

Hughes said there are 20 freshmen who are taking shop.

"With that many kids, safety is a very big concern," Hughes said, "especially with beginner-type woodworkers."

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