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This profile was last updated on 10/23/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Stephen F. Gass

Wrong Stephen F. Gass?

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • doctorate , physics
  • Ph.D.
129 Total References
Web References
Stephen Gass is energetic and ..., 17 Dec 2013 [cached]
Stephen Gass is energetic and intense, a trimly built man of 49 whose home near Portland, Ore, is a manageable drive from some of his favorite whitewater kayaking runs. He grew up on a horse farm in Eastern Oregon, and was taught woodworking by his father. He earned a doctorate in physics and a law degree, then joined a patent law firm in Portland, but retained his interest in building things.
Stephen Gass, president of SawStop, LLC, at company headquarters near Portland, Ore.
Gass created an elaborate workshop behind his house. For some reason, while out there on a fall day in 1999 he was struck by a question: Would it be possible to stop a saw blade quickly enough to keep it from slicing off your fingers? After a series of calculations and with parts you could buy at Radio Shack, he showed it could be done.
Hoping to stir grass-roots interest, Gass and the Davids made their first trip to the woodworkers fair in August, 2000.
Gass said a small typo led him to return the contract to Ryobi’s general counsel, who Gass said told him he would immediately fix the mistake and mail the contract back. Days turned into weeks, then months. Gass said he got repeated assurances that Ryobi wanted to proceed, but the contract never came back.
Years later, in the trial of a lawsuit against Ryobi, a company lawyer explained it this way: “Ryobi decided that it did not want to go forward with this project,†he said. Ryobi was going through a corporate acquisition, the SawStop deal took “a back seatâ€, and “eventually Ryobi lost interest.â€
Robert Bugos, the former general counsel Gass said had strung him along, put it another way in a deposition. “There was negotiation back and forth,†Bugos said. “Our position was always that SawStop was asking too much.â€
Gass recalled being told by Peter Domeny, then chairman of the committee and Bosch’s director of product safety, that SawStop had kept him awake nights wondering how the industry could defend itself in court.
Gass said he came to realize the threat his invention posed. “What the industry saw as a problem was not the amputations and injuries occurring on their product,†he said, “but the advent of a technology that could prevent those injuries. That was the problem we created.â€
Early on, Gass and two of the Davids had quit the law firm to give full time to SawStop. Having failed to license the technology, they faced a stark choice: Either go back to patent law and let the invention die, or find the capital to make their own saws. They chose the latter, Gass said, and raised $3 million from about 30 investors.
Gass told Fairwarning the idea came from Caroleene Paul, the CPSC engineer. Given the commission’s limited resources, Gass said Paul told him, the agency would be more likely to investigate the issue if petitioned to do so. (A commission spokesman confirmed this account.)
But Gass testified about his efforts to license SawStop to Ryobi and others.
Gass testified that Stollings would have escaped serious injury if the saw had skin-sensing technology.
This time, however, Ryobi’s lawyers shifted the focus from the maiming of a young man to a purported conspiracy between plaintiffs’ attorneys and Gassâ€"designed to bleed the industry by, in the case of the lawyers, filing lawsuits; and in the case of Gass, forcing manufacturers to adopt SawStop.
“There can be little question that Mr. Gass and the SawStop company primarily are motivated by their own monetary gain,†the institute declared, “rather than purely to improve public safety.â€
SawStop could make plenty of money if a table saw standard were adopted, but is profitablejust selling its saws, according to Gass.
“I feel like I’m doing a good thing,†he said, adding that he would not take “a lot of moral credit. I’m doing what I also think is in my financial interest.â€
SolidWorks ::, 26 Mar 2007 [cached]
Realizing the need for a safer saw, lifelong woodworker Steve Gass applied his doctorate in physics to design a saw that runs with a small electrical current on the blade. When the blade touches a finger (or something else that conducts electrical current), the current drops and engages a brake. As the blade?s teeth sink into the brake, the momentum forces the blade to drop below the table. The entire process takes only three milliseconds, which is a fraction of the time it takes to blink your eye.
Click here to listen to a podcast interview with SawStop inventor and CEO Steve Gass.
SawStop was started by Stephen Gass after he invented the SawStop technology.
Table Saw Safety Act Heads to California Senate, 16 July 2012 [cached]
The inventor of the SawStop is Oregon attorney Stephen Gass, who created the SawStop in his barn. His company, SD3, is recognized as the only company that manufactures a safety device that meets the specifications in the Table Saw Safety Act. Gass has pledged to license his invention, which includes more than 90 patents, at a reasonable price.
Steve Gass, inventor of ..., 8 April 2014 [cached]
Steve Gass, inventor of SawStop, is one of the faces.
Steve Gass
Steve Gass
Let's pause now to give a high five to Oregon entrepreneur Steve Gass.
A physicist with a degree in patent law and a lifelong passion for woodworking, Steve invented a table saw that detects contact with skin, stopping and dropping the spinning blade in less than five milliseconds to minimize injury. (How cool is that?)
Since it came on the market in 2004, the SawStop has won numerous awards, including a commendation from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Best of all, the revolutionary technology has saved fingers from ending up on the workshop floor. For that, we think Steve deserves a big hand.
Steve Gass, inventor of the ..., 5 Feb 2014 [cached]
Steve Gass, inventor of the SawStop, eventually risks his own finger and shows that the SawStop sensor shut off, within a millimeter of his finger.
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