The Table Saw of Death

July 27, 2017

Back in '97, we had just bought 173 and we weren't exactly brimming over with cash, so a friend of mine gave me an old table saw.  When I say old - I mean old!  It was belt-driven, with the saw and the separate motor mounted on an old board.  When I brought it home, I built a stand for it out of leftover pieces of 2x4, a chunk of plywood and some caster wheels I had salvaged from some long-forgotten project.  Here she is:

As is always the case, I don't have any other pictures...but I think you get the idea.  The saw was built by Atlas Tools in 1954.  With a little digging I found the 1954 catalog:

As you can see by the page for my saw, the specs and narrative advertise a pretty solid machine, and you know what?  It was!  Let's think it through, built in '54, given to me in '97, and still running strong = 63 years!

The rest of the story with my Atlas was that it had no safety features - at all.  None. Nil.  Nada. Zilch!  There was no cover over the blade, no writhing knife, heck - there wasn't even a power switch!  I added that the day I got it.  The ol' Atlas was so devoid of safety features, my uncle (a bit of a woodworker) christened it the Table Saw of Death!  

But that thing did every job I needed it to the whole time we've had 173!  Then, that same uncle went out and bought himself a brand new, shiny Grizzly table saw, and gave me his old one, which was about 60 years newer than the Atlas.  This one's a Ryobi, and has safety features!

I love it!  It's got some power to it for sure, but somehow I just don't think it'll last as long as the Atlas.  Well, I gave the old one to a neighbor, but thought I could still use the stand I had made lo these many years ago.  So I painted it, changed the power switch out for an outlet, and figured I would use it as a general stand, particularly for the chop saw:

There ya have it, the story of the Table Saw of Death.  So long old pal!

Happy Independence Day from 173!

July 4, 2017

Thank God for the brave men and women who took a huge chance on this noble experiment!

"Off with your hat, as the flag goes by! 
And let the heart have its say;
You're man enough for a tear in your eye
That you will not wipe away." ~Henry Cuyler Bunner

This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it. - Woodrow Wilson, 1917

A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole
It does not look likely to stir a man's soul,
'Tis the deeds that were done 'neath the moth-eaten rag,
When the pole was a staff, and the rag was a flag.  ~Sir Edward B. Hamley, 1824-1893

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