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Another table saw mishap

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Forum topic by WoodenDreams posted 06-24-2021 12:52 AM 1459 views 0 times favorited 70 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WoodenDreams

1342 posts in 1065 days


06-24-2021 12:52 AM

Last spring a friend of mine (he’s 72 yrs old) was working in his shop, and cut about a 1 1/2” of his thumb off. Emergency room wasn’t able to reattach it. He wasn’t able to ride his Harley last year because of it.

Another person I know from church (about 30 yrs old) working on a jobsite, just cut off 1/2 his thumb, pointer and middle finger off his right hand with a table saw mishap. Too for gone for the Emergency room to reattach. He was pretty good with the guitar and drums. Sorta ends that.

Both of them had the safety blade guard on the table saw removed at the time. It sure makes you think about your fingers.

Just a reminder for what the blade guard is for.


70 replies so far

View HowardAppel's profile

HowardAppel

110 posts in 4188 days


#1 posted 06-24-2021 01:14 AM

Absolutely correct. I was building a new house for myself about 30 years ago and one of the subcontractor employees was using my Powermatic 66. He took off the blade guard so he could make a cross cut free hand—piece kicked back, hit him in the forehead and stunned, he put his hand down, right across the blade. Cost him his right thumb.

There are so many YouTube channels that just make me scream—John Heisz, cutting narrow strips with no blade guard (he claims he doesn’t need one) and no push stick, people working in the shop wearing flip-flops—guess what happens to your toe when you drop a piece of 8/4 oak on it, running the table saw, router, band saw, etc. wearing loose long sleeves, no eye or ear protection because a pair of safety glasses is too expensive.

I am not sorry about this rant—what people are being taught by watching YouTube pisses me off. Yes, I know there are lots of safe YouTubers out there, but there are a lot of fucking idiots. And I suspect that there has been an increase in injuries during the pandemic from newbies watching YouTube and then running before they learn to walk.

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

4217 posts in 4681 days


#2 posted 06-24-2021 01:22 AM

I know I should just keep quiet, but FYI, there is a method to, I know, but believe me, a way to regrow those fingers. It’s been done!
The military uses it on some of their wounded to regrow lost muscle mass and other things.
Not widely talked about, maybe it’s in limited supply, I don’t know.
You might consult a doctor about how to get hold of some of the powder.
I’ve seen it work !!! REALLY!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2955 posts in 1742 days


#3 posted 06-24-2021 01:30 AM

Bad hand positioning and inattention. Someone crossed the kerf line with a body part and didn’t move in time. The three fingers cut indicate splayed fingers. (Weren’t we just talking about this?)

I wish manufacturers would etch and color red the kerf line as a permanent indicator.

Another idea completely unrelated is powered blade retract. Two offs, stop and stop w/ auto down. All it would take is a motor, a switch and a clutch to connect the motor to the blade height crank. Stop sw on full down kills down motor and clutch until next run. It would all the “grabbed before blade stopped” fails if blade goes zzz-ip and is below the deck in an instant.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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pottz

18610 posts in 2138 days


#4 posted 06-24-2021 01:32 AM

ok im gonna go out on a limb and piss some one off im sure but the first thing i get rid of on a table is the guard.it’s in the way most of the time and just creates more dangerous situations imho.the first thing for safety is a splitter,and then the use of push sticks.if your fingers never get near the blade they will never get cut off.it’s pretty simple and common sense,and thats the deciding factor.im 61 and have been using ts for about 55 of those and still have all 10 of mine.beieve what you want,because everyone is an expert.

-- 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 sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1747 posts in 808 days


#5 posted 06-24-2021 01:48 AM



I wish manufacturers would etch and color red the kerf line as a permanent indicator.

- Madmark2

I was just thinking this the other day. I was making a non-through cut and even though I was using my grr-ripper I was thinking it would be nice to know exactly where the blade is. I hadn’t even considered it could be a warning to keep fingers on the other side of the line if you intend to keep them.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

3252 posts in 2130 days


#6 posted 06-24-2021 02:06 AM

The guard on my saw is way to big and clumsy. I took it off and it hasnt been back on.

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

4217 posts in 4681 days


#7 posted 06-24-2021 02:10 AM

Furthermore: Accidents happen, but when working with ANY, power tool complete concentration is reqired.

You should make the cut in your mind a few times by the time you cut for real. Visualize…

I’ve seen pizza workers get sloppy and get their hand in a metal pizza roller and loose a hand or arm.
I’m really saying we need to focus while working. We get sloppy with familliarity with using tools. Focus…
I say this because I’ve seen it so many times over my years of working in hard situations, with lots of pressure. Usually it’s young guys thinking we make it look so easy they think they can do what you did too…

Just slow down and let things happen at their own pace, SAFTY FIRST, think it out…Do it right…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Ed Weber's profile

Ed Weber

55 posts in 36 days


#8 posted 06-24-2021 02:18 AM



Absolutely correct. I was building a new house for myself about 30 years ago and one of the subcontractor employees was using my Powermatic 66. He took off the blade guard so he could make a cross cut free hand—piece kicked back, hit him in the forehead and stunned, he put his hand down, right across the blade. Cost him his right thumb.

There are so many YouTube channels that just make me scream—John Heisz, cutting narrow strips with no blade guard (he claims he doesn t need one) and no push stick, people working in the shop wearing flip-flops—guess what happens to your toe when you drop a piece of 8/4 oak on it, running the table saw, router, band saw, etc. wearing loose long sleeves, no eye or ear protection because a pair of safety glasses is too expensive.

I am not sorry about this rant—what people are being taught by watching YouTube pisses me off. Yes, I know there are lots of safe YouTubers out there, but there are a lot of fucking idiots. And I suspect that there has been an increase in injuries during the pandemic from newbies watching YouTube and then running before they learn to walk.

- HowardAppel

I have to agree.
Many of these people have had no experience or background using any tools what so ever before they picked up a camera and decided to show me how to make a cutting board.
The flip flops, the lack of any kind of common sense, let alone respect for their tools and on and on. I honestly can’t watch too much at one sitting.
Don’t even get me started with the “I can do anything with an angle grinder” crowd. It’s as if some of these people are trying to hurt themselves.
I know we all do things in the safety of our own shops that others would think unsafe but keep that to yourself, don’t post it for the world to see. That just shows you’re unsafe and have bad judgement too.
I think what gets me the most is the fawning replies to one of these videos that make me cringe.
People commenting, “you’re so clever” or ” your a genius” Just after the guy broke every safety rule and displayed every bad habit known to man. It’s perpetuating the stupidity and you can’t fix stupid.
I really wish these people would stop, take a moment to slow down and actually think about what they’re doing from time to time. If nothing else but to give us the illusion they care.
Just my opinion

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2018 posts in 1333 days


#9 posted 06-24-2021 02:30 AM

From a pure ideologic point of view, I wish SS technology or equivalent would be on every saw. It works, its cheap, and has zero effect on user. Its kinda like a seat belt only it works better and is less intrusive.

I dont mind a guard for ripping, but most use their saw for a lot of operations. I never use it at work.

View SMP's profile

SMP

4402 posts in 1059 days


#10 posted 06-24-2021 02:42 AM


ok im gonna go out on a limb and piss some one off im sure but the first thing i get rid of on a table is the guard.it s in the way most of the time and just creates more dangerous situations imho.the first thing for safety is a splitter,and then the use of push sticks.if your fingers never get near the blade they will never get cut off.it s pretty simple and common sense,and thats the deciding factor.im 61 and have been using ts for about 55 of those and still have all 10 of mine.beieve what you want,because everyone is an expert.

- pottz

I agree with Pottz. Me Miyagi taught me long ago that best way to block attack is to “no be there”. I bought my old delta contractors saw brand new in 1993 and 90% of the time the guard is off. I just make a habit of not sticking my hand into
the spinning blade. Same with a running car engine, I don’t stick my hands into the belts and pulleys as I have seen those take fingers off.

IMO these people are lucky. I. The past year I personally know 3 people that died of Covid, another from a heart attack, 2 more from cancer, and another from a car crash. Pretty sure any of them would trade places with these guys(I have to speak for them) Danger is all around.

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1787 posts in 3741 days


#11 posted 06-24-2021 03:20 AM

I plead guilty to removing the guard. I keep the riving knife in and use a push stick or the gripper. I know there is no excuse to not use the guard unless you are dadoing or some other special operations. I cut thin strips on the band saw. Maybe I will reform and start using the guard except when I have to remove it. I try my best to abide by the 3” rule of not getting my hand any closer to the blade. When I taught woodworking I always used the guard to set a good example. I taught 40yrs and no table saw accidents. I would yell at students not following the safety procedures. Maybe I should yell at myself for not using a guard more often.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1747 posts in 808 days


#12 posted 06-24-2021 03:36 AM


Furthermore: Accidents happen, but when working with ANY, power tool complete concentration is reqired. You should make the cut in your mind a few times by the time you cut for real. Visualize… I ve seen pizza workers get sloppy and get their hand in a metal pizza roller and loose a hand or arm. I m really saying we need to focus while working. We get sloppy with familliarity with using tools. Focus… I say this because I ve seen it so many times over my years of working in hard situations, with lots of pressure. Usually it s young guys thinking we make it look so easy they think they can do what you did too… Just slow down and let things happen at their own pace, SAFTY FIRST, think it out…Do it right…

- mtnwild

I’ve seen a few crazy accidents with just a kitchen knife. Used to work a smoke house at a popular bbq restaurant. Me and the other smoke house vets would be laughing and having a good time while trimming a few dozen cases of ribs. We did this daily with razor sharp knives but to us it was all muscle memory at this point. We were training a new guy and he thought it would be fun to join in on the good times. We warned him to pay attention to what he was doing a few times. Didn’t work…within 10 min he was on his way to urgent care with a good flap of skin missing from his index finger. Pretty sure he even took off a chunk of bone on the second knuckle.

In hindsight we probably should have been more professional but that job sucked. Rib trimming time was like our slow time for the day. The only time the few of us manning the smoke house weren’t flying around like something was on fire.

We never saw that new hire again…pretty sure he didn’t like the job.

View SMP's profile

SMP

4402 posts in 1059 days


#13 posted 06-24-2021 03:52 AM



I ve seen a few crazy accidents with just a kitchen knife. Used to work a smoke house at a popular bbq restaurant. Me and the other smoke house vets would be laughing and having a good time while trimming a few dozen cases of ribs. We did this daily with razor sharp knives but to us it was all muscle memory at this point. We were training a new guy and he thought it would be fun to join in on the good times. We warned him to pay attention to what he was doing a few times. Didn t work…within 10 min he was on his way to urgent care with a good flap of skin missing from his index finger. Pretty sure he even took off a chunk of bone on the second knuckle.

In hindsight we probably should have been more professional but that job sucked. Rib trimming time was like our slow time for the day. The only time the few of us manning the smoke house weren t flying around like something was on fire.

We never saw that new hire again…pretty sure he didn t like the job.

- sansoo22

That sure is a rib tickler of a story!

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2064 posts in 2803 days


#14 posted 06-24-2021 10:23 AM

Bad design of the guards are a major problem. I want to use mine more, but it is in the way of safely pushing the wood. I did just finally pick up the micro-jig pusher block system thingie. The first small piece rip I did seemed quite a bit safer, but you still wind up right over the blade.

If you want a saw stop, buy a saw stop. Good saws, but not without issues. I decided not and just went for a newer saw with a riving knife. I hope I never regret it. My close calls were all due to no riving knife.

View stevejack's profile

stevejack

337 posts in 474 days


#15 posted 06-24-2021 12:42 PM

KNOCK WOOD. Seems every time I mess myself up its with tools with no moving parts. A chizle? A sticker razor scraper. A Hammer. GRAVITY! I guess because when I fire up my table saw I am terrorized the entire time. Not so much with a hammer.

I read an article years ago about Sawstop. It was written from the view of a injury lawyer. The short any table saw manufacture and business or school that DOES NOT USE SS or does not have a SAWSTOP type of device is doomed in the court room. Said something like this. Mister Wood Shop teacher,. Why did you and your school NOT have a SS in the class shop when they are readily available. So you went the cheap route and in so doing endangered the lives and health of you student body. Can you tell the jury why you did that?

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