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11-08-14 -  Learning to Unplug - A Green Gulch Story - In 1973 I was living at Green Gulch and, when I wasn't needed as Richard Baker's jisha, attendant, was working on converting a bull pen into a home where Dianne Goldschlag and soon to come baby and I would move. Ken Sawyer was converting the adjoining bull pen into a home for him, Elizabeth, and their soon to arrive baby. We'd acquired a massive table saw with a 17" blade set in a thick steel plate, a powerful motor beneath. I think it might have come from Michael Sawyer (rip). When the switch was hit, in an instant that motor turned the blade from sitting zero to a high pitch whirring blur of fierce slicing spin. Periodically I'd sharpen a blade on the saw, filing the leading edge of each tooth. To do this the blade had to be held stationary. I'd do that by placing a short piece of scrap wood on the table that the lowest visible tooth would dig into and holding the blade firmly with my left hand. As a standard precaution, all power tools are to be unplugged while working on them. I usually did that, but sometimes I'd forget cause I was distracted or in a hurry. One day I was ripping some 12 by 12 posts into small dimensions to be used in constructing windows. I loved that dark purple old virgin redwood, much denser and stronger than the new growth available at lumberyards. I kept the blade extra sharp for that job and stopped periodically to touch it up, quickly filing each tooth with my right hand with the left holding the blade firmly, not slowing down the process by using the wood piece or by unplugging. I'd just sharpened the blade when Marc Alexander walked into the shop to ask me a question. While I was answering him, suddenly that table saw spontaneously turned on shaking the table with explosive force as the blade burst into its deafening high RPM whine. We jerked our heads to see that inanimate object acting autonomously. I tried to turn it off. The switch was off. Had to unplug it. Marc was perplexed then nodded. "A short," he said. I was ashen, struck with the image of my hand gripping that blade moments before and vowed never again to work on an electric contraption without unplugging it.