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View Rrrandy's profile

Best safety device(s)...

by Rrrandy
posted 03-21-2017 09:07 PM


40 replies so far

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MrStyle

88 posts in 2700 days


#1 posted 03-21-2017 09:10 PM

+1 on Gripper

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Redoak49

5024 posts in 2959 days


#2 posted 03-21-2017 09:17 PM

I hope you have a riving knife on your saw.

But, I really hope that you will take the time to evaluate what you are doing. Having cut off fingertips suggests you need to be much more careful. In your case, a Sawstop may save your fingers.

Be careful

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 4201 days


#3 posted 03-21-2017 09:24 PM

Riving knife on my saw. And not long ago, I broke down and bought a Grippr. So far, I like it.

I have a featherboard attached to an aux fence that I use when cutting thin plywood such as 1/4 inch. It helps to keep the material flat as it passes the blade.

A pair of Rockler clamps hold it to the fence.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Iamjacob's profile

Iamjacob

48 posts in 3596 days


#4 posted 03-21-2017 10:07 PM

Best safety device? The one between your ears.

Think about what you are doing, keep your meaty bits away from spinning metal, and have a healthy respect for the damage that ALL power (and un-powered for that matter) tools can do.

Complacency and absentmindedness have no place in a workshop.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6392 posts in 1559 days


#5 posted 03-21-2017 10:09 PM

+1 on the GRR-Ripper. I have a fairly complete set of MagSwitch accessories for woodworking. The feather boards are very versatile, allowing double-stack for tall boards, or a horizontal/vertical configuration for pressing against the fence and holding down at the same time. There are dozens different ways to use it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View DalyArcher's profile

DalyArcher

147 posts in 2089 days


#6 posted 03-21-2017 10:41 PM

I want to get a set of the Jess Em hold downs for my tablesaw and a micro-jig splitter set.

Currently just feather boards and push sticks.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

13543 posts in 3350 days


#7 posted 03-22-2017 12:26 AM

I have the Gripper and like it. I would suggest reviewing table saw safety rules as all saw accidents are preventable. A few guys here get really angry when I say that but it’s true. Now I understand that not everyone is capable of staying focused, in that case you need to make best use of all the safety options available.

https://www.tru.ca/hsafety/workinglearningsafely/work/tablesaw.html

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 4338 days


#8 posted 03-22-2017 12:42 AM

Brain, Blade guard, Brain, Push stick or block (grrrripper), Brain. In that order. Make sure your saw or any tools are properly tuned and aligned before using.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 4338 days


#9 posted 03-22-2017 12:43 AM



I have the Gripper and like it. I would suggest reviewing table saw safety rules as all saw accidents are preventable. A few guys here get really angry when I say that but it s true. Now I understand that not everyone is capable of staying focused, in that case you need to make best use of all the safety options available.

- Rick M

So true Rick!

View JRsgarage's profile

JRsgarage

389 posts in 1479 days


#10 posted 03-22-2017 01:56 AM

i always feel little safer with zero clearance inserts. i agree with all of the above but i find myself rarely using the gripper now days….block of 2×4 w/ handle and a push stick seems to be my go to

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View pontic's profile

pontic

816 posts in 1579 days


#11 posted 03-22-2017 02:13 AM

All of the above. Also UNPLUG YOUR SAW WHEN LEANING OVER IT TO MAKE DELICATE ADJUSTMENTS AND SUCH. Good friend has a very lame hand because he accitently kicked the start button whils trying to get his dado just right. I do need a riving Knife for my ‘02 jet JTAS 10”er. Which do you recommend?

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View Trakem2's profile

Trakem2

33 posts in 3020 days


#12 posted 03-22-2017 02:31 AM

Really like my GRR-ripper plus MJ splitter system that I use on my older Craftsman contractor saw which has the older style blade gaurd/splitter that constantly needed adjustment.

-- The old ways worked then, and they still do today! Randy

View EricLew's profile

EricLew

272 posts in 2336 days


#13 posted 03-22-2017 02:55 AM

I have a few, Table Saw Sleds, Rockler Small Parts Holder (for router table), and Grippers. Tough to pick one, but based on amount of use, I have to say the Grippers. I am always willing to buy something that makes me feel safer using my tools

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8406 posts in 4346 days


#14 posted 03-22-2017 09:26 AM

Flatting, straightening, and squaring lumber goes a long way toward reducing kickback. Lumber that doesn’t rock while it’s being ripped is less likely to bind and kickback….it also leaves a better cut. As much as a like my Grippers and my BORK riving knife, a jointer and planer should at least get mentioned.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

707 posts in 1710 days


#15 posted 03-22-2017 12:16 PM

My favorite safety device is one that’s often overlooked (though Eric mentions it above), but it’s my Incra miter sled. When I’m using it for cross-cutting, it’s typically for larger/longer pieces, and allows me to keep my hands far away from the blade. As an additional perk, it also allows me to stand more to the side of the blade, rather than close to behind it, as is often necessary when ripping (though of course I try to offset as much as possible).

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6733 posts in 3463 days


#16 posted 03-22-2017 12:22 PM

I’m reminded of a mirror that was in the rest rooms of my work place when I had a day job. At the top of the mirror was printed “The most important part of our safety program:” That aside, I did buy a Gripper once, after assembling it and looking things over, it just didn’t appeal to me, so I returned it. I do use a lot of shop built push shoes and so on, I just didn’t take to the Gripper for some reason.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3280 posts in 3914 days


#17 posted 03-22-2017 07:47 PM

It should be said table saw set up is the first of all safety improvements.

After that, the hands down biggest improvements to safety on my cabinet saw were the splitter and my push shoes (riving knives are nice, but most of us aren’t going to spend several thousand to get the equivalent of what we have just to get what a splitter will do, with a little more effort.

If I could only have one (the splitter or the push shoe), it would be the shoes, but, since adding the splitter, the number of times I have had to knee the stop switch have been reduced to a minute fraction.

Grippers are nice and I wouldn’t mind having one, but my shoes are more easily and cheaply replaced. I, regularly, run my push shoes through the blade, with no qualms about doing so. Because I have several widths, I can push 1/8” thick cuts through without dadoing or rabbiting the shoe. Of course, if I want to push both pieces beyond the blade, I can do that too.

With the splitter, wood that I had to grunt through the blade because it was pressing hard against the splitter didn’t pinch the back of the blade and lift the wood, which, without the splitter, would have happened.

View PaGeorge's profile

PaGeorge

22 posts in 1406 days


#18 posted 03-26-2017 03:12 PM



Brain, Blade guard, Brain, Push stick or block (grrrripper), Brain. In that order. Make sure your saw or any tools are properly tuned and aligned before using.

- papadan

Aye to that…Can’t rely on equipment for safety….Like a cars seat belts all such things are welcome but driving in a safe manner comes first and foremost… I guess there’s many ways to look at things and how we learn our lessons. It’s not an argument about whats more important brains or mechanical safety devices because using them together is what’s important.

-- PaGeorge

View wichman3's profile

wichman3

99 posts in 1591 days


#19 posted 03-26-2017 04:01 PM



I have the Gripper and like it. I would suggest reviewing table saw safety rules as all saw accidents are preventable. A few guys here get really angry when I say that but it s true. Now I understand that not everyone is capable of staying focused, in that case you need to make best use of all the safety options available.

https://www.tru.ca/hsafety/workinglearningsafely/work/tablesaw.html

- Rick M

I disagree. I will agree that the vast majority of accidents are preventable using your brain and the safety instructions. However I don’t have x ray vision and cannot see debris that is hidden within the wood, nor can I see hidden stresses within the wood. ( I once ripped a 2×4 that half way through the rip started twisting, I shut off the saw and removed the 2×4 it writhed on the floor, split and a hidden knot popped out, the piece then writhed back to “normal” . This happened once in 50 years of woodworking, but it happened).
I also disagree on the gloves. Loose leather work gloves, I’m with you on this, absolute no go. Form fitting latex gloves to increase grip (my hands and finger will slip on sanded wood), yep, I’ll go there; my preference is bare hands (better feel and reaction), but I’ll adapt for safety.
In my years of woodworking, I’ve never cut myself with a running power tool (once sliced my finger changing the blade of a scroll saw). I have had several close calls (after changing my shorts), I review what happened, what I did wrong, and how to correct it (including Google searchs). I don’t power up any tool if: I’m angry, tired, or have taken meds (until I know their effects, and sometimes not even then).

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2057 posts in 1558 days


#20 posted 03-26-2017 04:13 PM

I used to teach my students to draw a line with a red sharpie extending the kerf line to the front of the saw. Telling the student that ANYTHING crossing the line will be cut off!

Hand and finger positioning habits are critical. NEVER use a splayed hand to feed rip stock. Keep your thumb tucked under your palm with your index finger forward as you feed. This way if your index finger clears, the thumb will also.

Hang you pinkie over the side of the fence so your hand can’t slip.

Stand to the left of the blade.

Set your miter gauge up with an aux fence that stops just shy of the blade. When cross cutting if your fingers are on metal, you’re safe.

A ZCI is a must have. Most blade guards are worthless, the tend to entangle small pieces in the anti kickback pawls.

Lots of light.

If the little bell in the back of your mind goes off listen to it! Stop, take a quick break and then recheck everything before going on.

Watch the leading edge of the blade. Some fools will tell you to look elsewhere to prevent kickback, but kickback happens at the blade. If you’re standing to the left of the blade and kickback happens nothing is damaged anyway.

Repeat after me: I’m a woodworker and I have all ten! (Wiggles fingers in air)

M

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1869 days


#21 posted 03-26-2017 04:13 PM

I think we all know what safety devises are out there, but the biggest safety devise is experience.

Knowing how to set up for a cut, or when to use a jig, when not to try something.

There is no best devise that works.
There are multiple devises for different scenarios.

Having the knowledge/experience to select the proper method/devise
for making a cut goes a long way for safety.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4816 posts in 4144 days


#22 posted 03-26-2017 05:23 PM



Flatting, straightening, and squaring lumber goes a long way toward reducing kickback. Lumber that doesn t rock while it s being ripped is less likely to bind and kickback….it also leaves a better cut. As much as a like my Grippers and my BORK riving knife, a jointer and planer should at least get mentioned.

Hard to argue with that. Also good to remember to sticker, stack, and give a couple of days to your rough milled boards before milling to final dimension. Amazing how much tension can be released in the process—tension you don’t want to find out about when you’re ripping the board on the TS ;-)

-- -- Neil

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xeddog

327 posts in 3977 days


#23 posted 03-26-2017 05:41 PM


Watch the leading edge of the blade. Some fools will tell you to look elsewhere to prevent kickback, but kickback happens at the blade. If you re standing to the left of the blade and kickback happens nothing is damaged anyway.

I don’t totally agree with this statement because I think kickback occurs at the back of the blade. By the time you notice anything happening at the front of the blade, it may already be too late. I have not yet had a major kickback (one small 2”x4”x3/4 piece did hit me once and left a little bruise), but when I am making rip cuts my eyes are on the fence making sure the wood isn’t starting to pull away from the fence, and the rear of the blade to make sure nothing is closing in on it. On a crosscut, just make sure the wood is supported by a sled or miter gauge and not able to get trapped between blade and fence.

I haven’t read where anyone has mentioned using your other senses except for sight. I have had a couple of instances where I was able to hear something, like maybe the saw starting to labor more, before I actually saw it. Even through heavy ear protection. Or maybe something FEELS different when feeding the wood through. Maybe you SMELL come burning from wood binding against the blade. I suppose if you TASTE something it is most likely already too late too. In short, it takes ALL of you.

As far as safety devices, I think one of the best safety devices on my saw is a knee switch to shut it off. Right now it is only covering the switch itself, but I am considering making it go further across the front so I can hit it from practically any where. Of course, sleds, jigs, push sticks/blocks, etc are certainly all good too.

Wayne

View Rrrandy's profile

Rrrandy

212 posts in 1449 days


#24 posted 03-26-2017 06:15 PM

Lots of good comments. Thanks to all…

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

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eflanders

332 posts in 2820 days


#25 posted 03-26-2017 06:49 PM

Without a doubt having a clear head and not trying rush things! As for attachments/gadgets: A readily accessible push stick is my most used item. Mine all have magnets on them so there is always one at all of my saws “at the ready”. I do a lot of ripping work and thus I invested in the Jess em saw guides for both my table saw (and my router table). With them in place and properly adjusted, I have yet to have even a “close call”. IME, they were a very good investment. But when I am quickly trying to finish something up and fail to use them, well, that’s when things can get real scary!

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

13543 posts in 3350 days


#26 posted 03-26-2017 07:17 PM



I disagree. I will agree that the vast majority of accidents are preventable using your brain and the safety instructions.

- wichman3

I think we actually do agree. I didn’t mean that you can anticipate every unexpected thing but that you can prevent serious injuries by observing the rules. The basics are don’t put anything inline with blade that you want in one piece, wear eye protection, and don’t stand behind the board when ripping. Those three things alone will prevent or minimize the most common injuries. You might still get boo boos, but you’ll be intact. Add on the other rules and table saws can be operated safely. And if you don’t agree with that then we’ll just have to agree to disagree. :)
As for gloves, I didn’t recommend them, that must have been someone else.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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wichman3

99 posts in 1591 days


#27 posted 03-26-2017 08:38 PM


I disagree. I will agree that the vast majority of accidents are preventable using your brain and the safety instructions.

- wichman3

I think we actually do agree. I didn t mean that you can anticipate every unexpected thing but that you can prevent serious injuries by observing the rules. The basics are don t put anything inline with blade that you want in one piece, wear eye protection, and don t stand behind the board when ripping. Those three things alone will prevent or minimize the most common injuries. You might still get boo boos, but you ll be intact. Add on the other rules and table saws can be operated safely. And if you don t agree with that then we ll just have to agree to disagree. :)
As for gloves, I didn t recommend them, that must have been someone else.

- Rick M


We do agree. :)

View Robert's profile

Robert

4302 posts in 2451 days


#28 posted 03-27-2017 01:34 PM

The stuff between our ears is the best safety device in the shop. :-)

Seriously, if you’ve suffered that much damage a Grrrrrrippppper is not going to keep you safe (and in fact may increase your chance of injury if you become over confident). I say this because there will be more situations coming your way where you won’t be using a gripper.

IMO learning to read your wood PRIOR to turning on the saw and watching the cut is important. This is why I don’t use a blade guard. Check the wood for knots, or foreign bodies like those little staples on the end that hold the UPC tag ;-).

Use of push blocks is critical. I use a simple piece of 2×4 with a 1” dowel for a handle. This works quite well especially when ripping 1/4” or less strips. When its chewed up I throw it away and make another one in minutes.

Kickbacks can result from not using a splitter or an improperly setup. If you don’t have one, I recommend homemade or MicroJig.

A sharp saw blade is important, as is a well-powered saw. So many of the consumer type ts’s are underpowered. This can result in forcing the wood through a cut which dramatically increases the risk of injury.

I recommend you watch some safety videos. I think there are too many guys out there that buy a machine and don’t have an understanding of proper use.

Finally, I recommend you check your saw specs before you use the saw. Be sure the fence/blade/slot alignment is accurate.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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CameronKeel

11 posts in 1421 days


#29 posted 03-27-2017 01:50 PM

For me it’s been the addition of my SawStop. I had a really old Craftsman that was just what it was. Worked well, but I always had to be super aware. Now that i have the SawStop i still have to be aware of what is going on, but its knowing that the safety mechanism is there just in case an accident does happen.

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Carloz

1147 posts in 1561 days


#30 posted 03-27-2017 01:59 PM


I purchased my tablesaw 15 years ago. After suffering through a couple of kickbacks and cut finger tips I came to greatly respect the tablesaw and the damage it could do if not used properly. One of the best purchases I ever made was the GRR-Ripper. I still respect the saw but am more confidant when using it because of the GRR-Ripper. Another confidence enhancer is my use of feather boards on my router table.

What tool/device have you made/purchased that has raised your confidence level against injuries?

- Rrrandy


The best safety device I purchased is Sawstop.
As for the gripper I used it very intensively just after purchase but now use it less and less. I often find better ways to cut thin strip using a piece of wood than gripper. The main reason it is too short and works best only with very short material. The second reason that the “Grip..” part is not so grippy. It often slips.
The one part Of the worrd “GRR-Ripper” that still stays is “Ripper” . t almost $60 for what it is its a complete ripoff.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1869 days


#31 posted 03-27-2017 02:12 PM

I’ve been using my gripper for a couple of years.
Looks like I’m going to have to make a new one…... in a couple of more months….

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BurlyBob

8266 posts in 3235 days


#32 posted 03-27-2017 03:20 PM

I agree with lots of the good safety advice here. For me bottom line be careful and quit early.

View simonov's profile

simonov

63 posts in 1476 days


#33 posted 03-27-2017 03:21 PM

The best safety device I purchased is Sawstop.

Man, I learned in scuba diving and while working with firearms (I’m in the industry) never to depend on technology for safety. I suppose a SawStop works most of the time or even all the time, but what happens when it doesn’t?

-- Nunc est bibendum.

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Carloz

1147 posts in 1561 days


#34 posted 03-28-2017 06:45 PM



The best safety device I purchased is Sawstop.
Man, I learned in scuba diving and while working with firearms (I m in the industry) never to depend on technology for safety. I suppose a SawStop works most of the time or even all the time, but what happens when it doesn t?

- simonov


I guess you get a lot of tickets for not wearing seatbelt

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simonov

63 posts in 1476 days


#35 posted 03-28-2017 07:20 PM

I guess you get a lot of tickets for not wearing seatbelt

Been wearing seatlbelts since I learned to drive. Far more comfortable than sliding around in the seat and the safety is a bonus.

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6392 posts in 1559 days


#36 posted 03-28-2017 07:53 PM


The best safety device I purchased is Sawstop.
Man, I learned in scuba diving and while working with firearms (I m in the industry) never to depend on technology for safety. I suppose a SawStop works most of the time or even all the time, but what happens when it doesn t?

- simonov

I agree with that. My issue with the SawStop is that it eliminates only one injury risk in the shop. I’ve never even had a close call with my saw blade in decades of regular use. Kickbacks are just as dangerous and more random. On a miter saw, the natural way to hold the board with your thumb out is far scarier to me than anything on my table saw. I won’t go on ad nauseam, but there are countless ways to get injured in the shop, and the SawStop only eliminates one — admittedly the worst — type of injury.

I could argue that having a SawStop could lead to a sense of safety that might get one hurt on another machine. I won’t though…lol

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Rich

6392 posts in 1559 days


#37 posted 03-28-2017 08:21 PM

I forgot to mention that if your GRR-Ripper gets slippery, a light wipe with a paper towel dampened with acetone brings the tackiness back. The manufacturer recommends denatured alcohol, but I think the acetone works better.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View clin's profile

clin

1127 posts in 1966 days


#38 posted 03-29-2017 12:01 AM

I can’t place a relative value on these, but of significance to me:

Safety glasses with magnification (readings glasses).
Hearing protection.
Respirator.
SawStop
GRR-Ripper
Really, really well lit shop.

-- Clin

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

1159 posts in 3783 days


#39 posted 03-29-2017 12:29 AM

Main Power switch. I have all of my tools run through separate contactors. Each of these contactors is wired to a master switch. If the master switch is not on, then none of the tools in the shop can be turned on accidently.
Any one that enters the shop that is not trained on the tools, ie.. grand kids (at least not yet, they are too young) will not know how to get power to the tools.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View SawduztJunky's profile

SawduztJunky

71 posts in 2128 days


#40 posted 03-29-2017 02:40 AM

SawStop. Hands down. This injury was from my Delta, which had me out of commission for a while. Broken bone, mangled thumb… With the SawStop I was able to put a bandaid on it and finish my day the next time.

-- I don't think I'm ever more "aware" than I am right after I hit my thumb with a hammer. Questions about solid surface? Just ask. http://www.swiiitch.portfoliobox.net

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