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Thread: Kickback on Camera

  1. #1

    Kickback on Camera

    I posted a story and video yesterday in which I tried to recreate a kickback on a table saw. I did get the kickback but even with all of the planning and knowing what was about to happen I very nearly got hurt. the video shows very clearly the speed and power of this type of event and if I had not seen it myself (later) I would have never believed how my hand was sucked toward the blade. In the last 13 hours or so I have gotten over 200 emails from people going to their shops to reinstall their splitters or blade guards because of how scary this footage is. No blood or anything (thankfully) but scary nonetheless.

    See the story and video
    "Because There Is Always More To Learn"

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Tom, thanks for posting. Your video should be mandatory watching for any woodworker that operates a tablesaw or a router.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    That's scary!! You are truly lucky you still have ten digits after that fiasco. Seems like the industry could do something like that without anybody risking any body parts. I won't chime in with everybody else as you already know the foolishness of your actions. Thanks for having a set big enough to show what we all knew in the back of our mind even if we don't pay attention to it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    +1 on this being mandatory viewing.

    Tom - thanks for the video and writeup. And yes - you are an idiot. Be thankful you can still count to 10.

    I had one kickback a few years ago. I was not using the splitter/blade guard on an older Delta hybrid because....well, I'd like to say because it was so hard to install and align (true) but realistically, I just did not know any better. The piece flew right past my ear and across the basement. No injuries to me, and I keep the piece in my shop as a reminder.

    EDIT: I looked at the video more closely this time (I was in a rush when I first watched it). It clearly dispels any notion that your hand will move towards the blade because of any force or pressure from trying to push the board forward or down. It looks like Tom's hand was pulled into the blade by the pushblock, and there is no way anyone is strong enough or quick enough to stop that from happening IMO.
    Last edited by JohnT Fitzgerald; 02-17-2012 at 9:40 AM. Reason: added comment
    I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger....then it hit me.

  5. #5
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    Wow Tom! You're not an idiot you're a dumb a$$! LOL! I mean that with respect! LOL! What you did here is nuts but I bet you saved several users fingers. I use the riving knife every time I can but, after watching this, I will find a way to use it EVERY time. Thank you for this. This video should be included with every tablesaw sold.

    I have been ripping without a knife/splitter and seen the wood closing up at the end after the cut. Thinking I could hold it I pushed on trying to hold it a little tighter. I've been blessed with not having a hard kickback. I hear God watches over fools so I guess thats why I still have my digits. I guess I should be a charter member of the afore mentioned "dumb a%# club" myself. Never again. Thank you my friend. You have most likely helped save my hands as well.

    MODS....If this isn't a STICKY I don't know what is.
    Last edited by shane lyall; 02-17-2012 at 9:08 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Wow that video is scary. Boy are you lucky that the pushblock touched the blade and not your hand. I think I am going to get my hand planes tuned up, so the next time I have to trim a board like you were, I can do it with a tool other than the table saw.

  7. #7
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    I've been meaning to install an MJ Splitter that I received a few years ago for my Craftsman contractor saw. After watching this video, I'm not wasting anymore time. That last shot made me cringe. Thanks for actually putting this together.
    Mark's Wood Shop
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    Mark Patoka
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  8. #8
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    Tom,
    Thanks for making this video. Sure makes you wonder why manufacturers can't offer a video like this with every saw. The 3 pages of printed do's and don'ts which aren't usually even specific for machine you are buying are clearly there to cover their legal butts.. and will never be as vivid or effective as this one little video.

  9. #9
    Tom,

    i think you're an idiot for doing what you did (and i mean that in the best way possible), but i think it took guts to post that video and open yourself up to criticism. i'm glad you didn't get hurt. splitters/riving knives and blade guards are a must. i also really, REALLY recommend the Grrr-Ripper device. i have a pair of those and they are fantastic, much better than any push stick or regular push block. thanks, again, for sharing this.

  10. #10
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    Tom,

    Excellent video. I am a hand tool person, but had just posted a question on another forum about how to get some tablesaw safety training for my adult son. Not sure it can ever get any more powerful than your video without filming someone actually losing some digits. Has anyone done anything similar using graphics (instead of risking body parts) to illustrate the kinds of forces that can cause that to happen. Based on the different results you got, it seems that kickback does not always happen the same way and I'm guessing that there are lots of factors affecting the way in which the wood reacts (the tool itself, the shape of the blade, the actual physical properties of the wood, and the operator).

    Thanks again Tom. Just don't try that again.

    Steve

  11. #11


    The slow motions shots had my anxiety level at about a 9. It's good to see that you came out of this without any injuries...

    This video is going to be a wake-up call for a lot of WWs out there (myself included). Without that push block? Much different ending... You would have had to give the video a 'How-to' title: "How To Quickly Detach Your Fingers"

  12. #12
    Tom,
    Thank you for the wake up. SMC and other forums are a treasured vault of information, this is one of the gems.

  13. #13
    I am a splitter-nazi; any and all cuts that can be made with splitters, guards, etc. should be. No excuses. You are never in enough of a hurry to hack off a finger. Constant diligence and care will yield you years of enjoyment in the shop. Play carefully ;-)
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  14. #14
    Join Date
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    What a powerful video! I witnessed a kickback at a college shop I was taking a woodworking class at. The 10"x7" piece of 5/4 maple flew like a hypersonic frisbee about 20 feet before it hit the Instructor's Assistant in the forehead. The wood had exactly the same groove as your piece.
    Your video made me wince.
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Texas Hill Country, USA
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    This was really an eye opener. Thank you for posting it. I accidently touched a blade several years back and it instantly took off the end of my index finger right through the bone. It has been pretty easy to justify a splitter and an overhead guard since then.

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