The splitter saved me!

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Forum topic by bgilb posted 01-23-2010 02:56 PM 1424 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bgilb's profile


20 posts in 3055 days

01-23-2010 02:56 PM

I was ripping some pine and about halfway through the wood just stopped moving, I tried a little bit more force and after that failed I turned the saw off. Removing the piece of wood from the blade was tough! It was literally stuck to the blade. After pulling it out, the cut closed about halfway. It was clear that the cut released some kind of pressure and the wood just pinched the splitter and blade.

To think if I hadn’t been using a splitter I probably would have lost a finger or two!

13 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 01-23-2010 03:20 PM

good for you that leaned a lesson with aut any injury and blodstream as a highway
that just one of the reesens the pretectiongear is developed and have to be used

stay safe and healthy in the future


View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#2 posted 01-23-2010 04:25 PM

I’ve had this happen, too…’s kinda scary.

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

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3062 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 05:13 PM

Good lesson

Hey a couple of questions …How long and thick was your board and did it catch at the begining of the cut or near the end? Also what kind of blade did you have on and how old or sharp is your saw blade?

I am surprised this happened to you with pine

thanks for sharing, this is very interesting to me

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3709 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 05:43 PM

i have had the same problem cutting beech, usually i just have somebody put a wedge in the beginning of the cut so it will not pinch the blade.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 3400 days

#5 posted 01-23-2010 06:14 PM

I had that happen ripping 6 foot 8/4 hard maple for a work bench. You can’t appreciate how powerful a 3 HP table saw is until you experience something like that.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3342 days

#6 posted 01-23-2010 07:00 PM

Possibly a board not dried properly.

See this thread from yesterday regarding reaction wood.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#7 posted 01-23-2010 07:24 PM

This can happen to any wood dry or not because wood some times has intertension.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Tony_S's profile


867 posts in 3079 days

#8 posted 01-23-2010 07:35 PM

Paul, IMO that is why it ‘typically’ happens, improper kiln drying. But every once in a while, you get near a knot in the middle of a board, or just some squirly grain and a board will close up on the blade or splitter.I find thicker Hard Maple (8/4 and up) to be the worst. I can’t even remember all the times in the last 25 years Ive had to hit the kill switch with my foot as I hold on for dear life!! LOL!
If I’m just rough cutting (ripping) a bunch of boards, we typically use an older Hitachi Re-saw with a 3” blade. Faster, and safer. A real big pile…and we use an SCM Gang Rip. Even faster and safer.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#9 posted 01-23-2010 09:21 PM

Been there myself with Pine and I’ve got a 3hp cabinet saw….oh the smoke that it created before I could shut it down ….Scary the first time when you really don’t know what is happening and whether to try to keep pushing the board through or not. Glad you didn’t get injured : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3477 days

#10 posted 01-24-2010 07:28 PM

Great that you were using the splitter. I sometimes notice that the wood gets hard to push between the fence and riving knife too. I find that when the wood starts to get hard to push it is sometimes caused by the TS top getting sticky from resin or pitch in the wood. Once it starts getting hard to push, I stop, clean the table, and use a good car wax and wax the table of the saw. Things move good after that.

The wax works good for the tables on planers and jointers too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#11 posted 01-24-2010 07:35 PM

I use Butchers Paste Wax on my equipment as well . Be careful if you get the automotive wax …some contain Silicone which might cause finishing problems

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3805 days

#12 posted 01-30-2010 12:06 AM

Congratulations on being smart enough to use a splitter. Don’t forget that a blade guard is just as important (I know I’ll get a lot of moans and groans on this from the guys that don’t want to use them!).
Jim is correct on his comment regarding inner tension in wood. It was explained to me by a very smart woodworker this way-
Imagine a tree standing on top of a windy hill where the direction of the wind was pretty much one way. Over the lifetime of that tree, it’s growth pattern actually caused the grain to compensate for the force of the wind by changing in the direction of resisting the force. When the tree was milled in the lumber yard, some of the tension was released, but not necessarily all of it. When you ripped the piece, more tension got released causing the kerf to close.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of ripping, consider investing in a blade dedicated to that purpose. I did so years ago, and have not had a problem with the kerf closing up. Rip blades generally have fewer teeth than combination blades, and have more rakers to clean out the kerf.

-- Gerry

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3439 days

#13 posted 01-30-2010 03:32 AM

All the more reason to equip your saw with a knee bump or foot switch (in case your saw does not have one) so that you do not have to remove your hands from the workpiece to turn the saw off. Like Tony S said you can then hold on for dear life until the blade stops turning. My $.02 worth.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

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