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JimmyStartrite

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Hi
I was wondering if the forum could possibly help with something?

Machine Spares who currently manufacture all the original Startrite spares have reached out to me looking for a solution to a problem that this forum could possibly help with!



Has anyone local to Stourbridge/Brierley Hill or The Dudley area of The West Midlands got the following models

301
351
352

As this range of small woodworking verticals don't have fully enclosed blade guards, and HSE are currently decommissioning many of these models in schools, colleges and universities, which they obviously don't want to get rid of being reliable machines.

They are looking for local owners so they can develop either new guards or slide covers to satisfy the requirements of HSE

They would require a site visit to inspect any available machines to develop a suitable solution as the technical drawings they possess aren't comprehensive enough to solve the problem.

Your service and time would be compensated with a case of Bathams or Enville

Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

Keith 66

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I doubt it is HSE doing this, what happens in schools is that most schools are now academies & many lease their facilities from Service provider companies especially if the school is a new build or refurb.
These companies will use any excuse to rip out older machinery using the excuse of "It doesnt meet H&S regulations", then they provide a new machine of low quality that maximises their own profit. Having worked in colleges & schools for 20 years i have seen this many times.
At my last school the service provider said something similar about our Startrite 352, the maintenance contractor was notorious for this, Absolute charlatans!
 

Lons

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I can't help from Northumberland but surely it would be far easier for Machine Spares to visit and inspect the machines located in those schools, colleges and universities, they are after all their targeted customers.

Is that not the company who you are or were involved with?
 

JimmyStartrite

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I doubt it is HSE doing this, what happens in schools is that most schools are now academies & many lease their facilities from Service provider companies especially if the school is a new build or refurb.
These companies will use any excuse to rip out older machinery using the excuse of "It doesnt meet H&S regulations", then they provide a new machine of low quality that maximises their own profit. Having worked in colleges & schools for 20 years i have seen this many times.
At my last school the service provider said something similar about our Startrite 352, the maintenance contractor was notorious for this, Absolute charlatans!
Thats pretty much what is happening, but the technicians are pushing back, my wife is a teacher in a state run school and private companies have squirmed their way into those aswell, especially when it comes to purchasing, they can only use approved suppliers, suppliers with ridiculous mark ups, sucking all the money away from education and into private coffers.
 

JimmyStartrite

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I can't help from Northumberland but surely it would be far easier for Machine Spares to visit and inspect the machines located in those schools, colleges and universities, they are after all their targeted customers.

Is that not the company who you are or were involved with?
They have contacted all the local schools with order histories but most of them have already been decommissioned, that's why they asked me to ask on this forum, I am retired now so have more time on my hands, I did subby work for them but they are a small operation with 3 staff, most the schools who don't want to let them go are in NI or too far away, I don't think they have the time or resources to trek around the country, last time I was there the MD was turning parts and the phone sales fella was servicing a machine as they are all engineers.

Not to worry it was worth an ask, buying a few machines is another option.
 

Keith 66

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The standard blade guard on the 352 encloses the blade above the table & should be perfectly acceptable.
The blade is less guarded under the table as there is a gap between the bottom of the table & the lower door, its only about 6" or so & I made a guard for ours from a piece of folded steel held on by a couple of set screws. The main reason that 352's got chucked out was that they fell foul of the Puwer 98 requirement for machines to stop within 10 seconds of the stop button being pressed, Aftermarket electronic motor brakes were available but service providers would not fit them to legacy (left over) machines. This meant school finance managers would only see a bill for the school of approx £850 to fit brakes to an old machine.
If the service provider puts a new machine in the accountants win. It doesnt matter if the far eastern tat that replaces it isnt fit for purpose!
 

JimmyStartrite

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Keith you don't need to tell me, or MS, In my opinion if you are stupid enough to be around the back of the machine where the blade is exposed and putting your fingers in there you shouldn't be round the front cutting stuff either

352 School models had mechanical footbrakes that cut the machine off electronically and stopped near instantly, which some HSE staff find satisfactory, it seems to be at their discretion, who knows, all I know is now they are calling for fully enclosed upper blade guards!

There is a grey area if just the staff are operating the machines but again this seems down to the discretion of the inspector

I was once on a job where a health and safety officer was inspecting a school workshop and I was fitting a crown guard to a table saw and they jumped straight up my buttocks, saying the guard needs to fully enclose the blade, so I adjusted it to the lowest setting and wound the blade down so it sat on the table, I said are you happy, they said yes, then all the technical staff laughed them out of there!
 

SkinnyB

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We recently had our school Startrite saws listed as not safe for use by an external company due to being able to touch the back of the blade behind the front guards. They wanted to charge about £100 per saw to 'fix' the issue.

So some quick measurments and some CAD I came up with this and then bent it frrom some scrap aluminium.
IMG_3736.jpg


IMG_3735.jpg

bandsaw.jpg
 
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SkinnyB

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352 School models had mechanical footbrakes that cut the machine off electronically and stopped near instantly, which some HSE staff find satisfactory, it seems to be at their discretion, who knows, all I know is now they are calling for fully enclosed upper blade guards!
With our recent audit we were told that manual brakes are NOT acceptable and kicked up a fuss... However when all the paper work came in they didnt even mention them, only the guards.
 

JimmyStartrite

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We recently had our school Startrite saws listed as not safe for use by an external company due to being able to touch the back of the blade behind the front guards. They wanted to charge about £100 per saw to 'fix' the issue.

So some quick measurments and some CAD I came up with this and then bent it frrom some scrap aluminium.
View attachment 123539

View attachment 123540
View attachment 123541
Thanks for the input much appreciated , I'm assuming this limits the tool post travel if there is a max mark on the original guard?
 

Jacob

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The standard blade guard on the 352 encloses the blade above the table & should be perfectly acceptable.
The blade is less guarded under the table as there is a gap between the bottom of the table & the lower door, .....
Mine has highly effective foot-brake/switch. And a guard below the table too - similar yellow box like the top guard but attached to the back of the door and adjustable to cover the blade even at different angles. I guess they don't get used much so maybe eventually get left off and left behind.
 

JimmyStartrite

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Mine has highly effective foot-brake/switch. And a guard below the table too - similar yellow box like the top guard but attached to the back of the door and adjustable to cover the blade even at different angles. I guess they don't get used much so maybe eventually get left off and left behind.
The 3 series machines never came with fully enclosed guards from the factory!
 

SkinnyB

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Thanks for the input much appreciated , I'm assuming this limits the tool post travel if there is a max mark on the original guard?
Yes it does limit the post travel. For us we dont cut thick stock so it doesnt matter to us.
If you removed some of the guard on the top on left side you would then be able to slide it all the way up as this will then fit around the upper wheel.
As we only cut thin stock it was just easier for us to guard it all the way up and keep them extra happy ;)
 

Jacob

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The 3 series machines never came with fully enclosed guards from the factory!
Edited - talking at cross purposes!
The bottom guard is fully enclosed to all intents and purposes. The top guard is not but you'd be hard pressed to get your fingers in
Image from the net: mine's the same as this, you can see the bottom guard.

Screenshot 2021-12-06 at 17.50.43.png
 
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Lons

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Some of the H&S guys seriously lack in the commonsense department, I'd have been happy to let the guys use my machine if it was within reach. Jimmy it's damned shocking that so much is wasted when it could be used elsewhere.
My machine is the same as Jacob's guarded underneath which can be pushed almost to the underside of the table and an effective foot brake.
 

JimmyStartrite

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I can get my finger in there no problem, H&S are only concerned with the top guard, there's also an issue of there being 3 guards for 301 machines, and 3 for 351 & 352 machines, all slightly different lengths so the solution needs to be some sort of universal slide cover that can fit either all 6, or 1 slide for the 301s and 1 slide for the rest etc etc, or totally redesign all of them, with full use of the tool post, at a reasonable cost, MS parts are relatively expensive compared to Chinese imports but about market value within British engineering, and as they manufacture 90% of the products themselves they want to keep the cost down as much as possible obviously.
When I worked directly for Startrite they did start manufacturing a guard that was semi enclosed not long before they folded, so this has been an issue for around 12 years,

And I'm sure I heard on the radio the government are calling for products to be repairable etc, a mate of mine bought one of the Aldi bandsaws last year (its actually a very useable machine for the money) and he cant get spares for it for love nor money at the moment
 

Jacob

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Some of the H&S guys seriously lack in the commonsense department, I'd have been happy to let the guys use my machine if it was within reach. Jimmy it's damned shocking that so much is wasted when it could be used elsewhere.
......
"elf and safety gorn mad" is better option than not mad enough and people risking life and limb, especially if they aren't aware of the risk. You can do what you like on your own patch but it's about protecting other people. I'm all for it in principle but yes the details can be irksome.
 

Lons

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"elf and safety gorn mad" is better option than not mad enough and people risking life and limb, especially if they aren't aware of the risk. You can do what you like on your own patch but it's about protecting other people. I'm all for it in principle but yes the details can be irksome.
That's not what I meant Jacob. I agree 100% that safety is by far the most important consideration however there are solutions to the problems and british manufacturers willing to make the parts, the stupid thing is to throw out perfectly reliable, well built machines and replace them with overseas makes of inferior quality. Those Startrite bandsaws will last a lifetime, I know mine will still be here when I'm gone and likely so will yours.
 

Jacob

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That's not what I meant Jacob. I agree 100% that safety is by far the most important consideration however there are solutions to the problems and british manufacturers willing to make the parts, the stupid thing is to throw out perfectly reliable, well built machines and replace them with overseas makes of inferior quality. Those Startrite bandsaws will last a lifetime, I know mine will still be here when I'm gone and likely so will yours.
Right ho I agree! I misread the post sorry.
Yes my saw still going well! Needed one new bearing (top wheel) but it's a standard sealed bearing available everywhere. Several new belts - perhaps 4 in 40 years. Lotsa new blades however. The clip washer things came off the hinge bar ends of the covers but I replaced them by drilling holes through bar close to ends and popping in nails.
Did think about replacing tyres many years ago but then forgot all about it and they are still the original - occasional scrub in hot soapy water dislodges the embedded bits of metal from cut nails etc.
Otherwise not missed a beat.
 

Jonzjob

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I'm a bit disappointed with my 301s. I had to replace the motor capacitor a few months back and I've only had it about 25 years :eek:

From what I know about my saw the only part of the blade that is availably for children's manicure sessions is the bit that is actually cutting the wood as long as it's used correctly. The blade under the table has a guard and would be difficult to reach anyway.

I once went to 'elf un safety when I was making toys and asked if my baby rattles were OK? The bloke asked what they were finished with and I told him vegetable oil so it was food safe. He then asked if it would burn? Of course it would burn! It's bleed!n wood and covered in oil! So I was told to test it by holding a lit match under it for a few seconds and if it didn't catch fire it would be OK. It didn't catch fire :rolleyes:

What can you say?
 
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