Shop Safety #3: Caution, Very Graphic Video

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Blog entry by Lee A. Jesberger posted 08-20-2008 02:27 AM 5094 reads 1 time favorited 53 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Hand Tools, Dangerous? Part 3 of Shop Safety series no next part

Hi Everyone;

First please note, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here, however I am trying my very best to get every lumberjock to use a splitter, and much better one with anti kick back pawls.

Even though we all use the table saw all the time, and it never happened before, and we’re extremely sure of ourselves, just keep in mind it only takes once. It’s a chance not worth taking.

While looking around the internet I came across a video taken in a hospital Emergency Room.

The video is of a man brought in after a table saw kick back. IT IS VERY GRAPHIC.

If you are disturbed by such video, don’t watch it. Again, It is VERY GRAPHIC.

I did not watch the entire video, as I am disturbed by such images.

But I will put a link to it, so you can see what could happen, that one time.

It was shot by

MCPetruk who says;

“I shot this for “Trauma: Life in the E.R” The chunk of wood in this guy’s face came from tablesaw kickback”.

I hope I don’t offend anyone with this posting, but as woodworkers, we need to know!

Stay safe.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

53 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3733 days

#1 posted 08-20-2008 02:32 AM

wow when you said graphic you weren’t kidding! i did make it through it and i think that it is something tht every woodworker should know about. looks from what i saw that there was a check in the wood and when he cut it free it released tensions and got caught in the blade sending it back. always got to look for checks when you are ripping and if there is any loose material get it off!

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

248 posts in 3559 days

#2 posted 08-20-2008 02:50 AM

WOW is right. I would like to know how it got in his face. I did have a piece kick back and hit me in the lower abdomen once. It hit me hard enough that my first reaction was to reach around my back and make sure it did not go through. It did give me a welt about 8” accross and a permanent scar in the shape of the wood. I would have to agree with Lee that it is important to have a decent splitter.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 08-20-2008 02:54 AM


You can’t beat the drum loud enough.

Because of the posts here on LJ, I’ve installed a splitter and kickback guard on my saw.

I thank you and all who’ve posted their stories for motivating me to be more safety conscious.


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 3885 days

#4 posted 08-20-2008 02:55 AM

I couldnt watch the whole thing either. After the first image i had enough. I don’t have a splitter on my saw…now I am going to find it and put one on! Do you know Lee if a full face mask would resist a punch like this?

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 3918 days

#5 posted 08-20-2008 02:57 AM

WOW….that was cool…...not really. As a blood and guts kinda guy, that made me take a step back. Tomorrow, there will be splitters added to my shop-made inserts tomorrow.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3749 days

#6 posted 08-20-2008 03:06 AM

I don’t think I can even bring myself to watch it!

-- Eric at

View itsme_timd's profile


689 posts in 3796 days

#7 posted 08-20-2008 03:39 AM

Thanks Lee, I’m glad we don’t try to act ingorant here at LJ’s and pretend these things don’t happen. My splitter and pawls were off my saw until a few weeks ago when Karson shared his story – everything is in place where it should be now!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 3842 days

#8 posted 08-20-2008 03:47 AM

Thanks, I watched it all, spliters will go on before I use my saw again.

-- Ron Central, CA

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4015 days

#9 posted 08-20-2008 03:47 AM

I bet that left a mark.

I have been meaning to put splitters on the inserts for a while. I guess I will do it really soon now.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3987 days

#10 posted 08-20-2008 03:51 AM

This is a truly great service you are providing Lee.
Most folks have never seen or experienced a Kickback so they are really vulnerable to having one.
This is a blood sport if you are not informed and carefull.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 3755 days

#11 posted 08-20-2008 03:56 AM


-- Tony, Ohio

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3628 days

#12 posted 08-20-2008 04:23 AM

That doesn’t look like fun, I couldn’t watch the whole thing. I definately reminded me to use a splitter and be careful

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Texasgaloot's profile


464 posts in 3665 days

#13 posted 08-20-2008 04:33 AM

I’m an EMT so I’ve seen some stuff, and this gave me the woodgies. That is a whole new kind of hurt! You’re so right to draw our attention to this stuff, and I’m guilty. I don’t have a splitter… yet. It sure makes me glad I’m a galoot, and for sure!

Thanks, Lee. Good word.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3614 days

#14 posted 08-20-2008 04:54 AM

this thing is wicked!

yup, gotta remember – we are dealing with some seriously mean machines, and if we don’t pay attention, and stay one step ahead of the game – probability of things to happen is only going to get higher.

Thanks for sharing- it’s one thing to talk about those things, but to actually see it, kinda hits the bell.

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3945 days

#15 posted 08-20-2008 06:39 AM

I thanks you all for taking this in the context as it was to be.

I was somewhat reluctant to post this, but now I am glad I did.

Just yesterday a fellow ordered an ezee-feed, and in the course of our conversation, he mentioned a recent kick back experience. I did ask if he had a splitter on the saw. He was a little embarrassed to admit he had one, but wasn’t using it. I was able to convince him that once is enough to be fatal even if you have been using the saw without one for forty years. The saw doesn’t take experience into account.


There does not need to be a split in a board for this to happen. Typically a board will turn sideways in the kickback process. This is due to the very nature of a kickback. A board that gets wedged between the fence and blade will be turned, and often shatter. Plywood is not likely to split, which on one hand is a plus, as the board isn’t turned into a spear. On the other hand getting hit with either the corner of a piece, of a flat side of a piece of plywood is also a pain. In Kason’s case, his saw is a 14” or 16” blade running on a five 5 Hp behemoth. Is saw would show no mercy to an elephant! It is a super machine, but stopping a board on it;s way by is not recommended,in the owners manual.

Hi Barry;

I’m afraid I have to respectfully disagree. Any movement at either the front or rear of the blade that moves the saw kerf out of parallel to the blade can cause kickback. I fully believe in redundant safety features which is why many splitters come with the pawls on them. I am not an expert in kick backs, and have no desire to become one, but I do know that there are times when I’m very relieved to have those pawls.

Hi Christopher;

I really don’t know the answer to that, and have wondered about the breaking point of them, as well as safety glasses. There is sure to be a failure point, but what it is I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out through my own testing.

Hi Bob; Thanks for verifying it was a good decision to post the this. As I mentioned, I gave it considerable thought before hitting the send button. Having you as a voice of reason, concluding with my decision is reassuring, as I do respect you point of view immensely.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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