Dungeon to Lair: That's the plan at least... #6: Act like a Kid & throw out your back!

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Blog entry by DIYaholic posted 02-16-2012 03:36 AM 8418 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: A Herc-U-Lean Effort & 3/4's Done! Part 6 of Dungeon to Lair: That's the plan at least... series Part 7: Breathing easier, as I save the world!!! (UPDATE! 2/26/13) »

I felt like a kid today! We went around to the properties we maintain and played “Pick Up Sticks”! What a good time that was. Oh, did you know that sticks are actually made of WOOD? Here in the Champlain Valley of Vermont, there is no snow on the ground. Which means I ain’t plowing! Very short work weeks, maybe 10-15 hours a week! Yee Haa! So we took this opportunity to get some brownie points with our customers, that and the Boss Man wanted me to do some actual work, as I AM on salary. Can you believe that? He wanted me to perform actual manual labor in exchange for money. Un freakin’ believable!

I also got to play Hercules today. I had to get my new (to me) table saw out of the garage, across the driveway, over the lawn, then down & through a bulkhead door and into the basement shop. I was not alone in my endeavor. I had the help of a friend, shouldn’t be a big deal. Now then, I’m not a big guy, 5’ 8”, 150 lbs. (but I can pull my own wieght) my eager assistant however is smaller than I. I sure hope he can handle this! Sounds like fun!

Well, First things first, remove the rip fence, turn the saw over, undo 4 sets of nuts & bolts, remove the base. NO PROBLEM! We lifted, the now legless, upside down table saw (remember folks, whenever you are lifting a potential hernia, lift with your legs, you want to avoid the hernia). NO PROBLEM! Time to leave the garage and venture across the driveway. Have you ever noticed how SLIPPERY a driveway, covered with a layer of ice is when it’s 37d F outside with a mist in the air? No slips, spills or drops, we made it safely across the drive. NO PROBLEM! The lawn proved to be a cake walk, (pun intended). NO PROBLEM!

Here is where the real fun begins and if successful, the end of the story. It is time to bring this massive (to me) hunk of cast iron & metal, wood slicing machine down the bulkhead stairs. Having never set the saw down, we needed to flip the saw on it’s side, so it would fit through the bottom door. We adjusted our grip and got the saw repositioned. That was easy. NO PRBLEM! My partner, in this undertaking, took the first step (backwards) down the stairs. This left me at the top & short end of the ordeal. This necessitates me having to be bent over to carry the weight. Remember, when I said to lift with your legs? Well that also means DON’T lift with your back! Deep in the back of my mind, I invisioned bad things happening. I mean you hear about accidents all the time. However, we are at the point of no return. We must get this down the stairs, as up would be fighting gravity. Step by step, we inched our way down the stairs. When/If we get to the bottom of the stairs, we will actually be in the basement. Amazingly, no slips, trips or falls. We safely lay the saw down. No Problem! What, you were expecting one of us to slip, trip or fall and break something! That’s just wrong! Shame on you!

Here is the saw upright & in one piece!

My Dysfunctional saw:
The upside down main body,
with it’s severed legs!

Having had dinner, I’m now resting comfortably watching TV, throwing back a few “Cold Ones” and blogging of my day. I’ll be right back, gotta get another beer. PROBLEM! It seems my back has tightend up and refuses to let me move! Can someone please get me several beers & a Motrin? Please!!!

Once I finish building my air cleaner, the next task at hand is to thoroughly inspect, clean, and “dial In” the saw. The belt will be replaced with a link belt, to improve performance. I will also need to order the blade gaurd, which is still available from Sears Parts Direct. However, it’s mounting bracket is missing & that item is “No Longer Available”! I’ll have to either hunt one down or fabricate my own. Eventually, I want to build a work station to replace the original base. I’ll include a flip up/down outfeed table, DC and either a router table or downdraft sanding table. Well, that’s the plan at least!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

17 comments so far

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2917 days

#1 posted 02-16-2012 04:00 AM

I sympathize a lot. I’ve been working on my new bench top trying to get it built. Been really careful but an hour after stopping today the back muscles decided to tighten right up. 3 aleve to jelp but the pain just sucks doesn’t it?

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View boxcarmarty's profile


16436 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 02-16-2012 04:00 AM

Have a link belt on mine Randy, They’re great. Blade Guard? Who uses those?

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2922 days

#3 posted 02-16-2012 04:15 AM

Randy a great story. Now did you give your buddy a beer? Last question. Whats a table saw?

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2924 days

#4 posted 02-16-2012 04:16 AM

I live everyday with back pain, so I know a lot about it.
Lesson of the day.
Often, the full extrent of what you’ve done to your back does not fully introduce itself until AFTER you’ve stopped and sat down.
If something appears that it may be too much for your back to handle, it usually is.

Hot Bath.
Hot as you can handle it.

If you prefer a shower, fine. Hot as you can handle it. Turn around and let that hot water pound your back exactly wherever it’s hurting at.

That helps me sometimes, followed by going straight to bed with a heating pad.


View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 2498 days

#5 posted 02-16-2012 04:25 AM

Codeine & Single Malt Whisky. Dont go in the workshop after these …..
See if the pharmacy or sports injury specialist stocks “Biofreeze Gel”

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View DIYaholic's profile


19634 posts in 2757 days

#6 posted 02-16-2012 04:26 AM

I use this as an excuse to do what I do best…..absolutely nothing!! Every once in a while, when I over do it, my back will speak up! It’s not that bad, I will just need a few beers tonight & a few days and Ill be good as old.

Hope your not too bad off!

I actually have never used a blade gaurd. My housemates Dewalt 744 jobsite saw doesn’t have one. But as a newbie, I’ll admit that this bigger saw is a little intimidating. I am extremely safety conscious! I would rather start with it, then if it becomes too much of a pain in the ass, I could remove it. I also want it for when my friends son comes over, gotta set the right example!
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the link belt. So it seems like a no brainer! The way I see it, I got this saw for $125.00, I have no problem throwing a little more into it, to get the most out of it.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2924 days

#7 posted 02-16-2012 04:33 AM

When I first got my Ridgid (first saw I ever owned that actually came with a guard) I tried to use it faithfully. I wanted to take all the proper safety measures.
I quickly realized that the use of that guard was an accident waiting to happen.

I understand that some manufactorer’s guard are better than others. In my opinion though, most of them are just pieces of crap that was put on to pass government regulations and will cause more harm than they will ever prevent.


View DIYaholic's profile


19634 posts in 2757 days

#8 posted 02-16-2012 05:09 AM

Thanks for the candor. I guess I should see if an aftermarket splitter or riving knife is an option. Although as old as the saw is, I tend to doubt the riving knife option.
Great progress on your TSP!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2924 days

#9 posted 02-16-2012 12:44 PM

I’ve never used an actual riving knife. From what i’ve seen though, they may be much safer and beneficial that a guard or most factory installed splitters.

I forgot to mention that on my Ridgid, the splitter was encorporated into the guard assembly. I though at one time that the splitter would be good without the guard. The only way it would be of use to me though was if all the hardware for the guard was gone with it.
So I spent a lot of time one day carefully removing all the spot welded crap from the splitter and reinstalled it. Then I spent days trying to get it set just right.
Even with all the help I could get from forums and customer service, it appeared it was adjusted correctly. It would still catch wood though and put the whole machine into a bind. Customer service did finally point me in the right direction to find the issue.

As it turned out, the blade I was using was like a thousandths (exaggerated for effect) of a nanoinch thinner than the splitter.
The suggestion from them? Use a better blade (the blade I had was a freud) or use a sander to make the splitter thinner.
You have GOT to be kidding me. I needed to basically remanufactor the splitter design for it to be useful.
No, I’d been using saws for a millinium withut it.

As I said though, a riving knife, from my research on it, seems more promising.
If you get one, please let me know your results. I now have two saws. The Ridgid keeps the Incra sled on it for crosscutting. All my ripping is done on an ancient Craftsman. I’ve considered a riving knife for it in the past.


As for safety equipment I DO recommend though, push sticks, feather boards, push sticks, feather boards, and, oh yea, more push sticks and feather boards.

Push sticks are self explanatory. A simple tool that keeps your body parts away from the blade as far as possible has got to be a good thing. I have many extras in my shop. They are cheap. I take scrap ieces of plywood and make my own. They’re easy to whip out in minutes, and if they get cut or broken, it’s easy to rip out more.

As for the feather boards, every near accident I’ve had has been while NOT using one and could have been prevented if I’d taken the time to set them up.
Most table saw accidents are caused by kickback. From my experience, most times that kickback is because the wood moved one way or the other and caught the backside of the blade in a bad way. If the wood is wedged against the fence good with a featherboard, then it cannot move nowhere except further through the blade.


All that being said, using my saws without a guard, but with featherboards and pushsticks, the only issues that crop up sometimes for me is when I set up a difficult cut and I put it especially tight against the fence with feather boards, and the wood pinches the blade, causing kickbakc issues.
If it works like I think it would, this problem would be eliminated with a riving knife. That’s food for thought.


View William's profile


9950 posts in 2924 days

#10 posted 02-16-2012 12:44 PM

Anyway, back to your original post, how is your back this morning?

Mine is torturing me.


View DIYaholic's profile


19634 posts in 2757 days

#11 posted 02-16-2012 01:31 PM

I’m just a little tight this AM. Thanks for asking!

Hope your pain diminishes as your TSP progresses! Keep busy, distract the mind, accomplish great things!!!

I’m actually good, just have to start moving & it’ll loosen up. I don’t have a bad back, per se, just lifted incorrrectly and it let me know. Wouldn’t have bother me years ago, but this nearly 50 year old body, just ain’t what it used to be. I know that my pain, really just an inconcenience, is nothing compaired to what you deal with.

Your input re: blade gaurd/splitter/riving knife is greatly appreciated. As a newbie, I NEED all the info/input/insight I can get. I guess that is why I joined LJs, as it sure ain’t for my projects or skills!

I have feather boards & a push stick (singular)! It is in my plans to make more push sticks & feather boards. That actually is why I’m PHSYCHO, I mean phsyched, to have MY (new to me) table saw. I was using my housemates jobsite saw, and was finding it difficult to justify building jigs, sleds and material support/OF Table for a saw that was not mine, just to have to modify them when I did get a saw!

Again, thanks for the concern & advice!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3218 days

#12 posted 02-16-2012 06:05 PM

I am not such a big fan of push sticks. For example have a look at this post.

I am a big fan of GRR-Rippers. Expensive buggers, and you want one for each hand, but they give you great control of your workpiece all the way through the cut while keeping your fingers away from the cutters. With them I don’t often reach for the featherboards.

I also like the Bench Dog push blocks when I’m ripping wider stock.

-- Greg D.

View DIYaholic's profile


19634 posts in 2757 days

#13 posted 02-16-2012 07:59 PM


I saw the push stick/SS accident post! I am leary of push sticks my self. I have also seen the Grr-rippers. I like the concept & need to look into them some more! I seem to remember seeing a shop made version somewhere, probably here on LJs! I have the push blocks that came with my Ridgid jointer & have used them on the smaller jobsite saw I’ve been using.

Now that I have a “Real” table saw, I need to investigate all options & additions out there from shop jigs, sleds, DC, Out feed, etc., etc.,......

Thanks for reminding me about Grr-rippers!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2644 days

#14 posted 02-18-2012 02:07 PM

DIY – a few years younger than you but as I tell others, its not the age, its the recovery

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View DIYaholic's profile


19634 posts in 2757 days

#15 posted 02-18-2012 02:18 PM

I always say:
I may grow old, but I refuse to grow up!
You’re only as old as you feel, as I don’t feel anyone (I’m single) I, therefore, don’t exist!!!

I actually awoke this AM, without tightness or soreness. Just have to take it easy for a few more days and I’ll be “Good to Go”!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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