Hello, LumberJocks! Wednesday while I was at my local Lowes picking up some needed items I came across what looked like a pretty good deal on two DeWalt 12” saw blades. The cost was, $59.00 plust tax, of course. Heck they wanted, $49.00 for one, so for another $10.00 I can get two, so I did. My SuperShop can use, 8, 10 and 12” saw blades.
When I got back to my shop I took off my 10” blade and put the 12” blade on. Since I had a zero clearance plate on the saw I clamped a board across it so that I could cut through it with the 12” blade. During this operation I had to be carefull not to lower the table too low, otherwise the blade would come in contact with the metal surrounding the plate. I carefully marked on my zero clearance plate that the maximum depth for the 12” blade was 3 3/4” deep. This way I would be reminded not to lower the table lower than this when using the 12” blade.
Now, the moment that I’ve been waiting for, to rip some oak and see what kind of performance I would get from this new blade. The first couple of cuts went without a hitch. The blade performed beautifully. When cutting the fourth board, 3/4 through the length of the board the end of the board started riding up the saw blade! Luckily, I always us a push stick, which allowed me to let the board go, since I was standing to the side of the board. The board flew back, clearing the blade and saw table. As the board reached the floor of the shop behind me I considered what could have happened if I hadn’t adhered to the safety practices one should use during any rip cut on the tablesaw. Had I not been using a push stick, letting the board go so it could shoot off of the tablesaw would not have been an option because I probably would have been in line with the board, if pushing with my hands. Without this option the board would have continued flipping over until the blade caught it and threw it at me or at the least slammed it onto my arms or hands.
The next question was why did this happen? I notice that the rear of my zero clearance plate showed some splintering that I had not noticed earlier. Surely this splintering could have caused it, but was it really the culprit? Upon closer inspection I noticed that the rear of my plate was not flush with the rear of the opening, thus causing an edge that the board could catch on. I will have to shim the insert to bring it back flush with the saw table.
The lessons learned: Always use a push stick when ripping stock; stand to the side of the board being cut so that if kickback occurs, no flesh is in the path of a flying piece of lumber and make sure that the zero clearance or any other plate is flush with the table top before beginning any cutting operations.
-- Jesus is Lord!