Do as I say not as I do AKA Don't do this at home

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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 08-04-2015 05:54 PM 2281 views 0 times favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117722 posts in 4091 days

08-04-2015 05:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saftey

Hi gang
As I was cutting some wood on the table saw today the thought came to me that what I was doing is not something I would recommend to my woodworking students. My father’s words came back to me “do as I say not as I do”.
Because I’m a 30 year woodworker my experience allows me to do operations or techniques I would never recommend or teach to a New b. Such as (New bs cover your eyes :)) free hand ripping a angle on a table saw of free hand hollowing out the back of the end of a board on the table saw free hand, pulling a board back at you on the table saw when the cut starts wrong.end cutting a slot on a board standing upright. ripping thin strips on a thin board with a circular saw an more. Are these operations dangerous? YES! Do I do these things on a every day basis ? NO . Even as a very experienced woodworker I can still get injured doing these things so I don’t recommend these techniques to others.
These are my true confessions what are yours?(woodworking only please LOL)

46 replies so far

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3568 days

#1 posted 08-04-2015 06:07 PM

I am known for ripping wood freehand on a tablesaw, when the width varies. I don’t think I have used a blade cover on my table saw since I knew I could take it off.

Also, I have been known to use my mitre saw incorrectly, as well.

I think, when you get used to a tool, you use it on a continual basis, you begin to learn little tricks you can do with that tool, though it may never have been made to do them.

I have learned to curb this misuse, recently, though, when I had a piece of wood shoot back at me and almost break a rib, or 3.

--, Making design and application one. †

View Underdog's profile


1403 posts in 2549 days

#2 posted 08-04-2015 06:16 PM

I’m sure I have other dangerous practices, that will remain unconfessed, but I’m going to do something I don’t recommend anyone do…

I’m going to give you my un-solicited advice:

Stop that! It’s dangerous!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4091 days

#3 posted 08-04-2015 06:21 PM

no blade guard with me either,I feel in some cases having one makes what you’re doing unsafe. I forgot I cut boards on chop saws pulling them on edge along the fence to trim a end section to trim it’s height too.
I agree we need to curb the use of these techniques to a minimum .

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1744 days

#4 posted 08-04-2015 07:01 PM

Feeding a board backwards into the blade on a table saw. Guilty as charged.
Licking spinning drill bits so they cool faster. Nope, not that one.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3312 days

#5 posted 08-04-2015 07:10 PM

All of the above and a habitual climb cutter on the router. Just had too many tear outs.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2281 days

#6 posted 08-04-2015 07:20 PM

Well, let say I’ve been out on a limb a few times more than I care to confess.


View canadianchips's profile


2627 posts in 3511 days

#7 posted 08-04-2015 07:25 PM

Guilty as well.
I think with experience it becomes “maybe a little safer” because we are comfortable with the saw we use.
I never gave it much thought on cutting on a table saw until this spring a young fellow was helping me on outfeed side. He grabbed BOTH pieces and cleared the table saw, it was then I realized I was still pushing my piece between the blade and fence, my hand came close to blade as he PULLED. I aske hime not to pull, I will push it through.
Look at your hands, do you have all your fingers ? if so you must be doing it safe.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Richard's profile


1927 posts in 3204 days

#8 posted 08-04-2015 07:39 PM

We may not all Admit it but we are pretty much all Guilty of doing something like this. I Know I am , but I try to remember to do it the right way most times.

View Todd's profile


413 posts in 2190 days

#9 posted 08-04-2015 07:46 PM

I don’t use the blade guard on my table saw either. I switch from ripping to crosscutting too much. However, I always use a Grr ripper when ripping unless cutting sheet stock. One thing I NEVER do…use my table saw without the riving knife, unless I’m using my dado stack.

My only other confession, freehand crosscutting stock less than 2” wide if I need a quick cut and my crosscut sled is not on my saw.

Sometimes I look at the spinning ts blade and wonder when I’m going to encounter it with flesh. [spine is tingling now]

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4091 days

#10 posted 08-04-2015 07:50 PM

I came close to your licking the drill bit thing,way back when I built my first deck I’d put a deck screw in and realized the board needed to be moved on the joist I backed the screw out and promptly placed it in my mouth where I had 3 or 4 other screws,all of a sudden I hear this bubbling sound ,it was the saliva in my mouth boling from the super hot screw I’d just put in my mouth,obviously I wasn’t thinking about the friction heating the screw up from backing it out of the wood,the bubbling sound came just before my big YEEEEOW I yelled out. LOL
Your certainly hanging out there Mr’jinx
Wow chips
That’s one of my pet peeves don’t help ripping by pulling a board from the back of the saw, a quick way to pull someone’s hands into a saw blade. Yep all fingers are intact I’m grateful for that.

View Aj2's profile


2499 posts in 2312 days

#11 posted 08-04-2015 08:30 PM

Sometimes I don’t wear safety glass.In my mind I say this will just take a second.And it will take too long to get the glasses,So I Just do the safety squint.Thats my confession.

-- Aj

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3909 days

#12 posted 08-04-2015 08:33 PM

My blade guard is overhead and contains dust collection, so I rarely do without. The exception is when making a cut with which the guard will interfere.

Not that I’ve never been injured, but I still have 20 digits and only one numb fingertip.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1736 days

#13 posted 08-04-2015 09:15 PM

I agree, I would not suggest free hand work on a TS to someone new to the tool and or trade. However the technique has great value when one is familiar with the tool from much time working with it. I saw carpenters using the technique on a daily basis when I was learning the trade. It requires accurate hand/eye coordination.

-- I meant to do that!

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3318 days

#14 posted 08-04-2015 09:22 PM

I know what you mean Jim. I have caught myself getting ready to do the “don’t do this” thing, and was able to win that argument w/my brain and didn’t do it. I’m sure I’ve done many “don’t do this” things tho. Outside of the woodshop, I will say this: Don’t ever try to put new string in your weed whacker while it is running… really hurts the fingers….............LOL…..............seriously had a brain malfunction when I did that a few years ago.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Robert's profile


3541 posts in 1994 days

#15 posted 08-04-2015 10:07 PM

OK, I confess….

I always use a blade guard, eye protection, ear protection, and a respirator and I NEVER, EVER run a board over the jointer without a push block…...

.....Yeah, right…..

You’re exactly right, Jim, but as a 20 yr ww’er, you and I both know when we get lulled into stuff like that, eventually we get bit in the ass, it serves as a reminder that we need to respect our machines a little more than we.

One of my recent reminders came when ripping some stock with a loose knot.
No eye protection. No push block.
Almost had a bad day.

That’s my biggest downfall: not looking at the stock just robotically feeding it in.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 46 replies

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