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I was using my TS to dado a long piece of santos mahogany for a picture frame I'm making and my 4 year old son (whose picture I use as my avatar) was out there with me banging nails into a board. I told him to stand back and watch, but neglected to tell him exactly where to stand.

Despite two feather boards and every precaution I could imagine, as I was reaching to switch to a push stick for the last bit (the piece was just over 60" long), the blades kicked back and the whole piece was launched the length of my garage. It slammed into the rear garage door, about 6" from my son.

Fortunately, he wasn't scared-he just looked at me and said (after we both took out our ear plugs), "It's okay, Daddy. It didn't hit me."

I've never been so thankful to God in my whole life as I was at that moment.

We now have a new step added to our safety routine-clearing the path in front of and behind all tools. I hope he learns these things from my mistakes before he's old enough to make his own….
 

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sounds like you both got a good wake up call .

thank God !

it's always the stuff we don't think about ,
that sneaks up on us .

glad you are both o.k. .
 

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Bret, you are a big man for sharing this with us. Thank you. And you said it best about being thankful to God that your precious little child was not harmed.
 

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We'll just call you Lucky-Lucky. Once for both of you. Whoo! Makes me shuder to think what could of happened. When the grandkids are around, I just quit and unplug all power tools until mom and dad take them hom. Things happen to fast and I'm to slow. Sure glad no one was hurt. Rand
 

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I'm glad to hear nobody was hurt. I make it a point not to let my kids, or anyone else, stay in my shop/garage with me when I'm using power tools. I've learned that even with all the experience and precautions, you never know when a power tool will bite back.
 

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Jayjay, I understand your caution, but then they will never learn the proper way to use them!

Some of my favorite memories are of helping my dad in the garage. And I learned quickly to just watch and stay out of the way when he was using something that needed his full concentration.
 

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Finishing chemicals (lead), sawdust(asthma), electricity, falling lumber and power tools…one self needs to be safe around a shop. Triple that with young ones running around. Theres is just too much trouble to run into for a curious little one that wants to imitate dad. I don't know how our generation growing up survived all that!
 

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Glad no one was hurt. Those things happen so fast. I am with Jason, I dont like having anyone in the shop while I am working on something. I dont even like to have a neighbor or other adults there since i find it distracts me.
 

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I am moved to comment again Bret, if for no other reason than to let you know you are not alone in having had this near serious accident. My two children are now adults. There were several times as they grew up that they wanted to do something I didn't want them to do but with the "please Daddy" pleading, I would on occasion relent, only to regret it later. On one occasion my daughter was about six. She wanted to sit in my car while I was waxing it or something. I said no initially but gave in with a stern, "Don't touch anying!" The car was off, no keys inside. Next thing I know I hear the car shift from park to reverse and the car is rolling down the driveway. This was an older car (1976) that did not have the "foot must be on the brake before car will go into gear" feature. So now I am behind this beast trying to stop it. I'm lucky I didn't end up under it and no traffic came by as it rolled to a stop at the bottom of my driveway.

Recently, I asked this same daughter (20-something) to hold a large sheet of plywood for me while I pushed it through my table saw. I did not have an outfeed table at the time. My shop is pretty small. She was holding the cutoff side of the sheetgood to keep it from tipping down as it went past the end of the TS. I am of course concentrating on the blade and fence. As I finish the cut and turn off the saw, I look at her and she is planted against my bandsaw with the edge of the plywood firmly against her abdomen. I expected her to just hold the weight of the cutoff standing on the side, letting it move through her fingers. I didn't know she actually followed the wood through the cut and ended up slightly in front of that leading corner. While kickback wasn't an issue for her, she could have been injured if something went wrong. It left me thinking I had put her in harms way and I ought to be more cognizant of such things. Just want you to know you are not alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the comments. I'm definitely going to re-evaluate what I do while Ben's in the shop with me. I think it's reasonable to elminate power tool usage for the time being, until he's old enough to start watching out for himself (and paying closer attention when I'm instructing him). For now, if he bangs on nails while I do handtool work, I think that'll be fine.

You guys are the best.
 

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Ben sure sounds like a trouper! at 4 I suspect he would be old enough to start learning where the danger zones are for each tool, even if you want to keep him away while actually using them. it sounds as if he realized the potential for disaster, if not fully how serious . . . a good time to start the learning processes . . .

My grandson is 18 mos. and I am starting to show him a bit about woodworking- a few weeks ago I assembled a bat house kit with him at the kitchen table. he mostly watched, but was interested.
 
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