November 26, 2014

New table saw at SSC already saving fingers

Lauren Begley
Howard Barriger demonstrates the safety features of SSC’s new table saw on Jan. 26. The saw blade can detect human contact and shut itself off before serious injury occurs.
By Lauren Begley
Staff Writer | reporter@arenacindependent.com
Posted

STANDISH – Thanks to a two-percent class-3 gaming revenue grant from the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, Standish-Sterling Central is enjoying a new, safer saw in its woodshop.

Howard Barriger applied for the grant to buy the $4,300 table saw from SawStop, and it was up and running by Jan. 4, Barriger said.

“I can’t thank the tribe enough,” Barriger said.

The safety features of the new saw have already saved two students from losing fingers, he said.

“It’s just been a phenomenal saw,” Barriger said.

Barriger said the saw has a brake system that stops the blade and retracts it under the table as soon as it senses human contact, and the entire process takes five thousandths of a second.

Barriger said he is also able to send in the blade to SawStop after it has made contact, and they have the technology to determine what made the contact that stopped the saw. He said that if they determine it was human contact, they will send a new blade free of charge.

Barriger said he hasn’t had any students lose fingers or be injured badly in his past 22 years of working in industrial education. He said he was definitely concerned after two students had already made contact with the new table saw, but he said he stresses to students that they cannot depend on safety features to work.

Frank Cloutier, the public relations manager for the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, was present at Barriger’s saw demonstration on Tuesday morning and said he was impressed by the saw and grateful for Barriger’s appreciation for the grant.

“It’s very seldom that council hears ‘thank you’,” Cloutier said.

Cloutier said the Tribe doesn’t always get to see the results of their grant money. He also said that he would pass along the information about the saw to the rest of the Tribe.

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