View Full Version : well darn (sawstop brake trigger)

alex grams
01-25-2009, 10:14 PM
So i was making box finger joints on my sawstop with the sd608 dado, and my brake fires. Not sure what caused the trigger. The wood I was cutting was solid wood, the jig was made from wood, and the miter gauge was about 3 inches away, and the fence was no where near the work.

I will contact sawstop tomorrow and mail them the brake. I have no freaking clue what could have triggered it. I had been making finger joint cuts for about 40 minutes with the same setup and a clear saw tabletop workplace. I had made about 6 finger cuts in this piece of maple (kiln dried btw) before it fired, so I doubt it was wet wood. What sucks though is it was my sd608 dado that got eaten. I didn't see any damage on it, but really would prefer to not take the risk of trying to reuse it. I was making 1/4" fingers, so only the two outside chippers were in the blade when the brake went off.

Any ideas? Input? Things to look for? Sucks to have that happen, and then I am out a brake (70$) and a dado (250$). Hopefully I can get hold of freud and just buy the two outside pieces instead of a whole new set. They have the two outside blades listed on their website, but no prices shown on each (figure maybe 75$/per?). Hopefully sawstop can give me an answer when I send them the brake.

Christopher Pine
01-25-2009, 10:16 PM
it is suppose to know the difference between wood and fingers maybe because it was a finger joint it got confused...

Sorry I know you are looking for real advice... I could not resist.


alex grams
01-25-2009, 10:19 PM
Some things suck, but no point in getting mad. I am more concerned to find out what happened that caused it to trigger.

Good observational humor though Christopher. Ironically, your response was your 508th post to my 508th post :-/

Mike Heidrick
01-25-2009, 10:51 PM
Well since you are not mad - that dado brake is more than $69 - Try $89.

Don Bullock
01-25-2009, 10:52 PM
Alex, keep us posted when you find out what triggered the brake. You may even be able to save the dado blades.

Bill Keehn
01-25-2009, 10:57 PM
Read page 5 of your owners manual. If you have an accident and send them the brake so they can collect the data they will replace it free. I don't know if a mis-fire counts (if you can even be certain it was a misfire) but I think it should.

My guess is that the screws to adjust the gap between the brake and the blade worked their way loose. The brake could have shifted and contacted the blade resulting in a misfire.

Bill Keehn
01-25-2009, 11:22 PM
You know something I've been wondering about... I have the Freud SD208 dado set, with the Silver I.C.E. coating rather than the black coating. I figured the Sawstop brake system could be foiled by a non-conductive coating so I got the one that looked like metal.

But now I'm wondering if the silver ice coating is conductive. If it isn't then maybe it's not the set that I want. And if it is conductive, do I have to worry about it flaking off and tripping the brake?

Dick Strauss
01-25-2009, 11:44 PM
I think I read that Sawstop will replace the brake cartridge free of charge with false triggers. You have to send them the brake electronics so that they can retrieve the data to verify the cause. However, I don't think they will take responsibility for your dado blades but you could always ask.

Good luck,

Joe Chritz
01-25-2009, 11:56 PM
Not a clue since I don't have a sawstop (yet) but it is my understanding that a trigger doesn't always kill the blade and a sharpening and/or tooth replacement will get it back up and running.


Mike Goetzke
01-26-2009, 12:53 AM
Not a clue since I don't have a sawstop (yet) but it is my understanding that a trigger doesn't always kill the blade and a sharpening and/or tooth replacement will get it back up and running.


I'm not a SS owner either but trying to help - were you using a dado blade cartridge? (maybe the SS doesn't let you even apply a dado set w/o a dado cartridge?)


alex grams
01-26-2009, 12:56 AM
I will update when I get more info.

And I was running a dado brake cartridge. The saw will detect when you have an 8" dado and wont let you run it without the proper cartridge.

Mike Gager
01-26-2009, 12:56 AM
well at least your fingers are safe! :D

Tom Esh
01-26-2009, 12:58 AM
Not a clue since I don't have a sawstop (yet) but it is my understanding that a trigger doesn't always kill the blade and a sharpening and/or tooth replacement will get it back up and running.

I've seen similar claims, but I've also seen enough demos to know there's no way I'd use a repaired blade that's been subjected to that kind of stress. Maybe some are not irreparably damaged, but checking for microscopic signs of fatigue or fracture is way beyond the capability of any repair / resharpening shop I've ever seen. IMO treating such a blade as anything but scrap is a serious risk.

alex grams
01-26-2009, 2:55 PM

I talked to Sawstop, looks like the problem may be the brake proximity to the blade. They said it can set off the trigger without making direct contact. They will confirm this when they get the brake. The tech guy said they don't have an alarm to detect too close of a proximity, but they are looking into it for future models. I also got some feedback on reusing the blade. They suggested i have a sharpening service look at it and inspect the affected chippers. While they don't recommend reusing it, they say many people do without any detailed checking, and have not had any reported problems.

I am going to inspect the teeth welds with a microscope and see if there is any sign of fatigue, then try and run a dado through a thick piece of maple to see if the blade responds well to a heavy load, then make a decision at that point on scrapping the outside blades or using them. I am optimistic but cautious, and will post a feedback. (FYI, this will only be from my experience, and not a recommendation for others who go through this, that is their choice to make). Some of my thoughts on the dado (which were echoed by the sawstop tech) are that an 8" dado would be more rugged to the brake in that it has two blades to share the brake load, and at 8" will have less radial velocity than a full 10". A lot to consider, but i will post some follow-up when I figure things out.

For those who have gone through this and wish to give feedback on using the blades again, but don't want to publicly support the idea or engage in that debate, please feel free to PM me your input/thoughts/experiences.

PS to moderators, thanks/sorry for the title edit. I wasn't trying to bypass any decency filters, just expressing my frustration/emotions, etc...

Rod Sheridan
01-26-2009, 3:32 PM
Hi Alex, when I worked in industry we occasionally broke teeth off gang rip blades due to knots in the wood.

( We sometimes bent the blades at the same time.)

The blades went back to the tooling company and they repaired them, if they felt the repaired blade would meet quality controls.

I'd go with whatever the tooling company you use says.

Regards, Rod.

Bill Keehn
01-26-2009, 4:41 PM

when I first got my Sawstop a couple of years ago, after about the first 3 hours of use, I found it wouldn't turn on anymore. It just sat there blinking out an error code. After calling customer support they directed me to the portion of the manual that shows how to set the gap between the blade and the brake using an American nickle and it worked fine after that.

My point is that the Sawstop DOES have some sort of diagnostic for the condition of the gap being too small when it is first powered on (not started). I was told that this is to prevent an accidental trigger. I am assuming that any proximity detection after the initial powerup probably results in the brake firing.

This is what their website says about the matter of reusing the blade...
12. Can the blade be reused if the safety system brake is activated? (http://javascript<b></b>:showHide('div12'))
No. The SawStop safety system drives an aluminum brake pawl into the teeth of the spinning blade with a great deal of force and speed. This abrupt stop compromises the integrity of the blade metal and teeth. The blade should be replaced.

So not only do they not recommend it.. they specifically recommend against it.

Ken Werner
01-26-2009, 6:49 PM
Alex, what is Sawstop's policy regarding replacing the brake? Will they send you a replacement free, or do you have to pay?

Scott Rollins
01-26-2009, 10:54 PM
I triggered mine with my miter fence...no free replacement. They stated that any activation that saved a finger or was a programming error would be replaced. Not paying attention to your aluminum miter gauge being across the cut line will cost you a blade and a brake.:(

Joe Jensen
01-26-2009, 11:01 PM
I've stupidly tiggered mine. I was showing my wife how I had to bypass to cut some foil faced material. I'd been cutting said material for hours. I showed her a bypass cut. Went to do another and forgot to bypass. She got to withness a brake fire. Scared the crap out of her. I sent the Forrest blade to Forrest and told them I triggered it in a Sawstop brake. Asked them to check the integrity of the plate, flatten, and replace the broken tooth. They did all for $40.