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Forum topic by Madmark2 posted 03-03-2020 05:14 PM 2301 views 1 time favorited 127 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Madmark2

1451 posts in 1389 days


03-03-2020 05:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: safety tip tablesaw bandsaw modern

Someone on another thread said (paraphrasing here) how a table saw wasn’t as dangerous as the band saw since on a table saw all you do is “set up the cut and push the stock thru” (sounds like a pol explaining farming, but I digress).

The writer completely missed the point that the table saw can create amputation level damage in an instant. Compared to most non-resaw bandsaw work, the bandsaw has such limited blade exposure and relatively slow cutting rate that amputation injuries are highly unlikely to nearly impossible.

Which blade should you be watching? The amputation danger 40T carbide blade spinning at 100mph or the relatively slow speed (40 mph – 1800 fpm) bandsaw? Ans: BOTH, but realize the TS is more dangerous than a bandsaw, not less.

Some folx think that woodworking in general and the TS in specific can be made perfectly safe if we somehow just put enough gadgets on our equipment.

Start with a saw stop saw, add board buddies, gripper blocks, feather boards, outfeed tables, miter sleds, etc., etc., etc., and we’ll finally be safe!

Never mind learning the basic saw handling techniques that allows people to work safely on a completely unguarded saw using a 2×4 and a couple of clamps as a fence. Learn those safety techniques before putting your faith in dubious gadgetry.

  • Blade guards obscure your view of the blade and coupled with wide slot stock blade inserts make narrow cuts (narrower than the gap between the blade side and insert edge) MORE dangerous. The “antikickback” pawls force the cutoff down and into the blade and trap narrow offcuts.
  • Board buddies require you to completely release the stock in normal operations opening you to kickback if the BB fails or slips – exactly what they’re supposed to prevent! You can’t use a push shoe with board buddies, you have to make a long pokey-thing to push the end of the stock past the 2nd wheel.
  • Saw stop is really a great idea. However, like airbags, it can lead to a sense of carelessness and invulnerability in the operator. What happens if the SS fails to fire when you need it most? When was the last time you “live fire” tested it (at $80 + blade per shot)? What happens if you visit your friends shop and you forget you’re not using a SS saw?

No, the best safety isn’t in gadgets, it’s in YOU! Learn the simple basics of safety. Like the electrician working with his left hand in his hip pocket, it’s technique that counts.

I used to teach AutoCAD and I taught my folx to use it maximally, straight out of the box. Now AutoCAD, for those who don’t know, is an incredibly complex program to use with lots of 3rd party extensions to make things easier. The problem is not every cad shop is going to have the fancy extensions. My students told me that they were able to outwork the guys with the add-ons because they knew the fundamentals better. You’ll never get the job if you can’t work without the add ons. Replace “AutoCAD” with “saw” and you’ll get my point.

  • The FIRST TS accessory is a ZCI
  • The only place to watch on the TS is the leading edge of the blade.
  • Cranking the blade down is an important safety step.
  • Proper hand (no splayed fingers or thumb) safety is paramount
  • Kickback is more likely for small than large pieces. Stand to the side of the blade away from the fence. Be ready and keep a firm grip. If your saw has a single belt drive you should be able to out-muscle the saw if a big piece tries to go. Large pieces don’t accelerate like smalls do.
  • Make sure your rip fence isn’t narrower at the rear
  • Use a riving knife

What other non-gadget tips do you have?

DISCUSS!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!


127 replies so far

View EllenWoodHead's profile

EllenWoodHead

90 posts in 176 days


#1 posted 03-03-2020 05:32 PM

You need to improve your reading comprehension, and it is rather arse to not reply directly to the post you are wrongly criticizing. The thread is here:
https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/308292

What I said:


I don’t keep my eyes on the blade much because a table saw isn’t a bandsaw. On a table saw, you set up your cut and then push your workpiece though—you’re not steering it any direction but straight ahead. On rip cuts my eyes are mainly on the fence and making sure my workpiece is pressed against it and not deviating. Crosscuts are guided through your miter slot, so it’s hard to go off course. I keep half an eyeball alert for twisting or binding, though I always feel these before I see them.

Even with the most conscientious safety techniques and devices bad stuff can still happen, so don’t ever let anyone talk you out of using safety devices, or continually studying and learning.

Not sure how you read that as the tablesaw is less dangerous than the bandsaw, or how I am stupid and incompetent, but I admire your creativity in building an entire snarky rant on it. Interestingly, I am a politician and a farmer. Once upon a time I served on my small town city council. The farming is a sideline, and my current project is developing inexpensive automated systems for indoor farming.

-- "wood" and "good" rhyme, but not "food"

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Madmark2

1451 posts in 1389 days


#2 posted 03-03-2020 05:40 PM

“I don’t keep my eyes on the blade much because a table saw isn’t a bandsaw. On a table saw, you set up your cut and then push your workpiece though—you’re not steering it any direction but straight ahead.”

I did not refer to you by handle nor did I resort to questioning anyone’s reading skills. No one would know it was you I was referring to until you piped up and admitted it.

I actually wasn’t criticizing you personally but making the larger point.

It’s like hollering “Hey stupid!” at a crowd and whoever responds is!

You realize, this means WAR! (Face slap with doe skin gloves.) My second will attend. Sabres at dawn!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View pottz's profile

pottz

10257 posts in 1785 days


#3 posted 03-03-2020 05:42 PM

i agree with pretty much everything you said you need to understand the tool and how it works,gadgets dont do that.the saw stop is a great tool but not an end all,our company has a dept.that makes wood arches for construction,luckily the table saw used to rip pieces of mdf is a saw stop or about 5 guys would have lost fingers in the last two years.one new kid tripped the mechanism after his first two hours using it,no one spent the time training him how to use it,figuring it’s a “safe” saw.once we start relying on gadgets for safety thats when were in danger.thanks for bringing this up mark,it cant be said enough.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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OSU55

2649 posts in 2790 days


#4 posted 03-03-2020 06:31 PM

I would put a riving knife as #1, but other wise agree especially with your main point that gadgets only do so much and definitely get in the way of basic training.

My #1 hobby is motorcycles, have over 50 years experience. Over the past decade “rider aids” have become a big deal with mfr’s and some riders. Most of these training wheels are for the incompetent, to provide a false sense of safety and control, which encourages more dangerous behavior while not having the skills to deal with the inevitable. Varmints and cage drivers are the most dangerous to any rider but they dont have a “pest control” app out yet. Losing fingers with a saw is bad, but with bikes your life is the stake.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1248 posts in 527 days


#5 posted 03-03-2020 06:46 PM


  • The FIRST TS accessory is a ZCI
    (FALSE)
  • The only place to watch on the TS is the leading edge of the blade.
    (FALSE)
  • Cranking the blade down is an important safety step.
    (FALSE)
  • Proper hand (no splayed fingers or thumb) safety is paramount
    (OBVIOUS)
  • Kickback is more likely for small than large pieces. Stand to the side of the blade away from the fence. Be ready and keep a firm grip. If your saw has a single belt drive you should be able to out-muscle the saw if a big piece tries to go. Large pieces don t accelerate like smalls do.
    (MOSTLY TRUE)
  • Make sure your rip fence isn t narrower at the rear
    (OBVIOUS)
  • Use a riving knife
    (TRUE)

- Madmark2

DISCUSS!

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

View EllenWoodHead's profile

EllenWoodHead

90 posts in 176 days


#6 posted 03-03-2020 07:08 PM



“I don’t keep my eyes on the blade much because a table saw isn’t a bandsaw. On a table saw, you set up your cut and then push your workpiece though—you’re not steering it any direction but straight ahead.”

I did not refer to you by handle nor did I resort to questioning anyone s reading skills. No one would know it was you I was referring to until you piped up and admitted it.

I actually wasn t criticizing you personally but making the larger point.

It s like hollering “Hey stupid!” at a crowd and whoever responds is!

You realize, this means WAR! (Face slap with doe skin gloves.) My second will attend. Sabres at dawn!

- Madmark2

NOBODY said a tablesaw is less dangerous than a bandsaw. Next time maybe ask for clarification before going off on a silly tirade over something that didn’t happen.

-- "wood" and "good" rhyme, but not "food"

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1007 posts in 2450 days


#7 posted 03-03-2020 07:17 PM

I agree a ZCI and riving knife are important. Unfortunately, almost older machines don’t have riving knives. Lucky if we have a useable splitter.

I offer that a blade brake would add significantly. A lot of kickbacks and cuts are from not waiting until it is fully stopped before clearing debris. Not hard to add. Some folks are more patient than others. In a production shop, it is not patience but profits.

I think a retractable blade would be useful much like a brake, Not an instant destruction like SS, but something maybe on a foot or knee switch that lowers it in more like half a second. This would take a major re-design of the trunnion and add considerable expense.

Blade guards suffer mostly from bad design, not concept. I offer they have two functions. First is to remind you not to put your finger under it, but the other significant safety feature is if it is part of a comprehensive dust collection. Maybe losing a finger is dramatic, but lung failure is far worse.

I know I do not feel as intimated with the band saw. Unfortunately, the new one I am looking at does not have a brake. Of my tools, my router table sometimes scares me more .

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

1806 posts in 348 days


#8 posted 03-03-2020 07:22 PM

I agree with the “board buddies” comment.

I agree with the “blade guard” comment.

I agree with learning basic safety skills, but remark that this needs to be taught to the inexperienced by someone who is experienced.

I agree with the riving knife comment, primary importance!

I agree that it is good all saws destined for the european market must have electronic braking.

I do not agree with the comment about a lower blade being safer, but I tend to keep it low anyway. When setting the height, I always think, ok, how much of my fingers do I want to cut off- that was something my first woodshop teacher told me, a total cliche, and I never forgot it.

I do not agree with the comment that the only place to watch is the leading edge of the blade.

I agree that no one has mentioned rolled up sleeves and safety glasses!

I agree that anything designed to cut wood will cut you too.

And lastly, I agree that my router table scares me most.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5908 posts in 1375 days


#9 posted 03-03-2020 07:36 PM

Gonna stir the pot further, and suggest the single most important thing in TS operation is, fully engaging that thing between your ears before you start. After that I have always thought if a person did a dry run, in their head if not actually doing a dry push through, of exactly what it was they were going to do, before they did it. A lot of saw cuts would be modified, changed, or maybe even done by a different tool.

Gonna say a RK, or if your saw doesn’t have one, a splitter, add a properly fitted ZCI, an over blade guard, a blade correct for the task at hand, and proper dress/attire. Obviously the fashionable eyewear, hearing protection, sleeves that aren’t dangling around your hands, and of course Crocs on yer feet.

There is a pot of goodies to be considered, and items like push sticks, finger boards, sac fences, and a whole lot more should be used, maybe not all at once though.

First thing is that brain though.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1451 posts in 1389 days


#10 posted 03-03-2020 07:37 PM

Leeroyman

Ok, don’t just gainsay, explain why keeping your eye on the ball, err, blade is false. Where should you look if not the blade. Teach me. Ditto for your other “falses”.

A ZCI prevents cutoffs getting tangled. I was giving a class at Woodcraft on a “stock” Jet TS. A narrow cutoff end got tangled in the blade guard anti kickback pawls and dropped thru the insert into the blade pocket. I hit the E-stop and the saw threw the piece across the room before the blade stopped spinning. Thus giving an object lesson that the ZCI would have stopped a kickback that the stock blade plate and guard caused! Your reason for saying “false” is …

Cranking down the blade prevents flanging the blade with the rip fence, prevents scraping your arm on the blade, prevents surprises if the neighbor kid hits the pretty green button, and insures you’ll set the blade depth correctly on the next cut.

Proper hand control wasn’t “obvious” to the student who, when shown the secret woodworkers handshake of raising your hands, wiggling your fingers and saying “I’m a woodworker and I have all TEN!”, was only able to raise 8-1/2 fingers after having cut his thumb and 1/2 of his index finger off on his first cut on his new TS – all because no one had told him otherwise.

I can justify each item you proclaim “false”, please post your reason why I’m wrong so we can all learn.

Some of these failures only occur rarely. Like that one-in-a-million driver that runs motorcycles down, the more miles you drive, the more often you’ll come across that one-in-a-million driver.

The last word on my original post was “Discuss”, not “Flame”.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1451 posts in 1389 days


#11 posted 03-03-2020 08:09 PM

Tvrgeek,

Adding an auto down feature would just require a motor w/clutch on the elevation crank and 2 stop switches, one “blade stop” the other “stop & drop”. A limit switch at the bottom and some bracketry for mounting and that should be it. No need to mod the trunnions.

I too am most scared of the router esp when spinning a 3” panel raiser or a moulding cutter. In fact when I tried my clamshell moulding bit on jatoba I cut about a foot before I chickened out and I haven’t used that particular bit since!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View pottz's profile

pottz

10257 posts in 1785 days


#12 posted 03-03-2020 08:53 PM

i agree about the blade height,no need to have the blade 3” above the top of wood,more exposed blade more chance of contact with it.as far as watching,i keep my eye on the blade but also make sure the wood is tight against the fence,the riving knife or splitter helps with that.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5859 posts in 3109 days


#13 posted 03-03-2020 09:24 PM

I have found different saw blades like different height to make the best cut. Especially on materials that chip-out on the bottom of the cut like for instance Melamine. I set my blade at what ever height that sweet spot is. If it’s 3 inch that’s what I use.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8146 posts in 2999 days


#14 posted 03-03-2020 09:48 PM

I have found different saw blades like different height to make the best cut. [...] I set my blade at what ever height that sweet spot is. If it s 3 inch that s what I use.
- AlaskaGuy

Exactly – depends on the blade as well as what is being cut:

From Freud:
• The sawblade’s projection (t) with respect to the work piece must be greater than the height of the blade’s tooth (fig. 18). Increase or decrease the projection of the saw blade to improve finish quality.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

1806 posts in 348 days


#15 posted 03-03-2020 10:03 PM


From Freud:
• The sawblade s projection (t) with respect to the work piece must be greater than the height of the blade s tooth (fig. 18). Increase or decrease the projection of the saw blade to improve finish quality.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Thats pretty much my guideline.

But the arguement can be made that the higher the blade, the lesser the cutting angle, which means lesser resistance with fewer teeth engaged, which means the lesser the pòssibility that the teeth will grab and throw the stock up off the table. I may have read that arguement here on L.J.s, dont recall who made it.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

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