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Thread: the ox, the mathematician, and the hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    the ox, the mathematician, and the hive


    Hey, folks,

    So, as a web guy, I've always believed in the concept of "the wisdom of crowds". Case in point: in the 19th century, some mathematician got it into his head to ask a whole village to guess the weight of a particular ox. Every single individual got it wrong, but when he averaged all the guesses, the group was dead on. Web theorists call this the 'hive mind', and they use all sorts of examples.

    So you'll remember the poll, a part of which is below. On another site, I swore up and down that my next table saw would have a riving knife. And while a bunch of people messaged me privately on the subject, some said they'd owned both the ez smart and the festool, and they too were in agreement. Thanks to all who voted and especially those who wrote multiple long messages... you guys are great!

    View Poll Results: Best thing for cutting up sheet goods?
    Go with Festool, with a long guide. $640 25 49.02%
    Go with EZ-smart, with a new saw. $550 5 9.80%

    So the other day we got into the car and drove all the way up to baltimore. They had both the 55 and the 75. I was thinking 55. Then I saw it, right next to the 75. Both cost way too much. And I knew I'd need an extension guide, to rip the length of a full sheet. And a plywood specific blade. The cost was adding up. WAY over the price of my table saw. But the last thing I wanted was to end up wishing I'd gotten the bigger saw. I saved 100 on my drill press, and now I've got a drill press that I don't love, but will have to live with forever. So after much sturm and drang (and many Doorlink jokes about her leaving me for her Venezuelan pianist who doesn't crave expensive power tools), we settled on the 75.

    Here's the old jury-rigged setup. It worked, but it was inaccurate and I had to defeat the safety features on the saw to use it.
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    I know, no pics, didn't happen. So here are the boxes:
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    And here's the new beast:
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    The good (economic) news: I can't imagine ever wanting to upgrade my tablesaw now, and doing that would have cost way more. And it's a lot safer: one minor accident with the old thing would have cost more than this saw. And I'll never be staring at it, and saying to myself "I wish I'd gotten something else..."

    Thanks for all your help with this one...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Bill, you will never regret buying good quality tools.

    I know that saw and guide system was not cheap, today, this month, but in five or ten years, you will look back at the expense and understand that it was NOT an expensive purchase.

    With your vacuum attached to it, you will also be pleased with how cleanly it cuts up sheet goods.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    What Stu said. Good quality is always a pleasure to work with.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cedar Park, TX
    Darn, guess I didn't win. I'd bet that Doorlink wasn't gonna let you get anything at all.

    That does look like a keeper there, and Doorlink, I think, is definitely a keeper if she let you get that.

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  5. #5
    Good purchase Bill. I have the 55 and have occasionally wished that I had the 75. Trouble is I always get by and won't now pay out fro the upgrade. More capability from the start is now my motto.

    (p.s Have you read the Surowiecki book. Its one of my favourites and gets at least 1 airing each year. Lots of lessons about dumbness in there as well)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Congrats, Bill... You will really love that saw, for a long time!

    Here's a great download for ya, even though it's for the 55...pretty much the same.
    Last edited by Greg Cook; 03-27-2008 at 03:53 PM.

  7. #7
    As a famous man once said "you will never regret buying good quality tools". Even when you could get by with a lesser tool they're just plain more fun to use...and sometimes they're actually the only way to get it done right.

    I have the 55. It's always a pleasure to use it.

    Congrats on your acquisition, and my recommendation is to renew Doorlink's contract.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Congratulations from a fellow TS75 owner.

    You made a good choice.
    Cheers, Frank

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Well, I see the problem with your old set-up. You were using it on the lathe.

    Congrats on the new system, Bill. When you buy the best you only cry once. When you buy cheap, you cry every time you use it. I'm sure the E-Z system is very nice, but I doubt you'll be regretting the Festool.

    Oh, and I suspect you owe Doorlink quite a dinner.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Field, Ontario, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    When you buy the best you only cry once. When you buy cheap, you cry every time you use it.
    Couldn't agree more, when I bought my first( and currently my only) major power tool I got sticker shock and felt like crying. Now every time I use it, I think about how much I love it.

    PS: It's a Ridgid 12" SCMS with the MSUV; if your wonderin'.
    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so keep your hands away and watch out!


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