As the story goes, one day in 1810, Tabitha Babbitt, a Shaker woman, looked at a couple dudes working a pit saw (one account says it was her brothers) and thought to herself, 'there's got to be a better way to build this mousetrap.'
From the vantage point of our nice, heated, indoor-plumbing-equipped homes, a pit saw is a pretty crazy idea. Dig a pit, roll a log across it, position one man above and one man below, get a two-man saw, and have at it. The forward thinking Tabitha didn't like the process due to the wasted energy and effort with all the digging and the sawing (Not to mention the awkward moment when it was decided which guy was going have to work in the hole all day).
Babbitt discovered how to solve the problem using her spinning wheel.
She mounted a tin disk with notches along its circumference. Being pushed into the spinning disk cut the wood with much less effort than a pit saw. Her idea was enlarged and adopted for use by the local saw mill. Use of the circular saw became a common practice here. Because of her Shaker religion, Babbitt did not apply for a patent for her invention.
There are actually a number of other origin stories for the circular saw, but we like this one the best because it all happened in the little town where Tool Snob HQ is currently located. We've even been by the graveyard where, we believe, Tabitha resides.
This happened in China. Now, we know what you're thinking, "I thought that everything made in China was done so to incredibly high quality standards?!" Well, not this time. It appears that someone was digging next to the building for an underground garage and piling the excavated dirt on the other side of the building. Even the most rudimentary knowledge of physics would start setting off alarms on that one. Again, not this time. Can you imagine the noise when this thing hit the ground?
One of the most memorable days we've ever had was years ago when a roommate came home and announced, "dude, I got a tattoo!"
"Ok," we said, figuring it was one of those little ankle daggers, or maybe a Celtic symbol on the shoulder, at the most a tribal band on the bicep. What we weren't expecting was for our roomie to take off his shirt and turn around, exposing a massive tattoo on his back. Irreversibly etched into our drinking buddy's skin was a naked woman in a crucifixion pose, complete with angel wings which stretched from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. In one of her hands was a sword and in the other was a quill pen. One nice thing about the tattoo being on his back was that it prohibited him from seeing our jaw hit the floor.
But it's now many, many years later and our pal is still very satisfied with the tattoo, and hey, more power to him. He even got married to a wonderful gal who apparently doesn't mind.
That said, there's hope for these other dudes who have opted for permanent drawings, not of naked women, but of tools on their bodies. The good fellas over at Charles & Hudson have collected a bunch of photos of tattoos that we're glad we don't have..
chris wyse: I have the sawhelper ultafence and was just cleaning out read more poulan parts: Just visit and read this Poulan Wild Thing 18" Chainsaw read more Kevin: damn impressive, well done Sir! read more jeff_williams: Good luck with the punch list. That's always the hardest read more James Daryl: Awesome post, what about combining one of the microwaves or read more