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Would there be fewer injuries if with less powerful tools, especially table saws?

by TopamaxSurvivor
posted 04-02-2011 02:37 PM


25 replies so far

View patron's profile

patron

13181 posts in 2092 days


#1 posted 04-02-2011 02:49 PM

pallets by nature are ‘rough’ wood mostly
twists bows and cups
keep it rocking and rolling thru the saw

needs to be straightened and flattened first
so it doesn’t bind
of course then it is smaller too

be safe

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3151 days


#2 posted 04-02-2011 02:53 PM

I don’t necessarily think that lesser power tools are safer. That be like thinking that dull tools are safer.

Me I’d use a skill saw or a reciprocating saw to cut up pallets. I’ve used a recipotang saw and used it to cut the nails in disassembly, I do this especially when removing studs when remodeling my home.

Cut the nails and then pull out the pieces.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Roger's profile

Roger

15333 posts in 1555 days


#3 posted 04-02-2011 03:00 PM

I agree with david.. pallets are rough. you can find some parts that may be good, I’ve seen a lot of nice projects come out of pallet material.
As far as your saw…. with straight, flat work pieces, and a riving knife, binding would be minimal.
A lot o times, we create our own “un-safe” conditions.
Safety First, I’ve always been taught, and told. I try n practice this. With a larger motored saw, and, straight, flat stock, you would be safer, and much more happier with the finished cuts
Just my opinion/s
Please be safe

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

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1418 days


#4 posted 04-02-2011 03:25 PM

I have used pallet wood on some small projects,they turned out good
I did not have any problems with binding ,using my shop made riving knife
Best defence against binding , is sharp blade, splitter,or riving knife ,and proper fence alignment

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15807 posts in 2969 days


#5 posted 04-02-2011 04:02 PM

Bob, I see your point, and I think it can work both ways. Working with an underpowered tool might sometimes cause a bind or other accident of some sort. On the other hand, there are probably times when you get into a jam and can outmuscle a 1 h.p. saw to keep yourself from getting injured, but a 3 h.p. machine would kick your butt.

Overall, I agree with Karson. A sharp tool is generally safer than a dull tool, even though it might be easier to cut yourself with. I would apply the same logic to power tools. More power is usually safer.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#6 posted 04-02-2011 04:10 PM

Sharp and dull is an entirely different matter. That little motor really shows the difference after hitting a couple nails then being fed an oak 4×4 ;-) Where i have noticed a lot of stresses that cause binding is crosscutting hard wood even with the blade sharp. Maybe part of it is my lack of experience with hardwoods or the stresses in the low grade of lumber.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#7 posted 04-02-2011 04:14 PM

I am still cringing from that recent story of the guy who nearly bled out from a chisel accident and his 3 or 4 year old called 911 (story/911 recording hit the news big time). However, my thoughts are that one could just as easily get killed walking in front of a horse drawn chariot as walking in front of a MAC truck.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1801 days


#8 posted 04-02-2011 04:29 PM

If a piece of wood is going to bind from internal stresses being released, then it’s going to bind. That is where a riving knife or splitter is really helpful, whether it’s a 3/4-HP motor, or a 3-HP motor (although the 3-HP will tend to “muscle” through it better as mentioned above).

I would not personally disassemble a pallet on a tablesaw. I feel that it is easier to maneuver a small handheld tool like a reciprocating saw, or a circular saw, as opposed to a big, unwieldy pallet. I’ve taken a couple pallets apart, but only a couple. I started with a reciprocating saw, but also used my 7-1/4-circular saw. Both worked well, although the circular saw was faster.

Whichever route you decide to go, just remember to consider safety first by taking the proper precautions and respecting the tool. I’m not saying you don’t personally practice safety first… it’s more of a general reminder to everyone.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1418 days


#9 posted 04-02-2011 04:44 PM

If you are putting a fully assembled pallet on a table saw to cut ,you are using the wrong tool

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2066 posts in 1815 days


#10 posted 04-02-2011 05:07 PM

I have to agree with Karson. As far as which power tool. You can get hurt. The only the difference might be how fast it happens. With good saftey habbits you should be alright.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1194 posts in 1587 days


#11 posted 04-02-2011 06:54 PM

TopM,

Do you use a cross cut sled? That may help with somebinding. I found that when I upgraded from my first TS (a cheap $54 mastercraft) to a low end bigboy saw (technical term) the porter cable 270ts, those kicbacks and bindings went away with better alignment and power.

Brandon

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1004 posts in 1616 days


#12 posted 04-02-2011 08:00 PM

Fall from a 5 story building vs fall from a 100 story building…

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#13 posted 04-02-2011 08:57 PM

No sled or anything else, this is demo work. Circular saw binds up some too, but not as bad as the TS. Like I said, I gave it up. Easier to do the initial break down with circular saw.

I was amazed at how easily the wood outmuscled the saw. Guess that doesn’t apply to cutting work pieces.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3587 posts in 2711 days


#14 posted 04-02-2011 10:41 PM

Karson said it well. Dull? Safe? NOT!!!! You can shoot yourself with a .22 or a .45.
I’m gonna go with a more powerful and well-tuned power tool whenever possible.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

222 posts in 1840 days


#15 posted 04-02-2011 11:26 PM

I think that the main safety issue is how you use the tool. safety guards are good to some extent, but they can create a false sense of security, and reenforce bad habits, then when you do that odd cut that requires you to remove your blade guard, or whatever other safety guard, those habits really cause harm. as far as power goes, I think that there is a balance, you dont want to use a 12” 5hp saw to cut 1/4” strips, but on the other hand, with more power, the saw does not bog down as much, does not grab as much, and does not encourage you to push so hard that a minor slip sends your hand flying forward toward the blade. Reminds me of the old lesson that a sharp kitchen knife is actually safer than a dull one, becuase the harder you have to push, the more likely you are to slip.

My personal practice is, remove the blade guard, use wedges in the kerf, and always keep my hands at least 6 inches from the blade and out of line with the blade so if I slip my hands are not going to slide into it. As far as kick-backs go, with big stock the weight of the board will keep it from really flying, and with small stock, just remember to stand to one side, and let it go. WITH PROPER HABITS, YOUR TOOLS SHOULD BE RESPECTED, NOT FEARED.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#16 posted 04-03-2011 12:51 AM

I have never heard of a dual saw before. I googled it, looks like Sears is about the only source. Do they have another name?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

222 posts in 1840 days


#17 posted 04-03-2011 01:09 AM

ridgid just released a saw with the same design as the dual saw, I have only seen it on homedepot.com. the original is one of those infomercial products. I never gave it much thought since most of that stuff is junk, but if LJ’s are recommending it, I may have to give it another look.

View Jack_T's profile

Jack_T

621 posts in 1782 days


#18 posted 04-03-2011 01:55 AM

The dual saw is a nice looking tool but, ideally I would want to handle it in person before I paid $179.99 for it, or at least speak to someone who owns one.

I think it would be better to cut up a pallet with a circular saw than trying to balance it on the top of a table saw.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View ScottN's profile

ScottN

261 posts in 1430 days


#19 posted 04-03-2011 02:12 AM

My wife likes woodworking as well, and she bought one of those dual blade saws on an infomercial. I have never used it on any project but I did check it out one time when my wife was using it. I tried some cuts on some scrap wood and there is absolutely no kick back at all. I was able to hold the saw free hand and slowly push it into a piece of wood without any type on negative reaction. Like I said I never use it but I was surprised on how safe the dual spinning blades made it feel. The blades rotate in opposite directions.

As far as your original question goes…I believe it would be safer to have a saw with lesser hp. I have a 7 1/2 hp table saw and attempted a dado on a board which had severe stress. It was the only time my saw ever slowed down and if I had a smaller motor, it would have stalled out and my fingers would not have been chewed up by the blade. Painful story…I do have picks of the accident if you’d like to see them.lol

-- New Auburn,WI

View William's profile

William

9287 posts in 1593 days


#20 posted 04-03-2011 02:25 AM

I used to use a lot of pallets for wood working. I tried the table saw route with nearly dangerous results. The best way I found was to use a sawzall (reciprocating saw) to get them broke down to manageable size piece. Also, with this method, the blades are a lot cheaper than table saw blades. There is no way I have found to disassemble pallets without hitting some nails and/or staples.
To the question at hand though, I’d rather have an overpowered tool than an underpowered one. In my opinion, underpowered tools are extremely dangerous. Let’s use the table saw as a perfect example. Especially for someone with little experince, which is more dangerous? A saw that will power through difficult material? Or an underpowered saw that someone has to push harder into, forcing themselves into a situation where if something goes wrong they have body weight directed towards a spinning blade?

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#21 posted 04-03-2011 03:03 AM

Jack_T A small pallet is a lot esier than a full sheet of plywood ;-))

I gave it up and use a circular saw or sawzall depending on what things look like. The dual saw sounds good, but I doubt if I buy one just to make fire wood. My dr told me I should probably be lifting a few weights. I hate working for nothing, so I started heating the house with wood; that should do more than lifting a few weights ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2085 days


#22 posted 04-03-2011 03:58 PM

If you continue sawing warped or twisted wood it is probably safer with a less powerful saw for the reason you stated, but I usually use my my saber saw to cut up pallets. If I want to make something from the wood I always joint and plane it before running it through the table saw or the band saw. Now that I finally have a larger bandsaw, I do almost all my ripping on it. A lot easier and safer.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#23 posted 04-03-2011 10:13 PM

I usually use my sawzall on really nasty stuff. This is really an afterthought, I gave up breaking down all but the samllest ones on the TS long ago. The salvaging the fence off of it is the only reason I even have the rough duty saw. I still think cutting pallets is easier than 4×8 sheets ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rogerw's profile

rogerw

262 posts in 1440 days


#24 posted 04-04-2011 03:13 PM

i would think underpowered and dull fall under the same category… unsafe.

there is nothing safe about the dullest knife in the drawer, right?

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View verdesardog's profile

verdesardog

105 posts in 1362 days


#25 posted 04-06-2011 01:58 AM

I would not even use a circular saw for pallets, a sawsall or hammer and pry bar.

I feel underpowered “consumer” type tools are more dangerous that comercial power tools.

-- .. heyoka ..

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