|Use a dial indicator to measure at front and back of the blade|
|Adjust table saw top until blade measures the same front and back.|
|New sleds take only a few minutes to make and last years.|
The SawStop is a beautifully crafted piece of equipment, but requires complicated not so easy to accomplish set-up, indicating it was designed by engineers, and not with your basic consumer in mind. Squaring the blade to the table is a challenge. If you don't know which way to turn a bolt in the first place (a common situation these days for most consumers), you can spend way too much time getting things right. On my saw, the four bolts securing the top to the arbor/trunion assembly were so tight they made me question my own sense of which direction.
Of course, the saw will work right out of the box (after getting all the parts assembled), but to tune it up to give the best possible cut requires a dial indicator and some expertise in the use of it, but also the body and hands of a capuchin monkey to get in where the adjustments are made, and the strength of a gorilla to get enough torque to loosen the necessary bolts. In any case, with the blade square to the miter gauge slots, I am now making or adapting the necessary sleds to return to making beautiful boxes and any other kind of interesting woodwork that crosses my mind.
A friend had noticed that the high school in a neighboring community is attempting to make the point that they offer hands-on learning. Of course that can be a big point for advertising, since everyone already knows that those things that ARE learn hands-on are learned at greater depth and to greatest lasting effect.
Hands-on learning should be a no-brainer, but it's not actually as simple to accomplish as one might think. It requires the arts, music, laboratory science, wood shop, and means offered to all students (even those going to college) through which ALL learning (even the most abstract subjects) may be correlated and can be put in touch. Is it enough that some students are offered wood shop but that history and math remain untouched? It is easy to claim "hands-on learning" but it takes a lot more than a simple declarative statement for it to be true. I'll be curious whether the Berryville High School actually invests in it. Hands-on learning requires that teachers step down from their ivory silos and get busy redesigning classes and curricula with the hands in mind.
Make, fix and create...