HAM LAKE, MN. -- Safety Speed Manufacturing has donated a vertical panel saw/router that carries a price tag of $6,677. The upright saw is a major upgrade for the high school tech ed department. The saw has capabilities that are advanced from anything the school district currently owns. With this saw, one person can safely cut a sheet of plywood up to five feet wide. To cut anything that wide previously, several people were needed to cut it on a table saw. The new saw is also much safer in this situation, according to tech ed instructor Mark Barron.



“It gives us a lot more options,” Barron said. “And it’s much more safe for beginners.”
The timing couldn’t be better for the new addition too. Barron was scheduled to start a section of woodworking with his beginner level students this week.


The router feature on the saw adds to the safety. Stops can be put in place to align where the router cuts will be made, from the back side of the wood, so the blades never come near the saw operator.


Brian Donahue, President of Safety Speed Mfg. and Barron connected through the WoodLINKS USA Project. WoodLINKS is a partnership between schools and the wood manufacturing industry. Donahue said he decided in 2009 that the company needs to focus more on promoting the wood industry in schools. In reviewing the WoodLINKS resources, he found Somerset was one of the nearest WoodLINKS schools to the Ham Lake business.
Donahue said he hopes the connection with Somerset can lead to partnerships with future projects. He said companies in the wood industry are looking for more ways to promote their industry and its job possibilities in schools.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.