Reply by Myron Wooley

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Posted on OUCH what did I do Wrong?

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Myron Wooley

226 posts in 4463 days

#1 posted 03-02-2008 07:37 PM

Weird. I’ve never seen the offcut from a rip come back, but my son had a kickback that sounds similar. He was using the rip fence incorrectly to make a crosscut. He allowed his left hand to follow the offcut, and when the cut was complete, the back of the blade caught the piece between the fence and the blade and it went zinging back into his stomach. No hand injuries, but he was bruised pretty good. The board was only 1/4” thick.

Some questions to ponder:
In your case, was this a really a rip or should it have been treated as a crosscut?
Were you crosscutting using the rip fence?
Where was your left hand?
Were you making a crosscut with the miter gauge, using the fence as a stop, and pushing the offcut?
Did the offending piece come from the left or right side of the blade? Your description doesn’t say.

In order to generate the kind of force you experienced, the blade needs to work in conjunction with a fulcrum. Usually it’s the fence, but if the table insert is too low or the slot overly wide, it could catch. The dimensions you gave seem too large for this scenario, though.

Could you take some pics of the setup at the moment of the kickback? (please don’t turn on the saw!) Maybe we could get a better idea of what went wrong, and we can all benefit.

I’m glad you weren’t seriously injured.

-- The days are long and the years are short...

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