This is What Table Saw Kickback Looks Like (Warning: A Little Graphic)

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Blog entry by PocketHole69 posted 10-21-2010 02:30 AM 35137 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a Ridgid R4510 portable contractors saw- its the new and improved version that replaced the TS2410 and it’s a great saw. The problem is, when I bought it they did not yet have available a dado insert so I made my own out of 1/4” plywood and some leveling screws.

Saturday night I was cutting dados on my table saw when my home made dado throat plate slid forward and caught on the dado blade. I was doing everything right- using a miter gauge with an extended fence, not using the table saw fence with the miter gauge, etc.

Evidently the 1/4” plywood I used warped in the summer heat and humidity in my Georgia garage and developed a bit of a curve that allowed material passing over the dado blade to catch and slide the dado insert forward and backwards. The result was the throat plate catching on the blade and shooting out like a missile, which caught me square in the gut.

Interestingly enough, it didn’t damage the shirt or undershirt I was wearing, but the impact was so hard it broke the skin in two lines exactly 1/4” apart where the edges of the plywood hit me through the two shirts just from the blunt force.

It hit me hard enough to bounce off and fly 10 feet to rest on my drill press table back behind the saw.

It hurt. A lot. It knocked me down when it hit me, and I’m no little guy by any means. I don’t think I can really describe how much it hurt- it was definitely one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced and people told me I was white as a sheet. My buddy thought I was in shock, and I may well have been.

On Sunday I could tell it messed me up at least down to the muscle when I had trouble sitting up the next day and burning in my abs.

On Monday, I felt nauseous and threw up when I tried to eat anything. The pain had gone to new extremes and I knew something was messed up inside. I had my wife take me over to the walk-in immediate care place after work, and they immediately sent me to the emergency room to get a CT scan of my guts.

After many hours, drugs, and tests they determined that my abdominal wall and intestines were swollen from the impact- that’s what was making me not able to eat and feel like I was dying inside. Evidently its very common for internal organs to start swelling 48-72 hours past the injury, so that explained the delayed reaction in my guts. They gave me anti-inflammatory medication and pain killers through the IV and a prescription for the “good drugs”. I’ve been in and out of la-la land ever since. This is the first time I’ve felt coherent enough to write the blog post 4 days later.

In retrospect, I’m not real sure what I could have done to avoid the accident. I can’t use the riving knife, guards, or kickback paws with the dado blade on my table saw. If anything, an inspection of the shop-made inserts for bowing or warp-age is definitely on my pre-cut checklist from now on.

On the bright side my wife had absolutely no problems with me ordering a new Leecraft zero clearance insert and a proper Ridgid dado insert for my saw (which evidently they make now, but there is a 2-4 week backorder). My Aflac “accident” policy will even pay for them!

Be safe guys, you definitely don’t want this to happen to you. I have a new respect for kickback and the force these saws can produce.

-- Jason, Atlanta, GA

22 comments so far

View TimberMan's profile


115 posts in 4235 days

#1 posted 10-21-2010 02:36 AM

Glad to hear that you are OK. Good reminder to all of us.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 4017 days

#2 posted 10-21-2010 02:44 AM

Thanks for the reminders. Glad to hear you’re better now. Sounds like the aflac duck did good.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 4367 days

#3 posted 10-21-2010 02:55 AM

done that last year i think no fun when it happens

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4532 days

#4 posted 10-21-2010 02:56 AM

I’m glad to hear that there is a happy ending, pain and discomfort notwithstanding. I’ve heard of “kickbacks” penetrating concrete block walls.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 4212 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 03:01 AM

Glad to hear your doing better nows a good time to learn the art of the galoot


View araldite's profile


188 posts in 4175 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 03:11 AM

I’m glad it wasn’t more serious. I try to stand to the side and out of the line of fire whenever I can. I also wear a leather apron. I’m not sure how much protection that really is, but I feel like it’s better than nothing.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3877 days

#7 posted 10-21-2010 03:24 AM

I have The 8” Oslun stack set, but I do all my dado’s with my router and jig. That Stack set scares the crap out of me. My right shoulder is still separated from a kickback with a 1×4 piece of oak. You are younger than me, but i don’t think you will be any quicker to dodge those missiles. Hope you are healing up and back in the shop soon. Rand

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3831 days

#8 posted 10-21-2010 03:27 AM

This is has happen at my local college. Someone was ripping a piece of wood without a splitter, it flew across, lucky the guy dodged it, but it went through a 2 inch thick MDF.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1917 posts in 4443 days

#9 posted 10-21-2010 03:28 AM

That looks eerily familiar…...............

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4508 days

#10 posted 10-21-2010 03:30 AM

Sorry to see you had this accident.

One possible way to avoid this is to make sure the zero clearance plate is screwed securely to the top. It can be very dangerous if allowed to just float in the inset.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4074 days

#11 posted 10-21-2010 03:35 AM

Thanks for posting this Jason. I was hit a few weeks ago. I wasn’t injured as seriously as you were as I took most of the force to my hand and wrist. Thanks for the heads up on the internal injuries…if/when I get hit again I will know better as what to expect if similar symptoms arise. Good luck with your healing.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 3555 days

#12 posted 10-21-2010 03:35 AM

You will mend Jason. Glad it was not any worse…..but it was bad enough.
I’ve been hit a few times and should know better as mine was due to doing something I should not have.
In your case you were doing everything correct. That’s why they are called accidents.

-- Website is finally up and

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1058 posts in 3964 days

#13 posted 10-21-2010 04:44 AM

I’ve been fortunate in the three times I’ve had problems with a table saw. One was a board flying while cutting free-hand (stupid, didn’t know, had seen a carpenter do it before….). The second was from mis-alignment of a fence which Frisbee-d a piece of plywood, thankfully I was standing out of the way. The third was from cutting a warped board which wound up chocking itself between the blade and the fence. I’m fortunate not to have been injured in any of these three instances. I’m sorry to see your injuries, and I wish you the best in not getting hurt anymore.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View tyvekboy's profile


2004 posts in 3784 days

#14 posted 10-21-2010 04:50 AM


The throat plate for that saw comes with a screw at the front end (the end near you) that holds the throat plate down. If you look at your original throat plate you will also see a tab and the rear end (away from you). If your homemade throat plate had these two additions, I don’t think such an accident should happen.

I have made several throat plates for my unisaw and on the front edge of the throat plate I have a small nail driven into it that hooks under the table top. This keeps it down at least on the front end.

It looks like you were standing off to one side of the blade and not directly behind the saw. That’s good.

Hope you’re feeling better.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View cam1297's profile


64 posts in 3982 days

#15 posted 10-21-2010 05:53 AM

I had the same thing happen back in 1993. It was in my freshman woodworking class. Now, whenever I make a cut, I use a pushblock and stand outside the miter slots. It hurts like hell.

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