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Forum topic by bigblockyeti posted 10-10-2013 05:52 PM 2217 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7188 posts in 2771 days

10-10-2013 05:52 PM

While this doesn’t pertain to me, I am somewhat worried about my father. Not sure what he was ripping on my Unisaw, but I watched him pushing the off cut with one of my push blocks instead of the piece between the blade. It didn’t kick back, just sat there until the next cut was made. I was both terrified and discouraged as to how to approach this topic as he at least at one point in time understood everything that can go wrong and how to reduce the chance of an accident with virtually every tool imaginable. The scariest thing is he lives 600 miles away and has been buying a few smaller tools as needed to make up for a massive property liquidation necessitated from moving from a big house in the burbs to a loft downtown. Now retired and out in the country, his space, time and budget will allow him to get anything he wants, whether it’s a good idea or not. This singular safety infraction has me wondering if/when an injury will occur due to forgotten knowledge and/or lightweight portable tools that are being pushed beyond their limits. Any advise on how to handle this?

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

23 replies so far

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3937 days

#1 posted 10-10-2013 06:16 PM

I watch my father do stupid things from time to time. I just let it go. I may give him a tip every now and then but I think most of the time it just falls on def ears.

View revanson11's profile


113 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 10-10-2013 06:19 PM

Honest and sincerely is the best way. I am 63 and from time to time my loving wife will catch me doing something that I shouldn’t and just ask “is that the best way to do that”. It very much depends on your relationship with your father. Have you always been open and frank when you are talking? Does he take offense easily when you question something he is doing or not doing? I have come to realize that even in my 60’s I need to stop and think things through, especially things that might be slightly dangerous. What you described should be of concern to you, who knows maybe the next time he does that the kickback could be aimed at you. And maybe that is a way to broach the subject in that he is not the only one that his actions are putting in danger, it could be anyone standing behind him. I’m sure he would be devastated if he was to inflict an injury on another. Best of luck.


-- Randy, Central MN

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442 posts in 2847 days

#3 posted 10-10-2013 06:24 PM

Tell him how it is and why his bone headed move scared you. When you were a kid I am sure he would have been the first to correct you.

Think of it as payback for the grief he gave you when you were a kid.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4021 days

#4 posted 10-10-2013 08:17 PM

My dad worked till he was 84 but in the last couple of years before we had to take his toys away he ran his hand through the table saw twice. He never remembered what he had done to get hurt.

If he can get anything he wants and really wants to work with a table saw, talk him into a Sawstop. Make him use a Gripper to push cuts through. This way you can present him with new tools with safety features and not be condemning his present methods.

View MrRon's profile


6005 posts in 4294 days

#5 posted 10-10-2013 09:22 PM

It may not apply to you now, but some day it will. I am 79 and still operate potentially dangerous machinery. I am still fully aware of the dangers involved and still observe all precautions. The one thing that could bring about my downfall is reduction in reaction time. I have previously stated that physical limitations have curtailed my shop time. I don’t intend to stop all shop work, but I do have to rethink my shop strategy. As long as my mind is fully working (no Alzeheimers or dementia) I will find out how to work smarter and work around any current limitations. Sometimes old people can be stubborn and just a plain PITA. If this is the case, you will not change him. All you can do is let him do what he wants. He feels he has earned that right and I couldn’t agree more. My son is 40. and he still listens to me in the shop. He is very smart in his own field, but he still listens to me in the shop. he recognizes me as an authority in what I do and I recognize his abilitys.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3143 days

#6 posted 10-10-2013 10:09 PM

You’re a good person to be so concerned about your father. People will tear me a new one for suggesting this but do you think you could talk him into a SawStop?

View bigblockyeti's profile


7188 posts in 2771 days

#7 posted 10-10-2013 10:22 PM

I’m sure I couldn’t convince him a stop saw would be a good idea, despite the obvious safety benefits, it would be viewed as too much that could go wrong. He always liked buying cars with the minimum available options, if a car didn’t have any features, then they couldn’t break! As far as breaching the subject, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I remember when my grandpa couldn’t drive anymore and it was going to be someone’s responsibility to tell him that, I was just glad I was a generation removed so I knew it wouldn’t be my problem. Luckily he figured it out on his own without hurting anyone. Now I’m in the hot seat and while I’m sure dad still know what to do to be safe, keeping him doing it consistently is going to be the real challenge.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4627 days

#8 posted 10-10-2013 10:24 PM

It’s hard for folks to break old habits,if your father has been doing this for a long time,he may not see the danger involved since he’s gotten away with it for years. A reminder is worth a try and if he does what he’s been doing the same way he always has done it then you’ve tried the best you could. Perhaps a gripper would be a nice gift. I really believe in the SAW Stop technology so if that’s in his budget I would strongly recommend it, It still won’t stop Kick backs.


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4021 days

#9 posted 10-10-2013 10:36 PM

Talk him into a Sawstop.
Make him use a Gripper to push cuts through.

This way you can present him with new tools with better safety features and not be condemning his present methods.

If the Sawstop is too much to go wrong to suit him, at least promote the Gripper.
Lots of folks on this site think very highly of this accessory.

I know I already said this in post #4 above, but it didn’t seem to get much traction.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3735 days

#10 posted 10-10-2013 11:29 PM

Old dogs…new tricks??? He learned his methods long before the internet or cable tv explained the engineering of working with wood safely (or “more safely” since wood sometimes will object to being cut). It takes a bad incident or a near miss to change. Best you can hope for is having a good first aid kit in the shop. And when he does come around with multiple band-aids, use it as an opportunity to ask him what happened…it might open the door to discussing techniques that would minimize it without lecturing.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3143 days

#11 posted 10-11-2013 12:14 AM

Let’s hope it’s just multiple band-aids and not lost digits.

My experience with my SawStop has been that is very little you need to do as far as the safety system. Basically you may need to adjust the position of the brake cartridge when you swap blades. And you need to wait a few seconds when you switch on the main power for the electronics to run a self check.

But if you can’t talk him into it, you can’t. If his saws don’t have good guards on them perhaps you could get him some better guards. And make/buy a bunch of grippers and push sticks.

But as you’ve said the main idea is to breach the subject with him. I wish I had some tips for you on that one but I’m afraid I don’t. Before too long I’ll have to bring this up to my own parents about driving and other potentially dangerous activities and I’m not looking forward to it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3740 days

#12 posted 10-11-2013 01:20 AM

The answer depends on your relationship with your dad. With mine, the older he got the smarter he thought I was! He really wouldn’t take advice/criticism from me until he was about 70.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3125 days

#13 posted 10-11-2013 01:34 AM

I don’t envy you, you’re in a tough spot. In my opinion, honesty is the best policy. You did mention it was your Unisaw, so you may want to ask yourself what you would do if anyone else was using your saw a way that wasn’t safe.

To play devil’s advocate, you’re 600 miles away, and I presume that your father is still fully independent, driving etc. So my best advice is to tell him that you’re worried and then let it go.

Several years ago, I had an issue with my mother’s driving (NOT age related) She had backed into the ditch and then a car within 3 days with my kids in the car. I agonized over it and then told her that I would feel better if she would agree to go out with an instructor for a couple of hours to improve her backing up. She did and quite enjoyed it.

Good luck.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View bigblockyeti's profile


7188 posts in 2771 days

#14 posted 10-11-2013 11:32 AM

He really doesn’t want to buy anything else at this point, given that the portable saw he got is still fairly new. He insisted on trimming out the small living space they have above their garage before the main house was built. It was a decent amount of work and not only does it look good, but no injuries were reported, and if anything happened, my mother would have let me know.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 3324 days

#15 posted 10-11-2013 01:26 PM

Be careful about trying to put on limitations. If you take away something he enjoys, it might also take away part of his reason for living. My Grandfather continued making and using his shop even after he was declared legally blind. I am now 74 and know what would happen if someone tried to impose their wishes on me.

-- Kepy

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