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Forum topic by Josh posted 03-17-2012 04:31 PM 956 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1201 posts in 1993 days

03-17-2012 04:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

Yes, I say this to everyone from the novice (me) to the craftsman/expert (you). I work in a small shop and we had our best machinist chop off his pinky a week and a half ago. Oh darn! He is the cocky type and way too daring and reckless. He was cutting some cherry pieces for frames that would be surrounding large plaques. The rabbets he was cutting probably were taking out about 75% of material. Get this; he was on his very last piece. He observed his final pass and didn’t like the cut so he ran it through one more time. All I heard was some serious kick-back then a horrible groan. I assumed it just slammed back into his hand, but the piece actually caught, broke in half, and both of his hands ran into the dado set. You hear it said that if you don’t feel comfortable using a tool or certain method that you should try a different approach, i.e. a push stick. I agree to a certain extent, but how many times do you hear of veteran woodworkers leaving behind finger bits? All too often. I had a shop teacher tell us students that the machines don’t know they aren’t supposed to cut into you as well. I have always remembered that.

My co-worker was not using a push stick. His hands were all scarred and marred even before the accident. I hope he approaches tools and life a little more cautiously now.

The moral of the story is be careful and mindful of each cut and each pass when you are in your shop/jungle no matter your level of experience and expertise. Because things can and will get wild.

Yours tuly,


-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

6 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8111 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 03-17-2012 06:04 PM

Hurry will get you every time.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View jm8's profile


64 posts in 1736 days

#2 posted 03-18-2012 02:43 AM

Hope he is recuperating. Once I start to get tired/impatient that is the time I stop. I had a serious kickback happen when tired, and forcing my work piece. I was fortunate.

-- Joe from Western Ma.... Peace to all

View BlankMan's profile


1488 posts in 2777 days

#3 posted 03-18-2012 03:21 AM

Been doing this woodworking thing for quite a while now, I don’t take anything for granted. A year or so ago I was ripping a short board on the table saw, bam, kickback, got me right in the right side of my gut. Hurt like h thought I might have ruptured something. What the heck was I doing standing in its potential path? I don’t know, I know better. Then a month later It happened again. Only two times it ever happened and I didn’t learn from the first one. Boy did I the second time, always on my mind now like it should have been. I have no excuse, it still has me wondering why I was in their path.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View MrRon's profile


3898 posts in 2667 days

#4 posted 03-23-2012 11:32 PM

That is why I feel one must have a FIRM grip on the work. Kickback happens when you relax your grip on the piece. When using a push stick, one must maintain a constant downward and forward force. If you relax that force, kickback can happen. That is why experienced woodworkers can push a piece of wood through a saw with their fingers precariously close to the blade and get away with it. They maintain pressure on the wood. They usually get away with this breach of safety, but maybe it catches up to them because of a knot in the wood, a dull blade or a slight hangover from the night before. It’s like being in the war. You might get shot or you might not.

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Mainiac Matt

5961 posts in 1752 days

#5 posted 03-24-2012 01:06 AM


I hope he heals up….

I’ve never experienced kick back on my table saw. I’m very conscious of it, though. I was prepping some rough cut boards this week and made light passes on the jointer to ensure I had a flat edge to ride the TS fence. This helps prevent the board binding. I also ran all the boards through with the cupped side down, so they weren’t prone to wobble. I keep the blade guard (with kick back pawls) on the saw most all the time. And I use a push stick or pad.

None the less… I know that Murphey’s army is out to get me.

It’s so easy to have an accident. And I don’t count myself “above” that.

A little fear and sober respect of the power of your tools is always a good thing, imho.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View hdgis1's profile


6 posts in 1689 days

#6 posted 03-24-2012 01:52 AM

MrRon….my mom always told me if I have nothing nice to say then dont say anything at all. I wish I could refrain.
Seriously. That advice is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. If you think you can prevent kickback by maintaining a firm grip on the piece you have been seriously misled.

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