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Thread: Table saw safety reminder

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Marty View Post
    Most hobbyists I know have the blade guard removed on their table saw. I dislike a blade guard myself. Gets in the way.
    I have come across my share of youtube videos in which the blade guard was seen removed. Yes, watcher beaware.

    I already explained in another post that my guard is removed only when making certain cuts (e.g. dados or using the cross cut sled), otherwise it stays there 24/7. Why? Apart from safety, my SawStop blade guard is also a dust guard. If the guard is removed, the dust collection efficiency will be reduced.

    Some people say the guard hinders the sighting. Sighting should be completed before the saw is turned on. That is, the blade height and the fence are first set, then the blade guard is lowered and the saw is powered on and the cut is made. There is nothing to see when you make a cut, except seeing to it that the stock is held tight to the fence. You shouldn't be paying attention to the spinning blade covered by the guard, but the fence.

    A lot of people can't afford the SawStop (perhaps until its safety patents have expired and there is a mass production) and they should use whatever safety features that are available on their saws including the blade guards. Statistics don't lie in this case: 1 tablesaw injury every 9 minutes.

    Oh yes, someone would sure share something like "I know a guy who smoked for 50 years and did not die from lung cancer." Would you be as lucky as that guy, if you were considering whether or not to smoke? When it comes to safety, I don't rely on luck.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-07-2017 at 11:31 AM.

  2. #47
    This guy's "accident" was due to improperly holding the workpiece. He had his hand too close to the fence, instead of pushing in-line with the resisting force, and did not bother using his free hand to keep the workpiece against the fence on the outfeed side of the blade.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    This guy's "accident" was due to improperly holding the workpiece. He had his hand too close to the fence, instead of pushing in-line with the resisting force, and did not bother using his free hand to keep the workpiece against the fence on the outfeed side of the blade.
    Forgive me, but doesn't that place his torso and free hand in the danger zone? A kickback could pull that free hand into the spinning blade and toss the workpiece right up towards his face/chest.

    We do a ton of repetitive cuts on ply (cutting strips from 1/4" material).
    They pull the workpiece towards the fence slightly, and prevent the material from reversing direction. I will admit to having removed the blade guard from this saw, since it's an ancient (and fairly cheap) Sears, and the guard was horrible to use. Never worked right. Always use push sticks, and I'm *very* mindful of where that blade is. 30 years in, never had a hand come close to caught (thankfully).
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 12-09-2017 at 11:11 AM.

  4. #49
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 12-09-2017 at 11:11 AM.

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    This guy's "accident" was due to improperly holding the workpiece. He had his hand too close to the fence, instead of pushing in-line with the resisting force, and did not bother using his free hand to keep the workpiece against the fence on the outfeed side of the blade.
    Even with a SawStop, unless the stock is too large, I hold a workpiece tight to the fence using either a stick (notched) or a featherboard on the offside. (Good) habit dies hard, from the pre-SawStop days.

    Not everyone realizes that before one end of the stock passes through a riving knife or splitter, the chance of a kickback is STILL there. It is a dangerous misconception that I have heard time and time again people say a riving knife prevents kickbacks. A RK reduces the chance of a kickback, but does not eliminate it because a RF is installed BEHIND the blade.

    I bet a lot of youtube video makers don't know anything about this limitation of the riving knife, judging from many other unsafe shots they share, including removing an offcut with a hand WHILE the spinning blade had yet to come to a stop!

    This is one reason why I hardly watch any youtube woodworking videos...simply too amateurish.


    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-07-2017 at 1:18 PM.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Roy Petersen View Post
    Forgive me, but doesn't that place his torso and free hand in the danger zone? A kickback could pull that free hand into the spinning blade and toss the workpiece right up towards his face/chest.

    We do a ton of repetitive cuts...
    Do whatever you like with repetitive cuts. I control the workpiece using both hands, as described. I don't stand behind the workpiece. My free hand presses against the table saw top while my thumb and forefinger hold the workpiece down and against the fence. When at all possible, my feeding hand has fingers wrapped around the fence. My saws use no riving knife, splitter or blade guard. Been a professional woodworker for over 4 decades and don't have kickbacks. My use of a push stick is limited to those workpieces narrower than my thumb.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  7. #52
    I sweat every time I read these threads. Ignorance is the risk for the Inexperienced. Complacency is the enemy of the Experienced. These threads remind me to be vigilant.

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    I sweat every time I read these threads. Ignorance is the risk for the Inexperienced. Complacency is the enemy of the Experienced. These threads remind me to be vigilant.
    You said it best.

    Simon

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    This guy's "accident" was due to improperly holding the workpiece. He had his hand too close to the fence, instead of pushing in-line with the resisting force, and did not bother using his free hand to keep the workpiece against the fence on the outfeed side of the blade.
    I can't think of anything more dangerous to do than to reach over the blade as you are suggesting. Also, why the quotes around the word 'accident' - you don't think it was an accident?

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    When at all possible, my feeding hand has fingers wrapped around the fence. My saws use no riving knife, splitter or blade guard. Been a professional woodworker for over 4 decades and don't have kickbacks. My use of a push stick is limited to those workpieces narrower than my thumb.
    I suppose you are your own boss, right? I know of no businesses that would allow their employees to work in an unsafe work condition as you described. Did you know a shop accident that happens with the kind of shop practice you share here -- using hands only on the tablesaw -- may not be covered by your insurance policy (do you have one?)? If you had employees and they were injured using the tablesaw you described, you could be the subject of a litigation, did you know?

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-07-2017 at 2:28 PM.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    I can't think of anything more dangerous to do than to reach over the blade as you are suggesting...
    More dangerous is to NOT keep the workpiece pressed tightly against the table and fence (as in the video). I do not reach "over" the blade; I am off to the side, reaching "around" the blade, with my hand firmly supported by the table saw top. This has proven to be the safest way for me to handle non-repetitive cuts.

    The knucklehead very deliberately caused the kickback to occur by using improper technique in a virtually textbook fashion.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    I can't think of anything more dangerous to do than to reach over the blade as you are suggesting. Also, why the quotes around the word 'accident' - you don't think it was an accident?
    No, it's not an accident, it's user stupidity. Accidents are things entirely beyond the user's control. This was caused 100% by a failure to follow common sense safety regulations and use the included safety equipment. While I don't want to say he got what he deserved, this was entirely his fault and he's lucky it wasn't worse.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    No, it's not an accident, it's user stupidity. Accidents are things entirely beyond the user's control. This was caused 100% by a failure to follow common sense safety regulations and use the included safety equipment. While I don't want to say he got what he deserved, this was entirely his fault and he's lucky it wasn't worse.
    I guess we will agree to disagree. I tend to think of accident like this definiton:

    an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
    "he had an accident at the factory"
    synonyms: mishap, misadventure, unfortunate incident, mischance, misfortune, disaster, tragedy, catastrophe, calamity; technicalcasualty
    "an accident at work"


    • a crash involving road or other vehicles, typically one that causes serious damage or injury.
      "four people were killed in a car accident"
      synonyms: crash, collision, smash, bump, car crash; Morewreck;
      informalsmash-up, pileup, fender bender
      "she was injured in a highway accident"




    2.
    an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.
    "the pregnancy was an accident"


    You equate stupidity with his accident. I see it as an unfortunate side effect. Of course he could have prevented it. It was still an accident.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    I guess we will agree to disagree. I tend to think of accident like this definiton:

    an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
    "he had an accident at the factory"
    synonyms: mishap, misadventure, unfortunate incident, mischance, misfortune, disaster, tragedy, catastrophe, calamity; technicalcasualty
    "an accident at work"


    • a crash involving road or other vehicles, typically one that causes serious damage or injury.
      "four people were killed in a car accident"
      synonyms: crash, collision, smash, bump, car crash; Morewreck;
      informalsmash-up, pileup, fender bender
      "she was injured in a highway accident"




    2.
    an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.
    "the pregnancy was an accident"


    You equate stupidity with his accident. I see it as an unfortunate side effect. Of course he could have prevented it. It was still an accident.
    There's nothing unexpected about any of it. If you stick your hand in a meat grinder, bad things are going to happen. It is the responsibility of every woodworker to operate safely 100% of the time. Did he want it to happen? Of course not. But anyone who has, as he said "used a table saw for 20 years" should have known better than to do what he did. He didn't use common sense. He was stupid.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    My free hand presses against the table saw top while my thumb and forefinger hold the workpiece down and against the fence. When at all possible, my feeding hand has fingers wrapped around the fence.
    Though I don't doubt your experience, I question the safety of that, unless you have unnaturally long arms. Here's a picture showing someone standing in a position making that left hand hold possible (yes that's not a through cut, it's just to show the position). Notice his right hand is nowhere near the fence. To get that there, he'd have to straddle the corner of the saw (or stretch from behind it), getting one or both hands near that blade, or at the least putting his body close enough to be in harms way if something goes wrong.
    sled_11.jpg

    I'm well over 6' tall, and have a full size table saw. For me to have my right hand on the fence, and my left hand on the outfeed end of the stock, I'm definitely in danger. How is it you're not?

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