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Thread: Really Embarrassing ScrewUp - Need Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    East San Francisco Bay CA.

    Really Embarrassing ScrewUp - Need Advice

    Hey All,

    Long story, and frankly I am not sure how I actually ended up doing this, but I did, and I would really appreciate some help...

    I was cutting a 12" diameter circle in a piece of 3/4" birch ply. I put another 3/4 inch piece under it to act as the backer for tear-out etc. I dont have room for an assembly table, so I use my saw. For some reason I chose to do this over the iron end of the saw, it was the only place with room at the tiime. I clamped the plywood to the top of my Sawstop cabinet saw and began the process of routing - taking progressively deeper 1/8" cuts. Everything went very well (first time I was doing this)until I got near the bottom. I was at "zero" on the router but hadn't cut all the way through, so I removed the stop and pushed the router down through what I thought was the first piece of ply. Well - as you can probably guess, I went through BOTH pieces, and routed a beautiful 12" diameter circle into the top of my beautiful Sawstop saw. The bit is a 1/2" upcut, so the path it left is about a half inch wide, and it varies in thickness/depth. It is a few thousands of an inch deep, possibly more in a couple of places.

    I take care of my tools. It is more than 15 years old, closer to 20, but up until I did this it still looked really nice. Now I have a Christmas wreath on my saw... Unbelievably the router bit doesn't look too bad - I thought I would have to add the $50 I spent for the bit to the cost of the repair, but it seems OK.

    So I need to somehow get this engraving out of the top of my saw. It just looks terrible. I need advice on how to remove this. I called Sawstop - they can replace the parts, but its $900 when you throw in shipping. I am thinking of possibly taking it to a machine shop. I wouldn't know how to explain what I needed. Any of you with that kind of experience give me an idea of how to present this to a machinist? What needs to be done to it - should I take all three parts - the main center table and the two wings? Can they remove the engraving and leave the table useable? I realize it will depend on the depth of the groove, but damn am I embarrassed.

    Its an old saw obviously. I have used it on and off for about 17 years, and it has been fantastic. I dont want to sink $900 into it just to hide my embarrassment, but I dont want to look at it every day either.

    I appreciate the understanding, and really appreciate the help.


    Last edited by Joe Beaulieu; 07-13-2021 at 5:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Princeton, NJ
    Blog Entries
    Buy the new top, if you machine it, then youíll need to re cut all of your miter slots as well and those tops are not particularly thick so loosing more thickness is not ideal.

    Flattening the top will cost a comparable amount to buying a new one. Iíve done so in cases where I want the top perfectly flat.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    What Brian said...or alternatively, fill the recesses with quality resin and just use the machine...

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Fairbanks AK
    You could do some test glues, real shallow ones or down in the deeper areas, to try to have a close color match when you get to the surface.

    Bummer deal, but stuff happens.

  5. #5
    Fill it with green tinted epoxy and decorate for Christmas. Sorry.....I would consider the epoxy fill for now. Over time if it still bothers you, maybe look for a damaged Sawstop on them market type places. FB, CL, etc...heck, even give Woodcraft a call. Maybe they have a damaged one laying around.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Central MA
    Fill it with JB weld and move on, it's just cosmetic. Use it as a reminder that your table saw is a tool, not a work bench.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanciani View Post
    Fill it with JB weld and move on, it's just cosmetic. Use it as a reminder that your table saw is a tool, not a work bench.
    What John said! Just glad you didnít get hurt!

    Besides, just like men and scars, they all have a story to tell.😉. A drill press hasnít come of age till somebody drills a hole in the table, but a table saw with a hole is something special! Cherish it.
    Last edited by Ron Citerone; 07-13-2021 at 7:30 PM.

  8. #8
    That's not that bad lol. I wouldn't worry about it. Fill it with resin, or epoxy, or JB Weld or something, or just leave it. It makes for a great story I think! Makes the saw your own, I wouldn't be embarrassed by it. Just laugh it off and everyone else will with you lol.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Central California
    Sorry about your mishap and I really want to know which company made this router bit :-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    N. Idaho
    OMG, i feel your pain. But really, that's almost artistic. And remember, suffering comes from attachment... I'd round the edges and _maybe_ fill with resin and move on. Well, maybe turn it into a smilie face with a sharpie, at least for a while.

    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So Cal
    I also vote for buying a new wing. You can find a use for that one woodworking is mostly making mistakes and fixing them.
    Good Luck

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Fill it with jb weld and scrape it flush. My saw came with two straight cuts at 90 degrees about 6 inches long, each. Since I did not make the marks they do not bother me much. they were more then 1/16 deep. Some would mix in iron powder as filler to match color better. It is fairly close to broken cast iron gray. But not polished machined iron color.
    Do it similar to dry wall compound several thin layers scraping in between so it does not build up too high in spots.
    Or cover the entire top with a piece of masonite but it will not be as flat and useful as it is now even with the divot.
    Bill D

    Jb weld is about the color of pvc conduit when it dries.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-13-2021 at 9:25 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    North Dana, Masachusetts
    True up the circle, fill it with brass. Add 360 degrees of angle markings. It will look like it was used for set ups. Someday it will appear on Old Woodworking Machines, and experts will debate its function. By making it into artwork, it will become not just a screw up, but something you created. It might be easier to live with it.

    Some old Oliver, or some other good brand of saws, have angle markings cut into the table.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Surprised nobody is seeing the opportunity...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    Based on its position I don't see that it will have any effect on the use of the saw at all. File off any rough edges that might cause wood not to slide over it easily and see whether it actually causes any kind of problem for you. My guess is that it is cosmetic only damage.

    You might take a cue from the woodturners and fill it with a brightly colored epoxy infill, turning i into a decorative feature.

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