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Forum topic by RickM posted 03-02-2008 10:29 PM 1140 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 4010 days

03-02-2008 10:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

Okay I understand that I am stupid and am working to correct this issue hence the membership on this board and just noticing this area of the website today. As I have said in the past I work on a Shopsmith – it’s a good tool in some ways and not so good in others. Now on to the safety issue – familiarity. I have been using the Shopsmith for over ten years and rated myself an above average woodworker (Not so much anymore) and recieved a promotion at work were I needed to use a 3 hp delta contractors saw to rip some 2X’s down. I just slid the fence over and started cutting. On my Shopsmith with it’s 1 1/8 hp kickbacks are rare (In fact I can think of none since I have used it) but that’s not because of my wonderful safety practices – using push sticks, not ripping small boards and such, it’s because of the power issues, instead of kicking back you can hear the motor load up and finally stop – it used to pop the breaker but it is on it’s own breaker now so I reach over slam it off and extricate the board. It is normally caused by a twist in the board that I had not noticed. On that delta I just cut and instead of bogging down it picked up the board, turned it into a high speed projectile and hit me in the gut, rolled up hit me in the right chest and up over my head for about fifteen feet clanging around the other tools. Fortunately I wore bruises for a week or so and had a sore stomach, I know how much worse it could have been.
While my experience is an extreme I know we have all down this before, jumping onto a friends saw that is different then our own with out a second thought. We need to be all aware that every tool is different then ours even if it is the exact same brand. We all set our tools up to fit ourselves and there is no garuntee that the person who owns the tool that it is set up correctly. In my case the delta’s fence was set narrower at the back of the blade so I fixed it and set it up correctly with no further incidents and now inspect the boards I cut on the shopsmith much more carefully.

-- RickM

3 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4400 days

#1 posted 03-02-2008 10:53 PM

a very good point about someone else’s tools!! And just look at how much wiser you are today than you were last week!!! :)
And you are alive to talk about it . That’s a blessing.
Glad you weren’t more seriously hurt.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4061 days

#2 posted 03-02-2008 11:47 PM

At times we get complacent about our tools and forget how inherently dangerous they can be. Sometimes wake up calls like this re-introduce the idea of approaching the tool with respect. I have a 1.5 hp motor on my Sears saw and was ripping some 2x pine outside with the garage door shut. The wood got in a bind and, since I was standing to the left of the cut, the piece missed me when it kicked back but it did travel about 15 feet and put a baseball sized dent in the steel garage door. Every time I see this it serves as a reminder of what might have happened.

Now I routinely check my all of my saws alignments. That was enough to teach me to respect the power of the tool.

Another thing to consider is that either one of us, if hit in the head by the kickback, could have become disoriented and have the saw blade still turning. Any body parts coming into contact with the spinning blade would certainly ruin the day.

I am glad that you weren’t seriously hurt by the incident. Hopefully this won’t happen again.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4006 days

#3 posted 03-03-2008 01:40 AM

Good point. In the woodshop here at the senior community where I live, I can not ever assume that a machine is going to be the same as the last time I used it. I have to check it over each time.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

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