LumberJocks

Trials and Tribulations #5: First Tablesaw Accident (Not Serious, No Blood)

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by DamnYankee posted 01-23-2012 11:08 PM 1193 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: New Project - 2 Screw-ups in Under 30 Minutes Part 5 of Trials and Tribulations series Part 6: Unexpected Costs of Woodworking »

I was cutting a piece of 1/4” ply down to final size (size befor cutting ~24”x36” had to cut it about in half) for the armoir project I posted earlier.

Being fully aware of the potential danger of cutting thin stock when the fence is further away from the blade than the edege of the tabel top wings, I checked (with the saw blade all the way down) to see if it was goint to be an issue. After test pushing the piece through (remember no blade up or spinning) it pushed through just fine and gave no indication that it would have any difficulty following the fence.

I then raised the blade up just high enough to clear the gullets as it cut.

I then proceded to cut the 1/4” ply.

As I neared the end of the cut (1/2” – 1/4” left to cut) the 1/4” ply bowed as the leading edge dipped under the fence.

The piece that WAS NOT THE KICKBACK PIECE, got caught be the blade, broke the last 1/2” of the cut line and shot the piece back at me and hit me about 4” above my crotch.

Other than a sore (very sore) spot no injuries.

The moral of the story, at least for me is ALWAYS ASSUME THIN STOCK WILL GO UNDER THE FENCE WHENEVER THE FENCE IS OFF THE TABLE AND ATTACH A PIECE OF STOCK TO PREVENT IT!

OUCH!

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards



16 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112943 posts in 2332 days


#1 posted 01-23-2012 11:13 PM

Glad you came through it ok Rob. A lesson for us all.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1595 days


#2 posted 01-23-2012 11:26 PM

Glad your ok. Thats one reason I like hand tools. They spin at an rpm of Dave’s elbow.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14708 posts in 1430 days


#3 posted 01-23-2012 11:32 PM

“Sheet” happens!

Glad you’re no worse for wear!

-- 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 ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2489 posts in 2282 days


#4 posted 01-23-2012 11:47 PM

It is good to hear that you are not hurt badly.

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1317 days


#5 posted 01-24-2012 12:55 AM

What got me (other than the board) was after I finished stringy lots of words together (which is happened as I turned th TS off of course) and mentally reviewed what happened I came to the conclusion that I had followed all the right steps. The fence was only about 5-6” away from the edge of the wing and the board when I did the test push (blade all the way down and not on) gave no indication it would dip under the fence. And it wasn’t the kickback side.

This is why (despite my bruised pride and other body parts) I am sharing this.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View William's profile

William

9287 posts in 1597 days


#6 posted 01-24-2012 01:23 AM

I cut a lot of thin material on my saw. Always check to see if it’ll go under the fence. If it will, it probably will at the worst possible moment.
That being said, I have learned with thin stock, that no matter how careful you are, sometimes it will break off a pice, usually a corner, and throw it at you in anger.
Therefore,
I always wear safety glasses when ripping thin stock.
I pay extra close attention to any potential hazards and position myself to hit the stop switch if I need to with my hip.
I accept the fact that a lot of people refuse to. No matter how careful you are, sometime if you play with the bull, you get the horns. I’ve been hit numerous times by pieces of thin stock. The glasses protect my eyes. Most of my front teeth are already gone, so that’s not an issue. My beauty has NEVER been an issue. So I accept that if I want the accuracy I can get cutting thin material on my table saw, then there is no other way to do it than to take the slight risk. I figure that as long as I don’t put body parts in danger, then everything is fine.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

15371 posts in 1559 days


#7 posted 01-24-2012 02:35 AM

glad yer ok. that coulda been very bad

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

719 posts in 1256 days


#8 posted 01-24-2012 02:36 AM

I then raised the blade up just high enough to clear the gullets as it cut.

A while back I read that it is actually safer to have the blade protruding a long way through the material being cut, rather than only just through the material. At first, that sounds unsafe because you have more blade exposed, thereby increasing the area that could be accidentally touched. But …

Remember that the teeth are the only part of the blade that is in contact with the wood. If the blade only just protrudes through the wood, then the those teeth are moving relatively parallel to the table surface and have a tendency to push the wood backwards towards you. If the blade protrudes well through the wood then the teeth are moving more perpendicular to the table surface and have a tendency to push the wood downwards (at the back of the balde), but not so much backwards. This should reduce the likelihood of a kickback, or at the very least should reduce the energy transferred to the wood in the event of a kickback.

Of course, the teeth at the front of the balde would have a tendency to lift the wood, so you need to keep the wood down on the surface. A riving knife or spliiter also help to prevent trouble there.

Glad to hear you are okay, and thanks for being brave enough to share this with us. The upside of your unfortunate experience is that other people can learn from it and, hopefully, not make the same mistake.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1317 days


#9 posted 01-24-2012 04:12 AM

@william – the thing is I did check to see if it would or not and it didn’t
Also I did have my safety glasses and hearing protection

@tootles – I would agree with you about having the blade higher

Oh yeah – if you didn’t catch it above IT WAS NOT THE KICKBACK SIDE THAT KICKED BACK

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View William's profile

William

9287 posts in 1597 days


#10 posted 01-24-2012 04:19 AM

I noticed that DYankee. I was speaking in general.

This issue falls back to the other rule I wrote about, if you play with the bull, you get the horns.

It happens. I can only recommend with thin stock to take your normal safety precautions and never NEVER put yourself where you can get into the blade.
I cut a lot of thin stock. I do mostly scroll saw work and often cut up 4×8 thin ply. No matter what you do, it will get you at times. I’ve also had pieces fly out of the middle of plywood without any explanation as to what caused it. It just seems to happen with thin stock.
I still prefer the table saw though. It is the only way I have found to get the stock down for example, for portraits so that it’ll still fit the frame well. I’ve tried other methods, such as the band saw. I always go back to breaking down the sheets on the table saw though.
I could buy smaller stock which would be a little better, but I can’t afford it.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1317 days


#11 posted 01-24-2012 04:53 AM

@william – sorry I’d I came across a bit contentious. But to your point about the bull…. That’s pretty much why I posted this. As someone once said (and I say wry frequently) ” the idea is to learn from other people’s mistakes”. So I posted this so others could learn from mine. I did all the correct generally accepted precautions yet an accident still happened. I was even using a push block (not a stick, but a block that provides pressure to the top of the board as well as pushes it forward).

I think if I had had the blade higher (as well as a block clamped under the fence to keep they ply from dipping under) it might not have happened.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1595 days


#12 posted 01-24-2012 04:57 AM

Rob my daddy taught me only have that blade as high as you are willing to get cut with. I would have had it at the level you did.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1317 days


#13 posted 01-24-2012 05:00 AM

Dave I think there might be a balance. Im not saying to have it maxed out in height but when cutting 1/4” Luann the blade could probably been at 3/4” instead of 1/2”

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View William's profile

William

9287 posts in 1597 days


#14 posted 01-24-2012 05:02 AM

Not at all. No apologies necessary.
I recently had a near miss on the table saw myself. I was also simply trying to say that the table saw is a dangerous piece of machinery by nature. We all have to be careful as possible to eliminate potential hazards. I guess what I was trying to say didn’t come across as I wanted it to. That is a fault of mine at times. I apoologize if I sounded offensive.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View NormG's profile

NormG

4566 posts in 1758 days


#15 posted 01-24-2012 05:59 AM

Glad to hear you are OK

-- Norman

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase