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Thread: Kickback on a tablesaw yup its real

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,039
    I'm glad you're ok. I had almost exactly the same kickback about 20 years ago. It cost me stitches in my upper lip and forehead, and I was lucky not to lose an eye. I was using a fairly new Delta contractor saw with a jet lock fence and no splitter. I was making oak 1x1" strips. One second I was sawing and the next second I was sitting on the floor bleeding. I learned my lesson. Splitter, PPE, properly adjusted fence, proper body placement, "shoe" type push stick. Oh, and short rips get cut on the bandsaw.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    193
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    It happens just be glad you didn't get hurt worse. I take the time to do a "debriefing" focusing push blocks & featherboards & splitter and how to make that task safer. In your case, I think a splitter would have saved you. A push BLOCK (not a stick) that covers both off cut and save piece is the safest way to do this cut. You don't need to spend $$'s on fancy push jigs. I make mine of a piece of 2x4 and a 1" dowel for a handle cut the bottom to create a heal at the back. When its all chewed up, I just toss it an make another one.

    I would suggest get all the stuff you need, set it up and do it again so that you do not have any fear about doing it again.

    BTW, if the fence is on the right of the blade you should be pushing with your right hand and standing a bit to the left. I've heard of guys standing on the opposite side of the fence using the wrong hand to push. This is not proper technique using a TS. To me, they are just showing how scared they are of the machine.

    There should always be some pressure against the fence. You can stand a bit to the left if kickback is a potential issue.

    However, if you stand on the opposite side of the fence not only can you not see the wood/fence contact points, even worse, the tendency is to push the save away from the fence with more pressure into the blade. Even with a splitter this is not safe. Even worse, if something slipped, you could get a hand or finger in the blade.
    I disagree, partly because I'm left handed and am more comfortable and precise with that hand. I don't feel a tendency to push the board away from the fence, on the contrary, I'm very conscious of pulling the board toward the fence. It also places all of my body out of the direct line of fire.

    I've also installed an emergency off switch on that side of the saw, not for kickback situations but for situations when I might need to shut down in the middle of a cut (it happens). I don't think this is showing fear of the saw, just leaving myself an escape route.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southeastern PA
    Posts
    105
    I'm a lefty as well Nick and I agree with you. Since I use a slider, I'm to the left of the slider and therefore left of the blade and no where near the blade at any point 90% of the time. The only time I'm right of the blade is when I'm ripping something too narrow to use the slider. When I do that, I'm right of the blade and fence so my left hand can be in control. I think it has more to do with my "left handedness" than any fear of the tool.

  4. #34
    You were lucky!

    If the fence is set up probably, with a splitter or riving knife in use, the best way to avoid kick up is to use a Grr-ripper or a shop-made equivalent. Those long, narrow push sticks are the worst accomplices in causing kickbacks. Use a push shoe if you have got nothing better.

    Simon

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,447
    Not to one-up the OP, but here's what happens when you're not so lucky.

    As I warned at the top of the thread, the pictures are not for the faint of heart!

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...highlight=gory

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
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    2,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Macy View Post
    It was dumb and all my fault. I was cutting 1/4 strips of 6/4 walnut. I was down to about 1" of stock left, so was being careful I thought with my push stick. I was pushing with my left hand, staying to the right of the blade. The piece started to drift a bit from the fence, so I grabbed a spare piece with my left hand and moved my right to the push stick. In that second, not sure what happened, but the whole thing lifted up and flew right back. I don't have a riving knife or splitter and never heard of them until today. It's an old unisaw with no safety features. I was confident I was being careful but I guess not. I cleaned up and took the rest of the day off.
    When it happened to me, I bought an MJ Splitter, you really need something. Easy to use and install. Here is one example:

    http://www.woodcraft.com/product/845...-kit-blue.aspx

    Choose one based on the width of your blade. I eventually purchased a newer saw with all those new cool safety features and have not had a kickback since; not that you can't get one, but it makes it easier to not have one.

    I even had a piece of wood kick back out of my surface planer and it poked a hole in my utility sink. Very small piece of wood traveling very fast. The kickback on my previous table saw hit me in the gut and left a nice bruise. That was when I stopped using my table saw and started studying up on how to use a table saw since I knew literally nothing about how to use them or safety with them. It is also about when I joined this forum. Can't say I am an expert, but I have a healthy fear of the tools.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Williamston, MI
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    393
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Decker View Post
    I disagree, partly because I'm left handed and am more comfortable and precise with that hand. I don't feel a tendency to push the board away from the fence, on the contrary, I'm very conscious of pulling the board toward the fence. It also places all of my body out of the direct line of fire.

    I've also installed an emergency off switch on that side of the saw, not for kickback situations but for situations when I might need to shut down in the middle of a cut (it happens). I don't think this is showing fear of the saw, just leaving myself an escape route.
    I'm right handed and haven't experienced the awkwardness of using my non dominant hand to rip on a table saw. I'm curious as to whether lefties with Biesmeyer style fences commonly position the fence to the left of the blade while standing to the right.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    3,588
    I have an older Unisaw also. When I got my kickback epiphany, I was fortunate to have a bruised groin for several weeks, but no more damage.

    My first act was to buy an aftermarket Beisemeyer splitter for the saw. Not as good as a riving knife, but it would have stopped my situation. To my knowlege, you cannot buy an aftermarket riving knife.

    Plus one to all the suggestions about push sticks. The pic by Ole, is my go to for most things. I just used my hand saw handle as a guide and traced out a pattern, making several handles out of good plywood (no grain direction to split) routed all the appropriate edges and put a tall enough bottom on it so when it gets cut up I can slice it off and start over about three times.

    The one push stick I rarely use is the common long and narrow one that you hold on one end. It is just too easy to put too much pressure on the single point of contact and make small pieces lift up or shift. When doing narrow strips, and just pushing with this kind of stick, the wind from the blade will lift the strip and start the reaction you are familiar with.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mountain Home, AR
    Posts
    498
    Sometimes you get kickback even when doing everything right. Or mostly everything. This spring I was making some repeated dado cuts so my blade guard was off. I was setting the finished pieces on the other side of the fence where they wouldn't be in the way. After 8-10 cuts I bumped the stack of boards, which tumbled toward me and landed on the blade. One piece hit me in the chest before I could get out of the way, but they were large and slow enough to do no more than knock the wind out of me.

    And now the table saw is free of clutter while I'm working.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    193
    I don't move the fence left of the blade, simply because then I'd be standing in the path of the cut off when feeding with my left hand. I'm comfortable doing it the way I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Turbett View Post
    I'm right handed and haven't experienced the awkwardness of using my non dominant hand to rip on a table saw. I'm curious as to whether lefties with Biesmeyer style fences commonly position the fence to the left of the blade while standing to the right.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Hatfield, AR
    Posts
    924
    I probably operate my TS in a questionable manner sometimes - especially compared to how every preaches safe practices here, but I never stand in the line of fire unless breaking down sheets of ply. I can't stand right of the fence and use left hand to push. Feels too awkward. Glad you're ok. I've been hit in the butt (because I turned) by a large 1/4ply back of cabinet when it spun around the blade because I had the blade way too high. That was in my first year of operating a TS. I've had a couple other small kickbacks but was always clear of the line of fire.

    I've heard plenty of shavings and pieces hit my over-arm guard and DC shroud. I hate operating the saw without that down over the blade.
    -Lud

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    937
    Coming in a bit late on this but table saws with no riving knife? I have worked in shops that were so old the machines were flat belt driven but they all had original equipment riving knives. My father's boss was fined in 1936 for a safety breach like this when dad lost a finger tip.

    I also question the validity of standing to the right of the saw when operating it, left handers excepted or when ripping a wide board on a slider. Use a solid guard and correct riving knife and stand just to the left out of the line of fire.

    The only injury I have seen in my shops was when one guy removed a riving knife for no known reason. The timber split and drove back into his thigh. We had to bandage his leg and cut off the end of the six foot splinter so he could fit into the car to get him to a clinic.

    So please everyone, get a riving knife and a solid guard that can be easily adjusted. And use decent notched end push sticks. Cheers

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    41,193
    Wayne, most "North American" design table saws didn't employ riving knives until relatively recently. They came from the factory with a splitter/guard system, but unlike a true riving knife that moves with the blade, those devices had to be removed to facilitate a non-through cut...and once removed, many folks never reinstalled them since it was not a quick change process in most cases. It's not easy to retrofit a saw not designed for a riving knife to have one. There have been a few aftermarket products that provided it for some specific saw models, but nothing universal. So people add things like short splitters embedded in the table insert behind the blade to help reduce kickback from pinching, but it's still not as effective as a true riving knife and not employable on bevel cuts, either. My Euro slider has a true riving knife and I absolutely appreciate it for sure!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    3,996
    I use Glen Bradley's splitter on my tables saw. I also use a push stick and stand to one side so that if kickback does occur, it will not hit me.

    I only experience kick back when trying to rip short pieces. I do not rip short pieces anymore.

    I have not had a kickback recently.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    114
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I do not rip short pieces anymore.
    Not with a rip-fence and and push stick for sure. Sometime ago I built a sled that allows me to clamp small pieces firmly to the sled against the equivalent of a rip fence. I guess it's more or less the equivalent of a slider. The mass of the sled and the immobility of the piece vis-a-vis the fence makes things SO much safer.

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