Wood Industry Talks: Most Commented Stories in 2011
December 23, 2011 | 11:05 am CST
Woodworking: Top 10 Wood News Reports in 2011

The wood industry talked  table saw safety rules, the fate of a fallen 1,500 year old redwood in California, and wood craft excellence. These were WoodworkingNetwork.com's most commented items in 2011.

Table saw safety rules, due from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, spawns SawStoplively debate on requiring electronic brake devices (like SawStop), pitting Power Tool Institute (PTI) members against safety advocates. Read the story and all the comments>>

I’m all for shop safety and for inventors trying to get as much money as they can for the use of their inventions. My saw is an old delta Unisaw that works just fine and yes I have had a few close calls that left me with lost nerve endings. All my machines are dangerous if not used properly, people buy them, use them without any education on the dangers. There is a certain responsibility that one has to take to learn to work these machines safely !!!!

Wood Industry Talks: Most Commented Stories in 2011


Gary McNabb, Towaco, NJ

We no longer take the time to properly train people how to use their equipment. I think making the SawStop mandatory is ridiculous, but I also think that PTI should implement some inexpensive safety measures with their tools. A simple DVD would solve a great number of the safety issues. When I teach students about kickback and show a board go through a 3/8´´ sheet of wafer board, or a cotton glove in a lathe or drill press, it always gets their attention. Forcing companies to retool shops for what could become OSHA compliance rules will force businesses to close. But everyone will agree that there is an inherent safety issue to nearly every tool in a woodworking shop, from a hammer and chisel to a power sander.

John Cotten, Danville, KY

The Consumer Product Safety Commission may not mandate SawStop, but will likely require all table saws have effective safety measures equivalent to the best options on the market. “That’s the same thing” is the complaint of the Power Tool Institute. Yet its members, some making table saws for 90 years, have done little to improve safety in all that time. Safer blade guard designs have been available since the 1950s, yet no major U.S. manufacturer has adopted them as standard. The riving knife, much safer than the splitter found on most table saws, has been common in Europe for at least 60 years. Major American companies only began adding them to table saws in the last three years, largely due to the success of SawStop. The American table saw industry sells over $400 million annually, while table saw accidents cost $2.4 BILLION in medical bills. There is a clear need for improved safety technology.

Still Ten Fingers, Santa Fe, NM

Object to making the most commonly-used, most commonly-dangerous machine in the shop safer??!! PTI.....you have got to be kidding! Ask all the guys missing a finger or two if they’d have paid another $100-$200 dollars to have saved their fingers. Face it, PTI, you guys were extremely slow-on-the-draw coming up with any major new safety features for table saws, much less a revolutionary technology for an entirely new level of safety. Now you’re crying because you let somebody else put their thinking cap on and take action that you’re going to have to pay for. That’s how it works! Consumers don’t scream about the cost of anti-lock brakes that save lives and avoid life-changing injuries.

Gary Nuicely, St. Louis, MO

 Read the table saw safety story and all the comments>>

Also much commented upon: Table Saw Makers Seek Woodworkers' Support


After a Federal Lacey Raid on Gibson Guitar's factory in Nashville, Gibson began testing torrefied maple as an alternative to forbidden wood species seized in the raid. The company gets some sympathy for its effort, but not too much. And the Forestry Stewardship Council weighed in, saying the mahogany seized at Gibson's plant was not FSC certified. Read the FSC story and all the comments>>

It is a pretty sad statement to hear the first comment on Gibson’s website [ “Gibson, is the funky fingerboard wood and opaque finish your way of telling us that get used to cheaper wood or what?”] We need to quit caring so much about having ultimate things no matter the price. We can be just as happy if we use alternative materials, and the world will be a better place for it. Ivory is a good example. Piano keys are better now that they are made of plastic. Good for Gibson for working to figure it out. Shame on the complainers.

Charles Smith, West Linn, OR

Read the FSC stories and all the comments>>

Related stories also generated comments:

Gibson introduced a model of guitars using torrefied maple for fretboards
Gibson Guitar petitions Obama to end investigation

Rich Christianson's Blog: Lacey Act Strikes Sour Note with Gibson Guitar


Victor Smith’s beautiful hunting knives are utilitarian as well. Intended for dressing meat in the field, they are also at home in a display case. Careful management of wood moisture and curing makes durable wood handles.

I’m glad you’ve included this fascinating and refreshing look at wood beyond turnings and pens. Now, let’s see more pictures of Mr. Smith’s outstanding knives.

Sam Wood, Wild Rose, WI

These are beautiful knives. I have a couple; the translucency and depth of the wood is like fine furniture. Yet the handles are very rugged. It is interesting how he is able to get such a fine and durable finish. I think readers would find it interesting to see more exotic woods.

Charles Neuman, Lake Forest, CA

Read about wood knife handles and comments>>




Other articles commented upon at WoodworkingNetwork in 2011:

 Pipe organ rescue: woodshop prospects>>

Group shifts focus to 'toxic' Chinese furniture>>

Sino Forest Defaults, Class Action Suit Follows>>

Ideas sought to reduce foreclosed homes inventory>>

Chinese cabinetry firm opens first U.S. plant >>


Ipe Wood of the Month received comments. Wood of the Month by Jo Ann Kaiser, vesions of which appear in Custom Woodworking Business and Wood & Wood Products magazines, is one of the most read features at WoodworkingNetwork.

Good Article. We have used Ipe for a few years now and we have found it to be the best outdoor wood available for our high end furniture products. We are so confident on its durability that we offer Life time guaranty on our Ipe products. See our work at TheBestAdirondackChair.com - Francoise Bruneau, Ottawa, Ontario

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