|Forum topic by Mary Anne||posted 08-24-2010 10:09 PM||1648 views||0 times favorited||43 replies|
08-24-2010 10:09 PM
The incident happened a little more than a month ago. The bruising has cleared up and I only have one small scab left. It is a little embarrassing that it happened in the first place, but more upsetting that I still can’t figure out how it happened. It is my practice to always stop to consider “Is this safe?” before I go near any of my tools, and this seemed okay to me. Obviously, something went wrong.
I was working on a box/cover for tissues, a simple project to give my Incra Positioner for the router table a go. The wood was hickory, thicknessed down to about 1/4”. I had four side pieces cut to 5”x6” with box joints cut into the long sides. I wanted to put in a 1/8” deep groove on each one to accept a top piece. I know there are several ways to go about this; I chose to put the piece on my table saw sled with a stop block to cut the shallow dado I needed. I figured on a couple of passes with my normal combo blade. I did 3 or 4 test cuts with scrap that was the same thickness and about the same size as my project pieces. The piece was snug against sled fence, firmly against the stop, and held flat with my fingers slightly to the side of the blade. There wasn’t even a hint of a problem or danger on my test cuts.
But when I put the first side piece for my box on the sled and barely touched it the saw blade, all hell broke loose… and so did my piece of wood. There was a loud BANG!! like a gun shot, followed so closely that it might as well have been simultaneous, a sickening impact to my gut and a stinging sensation in my fingers from the force of the wood kicking back off the blade. The wood exploded! When everything settled, there was one piece behind me, and another piece and several large splinters left on table saw. There were TWO sets of perfectly cut box joint marks on my belly, and several of them were bleeding. I am glad I was wearing a heavy canvas apron. I hate to think of the damage that would have been done if it was a larger, heavier piece of wood or if my fingers had been over the blade. Whew! I will, from now on, always, ALWAYS stand to the side no matter how small the piece or how safe I think the procedure might be.
Anyway, like I said, I know there are several other ways I could have accomplished this task, but was there something inherently wrong with putting my small piece of wood on a miter sled to cut the dado?