Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Table Saw - Should I be using these items? And mounting router

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1368 posts in 1529 days

#1 posted 02-27-2016 05:01 PM

Bill White,

Since you raise such an important safety issue on a very dangerous machine, I thought I would elaborate. If I remember correctly, a survey of Emergency Rooms regarding woodworking accidents showed most visits were from table saw accidents. Your caution must be respected if table saw manufacturer blade guards are not kept in place. No guard, keep the blade low! While I have no data, I suspect many woodworkers remove the blade guards and never use them; much like is done on TV. I also think this practice invites an accident and is therefore extremely dangerous.

The reason for keeping the blade as low as possible is for safety. Anyone who does NOT keep the blade guard in place, together with its integrated splitter or a riving knife, invites trouble. Obviously a 3-1/8” high unguarded spinning blade is just plain dangerous. Using a table saw without a riving knife or splitter invites kickback which could result in hand to blade contact and/or a bonk on the head. The riving knife or splitter keeps the cut edges from contacting the teeth on the back side of the blade.

So why would I run the blade up so high? I am following manufacturer recommendation.

at 1:58 minutes

Forrest argues that heat on the blade is bad for the blade, probably for a couple of reasons. By leaving as much of the blade exposed to free air, the blade runs cooler. A cooler will continue to run true and remain sharp longer. A dull blade requires greater feed force and can result in an accident. However, they recommend that the blade is guarded, as table saw manufacturers uniformly recommend.

In the end, everyone should think about their safety and set up tools to make the task as safe as possible. Without a doubt a low blade is safer, with or without a blade guard, but like with most things, there are trade-offs.

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