Irrational fear - flying crosscut sleds

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 07-10-2012 09:18 PM 1559 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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983 posts in 3924 days

07-10-2012 09:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: irrational fear crosscut sled tablesaw safety

Of all the things to be afraid of in a woodshop I have what I believe to be a somewhat irrational fear: I have visions of my tablesaw hurling my crosscut sled (especially my bevel crosscut sled) back at me when I start it up. I fully realize this isn’t likely on a saw that doesn’t have much, if any, runout, has a riving knife, and isn’t woefully uncalibrated, but I still feel better starting up the saw and then pushing the sled into the blade.

Feel free to address my irrational fear (not much you can say to help…that’s why it’s called irrational) or add an irrational fear of your own.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

7 replies so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3399 days

#1 posted 07-10-2012 09:26 PM

I’ve never heard of it happening. But if paranoia can’t be rationalized away, start the saw with the blade lowered beneath the sled, then raise it up through the existing kerf. If there is any snagging, it will happen slow enough that the weight of the sled will keep it in place.

Not only that, but kickback only happens when the blade bites into a sizable chunk of wood. With the sled secure in the miter slots, there will never be enough of the sled getting in the way of the blade to cause an issue.

-- Brian Timmons -

View PurpLev's profile


8600 posts in 4562 days

#2 posted 07-10-2012 09:30 PM

lower blade when done using it, raise it after you start the saw.

I always keep my blade under the table when not in use – mostly for safety of anyone might trip and fall hand first into a raised blade.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Brett's profile


683 posts in 3597 days

#3 posted 07-10-2012 09:30 PM

Heavier objects, like table saw sleds, won’t be kicked back at the same high speed as a small piece of wood. I think the sled has enough mass that you shouldn’t have to worry too much.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Furnitude's profile


380 posts in 4421 days

#4 posted 07-10-2012 09:33 PM

I’ve had this feeling as well. You aren’t paranoid. When something scares you, it’s worth paying attention to it. I always hold the sled down when starting the saw—or pull the sled back so it isn’t near the blade.

-- Mitch, Also blog at

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3296 days

#5 posted 07-10-2012 10:34 PM

I agree, if it really bothers you, apply firm downward pressure on your sled with one hand while turning saw on with the other. I can’t imagine a sled so light that it would even raiseup at all on startup. We all have irrational fears, not all can be overcome.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View MolokMot's profile


122 posts in 3241 days

#6 posted 07-26-2012 09:16 PM

Irrational or not, any fear that keeps us safe and reminds us to double and triple check is never a bad thing. I am petrified that I will run my finger through the blade of my TS, this makes me double check that I am making every cut as safe as possible.

It would be difficult to be a computer geek with missing fingers!

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 3105 days

#7 posted 07-26-2012 09:19 PM

On the T slots, If it has that extra “Lip”, Make a scrap thing that fits there, and glue it onto the runners, that could help if it flew back…

-- My terrible signature...

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