Almost burned the place down...

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Forum topic by GPM posted 09-13-2010 02:02 AM 1266 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GPM's profile


26 posts in 2251 days

09-13-2010 02:02 AM

I was trimming some drawer edges on the table saw and hit a screw. This usually is a thunk and a few sparks and maybe a creative word or two. On this one there were a bunch of sparks. (I later saw that I was actually ripping the screw) After being mad at myself for possibly ruining a brand new Forrest blade I decided to take a good look at the blade. I removed the cover and there was a bit of smoke coming out of the base. My base is enclosed for vacuum. What I found was an already sizeable spot of sawdust smoldering and glowing. I sprayed a mist of water on it and dampened everything. After a few minutes I used the shop vac to clean up and found that there was a burn mark in the paint that was easily the size of a silver dollar.

Man what a dope but I am glad that I caught it.

11 replies so far

View ChuckV's profile


2872 posts in 2948 days

#1 posted 09-13-2010 02:12 AM

Wow, that could have been bad. I am so glad that you noticed this early on.

-- “And the products of wealth push you along on the bow wave of their spiritless undying selves.” ― I. Anderson

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2495 days

#2 posted 09-13-2010 03:57 AM

I’m so glad everything came out alright. Now the put-you-on-the-spot question – - Did you have a fire extinguisher at hand and, if so, why didn’t you use it?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3317 days

#3 posted 09-13-2010 04:14 AM

Glad you caught it before it turned into a major fire. Sawdust can go up quickly – I’m with Rich – make sure you have a good fire extinguisher in your shop – and hope you never have to use it.

A second point about fire extinguishers—- just because it’s there does not mean it will do you any good when you need it. You need to be cognizant about checking that it’s still pressurized and good to go. I generally check mine every time I change my smoke detector batteries. The gauge is on there for a reason—- check it regularly.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2248 days

#4 posted 09-13-2010 05:23 AM

Sawdust goes up quickly… but planer shavings do not.. :) Learned that the hardway when trying to burn all my stuff that I didnt want to put in the trash(Shavings, oilly rags)...

I am glad you caught it early on… sorry to hear about the blade…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View JimDaddyO's profile


427 posts in 2500 days

#5 posted 09-13-2010 02:42 PM

the cost of a metal detector is less than that of a Forrest blade. Glad you and your shop are OK.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Claymation's profile


165 posts in 2237 days

#6 posted 09-13-2010 03:41 PM

This is a big problem, especially when using reclaimed wood. I hadn’t considered this before and am surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Checking the extinguishers today and putting a metal detector on the “buy” list. Thanks for posting this.

-- Clay (Master Kindler) ~ Central VA

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2595 days

#7 posted 09-13-2010 05:01 PM

the cost of a metal detector is less than that of a Forrest blade.

Amen. It sure won’t solve ALL the fire risks, in a woodshop, but … it does a nice job of seeking out the metal within boards.

I milled about six boards of beetle-kill pine, last week. They were 1-1/4” thick, and roughly 11-1/2” x 60”.

Before milling, I checked each, with my metal detector. I found three “nail fragments” within the boards. They were halfway in the thickness of the board (how ?). I had to dig them out with an old chisel. None of them was any more than about 1/4” long.

Would they have been a problem for my blades ? I dunno. But I gladly dug them out, before having the opportunity to answer that question :-)

Glad you were okay !

-- -- Neil

View Claymation's profile


165 posts in 2237 days

#8 posted 09-13-2010 07:30 PM

NBeener: this usually happens from things like wire fencing nailed to the tree years before. I’ve hit a bunch of it with my chain saw while cutting firewood. Puts a hurt on the chain real fast. You learn to look very carefully at the tree your cutting up from about the 5’ mark and down. In most cases you can tell where the tree grew around the wire or nail.

-- Clay (Master Kindler) ~ Central VA

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#9 posted 09-13-2010 07:34 PM

I’m glad that it wasn’t more serious than what it turned out to be. Saw dust can sometimes smolder for hours and then start a serious fire.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View GPM's profile


26 posts in 2251 days

#10 posted 09-13-2010 11:06 PM

Thanks for the reminders. I do have a substantial and charged fire extinguisher on hand. I decided against it because there were no flames and I could see the saw dust smoldering in an enclosed metal space. It was my first thought though and I was ready to grab it if things didn’t look good.

I am still kicking myself about that new blade…

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2595 days

#11 posted 09-14-2010 02:02 AM

Thanks for that, Claymation.

The local lumber mill implied the same thing.

I asked them if they’d be willing to mill a felled tree, for me, if I could get it to them. It’s a MONSTER, and has been sitting in a field for years.

They told me that they can’t do that because … likely … it’s had nails or the like … in it for years, and that the tree would have grown around it.

They said that it’s nearly impossible to find those sorts of piece of metal … except with the blade ;-)

-- -- Neil

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