Ready to Pay At Least An Extra $250 for a Table Saw?

In a lawsuit in the United States (where else eh?) this week a man was awarded $1.5 million USD for an injury to his fingers that was caused by a table saw. The man injured his fingers while using a Ryobi table saw when he was installing oak hard wood flooring in 2006.

The thing is, there was nothing wrong with the table saw. The table saw didn’t fail to function as designed, or break, or have anything wrong with it. The Ryobi table saw met all current safety standards. The problem was that is was not equipped with a flesh detection technology to stop the blade!

Personally I reckon the guy must have been an idiot who should never have been operating a table saw in the first place. Also the people on the jury must have never used power tools before, or something, because I really can’t understand how this could possibly have happened!

If the lawsuit sets a precedent then we can expect to see all table saws in the future equipped with flesh detection technology. This will probably add at least $250 to the cost of a low end table saw, and more to the higher end more expensive table saws.

I think that the flesh detection table saw, currently made by SawStop, is a cool invention. It would especially be suitable for wood working shop classes in school (we had a shop teacher at my old school cut off his fingers, not a good example). I don’t think though that it should be required on all table saws.

The cost is extremely prohibitive for the table saw technology. The additional cost for the flesh detection technology will be about $250.00. Not only that, but if the technology is triggered you will need to replace the brake mechanism and the blade. Unfortunately the mechanism can be triggered by something as simple as moist wood, which would cost you about $150 depending on the blade.

You can read more about the lawsuit and the flesh detection technology over at Pro Tool Reviews. Here is a video of the technology in action:

Sustainable House Day in Australia

This Sunday is Sustainable House Day here in Australia and over the Tasman in New Zealand.

Sustainable House Day is a day when all around the country people living in sustainable housing will open their doors for people to visit their homes.

There will be people available to answer questions about what they did to make their homes sustainable, and what you might be able to do to make your own house more sustainable.

There seems to be a real cross-section of homes and people participating in Sustainable House Day. Here in Townsville there are two homes that are participating:

  • A retrofitted house built around 1970 that has has modifications done to make it a more sustainable home
  • A purpose built house built in 2001

Each of these homes offer two very different avenues to pursue when making your house more sustainable.

Sustainable House Day focuses a lot of attention on solar issues. This includes the passive solar design of the house (shade, eves, insulation, etc.) as well as the active uses of solar, including solar hot water and solar electricity.

The event is put on by ANZSES, the Australia New Zealand Solar Energy Society, hence the focus on solar issues.

You can find out more about Sustainable House Day here, and you can see if there are any houses available for viewing in your area here.

Synthetic Stone Bench Top

When installing our new double kitchen sink we discovered that the countertop was synthetic stone. For some reason I had just assumed that it was a laminate countertop, but it turns out that I was wrong…

Sythetic Stone Benchtop

The synthetic stone bench top has very similar qualities to solid stone bench tops, but at a significantly lower price. The lower price is due to the fact that it doesn’t need to come from one large hunk of stone, but rather it is manufactured to suit the install requirements.

It is very hard wearing and easy to clean. Despite our best (accidental) efforts we have yet to chip or scratch it, although we have lost a few glasses and plates to the hardness of the synthetic stone.

If you want the look and feel of a granite or marble countertop, but want to save some money, then have a look at a synthetic stone option. It should still probably be professionally installed, but it will look great, and save you a bit of cash.

Installing our “Rainy Day” Clothesline

We installed a clothesline in our garage over the weekend so that we could wash clothes even on the rainy days. We don’t have a drier, so we need to dry our clothes on a clothesline, which doesn’t work so well on the backyard clothesline when it is raining.

Collapsible Clothesline in our Garage

I was able to reuse our old clothesline that had been mounted on the back of the house before we lifted our house. It had been sitting in the garden for almost two years now (I can’t believe it has really been that long…) so it needed a good clean, but it is still in good working order. Continue Reading →