tablesaw safety

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Forum topic by Jeff Schnell posted 10-31-2009 06:59 PM 4060 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeff Schnell

16 posts in 3377 days

10-31-2009 06:59 PM

Boy I glad I listen to a lot of people and stay away from behind the table saw
blade. The other day I cutting small moulding strips and using a Wooden push
stick when the push shattered and sent a rather large knife like strip back at
me. I even felt it touch my shirt as it went by me without a scratch. Yes I’m a
lucky camper. Also please tune up your table saws often and keep them aligned.

-- Jeff Schnell, Tuckahoe, NJ

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117416 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 10-31-2009 07:07 PM

I always tell my students to stand to one side out of the path of possible kick back. Good thing someone told you and your practice this safer work operation. Glad your alright.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View niki's profile


426 posts in 4313 days

#2 posted 10-31-2009 10:57 PM

I’m glad to know that you were not injured.

As for “Standing on the correct side” or – as it is expressed many times – “Standing out of the line of fire”, I’m a little bit confused….

Looks like there is a kickback that “kicks” directly back and if you’ll stand behind the workpiece, “you’ll get it”....

And there is another kickback that the workpiece is lifted up on the back teeth, turned counter-clockwise and propelled to the left side of the blade and, if you stand there, “you’ll get it” you can see on this video

I think that the best method to minimize the kickback is….safe table saw technique…

Use the Riving knife/splitter.
Use Featherboard as possible.
Use hold-down device as possible.
Use a Short fence (for solid wood only).
For narrow strips, use the narrow strips sled (I use it even if the “strip” is 3~4” wide).
When you push the workpiece with the push stick, locate the stick past the workpiece centerline toward the blade.

I think that the blade guard can help minimizing the intensity of the kickback – the bolt that is connecting the guard to the riving knife/splitter, will not let the workpiece to climb on the top of the blade…

By the way, for 10 years or so, I was using a “shop modified” table saw and I located the rip fence on the left side of the blade….

It looks to me much safer, my left hand was near the fence and I could continue to hold the workpiece even pass the blade…..My right hand was pushing the work with or without (depends on the width) push stick/shoe/block and in any case, non of my hands would pass over the blade….in case of “emergency”. I just pulled my hands toward my body – far from the workpiece and the blade…

My body was at the left side of the rip fence so, I never stood directly behind the work and in case that the workpiece climbed and turned clock-wise, I was never there to receive the “Shell”...



View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3402 days

#3 posted 10-31-2009 11:01 PM

Glad to hear your ok, the first time I fired up my delta hybrid table saw I experienced kickback and I still have the hole in the wall to prove it! thank god I wasn’t standing behind the blade because that scrap of plywood would have tore right through me.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3714 days

#4 posted 11-02-2009 08:13 PM

Glad you are OK. Some good info above from the gang. I wasnt so lucky a year ago and got hit in the chest with a board. I pay much better attention now.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 3995 days

#5 posted 11-02-2009 08:19 PM

Unless I’m using a dado blade or not making a thru cut, the saw guard with riving knife and anti-kickback pawls are always in place.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Jeff Schnell's profile

Jeff Schnell

16 posts in 3377 days

#6 posted 11-02-2009 09:47 PM

All good points and I have to get a riving knife set installed somehow and also get a anit-kickback system setup on it. The main problem was push stick I was using was a piece of 2×3 and push it into the blade to push the strip I was ripping out and when it first hit the blade it broke out a piece from the 2×3 and shot back right pass me. How could you protect yourself from this? Maybe the angle was too high about 45 degrees to keep pressure on the strip. Also I am a firm believer that when something goes wrong stop and don’t do the same thing again because it will happened again. btw the strip was against the fence, about 3/8 wide cut at a open angle (blade angeld to left, fence on righit) about 10 degrees.

-- Jeff Schnell, Tuckahoe, NJ

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 3995 days

#7 posted 11-02-2009 10:25 PM

Whenever I’m ripping within an inch or so from the fence I use a fence straddler rather than a push stick. The straddler rides much closer to the fence and also holds the stock down as you push it thru the blade.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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