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Equipment SAFETY tips: The Table Saw

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 01-18-2011 12:57 PM 2549 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2826 days


01-18-2011 12:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: safety table saw

Safety in the shop tips; for the table saw.

What are some tips to work safely on and around a table saw?

(See all SAFETY TIP GATEWAYS here)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)


44 replies so far

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2572 posts in 2097 days


#1 posted 01-18-2011 01:35 PM

Never, EVER, lose your concentration!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View rance's profile

rance

4135 posts in 1826 days


#2 posted 01-18-2011 01:52 PM

1) Don’t touch the spinney thing.
2) Keep the blade, miter slot, and fence exactly parallel.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Uncle_Salty's profile

Uncle_Salty

182 posts in 1738 days


#3 posted 01-18-2011 02:05 PM

Raise blade height to 1/4” taller than the stock to be cut.

Never, ever cut “freehand” on the table saw.

When ripping, use a push stick on stock less than X” (depends on your comfort level; I tell my students to use a push stick if the stock is less than the width of your hand with the thumb extended, but my safety test reads 6”).

Always use a Splitter/kickback pawl when ripping.

In general, never use a miter gage and the rip fence together to cut a piece of wood (There are exceptions to this… thus the term “in general”).

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#4 posted 01-18-2011 02:19 PM

1. CONSISTENTLY FOLLOW THE BASIC SAFETY RULES EVERY TIME YOU USE THE TS OR THE RULES ARE USELESS.
2. Always use a splitter when possible
3. Stand to the side of the workpiece so if it does kick back it won’t hit you.
4. Always use a push stick and *DON’T GET YOUR FINGERS ANYWHERE NEAR A SPINNING BLADE, EVER!
5. I agree with Rance on the fence being parallel with the blade, but I leave the far end a little off (further away from the blade by a very small amount). This reduces the chance of kickback as the workpiece comes away from the saw blade at the end of the cut.

There are other rules, but for me the above are the main ones.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dez's profile

Dez

1114 posts in 2742 days


#5 posted 01-18-2011 02:28 PM

Never wear loose fitting sleeves/clothing. (applies to almost all equipment)

Don’t work when you are tired. (applies to almost all equipment and personal experience)

Never reach across the blade. (personal experience)

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5482 posts in 2041 days


#6 posted 01-18-2011 02:31 PM

- Use the right blade for the job, and keep it sharp and clean.
- Feather boards and push sticks are your friends!
- Use a splitter or riving knife (the guard is a good idea too).
- Pieces that are flat and straight are easier to control.
- Keep the saw well tuned and aligned.
- Keep the table waxed.
- Think each cut through before cutting.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15893 posts in 1532 days


#7 posted 01-18-2011 02:35 PM

Probably the one I violate most often is never operate a table saw when you’re not concentrating on anything else but what you are doing with the saw. I’m always busy and always have a lot of things on my mind. This has been the way it is for 40 years. However, so far I’ve never had an accident that hurt me in any way. I realize that this rule should neverr be broken.

-- 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 Roger's profile

Roger

14649 posts in 1469 days


#8 posted 01-18-2011 02:47 PM

always, always, unplug the power before touching/changing blades. “a good tuned saw is a safe saw” – me

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6942 posts in 1579 days


#9 posted 01-18-2011 03:06 PM

Some may argue that this is not a safety tip, BUT how about using Bostik Dricote on your TS blade regularly. It made such a difference in cutting resistance that I almost couldn’t believe it, especially when I was ripping 8/4×9” x 10ft Ash using a 24-tooth Rip Freud blade. It’s not cheap but all I can say is WOW. Anything that minimizes the pushing effort on big lumber has my vote.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View NH_Hermit's profile

NH_Hermit

384 posts in 1761 days


#10 posted 01-18-2011 03:21 PM

Good question, Debbie.

and good responses. I really like Rance’s first rule. I’ll try to remember that one.

We can never be reminded too much to keep our wits about us.

-- John from Horse Shoe

View Kirk's profile

Kirk

110 posts in 2719 days


#11 posted 01-18-2011 03:42 PM

If you don’t know what your doing, don’t use it.

One thing has helped my Table Saw, the table surface is slick. That has meant more to me than anything except for dust collection. I had my table Blanchard ground, because it’s surface was rough to the point it was like sandpaper. Next to impossible to slide the wood across the table.

-- W. Kirk Crawford - Tularosa, New Mexico

View biglarry's profile

biglarry

76 posts in 1353 days


#12 posted 01-18-2011 04:16 PM

As Ellen said “Never, EVER, lose your concentration!”

Working one evening doing a lot of repetitive cuts I was one the last cut and started to thing what the next step was and somehow put my left thumb in the blade. Luckily it only cut part way through but if you look at an x-ray you can see the blade kerf.

Also if you are doing a ton of ripping get a power feed. It can also be used when making moldings on a router table.

-- "When the going gets tough, switch to power tools." - Red Green

View cornflake's profile

cornflake

36 posts in 1355 days


#13 posted 01-18-2011 04:20 PM

i have two:

1 always wear eye protection

2 never make push sticks out of plexiglass

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2656 days


#14 posted 01-18-2011 04:33 PM

As someone that has suffered the amputation, and reattachment, of a digit I have to say ALWAYS err on the side of safety. Also, Until recently I have never really used an out feed table or support but have become convinced of their value as a safety device. It keeps me from reaching near or past the blade the blade. I just give the piece an extra little shove with the push stick and it slides onto the table.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1662 days


#15 posted 01-18-2011 04:48 PM

Have the floor area in front, side and back of table saw CLEAR.
Avoid tripping on something laying on the floor.
If it is a portable table saw, make sure it is sitting on SOLID table, avoid a rocking or tippy table saw, same goes for outfeed table.
Avoid stacking materials on side of table saw top as you are cutting. Very tempting, use another table to stack your work.
Avoid loose clothing while working on any power tool with spinning blades !
Never use your cast iron table top as a hammer pounding surface !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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