Well, looks like I made a good investment when I decided to get the SawStop. Since I managed to fire off a safety cartridge and destroy a sawblade I figure I’ll share with you guys how stupid I was today.
I was cutting a piece of walnut into strips for a cutting board. The cut was 1 1/4 inches wide. The board I was ripping was 3”. The blade safety guard was in place and I was using my plastic push stick. But because the blade guard is so close to the fence, when I get to the end of the piece of wood I had to change the plastic stick out for a long thin wood stick that I use to push the cut piece on past the blade. The stick is long enough to keep my right hand well away from the blade. As always I had my left hand on the piece holding it down to the table so it wouldn’t ride up the blade.
So the rip cut is going fine. I get to the end and switch over to the wood stick and as I start to push the piece all the way through all the sudden I hear the loud bang and then silence from the saw. It didn’t startle me like I thought it would and the bang wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be. So now I’m looking down trying to figure out what just happened. The waste end of the wood (that I had my left hand on) is gone so I figured it must have kicked back, but it didn’t hit me so I didn’t know where it went (later found it on the floor on the outfeed side of the saw). Then I noticed that the saw blade was missing. So now I figured out that the safety had fired off, but I didn’t know why. Then I looked at my left thumb. The blood coming out of the top of my thumb made me realize why the safety cartridge had fired. Somehow I managed to stick my left thumb right into the saw blade. I have no idea how I managed to do it. I’m always so careful around the tools, but clearly, for the second time in two weeks, I messed up. Two weeks ago I had stuck my finger into the running blade on the spindle of my CNC machine. Luckily that just made a minor cut. The SawStop with the safety feature that’s only supposed to leave a little mark, actually took some meat out. Okay, I know you guys like this sort of thing, so I’ll put a photo in:
I made the trip to Urgent Care because it looked like it may need a stitch or two, but the Doc said it couldn’t be stitched because of where it was, and because a chunk of skin was missing about the width of saw blade. So they cleaned it up, put a bandaid on it, gave me a tetnus shot, and that was it.
However I managed to do this, it appears that the sawblade may have hit my thumbnail first and once it cut through the nail and got to flesh the safety fired off. I think that’s probably why it cut as deep as it did. The nail doesn’t conduct electricity so it had to get through the nail first. I just went back to the saw and tried to figure out how I got my thumb in there under the guard and into a position to where it got cut where it did and I can’t figure it out. If anything the blade should have hit the pad of my thumb first and not the nail, but somehow I did it. I think that’s what has me the most mad at myself is I have no idea how I managed to do this.
Here’s the piece I was cutting. You can see I had almost pushed the inside piece almost all the way through the blade. The scrap piece was on the floor on the outfeed side of the saw. I don’t know how it got pushed off the end of the saw unless the blade retracting kicked it off or I somehow pushed it:
And here’s the fired off cartridge and the now ruined saw blade:
-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com