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Had a TS accident today

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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 01-12-2020 01:01 AM 1082 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

377 posts in 1988 days


01-12-2020 01:01 AM

I was using my Craftsman TS today that I Have had for decades.
I was cutting a shim from a 2×4 for installing some kitchen cabinet slides.
I had carefully positioned the fence for the right width, made a test cut then tweaked the fence a little so it was right on.
The shim needed to be 2 inches tall so I then realized the 2×4 was taller than I needed. But since I had already set the fence to the proper width, I decided to cut the 2×4 vertically with the blade set to 2 inches height which is only partially through the 2×4. I thought I was being safe using a featherboard and push stick.
As I got to the very end of the cut and was about to turn off the motor the blade grabbed and thew the 2×4 at me hitting me just above my right wrist, then it ricocheted off something and hit an LED light fixture hanging from the rafters and damaged it. It all happened so fast I didn’t realize what happened until it was over.
My arm had a minor cut but swelled up bad and hurt like hell. Decided to have my wife take to me urgent care to make sure I didn’t have a broken bone. After waiting there 1-1/2 hours and getting an Xray turned out it was ok so I feel really lucky, it could have been much worse.
If my saw had a riving knife or splitter maybe this wouldn’t have happened, but I think it was totally avoidable.
If I wasn’t inpatient, I would have moved the fence, cut the 4” side of the 2×4 down to 2” and then moved the fence back to cut the width of the shim. By cutting only partly through the 2×4 I risked having the kerf close down on the blade. When I looked at the 2×4 after the cut it indeed had had sprung the kerf closed.
Just a reminder to always think about safety before making a cut.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


36 replies so far

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sansoo22

472 posts in 261 days


#1 posted 01-12-2020 01:13 AM

Glad you’re all right. And also glad you went to urgent care to have it checked instead of “toughing” it out. Sucks to have the insurance bill when nothing was actually wrong but better safe than sorry.

I just about made a dumb cut on the TS today myself. Had one of those “wait that’s pretty stupid” moments and rethought my process.

Thanks for sharing what happened. It’s always good to have a reminder that we need to think first and be patient.

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SMP

1596 posts in 512 days


#2 posted 01-12-2020 01:17 AM

Lucky! The good thing is for most people, the first scare makes them be safe from then on. I had a kickback graze my hip once. From then on I have stood out of the line of fire each time. Kind of like shooting a bow, it takes one time for the string to hit your forearm and you learn to turn out your elbow every time from then on. I also ALWAYS wear safety goggle when using a grinder.

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MrRon

5811 posts in 3850 days


#3 posted 01-12-2020 01:57 AM

I have a large shop and there are many ways one can get injured. Saws are usually the most prone to inflict an injury, due to the speed in which an injury can occur. I would rate the tools most prone to injure as follows: On the top of the list would be the table saw, followed by radial arm saws, jointers, table routers, lathes, band saws, belt sanders, grinders, drill presses, scroll saws and pneumatic tools. Injuries can range from dismemberment, cuts, scratches, fractures, blinding, hearing loss to death. The workshop is a very dangerous place and most have sustained an injury in their lifetime. Danger lurks behind every corner and is ready to strike when we lose our awareness. I’ve been at it for over 70 years and got my share of cuts, bruises and scratches. Thank GOD nothing too serious has befallen me. At 85, I must be so much more vigilant around tools. When the time comes when I don’t feel safe; that will be the time I hand over all my tools to my son. He too works around dangerous tools and so far hasn’t made any serious mistakes. He is in the air force, so he is aware of safety on the job and at home. It is true that minor injuries happen and do serve the purpose of warning you to stay vigilant.

I see people wire up light fixtures without turning off the power first. They get away with it, but that one time they get electrocuted may be their last time. Danger is all around us; in our homes, in our jobs and even while doing recreational activities. One needs to be aware of one’s surroundings.

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Dark_Lightning

3757 posts in 3716 days


#4 posted 01-12-2020 02:10 AM

Lucky that the damage wasn’t worse! I had a kickback on my table saw from a rifle stock blank that laid my arm open and bruised the snot out of it. Went to the urgent care and they pulled the skin back over the bare spot and put a bandage on it. I can’t even see the scar!

I’ve noticed that for myself, if I start getting tired or in a hurry, that I get injured (not every time, obviously, but when I think back on what happened). This is true for both woodworking and when I worked as a mechanic.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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BurlyBob

6912 posts in 2872 days


#5 posted 01-12-2020 02:57 AM

Like all everyone here, I’m glad your okay. I too have several kick backs. They happen and it seems that they happen no matter how hard we try to avoid them. My best to you.

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Andybb

2376 posts in 1210 days


#6 posted 01-12-2020 03:43 AM

OK. Gotta ask. .
1. Why don’t you have a splitter or knife on your saw?
2. Why are you making that vertical cut?
3. Why would you be thinking about reaching for the switch with the stock still between the running saw and the fence held with one hand?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had kickbacks and every one was my fault as I had removed the knife for something like a dado cut and forgot to put it back on.. I now assume the saw will try and kill me every time I turn it on and try to anticipate that and never operate the saw without a knife or splitter. No kickbacks since that catharsis.

Glad you’re ok and I bet that’s the last time you’ll do that. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Fresch

460 posts in 2527 days


#7 posted 01-12-2020 03:46 AM

I still remember the day my wife asked me how I got a square bruise on my chest!
Funny she didn’t mention the small cut on my face, but I was pulling my shirt over my head at the time.

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LittleBlackDuck

3428 posts in 1427 days


#8 posted 01-12-2020 04:01 AM

As others, congratulations on your survival…


..... If my saw had a riving knife or splitter maybe this wouldn t have happened….
- Joel_B

I make jokes on just about everything, other than my weight, looks and TS safety. I believe there is no excuse for not having at least a splitter.
First thing on the ajenda is to pay the medical bills and second, if nothing more, look into the MJ-Splitter (or such).

I used to have a built-in “riving knife/splitter” on my contractors TS but continually kept taking it off for various reasons and was too lazy to put it back. One day I got shafted in the belly by a flying plank… I was lucky it was the bulk and not the spearhead offcut that would have punctured instead of the plank’s very painful bruise.

I am not spruiking any brands, however, the MJ is relatively cheap, easy to install and repeatable/transferable between multi ZCIs… do suggest one for thin and normal kerf (according to your saws)... I have gone the steel version though the cheaper plastic is better than none.

Since I started using them I have not had any kickback issues (I do take other precautions like feather-boards and such) and just realised that I have gradually become complacent over time.
I will use this post as a reminder to stop being so complacent.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Andybb

2376 posts in 1210 days


#9 posted 01-12-2020 04:11 AM

If my saw had a riving knife or splitter maybe this wouldn t have happened, but I think it was totally avoidable.

- JoelB

Take out the word maybe and insert probably_.

Again, glad you’re ok.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Manitario

2797 posts in 3490 days


#10 posted 01-12-2020 04:40 AM

I’m glad you’re ok. I’m an ER doctor and have seen my share of people who have not been so lucky.

These posts are always somewhat of a mystery to me; in my 10y of woodworking I’ve never had anything kick back. It seems to be something I see and hear about all the time and the only real reason is that there are still enough woodworkers that don’t have splitters or riving knives on their TS. I guess I was lucky enough to get into this late enough that all the TS on the market these days have that vital safety piece.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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sansoo22

472 posts in 261 days


#11 posted 01-12-2020 04:51 AM



I m glad you re ok. I m an ER doctor and have seen my share of people who have not been so lucky.

These posts are always somewhat of a mystery to me; in my 10y of woodworking I ve never had anything kick back. It seems to be something I see and hear about all the time and the only real reason is that there are still enough woodworkers that don t have splitters or riving knives on their TS. I guess I was lucky enough to get into this late enough that all the TS on the market these days have that vital safety piece.

- Manitario

I’ve never had kick back that i wasn’t expecting. Which I know sounds kind of stupid and is. Sometimes cutting small shims or spacers i get lazy and dont get out the GRR Ripper. I push stock thru from the left side of the blade making sure to stand out of the way and let the thin little pieces bounce off the garage door. This is a good reminder to stop doing that.

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Murray54

9 posts in 2673 days


#12 posted 01-12-2020 05:03 AM

Glad your ok. I had a kick back one time late in the day took riving knife off for some reason forgot to put back on worst beating I ever took board hit me in the chest left hell of a bruise. Wife saw battle scars later threatened to sell my tablesaw. The reason it kicked back on me is because I got lazy with the cut and stopped pushing before clearing the blade.

-- Jeff, Illinois

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controlfreak

409 posts in 208 days


#13 posted 01-12-2020 01:53 PM

I see a pattern here on these TS accidents or close calls. “It all happened so fast I didn’t realize what happened until it was over.” With the speed of incident it is impossible to correct on the fly. Glad you are okay and thanks for sharing so we can all stay on our toes.

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JackDuren

720 posts in 1566 days


#14 posted 01-12-2020 03:26 PM

Better small than big. Mine was I 1983 using dados. My hand flew as fast as the wood. Can you imagine…

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Joel_B

377 posts in 1988 days


#15 posted 01-12-2020 07:28 PM

Wow, didn’t expect so many responses.
Glad I was able to increase safety awareness.
Also now feeling even luckier it wasn’t worse.
I was all set to order the MJ splitter today, but I have been seriously thinking of getting a new TS before this happened with safety as one motivator. I think this incident has pushed me into ordering the Grizzly hybrid saw I was considering as I read riving knives are more effective than splitters at preventing kickback.
Didn’t want to spend the money when my Craftsman is otherwise an ok saw but don’t want chance serious injury.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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