US20020017179A1 - Miter saw with improved safety system - Google Patents

Miter saw with improved safety system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020017179A1
US20020017179A1 US09/929,238 US92923801A US2002017179A1 US 20020017179 A1 US20020017179 A1 US 20020017179A1 US 92923801 A US92923801 A US 92923801A US 2002017179 A1 US2002017179 A1 US 2002017179A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
blade
adapted
miter saw
cutting zone
detection
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US09/929,238
Inventor
Stephen Gass
David D'Ascenzo
David Fanning
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SD3 LLC
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SD3 LLC
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US22508900P priority Critical
Priority to US22517000P priority
Priority to US22516900P priority
Priority to US22520600P priority
Priority to US22505600P priority
Priority to US22521000P priority
Priority to US22505900P priority
Priority to US22505700P priority
Priority to US22520100P priority
Priority to US22505800P priority
Priority to US22521200P priority
Priority to US22509400P priority
Priority to US22521100P priority
Priority to US22520000P priority
Application filed by SD3 LLC filed Critical SD3 LLC
Priority to US09/929,238 priority patent/US20020017179A1/en
Assigned to SD3, LLC reassignment SD3, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: D'ASCENZO, DAVID S.
Assigned to SD3, LLC reassignment SD3, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GASS, STEPHEN F.
Assigned to SD3, LLC reassignment SD3, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FANNING, DAVID
Priority claimed from US10/047,066 external-priority patent/US6945148B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/050,085 external-priority patent/US20020056349A1/en
Priority claimed from US10/051,782 external-priority patent/US6877410B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/052,806 external-priority patent/US6880440B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/052,705 external-priority patent/US6994004B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/053,390 external-priority patent/US7377199B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/052,273 external-priority patent/US6813983B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/052,274 external-priority patent/US6826988B2/en
Publication of US20020017179A1 publication Critical patent/US20020017179A1/en
Priority claimed from US10/984,643 external-priority patent/US8061245B2/en
Priority claimed from US11/098,984 external-priority patent/US7353737B2/en
Priority claimed from US11/401,050 external-priority patent/US7788999B2/en
Priority claimed from US11/401,774 external-priority patent/US7525055B2/en
Priority claimed from US11/445,548 external-priority patent/US7347131B2/en
Priority claimed from US12/313,162 external-priority patent/US7789002B2/en
Priority claimed from US13/854,270 external-priority patent/US20170190012A9/en
Priority claimed from US15/935,395 external-priority patent/US10335972B2/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27BSAWS FOR WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; COMPONENTS OR ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • B27B13/00Band or strap sawing machines; Components or equipment therefor
    • B27B13/14Braking devices specially designed for band sawing machines, e.g. acting after damage of the band saw blade
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23DPLANING; SLOTTING; SHEARING; BROACHING; SAWING; FILING; SCRAPING; LIKE OPERATIONS FOR WORKING METAL BY REMOVING MATERIAL, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23D47/00Sawing machines or sawing devices working with circular saw blades, characterised only by constructional features of particular parts
    • B23D47/08Sawing machines or sawing devices working with circular saw blades, characterised only by constructional features of particular parts of devices for bringing the circular saw blade to the workpiece or removing same therefrom
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23DPLANING; SLOTTING; SHEARING; BROACHING; SAWING; FILING; SCRAPING; LIKE OPERATIONS FOR WORKING METAL BY REMOVING MATERIAL, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23D59/00Accessories specially designed for sawing machines or sawing devices
    • B23D59/001Measuring or control devices, e.g. for automatic control of work feed pressure on band saw blade
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27BSAWS FOR WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; COMPONENTS OR ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • B27B5/00Sawing machines working with circular or cylindrical saw blades; Components or equipment therefor
    • B27B5/29Details; Component parts; Accessories
    • B27B5/38Devices for braking the circular saw blade or the saw spindle; Devices for damping vibrations of the circular saw blade, e.g. silencing
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27GACCESSORY MACHINES OR APPARATUS FOR WORKING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIALS; TOOLS FOR WORKING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIALS; SAFETY DEVICES FOR WOOD WORKING MACHINES OR TOOLS
    • B27G19/00Safety guards or devices specially adapted for wood saws; Auxiliary devices facilitating proper operation of wood saws
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27GACCESSORY MACHINES OR APPARATUS FOR WORKING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIALS; TOOLS FOR WORKING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIALS; SAFETY DEVICES FOR WOOD WORKING MACHINES OR TOOLS
    • B27G19/00Safety guards or devices specially adapted for wood saws; Auxiliary devices facilitating proper operation of wood saws
    • B27G19/02Safety guards or devices specially adapted for wood saws; Auxiliary devices facilitating proper operation of wood saws for circular saws
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16PSAFETY DEVICES IN GENERAL; SAFETY DEVICES FOR PRESSES
    • F16P3/00Safety devices acting in conjunction with the control or operation of a machine; Control arrangements requiring the simultaneous use of two or more parts of the body
    • F16P3/12Safety devices acting in conjunction with the control or operation of a machine; Control arrangements requiring the simultaneous use of two or more parts of the body with means, e.g. feelers, which in case of the presence of a body part of a person in or near the danger zone influence the control or operation of the machine
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16PSAFETY DEVICES IN GENERAL; SAFETY DEVICES FOR PRESSES
    • F16P3/00Safety devices acting in conjunction with the control or operation of a machine; Control arrangements requiring the simultaneous use of two or more parts of the body
    • F16P3/12Safety devices acting in conjunction with the control or operation of a machine; Control arrangements requiring the simultaneous use of two or more parts of the body with means, e.g. feelers, which in case of the presence of a body part of a person in or near the danger zone influence the control or operation of the machine
    • F16P3/14Safety devices acting in conjunction with the control or operation of a machine; Control arrangements requiring the simultaneous use of two or more parts of the body with means, e.g. feelers, which in case of the presence of a body part of a person in or near the danger zone influence the control or operation of the machine the means being photocells or other devices sensitive without mechanical contact
    • F16P3/148Safety devices acting in conjunction with the control or operation of a machine; Control arrangements requiring the simultaneous use of two or more parts of the body with means, e.g. feelers, which in case of the presence of a body part of a person in or near the danger zone influence the control or operation of the machine the means being photocells or other devices sensitive without mechanical contact using capacitive technology
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/081With randomly actuated stopping means
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/081With randomly actuated stopping means
    • Y10T83/088Responsive to tool detector or work-feed-means detector
    • Y10T83/089Responsive to tool characteristic
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/606Interrelated tool actuating means and guard means
    • Y10T83/613Work guard
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/768Rotatable disc tool pair or tool and carrier
    • Y10T83/7684With means to support work relative to tool[s]
    • Y10T83/7693Tool moved relative to work-support during cutting
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/768Rotatable disc tool pair or tool and carrier
    • Y10T83/7684With means to support work relative to tool[s]
    • Y10T83/7693Tool moved relative to work-support during cutting
    • Y10T83/7697Tool angularly adjustable relative to work-support
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/768Rotatable disc tool pair or tool and carrier
    • Y10T83/7684With means to support work relative to tool[s]
    • Y10T83/7722Support and tool relatively adjustable
    • Y10T83/7726By movement of the tool
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/768Rotatable disc tool pair or tool and carrier
    • Y10T83/7734With guard for tool
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/768Rotatable disc tool pair or tool and carrier
    • Y10T83/7755Carrier for rotatable tool movable during cutting
    • Y10T83/7788Tool carrier oscillated or rotated
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T83/00Cutting
    • Y10T83/869Means to drive or to guide tool
    • Y10T83/8773Bevel or miter cut

Abstract

A miter saw is disclosed having a base, a blade supported by the base, a detection system adapted to detect a dangerous condition between a person and the blade, and a reaction system associated with the detection system to cause a predetermined action to take place upon detection of the dangerous condition. The blade is rotatable, and moves into a cutting zone to cut a workpiece. The predetermined action may be to stop the blade from rotating, to create an impulse against movement of the blade into the cutting zone, or to cause the blade to move away from the cutting zone.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of and priority from the following U.S. Provisional Patent Applications: Ser. No. 60/225,056, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,057, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,058, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,059, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,089, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,094, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,169, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,170, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,200, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,201, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,206, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,210, filed Aug. 14, 2000, Ser. No. 60/225,211, filed Aug. 14, 2000, and Ser. No. 60/225,212, filed Aug. 14, 2000.[0001]
  • FIELD
  • The present invention relates to miter saws, and more particularly to a miter saw with a high-speed safety system. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND
  • Miter saws are a type of woodworking machinery used to cut workpieces of wood, plastic and other materials. Miter saws include a base upon which workpieces are placed, and a circular saw blade is mounted on a swing arm above the base. A person uses a miter saw by placing workpiece on the base beneath the blade and then bringing the blade down via the swing arm to cut the workpiece. Miter saws present a risk of injury to users because the spinning blade is often exposed when in use. Furthermore, persons often use their hands to position and support workpieces beneath the blade, which increases the chance that an injury will occur. [0003]
  • The present invention provides a miter saw with an improved safety system that is adapted to detect the occurrence of one or more dangerous, or triggering, conditions during use of the miter saw, such as when a user's body contacts the spinning saw blade. When such a condition occurs, the safety system is actuated to limit or even prevent serious injury to the user.[0004]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a machine with a fast-acting safety system according to the present invention. [0005]
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary safety system in the context of a machine having a circular blade. [0006]
  • FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of a miter saw with an improved safety system according to the present invention. [0007]
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional top plan view of the miter saw of FIG. 3. [0008]
  • FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of another miter saw according to the present invention. [0009]
  • FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of another miter saw according to the present invention. [0010]
  • FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of another miter saw according to the present invention. [0011]
  • FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of another miter saw according to the present invention. [0012]
  • FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of an electrically isolated blade.[0013]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • A machine is shown schematically in FIG. 1 and indicated generally at [0014] 10. Machine 10 may be any of a variety of different machines adapted for cutting workpieces, such as wood, including a table saw, miter saw (chop saw), radial arm saw, circular saw, band saw, jointer, planer, etc. Machine 10 includes an operative structure 12 having a cutting tool 14 and a motor assembly 16 adapted to drive the cutting tool. Machine 10 also includes a safety system 18 configured to minimize the potential of a serious injury to a person using machine 10. Safety system 18 is adapted to detect the occurrence of one or more dangerous, or triggering, conditions during use of machine 10. If such a dangerous condition is detected, safety system 18 is adapted to engage operative structure 12 to limit any injury to the user caused by the dangerous condition.
  • Machine [0015] 10 also includes a suitable power source 20 to provide power to operative structure 12 and safety system 18. Power source 20 may be an external power source such as line current, or an internal power source such as a battery. Alternatively, power source 20 may include a combination of both external and internal power sources. Furthermore, power source 20 may include two or more separate power sources, each adapted to power different portions of machine 10.
  • It will be appreciated that operative structure [0016] 12 may take any one of many different forms, depending on the type of machine 10. For example, operative structure 12 may include a stationary housing configured to support motor assembly 16 in driving engagement with cutting tool 14. Alternatively, operative structure 12 may include a movable structure configured to carry cutting tool 14 between multiple operating positions. As a further alternative, operative structure 12 may include one or more transports mechanisms adapted to convey a workpiece toward and/or away from cutting tool 14.
  • Motor assembly [0017] 16 includes one or more motors adapted to drive cutting tool 14. The motors may be either directly or indirectly coupled to the cutting tool, and may also be adapted to drive workpiece transport mechanisms. Cutting tool 14 typically includes one or more blades or other suitable cutting implements that are adapted to cut or remove portions from the workpieces. The particular form of cutting tool 14 will vary depending upon the various embodiments of machine 10. For example, in table saws, miter saws, circular saws and radial arm saws, cutting tool 14 will typically include one or more circular rotating blades having a plurality of teeth disposed along the perimetrical edge of the blade. For a jointer or planer, the cutting tool typically includes a plurality of radially spaced-apart blades. For a band saw, the cutting tool includes an elongate, circuitous tooth-edged band.
  • Safety system [0018] 18 includes a detection subsystem 22, a reaction subsystem 24 and a control subsystem 26. Control subsystem 26 may be adapted to receive inputs from a variety of sources including detection subsystem 22, reaction subsystem 24, operative structure 12 and motor assembly 16. The control subsystem may also include one or more sensors adapted to monitor selected parameters of machine 10. In addition, control subsystem 26 typically includes one or more instruments operable by a user to control the machine. The control subsystem is configured to control machine 10 in response to the inputs it receives.
  • Detection subsystem [0019] 22 is configured to detect one or more dangerous, or triggering, conditions during use of machine 10. For example, the detection subsystem may be configured to detect that a portion of the user's body is dangerously close to, or in contact with, a portion of cutting tool 14. As another example, the detection subsystem may be configured to detect the rapid movement of a workpiece due to kickback by the cutting tool, as is described in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/182,866, filed Feb. 16, 2000 entitled “Fast-Acting Safety Stop,” the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference. In some embodiments, detection subsystem 22 may inform control subsystem 26 of the dangerous condition, which then activates reaction subsystem 24. In other embodiments, the detection subsystem may be adapted to activate the reaction subsystem directly.
  • Once activated in response to a dangerous condition, reaction subsystem [0020] 24 is configured to engage operative structure 12 quickly to prevent serious injury to the user. It will be appreciated that the particular action to be taken by reaction subsystem 24 will vary depending on the type of machine 10 and/or the dangerous condition that is detected. For example, reaction subsystem 24 may be configured to do one or more of the following: stop the movement of cutting tool 14, disconnect motor assembly 16 from power source 20, place a barrier between the cutting tool and the user, or retract the cutting tool from its operating position, etc. The reaction subsystem may be configured to take a combination of steps to protect the user from serious injury. Placement of a barrier between the cutting tool and teeth is described in more detail in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,206, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Cutting Tool Safety System,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Cutting Tool Safety System,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference. Retraction of the cutting tool from its operating position is described in more detail in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,089, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Retraction System For Use In Power Equipment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Retraction System For Use In Power Equipment,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • The configuration of reaction subsystem [0021] 24 typically will vary depending on which action(s) are taken. In the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, reaction subsystem 24 is configured to stop the movement of cutting tool 14 and includes a brake mechanism 28, a biasing mechanism 30, a restraining mechanism 32, and a release mechanism 34. Brake mechanism 28 is adapted to engage operative structure 12 under the urging of biasing mechanism 30. During normal operation of machine 10, restraining mechanism 32 holds the brake mechanism out of engagement with the operative structure. However, upon receipt of an activation signal by reaction subsystem 24, the brake mechanism is released from the restraining mechanism by release mechanism 34, whereupon, the brake mechanism quickly engages at least a portion of the operative structure to bring the cutting tool to a stop.
  • It will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 and described above may be implemented in a variety of ways depending on the type and configuration of operative structure [0022] 12. Turning attention to FIG. 2, one example of the many possible implementations of safety system 18 is shown. System 18 is configured to engage an operative structure having a cutting tool in the form of a circular blade 40 mounted on a rotating shaft or arbor 42. Blade 40 includes a plurality of cutting teeth (not shown) disposed around the outer edge of the blade. As described in more detail below, braking mechanism 28 is adapted to engage the teeth of blade 40 and stop the rotation of the blade. U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,210, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Translation Stop For Use In Power Equipment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Translation Stop For Use In Power Equipment,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference, describe other systems for stopping the movement of the cutting tool. U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,058, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Table Saw With Improved Safety System,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Table Saw With Improved Safety System,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference, describe safety system 18 in the context of a table saw.
  • In the exemplary implementation, detection subsystem [0023] 22 is adapted to detect the dangerous condition of the user coming into contact with blade 40. The detection subsystem includes a sensor assembly, such as contact detection plates 44 and 46, capacitively coupled to blade 40 to detect any contact between the user's body and the blade. Typically, the blade, or some larger portion of cutting tool 14 is electrically isolated from the remainder of machine 10. Alternatively, detection subsystem 22 may include a different sensor assembly configured to detect contact in other ways, such as optically, resistively, etc. In any event, the detection subsystem is adapted to transmit a signal to control subsystem 26 when contact between the user and the blade is detected. Various exemplary embodiments and implementations of detection subsystem 22 are described in more detail in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,200, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Contact Detection System For Power Equipment,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Detection System For Power Equipment,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,211, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Apparatus And Method For Detecting Dangerous Conditions In Power Equipment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Apparatus And Method For Detecting Dangerous Conditions In Power Equipment,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • Control subsystem [0024] 26 includes one or more instruments 48 that are operable by a user to control the motion of blade 40. Instruments 48 may include start/stop switches, speed controls, direction controls, etc. Control subsystem 26 also includes a logic controller 50 connected to receive the user's inputs via instruments 48. Logic controller 50 is also connected to receive a contact detection signal from detection subsystem 22. Further, the logic controller may be configured to receive inputs from other sources (not shown) such as blade motion sensors, workpiece sensors, etc. In any event, the logic controller is configured to control operative structure 12 in response to the user's inputs through instruments 48. However, upon receipt of a contact detection signal from detection subsystem 22, the logic controller overrides the control inputs from the user and activates reaction subsystem 24 to stop the motion of the blade. Various exemplary embodiments and implementations of control subsystem 26 are described in more detail in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,059, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Logic Control For Fast-Acting Safety System,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Logic Control For Fast-Acting Safety System,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,094, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Motion Detecting System For Use In Safety System For Power Equipment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Motion Detecting System For Use In A Safety System For Power Equipment,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • In the exemplary implementation, brake mechanism [0025] 28 includes a pawl 60 mounted adjacent the edge of blade 40 and selectively moveable to engage and grip the teeth of the blade. Pawl 60 may be constructed of any suitable material adapted to engage and stop the blade. As one example, the pawl may be constructed of a relatively high strength thermoplastic material such as polycarbonate, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW) or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), etc., or a metal such as aluminum, etc. It will be appreciated that the construction of pawl 60 will vary depending on the configuration of blade 40. In any event, the pawl is urged into the blade by a biasing mechanism in the form of a spring 66. In the illustrative embodiment shown in FIG. 2, pawl 60 is pivoted into the teeth of blade 40. It should be understood that sliding or rotary movement of pawl 60 may also be used. The spring is adapted to urge pawl 60 into the teeth of the blade with sufficient force to grip the blade and quickly bring it to a stop.
  • The pawl is held away from the edge of the blade by a restraining mechanism in the form of a fusible member [0026] 70. The fusible member is constructed of a suitable material adapted to restrain the pawl against the bias of spring 66, and also adapted to melt under a determined electrical current density. Examples of suitable materials for fusible member 70 include NiChrome wire, stainless steel wire, etc. The fusible member is connected between the pawl and a contact mount 72. Preferably, fusible member 70 holds the pawl relatively close to the edge of the blade to reduce the distance the pawl must travel to engage the blade. Positioning the pawl relatively close to the edge of the blade reduces the time required for the pawl to engage and stop the blade. Typically, the pawl is held approximately {fraction (1/32)}-inch to ¼-inch from the edge of the blade by fusible member 70, however other pawl-to-blade spacings may also be used within the scope of the invention.
  • Pawl [0027] 60 is released from its unactuated, or cocked, position to engage blade 40 by a release mechanism in the form of a firing subsystem 76. The firing subsystem is coupled to contact mount 72, and is configured to melt fusible member 70 by passing a surge of electrical current through the fusible member. Firing subsystem 76 is coupled to logic controller 50 and activated by a signal from the logic controller. When the logic controller receives a contact detection signal from detection subsystem 22, the logic controller sends an activation signal to firing subsystem 76, which melts fusible member 70, thereby releasing the pawl to stop the blade. Various exemplary embodiments and implementations of reaction subsystem 24 are described in more detail in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,056, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Firing Subsystem For Use In A Fast-Acting Safety System,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Firing Subsystem For Use In A Fast-Acting Safety System,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,170, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Spring-Biased Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Spring-Biased Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,169, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • It will be appreciated that activation of the brake mechanism will typically require the replacement of one or more portions of safety system [0028] 18. For example, pawl 60 and fusible member 70 typically must be replaced before the safety system is ready to be used again. Thus, it may be desirable to construct one or more portions of safety system 18 in a cartridge that can be easily replaced. For example, in the exemplary implementation depicted in FIG. 2, safety system 18 includes a replaceable cartridge 80 having a housing 82. Pawl 60, spring 66, fusible member 70 and contact mount 72 are all mounted within housing 82. Alternatively, other portions of safety system 18 may be mounted within the housing. In any event, after the reaction system has been activated, the safety system can be reset by replacing cartridge 80. The portions of safety system 18 not mounted within the cartridge may be replaced separately or reused as appropriate. Various exemplary embodiments and implementations of a safety system using a replaceable cartridge are described in more detail in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,201, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Replaceable Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Replaceable Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,212, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Brake Positioning System,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Brake Positioning System,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • While one particular implementation of safety system [0029] 18 has been described, it will be appreciated that many variations and modifications are possible within the scope of the invention. Many such variations and modifications are described in U.S. Provisional Patent Applications Ser. Nos. 60/182,866, filed Feb. 16, 2000, and 60/157,340, filed Oct. 1, 1999, both entitled “Fast-Acting Safety Stop,” the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • In FIGS. 3 and 4, an exemplary embodiment of machine [0030] 10 is shown in the context of a miter saw 1510, which is also commonly referred to as a chop saw. It will be understood that miter saw 1510 may be any type of miter saw including a simple miter saw, compound miter saw, sliding compound miter saw, etc. Typically, miter saw 1510 includes a base or stand 1512 adapted to hold the workpiece to be cut. A swing arm 1514 is pivotally coupled to base 1512 to allow the arm to pivot downward toward the base. Attached to arm 1514 is a housing 1516 adapted to at least partially enclose a circular blade 40. A motor assembly 16 is coupled to the housing, and includes a rotating arbor 42 on which the blade is mounted. Motor assembly 16 includes a handle 1518 with a trigger 1520 operable to run the saw. Blade 40 rotates downward toward base 1512. An optional blade guard (not shown) may extend from the bottom of housing 1516 to cover any portion of the blade exposed from the housing. A person uses miter saw 1510 by placing workpiece on base 1512 beneath the upraised blade and then bringing the blade down via swing arm 1514 into what may be thought of as a cutting zone to cut the workpiece. It should be understood that various embodiments of miter saws with improved safety systems are disclosed herein and include various elements, sub-elements, features and variations. Miter saws according to the present invention may include any one or more of the elements, sub-elements, features and variations disclosed herein, regardless of whether the particular elements, sub-elements, features and/or variations are described together or shown together in the figures.
  • The portion of saw [0031] 1510 from which sensors 44 and 46 detect contact with a user should be electrically isolated from ground and the remaining portion of saw 1510 to allow an input signal to be capacitively coupled from one plate to the other. For example, blade 40 may be electrically isolated from the rest of the saw via a plastic or other nonconductive bushing, such as shown in FIG. 9 at 1570. Alternatively, the blade and arbor assembly may be electrically isolated. Also shown in FIG. 9 are insulating washers 1572 and 1574 that isolate blade 40 from arbor flange 1576 and arbor washer 1578. The insulating washers should be sufficiently thick that only negligible capacitance is created between the blade and the grounded arbor flange and washer. A typical thickness is approximately ⅛-inch, although thicker or thinner washers may be used. In addition, some or all of the arbor components may be formed from non-conductive materials, such as ceramics, to reduce or eliminate the need for bushing 1570.
  • An arbor nut [0032] 1580 holds the entire blade assembly on arbor 42. Friction established by tightening the arbor nut allows torque from the arbor to be transmitted to the saw blade. It is preferable, although not essential, that the blade be able to slip slightly on the arbor in the event of a sudden stop by the brake to reduce the mass that must be stopped and decrease the chance of damage to the blade, arbor, and/or other components in the drive system of the saw. Alternatively, a threaded arbor bolt may be used in place of nut 1580. The arbor bolt has a threaded shaft that is received into arbor 40, and a head that retains the blade assembly on the arbor.
  • Furthermore, it may be desirable to construct the bushing from a material that is soft enough to deform when the blade is stopped suddenly. For example, depending on the type of braking system used, a substantial radial impact load may be transmitted to the arbor when the brake is actuated. A deformable bushing can be used to absorb some of this impact and reduce the chance of damage to the arbor. In addition, proper positioning of the brake in combination with a deformable bushing may be employed to cause the blade to move away from the user upon activation of the brake, as will be discussed in further detail below. [0033]
  • In an alternative embodiment, the arbor and/or part of its supporting framework is electrically isolated from ground instead of isolating the blade from the arbor. One benefit of this embodiment is that if the blade is electrically connected to the arbor, then the arbor itself can be used to capacitively couple the input signal from charge plate [0034] 44 to charge plate 46. An example of such a configuration is disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/182,866, filed Feb. 16, 2000, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • Any of the various configurations and arrangements of safety system [0035] 18 described above may be implemented in miter saw 1510. In the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4, safety system 18 is a cartridge-type system. With the exception of charging plates 44 and 46, both brake mechanism 28 and detection subsystem 22 are contained within cartridge 80. Examples of suitable cartridges 80 are disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,201, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Replaceable Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Replaceable Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,212, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Brake Positioning System,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Brake Positioning System,” the disclosures of which are incorporated by reference. The cartridge is configured to be mounted on the front inside surface of housing 1516 by any suitable fastening mechanism 1522, such as by one or more bolts 1524. The housing may include a movable panel or door 1526 to allow access to the cartridge. Alternatively, cartridge 80 may be inserted into a port or opening in the housing. A pawl 60 is mounted in the cartridge and is positionable in front of the blade. Examples of suitable pawls and brake mechanisms incorporating the same are disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,169, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,170, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Spring-Biased Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Spring-Biased Brake Mechanism For Power Equipment,” the disclosures of which are incorporated by reference. It should be understood that cartridge 80 is not essential to all embodiments of the miter saw disclosed herein and that miter saw 1510 may be implemented without requiring a cartridge. Instead, the brake mechanism of the safety system may be mounted in any suitable operative position relative to blade 40 without being housed in a cartridge.
  • Charge plates [0036] 44 and 46 are attached to the inside wall of housing 1516 by one or more mounts 1528. The mounts are attached to the housing by any suitable fastening mechanism 1522, such as by bolts 1532, and are configured to position the charge plates parallel to, and closely adjacent, blade 40. As shown in FIG. 4, the spacing between the charge plates and the blade is preferably much less than the spacing between the charge plates and the housing to minimize any parasitic capacitance between the charge plates and the housing. Alternatively, the housing may be constructed from an electrically nonconductive material.
  • Cables [0037] 1534 and 1536 connect the charge plates to safety system's electronics unit, which may be housed in the cartridge or elsewhere on the miter saw. Electrical power for safety system 18 is provided by any suitable source, such as a cable extending from motor assembly 16. In addition to actuating the engagement of the pawl with the blade, the electronics unit within cartridge 80 is also configured to interrupt the power to motor assembly 16 when contact between the user's body and the blade is detected.
  • A circular blade spinning at several thousand revolutions per minute possesses a substantial amount of angular momentum. Thus, when the pawl engages a circular blade such as is found on miter saw [0038] 1510 and stops the blade within a few milliseconds, the angular momentum must be transferred to the brake mechanism, including pawl 60. Because the swing arm of the miter saw is free to pivot in the direction of blade rotation, the angular momentum of the blade may be transferred to the swing arm when the blade is suddenly stopped, causing the swing arm to swing downward. This sudden and forceful downward movement of the swing arm may cause injury to the user if a portion of the user's body is beneath the blade. Therefore, an alternative embodiment of miter saw 1510 includes means for preventing the swing arm from moving downward when the blade is stopped. In addition, the pawl typically is mounted at the front of the miter saw to urge the blade to climb upward away from the user (i.e., deforming the plastic bushing) when engaged by the pawl.
  • It will be appreciated that there are many suitable means for preventing sudden downward movement of the swing arm. For example, the pivotal connection between the swing arm and the base of the miter saw may be electrically lockable, for example using an electromagnetic leaf brake, to prevent the arm from pivoting. The signal to lock the connection may be provided by the detection system. An example of a miter saw with a lockable swing arm is shown in FIG. 5, in which an electromagnetic leaf brake is schematically illustrated at [0039] 1537. Alternatively, or additionally, a shock absorber may be connected between the swing arm and the base to limit the speed with which the swing arm can pivot relative to the base. This arrangement also serves to limit how far the blade moves between the time contact between the blade and user is detected, and the time the blade is stopped by the pawl. An example of a miter saw with a shock absorber 1539 is shown in FIG. 6 extending between the base and swing arm of the miter saw. While there are many other ways of connecting the swing arm to the base to prevent sudden movement of the arm toward the base, most such arrangements transfer the angular momentum to the swing arm/base assembly. Depending on the weight and balance of the saw, the angular momentum may be sufficient to cause the entire saw to overturn. Therefore, it may be desirable to secure the base to a stable surface with clamps, bolts, etc.
  • Alternatively, the miter saw can be configured to absorb any angular momentum without allowing the swing arm to move downward. For example, the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4 is configured with a pivotal motor assembly to allow the blade to move upward into the housing upon engagement with the pawl. Motor assembly [0040] 16 is connected to housing 1516 via pivot bolt, or axle, 1540, allowing the motor assembly to pivot about bolt 1540 in the direction of blade rotation. A spring 1542 is compressed between the housing and an anchor 1544 to bias the motor assembly against the direction of blade rotation. The motor assembly may include a lip 1546, which slides against a flange 1548 on the housing to hold the end of the motor assembly opposite the pivot bolt against the housing.
  • When the saw is in use, spring [0041] 1542 holds the motor assembly in a normal position rotated fully counter to the direction of blade rotation. However, once the pawl is released to engage the blade, the motor assembly and blade to pivot upward against the bias of the spring. In this embodiment, the pawl is positioned at the front of the blade so that the pivot bolt 1540 is between the pawl and the arbor. This arrangement encourages the blade to move upward into the housing when stopped. The spring is selected to be sufficiently strong to hold the motor assembly down when cutting through a workpiece, but sufficiently compressible to allow the blade and motor assembly to move upward when the blade is stopped.
  • While one exemplary implementation of safety system [0042] 18 in the context of a miter saw has been described, the invention should not be seen as limited to any particular implementation as the configuration and arrangement of safety system 18 may vary among miter saws and applications. For example, the pivoting motor assembly configuration may also be combined with one or more of the other systems described above which prevent the swing arm from pivoting suddenly toward the base. Further, it will be appreciated that the blade and motor assembly may be configured in any of a variety of ways to at least partially absorb the angular momentum of the blade.
  • FIG. 7 shows an alternative configuration of miter saw [0043] 1510 adapted to absorb the angular momentum of the blade. In this configuration, the miter saw includes two swing arms 1550 and 1552. One end 1554 of each swing arm is connected to base 1512, and the opposite end 1556 of each swing arm is connected to housing 1516, blade 40, and/or the motor assembly (not shown). The position of the swing arms relative to each other may vary depending on the swing arm motion desired. In FIG. 7, swing arm 1550 is connected to base 1512 somewhat below and forward of swing arm 1552. Typically, the motor assembly is rigidly attached to end 1556 of swing arm 1550, while housing 1516 is connected to rotate about end 1556 of swing arm 1550. End 1556 of swing arm 1552 is connected only to the housing. This arrangement replicates the motion of the motor assembly and trigger found on many conventional miter saws. Alternatively, the motor assembly may be connected to rotate about end 1556 of swing arm 1550 along with the housing.
  • The configuration shown in FIG. 7 causes the housing and/or motor assembly to rotate as the swing arms pivot. Significantly, when the swing arms move upward, the housing and/or motor assembly rotate in the same direction in which the blade rotates during cutting. As a result, when the pawl engages the blade and transfers the angular momentum of the blade to the housing and/or motor assembly, the housing and/or motor assembly tend to rotate in the same direction as the blade. This causes the swing arms to pivot upward, drawing the blade away from the workpiece and the user's body. Thus, as described above, the miter saw configuration illustrated in FIG. 7 is adapted to absorb the angular momentum of the blade and translate that angular momentum into an upward force on the swing arm. [0044]
  • The configuration shown in FIG. 7 and described above illustrates a further alternative embodiment of a miter saw with safety system [0045] 18. Specifically, the safety system may be configured to move the blade of the cutting tool rapidly away from the user when contact with the user's body is detected in addition to, or instead of, stopping the blade. This alternative embodiment may be implemented in the context of any of the cutting tools described herein. For example, a table saw implemented with safety system 18 may include a swing arm adapted to pivot downward to pull the blade beneath the upper surface of the saw when a dangerous, or triggering, condition is detected, such as contact between the user and the blade while the blade is rotating. A spring (not shown) may be coupled to the swing arm to increase the speed with which it drops downward. It will be appreciated that similar implementations may be configured in the context of all the saws described herein. In the case of the miter saw, a electromagnetic leaf brake can be used to stop the movement of the arm upon contact with a user. In addition, the restraining mechanism can be used to release a spring to push the arm upward upon contact of the blade and user. With such systems, it may not be necessary to abruptly stop the blade to avoid injury.
  • Another example of a miter saw [0046] 1510 constructed according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 8. As shown, saw 1510 illustrates another suitable mechanism for stopping the sudden downward movement of swing arm 1514 when safety system 18 is actuated and pawl 60 engages blade 40. Swing arm 1514 includes a cam portion 1560 having a cam surface 1562. Cam portion 1560 may be integral with the swing arm and housing 1516. A stopping pawl 1564 is mounted to vertical support 1566 adjacent cam surface 1562, and an actuator 1568 is positioned adjacent pawl 1564. The actuator is operatively coupled to the control and detection subsystems associated with brake pawl 60 and cartridge 80 so that when pawl brake pawl 60 is released, actuator 1568 engages stopping pawl 1564. During normal operation, actuator 1568 maintains the pawl spaced-apart from cam surface 1562. However, once contact between the blade and the user's body is detected, the detection system sends an actuation signal to actuator 1568, which may be the same or a different signal that triggers the release of brake pawl 60. In any event, upon receipt of the actuation signal, the actuator drives against stopping pawl 1564, causing it to pivot into cam surface 1562, preventing further movement of the swing arm. Stopping pawl 1564 may be constructed or coated with a high friction material such as rubber, and/or may be configured with teeth, etc., to increase its braking action. Cam portion 1560 may be modified so that it extends as far as possible from the point around which it pivots, in order to provide as great a moment arm as possible to help stop the downward motion of the swing arm.
  • Safety system [0047] 22 may also protect the user from injury by wrapping the blade with a protective surface upon detection of a dangerous, or triggering, condition. Alternatively, or additionally, system 22 may protect the user by disabling the teeth of the blade. Examples of these embodiments of safety system 22 are disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/225,206, filed Aug. 14, 2000, entitled “Cutting Tool Safety System,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed Aug. 13, 2001, entitled “Cutting Tool Safety System,” which are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • It is believed that the disclosure set forth above encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the inventions includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. No single feature, function, element or property of the disclosed embodiments is essential to all of the disclosed inventions. Similarly, where the claims recite “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such claims should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements. [0048]
  • It is believed that the following claims particularly point out certain combinations and subcombinations that are directed to one of the disclosed inventions and are novel and non-obvious. Inventions embodied in other combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties may be claimed through amendment of the present claims or presentation of new claims in this or a related application. Such amended or new claims, whether they are directed to a different invention or directed to the same invention, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope to the original claims, are also regarded as included within the subject matter of the inventions of the present disclosure. [0049]

Claims (29)

1. A miter saw comprising:
a support structure having a cutting zone;
a blade supported by the support structure so that the blade may move into the cuffing zone;
a motor adapted to drive the blade;
a detection system to detect contact between a person and the blade; and
a reaction system adapted to create an impulse against movement of the blade into the cutting zone upon detection by the detection system of contact between the person and the blade.
2. The miter saw of claim 1, where the reaction system is adapted to move the blade in a direction away from the cutting zone upon detection by the detection system of contact between the person and the blade.
3. The miter saw of claim 1, where the blade is rotatable, and where the reaction system is further adapted to stop rotation of the blade upon detection by the detection system of contact between the person and the blade.
4. The miter saw of claim 3, where the reaction system includes a brake mechanism adapted to engage and stop the rotation of the blade, and where the engagement of the brake mechanism with the blade creates the impulse against movement of the blade into the cutting zone.
5. The miter saw of claim 4, where the engagement of the brake mechanism with the blade moves the blade in a direction away from the cutting zone.
6. The miter saw of claim 4, where the blade has angular momentum when rotating, and where the engagement of the brake mechanism with the blade creates the impulse due, at least partially, to the angular momentum of the blade.
7. The miter saw of claim 3, where the reaction system includes a brake mechanism adapted to engage and stop the rotation of the blade, and where the brake mechanism is coupled to the support structure to maintain an operative position relative to the blade as the blade moves into the cutting zone.
8. The miter saw of claim 3, where the reaction system includes a first mechanism adapted to stop the rotation of the blade, and a second mechanism adapted to create an impulse against movement of the blade into the cutting zone.
9. A miter saw comprising:
a support structure having a cutting zone;
a rotatable blade supported by the support structure so that the blade may move into the cutting zone;
a motor adapted to drive the blade;
a detection system adapted to detect contact between the blade and a person; and
a brake mechanism adapted to stop rotation of the blade upon detection by the detection system of contact between the blade and the person.
10. The miter saw of claim 9, where the brake mechanism is further adapted to stop movement of the blade into the cutting zone.
11. The miter saw of claim 9, where the support structure includes a pivot arm adapted to support the blade and selectively pivotal toward and away from the cutting zone, and where the brake mechanism is further adapted to move the pivot arm away from the cutting zone.
12. The miter saw of claim 9, where the support structure includes a pivot arm adapted to support the blade and selectively pivotal toward and away from the cutting zone, where the brake mechanism is adapted to engage the blade upon detection by the detection system of contact between the blade and the person, and where engagement of the brake mechanism with the blade causes the pivot arm to pivot away from the cutting zone.
13. The miter saw of claim 12, where the blade has angular momentum when rotating, and where the engagement of the brake mechanism with the blade causes the pivot arm to pivot away from the cutting zone, due at least partially, to the angular momentum of the blade.
14. The miter saw of claim 9, where the support structure includes a pivot arm adapted to support the blade and selectively pivotal toward and away from the cutting zone, and further comprising a second brake mechanism adapted to stop the pivot arm from pivoting toward the cutting zone upon detection by the detection system of contact between the blade and the person.
15. The miter saw of claim 9, where the support structure includes a pivot arm adapted to support the blade and selectively pivotal toward and away from the cutting zone, and further comprising a second brake mechanism adapted to move the pivot arm away from the cutting zone upon detection by the detection system of contact between the blade and the person.
16. The miter saw of claim 9, where the blade has teeth, and where the brake mechanism includes at least one brake pawl adapted to pivot into the teeth of the blade.
17. A miter saw comprising:
a base having a cutting region;
a blade;
a brake system adapted to brake the blade; and
a linkage between the blade and base, where the linkage is configured to cause the blade to move away from the cutting region when the brake system brakes the blade.
18. The miter saw of claim 17 where the blade is rotatable, where the blade has an angular momentum when rotated, and where the linkage is configured so that the angular momentum of the blade causes the blade to move away from the cutting region when the brake system brakes the blade.
19. A miter saw comprising:
a base;
a housing pivotally connected to the base;
a blade;
a mounting system holding the blade in the housing; and
a brake system adapted to brake the blade;
where the mounting system is configured so that the blade pivots into the housing when the brake system brakes the blade.
20. A miter saw comprising:
a base;
a swing arm supported by the base and adapted to move toward a workpiece to be cut;
a blade mounted to move with the swing arm to contact the workpiece when the swing arm moves toward the workpiece;
a detection system adapted to detect a dangerous condition between a person and the blade; and
a reaction system adapted to interrupt the movement of the blade and swing arm upon the detection by the detection system of the dangerous condition between the person and the blade.
21. The miter saw of claim 20, further comprising a piston/cylinder to limit the speed with which the swing arm can move.
22. The miter saw of claim 20, where the swing arm includes a cam portion, and further comprising a pawl adapted to engage the cam portion to stop the movement of the swing arm toward the workpiece upon the detection of the dangerous condition.
23. A miter saw comprising:
a base;
a blade supported by the base;
a detection system adapted to detect a dangerous condition between a person and the blade; and
a reaction system associated with the detection system to cause a predetermined action to take place upon detection of the dangerous condition.
24. The miter saw of claim 23, where the reaction system includes a brake system to brake the blade.
25. The miter saw of claim 23, where the reaction system includes a mechanism to retract the blade.
26. A miter saw comprising:
a base;
a blade supported by the base;
a detection system adapted to detect a dangerous condition between a person and the blade; and
reaction means associated with the detection system for causing a predetermined action to take place upon detection of the dangerous condition.
27. The miter saw of claim 26, where the blade is rotatable, and where the predetermined action is to stop the blade from rotating.
28. The miter saw of claim 26, where the base has a cutting zone, where the blade is adapted to move into the cutting zone to cut a workpiece, and where the predetermined action is to create an impulse against movement of the blade into the cutting zone.
29. The miter saw of claim 26, where the base has a cutting zone, where the blade is adapted to move into the cutting zone to cut a workpiece, and where the predetermined action is to cause the blade to move away from the cutting zone.
US09/929,238 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Miter saw with improved safety system Abandoned US20020017179A1 (en)

Priority Applications (15)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US22517000P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22516900P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22520600P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22505600P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22521000P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22505900P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22505700P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22520100P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22505800P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22521200P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22509400P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22521100P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22520000P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US22508900P true 2000-08-14 2000-08-14
US09/929,238 US20020017179A1 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Miter saw with improved safety system

Applications Claiming Priority (33)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09/929,238 US20020017179A1 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/047,066 US6945148B2 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-14 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/050,085 US20020056349A1 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-14 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/051,782 US6877410B2 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-15 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/052,806 US6880440B2 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-16 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/052,274 US6826988B2 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-16 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/052,705 US6994004B2 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-16 Table saw with improved safety system
US10/053,390 US7377199B2 (en) 2000-09-29 2002-01-16 Contact detection system for power equipment
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US09/929,240 Continuation-In-Part US7100483B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Firing subsystem for use in a fast-acting safety system
US09/929,240 Continuation US7100483B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Firing subsystem for use in a fast-acting safety system
US09/929,237 Continuation US7600455B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Logic control for fast-acting safety system
US09/929,237 Continuation-In-Part US7600455B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Logic control for fast-acting safety system
US10/047,066 Continuation US6945148B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-14 Miter saw with improved safety system
US12/288,578 Continuation US20090114070A1 (en) 1999-10-01 2008-10-21 Safety system for power equipment
US12/590,924 Continuation US8186255B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2009-11-16 Contact detection system for power equipment

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US09/929,237 Continuation-In-Part US7600455B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Logic control for fast-acting safety system
US09/929,237 Continuation US7600455B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Logic control for fast-acting safety system
US09/929,240 Continuation-In-Part US7100483B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Firing subsystem for use in a fast-acting safety system
US09/929,240 Continuation US7100483B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2001-08-13 Firing subsystem for use in a fast-acting safety system
US10/050,085 Continuation-In-Part US20020056349A1 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-14 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/047,066 Continuation US6945148B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-14 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/047,066 Continuation-In-Part US6945148B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-14 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/051,782 Continuation-In-Part US6877410B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-15 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/052,806 Continuation-In-Part US6880440B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-16 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/052,705 Continuation-In-Part US6994004B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-16 Table saw with improved safety system
US10/052,273 Continuation-In-Part US6813983B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-16 Power saw with improved safety system
US10/053,390 Continuation-In-Part US7377199B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-16 Contact detection system for power equipment
US10/052,274 Continuation-In-Part US6826988B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2002-01-16 Miter saw with improved safety system
US10/984,643 Continuation US8061245B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2004-11-08 Safety methods for use in power equipment
US11/098,984 Continuation US7353737B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2005-04-04 Miter saw with improved safety system
US11/190,111 Continuation US7357056B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2005-07-25 Cutting tool safety system
US11/401,050 Continuation US7788999B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2006-04-10 Brake mechanism for power equipment
US11/401,774 Continuation US7525055B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2006-04-11 Switch box for power tools with safety systems
US11/445,548 Continuation US7347131B2 (en) 1999-10-01 2006-06-02 Miter saw with improved safety system
US11/542,938 Continuation US20070028733A1 (en) 1999-10-01 2006-10-02 Safety methods for use in power equipment
US12/220,946 Continuation US7698976B2 (en) 2000-08-14 2008-07-29 Miter saw with improved safety system

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US20080282858A1 (en) 2008-11-20
US20100263509A1 (en) 2010-10-21
US8100039B2 (en) 2012-01-24

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