Some time ago I received a really nasty injury from my table saw.
After reading about Lenny’s nice boxes he made after his recovery it prompted me to post mine as hopefully it will add to the dumb moves made with saws and possibly prevent anybody suffering the same type of injury.
On the 19 Jun 2012 I was using my 10” table saw to cut green timber into blocks.
1st dumb move!
When I finished I was unaware of a small off cut at the back of the saw and as I moved the rip fence towards the rotating blade, 2nd dumb move! it contacted the blade and was shot upwards and out striking me on the nose.
I did not see anything fly out of the saw, only the sensation of getting punched on the nose.
At the time there was no guard on the saw.
The saw guard was removed for the following, but mainly due to poor design and being a nuisance to work with.
Factors around the removal
1. The anti kick back pawls were damaging the timber.
2. The existing guard would not allow the fence to close up on the blade
3. The existing guard stopped the operator seeing what they were doing
4. The existing guard prevented using the saw to cut dados and non penetrating kerfs
5. The plastic part of the guard had a tendency to jamb in the timber adding an unnecessary additional risk, and it was also the cause of damage when doing fine cuts.
However since the accident the saw guard has been modified so it can be reinstalled and used effectively.
The modifications involved removing the original box shaped guard then adding a flat Perspex guard mounted on a hinge in its place.
The hinge also had a rare earth magnet added to allow the anti kick back pawls to be locked up out of the way so small pieces of timber can be sawn without the pawls damaging the timber surface.
The rip fence was reduced in height to allow the fence to close within 3mm of the blade, and remain under the flat guard.
When I eventually figured out what had happened I replicated the accident (mainly to understand what had happened and to test the guard) after fitting the modified guard I found the wooden off cut was again shot at a very high speed into the garage about 5m away.
All the guard did was to deflect the height of the projectile but it did not stop it.
The activity was then halted due to being dangerous to the machinery or surrounding area.
I then bought 2 x face shields as well.
All the timber blocks were relocated to the Otto Bin.
Summary: will the guard now remain on? Yes for the majority of the work however will be removed when making non penetrating cuts, for these the face shield is mandatory.
Can you buy an effective aftermarket guard? No you cannot.
A report of the accident was posted on:-
The M/C helmet on the floor showed how far the offcut was shot out
The new guard
Magnetic pawl locks up
The nose job I got
The projectile in a simulated position (as far as I can tell)
The projectile under the guard at test time
The additional fix.
-- Regards Robert