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Would there be fewer injuries if with less powerful tools, especially table saws?

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 1209 days ago 1069 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


1209 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: fewer injuries less powerful smaller tools table saw

I have been thinking I will probably need to replace my little 3/4 hp Craftsman table saw as I get into higher quality woodworking and more hard wood. I have been fire wooding a lot of pallets and saving a few choice pieces when I find them. I have an old 3/4 hp table saw I have been using for part of the demo. I was cutting up full pallets on it but they get to be a pain to handle and there is a lot of binding. The little motor gets bogged down and trips my circuit breaker once in a while. I gave that up a long time ago as a bad idea and just use it for cutting individual pieces. The crappy wood will still occasionally bind on the blade. If that saw were a 3 or 5 hp, this would be a really dangerous activity! I am wondering if lesser tools for most projects would be more appropriate and safer. Still counting to 10 without using toes ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence


25 replies so far

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patron

12955 posts in 1938 days


#1 posted 1209 days ago

pallets by nature are ‘rough’ wood mostly
twists bows and cups
keep it rocking and rolling thru the saw

needs to be straightened and flattened first
so it doesn’t bind
of course then it is smaller too

be safe

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Karson

34853 posts in 2998 days


#2 posted 1209 days ago

I don’t necessarily think that lesser power tools are safer. That be like thinking that dull tools are safer.

Me I’d use a skill saw or a reciprocating saw to cut up pallets. I’ve used a recipotang saw and used it to cut the nails in disassembly, I do this especially when removing studs when remodeling my home.

Cut the nails and then pull out the pieces.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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Roger

14098 posts in 1401 days


#3 posted 1209 days ago

I agree with david.. pallets are rough. you can find some parts that may be good, I’ve seen a lot of nice projects come out of pallet material.
As far as your saw…. with straight, flat work pieces, and a riving knife, binding would be minimal.
A lot o times, we create our own “un-safe” conditions.
Safety First, I’ve always been taught, and told. I try n practice this. With a larger motored saw, and, straight, flat stock, you would be safer, and much more happier with the finished cuts
Just my opinion/s
Please be safe

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

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1265 days


#4 posted 1209 days ago

I have used pallet wood on some small projects,they turned out good
I did not have any problems with binding ,using my shop made riving knife
Best defence against binding , is sharp blade, splitter,or riving knife ,and proper fence alignment

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15652 posts in 2815 days


#5 posted 1209 days ago

Bob, I see your point, and I think it can work both ways. Working with an underpowered tool might sometimes cause a bind or other accident of some sort. On the other hand, there are probably times when you get into a jam and can outmuscle a 1 h.p. saw to keep yourself from getting injured, but a 3 h.p. machine would kick your butt.

Overall, I agree with Karson. A sharp tool is generally safer than a dull tool, even though it might be easier to cut yourself with. I would apply the same logic to power tools. More power is usually safer.

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 1209 days ago

Sharp and dull is an entirely different matter. That little motor really shows the difference after hitting a couple nails then being fed an oak 4×4 ;-) Where i have noticed a lot of stresses that cause binding is crosscutting hard wood even with the blade sharp. Maybe part of it is my lack of experience with hardwoods or the stresses in the low grade of lumber.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6914 posts in 1511 days


#7 posted 1209 days ago

I am still cringing from that recent story of the guy who nearly bled out from a chisel accident and his 3 or 4 year old called 911 (story/911 recording hit the news big time). However, my thoughts are that one could just as easily get killed walking in front of a horse drawn chariot as walking in front of a MAC truck.

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

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1648 days


#8 posted 1209 days ago

If a piece of wood is going to bind from internal stresses being released, then it’s going to bind. That is where a riving knife or splitter is really helpful, whether it’s a 3/4-HP motor, or a 3-HP motor (although the 3-HP will tend to “muscle” through it better as mentioned above).

I would not personally disassemble a pallet on a tablesaw. I feel that it is easier to maneuver a small handheld tool like a reciprocating saw, or a circular saw, as opposed to a big, unwieldy pallet. I’ve taken a couple pallets apart, but only a couple. I started with a reciprocating saw, but also used my 7-1/4-circular saw. Both worked well, although the circular saw was faster.

Whichever route you decide to go, just remember to consider safety first by taking the proper precautions and respecting the tool. I’m not saying you don’t personally practice safety first… it’s more of a general reminder to everyone.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 1265 days


#9 posted 1209 days ago

If you are putting a fully assembled pallet on a table saw to cut ,you are using the wrong tool

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2064 posts in 1662 days


#10 posted 1209 days ago

I have to agree with Karson. As far as which power tool. You can get hurt. The only the difference might be how fast it happens. With good saftey habbits you should be alright.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1193 posts in 1433 days


#11 posted 1208 days ago

TopM,

Do you use a cross cut sled? That may help with somebinding. I found that when I upgraded from my first TS (a cheap $54 mastercraft) to a low end bigboy saw (technical term) the porter cable 270ts, those kicbacks and bindings went away with better alignment and power.

Brandon

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

947 posts in 1462 days


#12 posted 1208 days ago

Fall from a 5 story building vs fall from a 100 story building…

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


#13 posted 1208 days ago

No sled or anything else, this is demo work. Circular saw binds up some too, but not as bad as the TS. Like I said, I gave it up. Easier to do the initial break down with circular saw.

I was amazed at how easily the wood outmuscled the saw. Guess that doesn’t apply to cutting work pieces.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3342 posts in 2558 days


#14 posted 1208 days ago

Karson said it well. Dull? Safe? NOT!!!! You can shoot yourself with a .22 or a .45.
I’m gonna go with a more powerful and well-tuned power tool whenever possible.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

218 posts in 1686 days


#15 posted 1208 days ago

I think that the main safety issue is how you use the tool. safety guards are good to some extent, but they can create a false sense of security, and reenforce bad habits, then when you do that odd cut that requires you to remove your blade guard, or whatever other safety guard, those habits really cause harm. as far as power goes, I think that there is a balance, you dont want to use a 12” 5hp saw to cut 1/4” strips, but on the other hand, with more power, the saw does not bog down as much, does not grab as much, and does not encourage you to push so hard that a minor slip sends your hand flying forward toward the blade. Reminds me of the old lesson that a sharp kitchen knife is actually safer than a dull one, becuase the harder you have to push, the more likely you are to slip.

My personal practice is, remove the blade guard, use wedges in the kerf, and always keep my hands at least 6 inches from the blade and out of line with the blade so if I slip my hands are not going to slide into it. As far as kick-backs go, with big stock the weight of the board will keep it from really flying, and with small stock, just remember to stand to one side, and let it go. WITH PROPER HABITS, YOUR TOOLS SHOULD BE RESPECTED, NOT FEARED.

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