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Forum topic by bondogaposis posted 05-15-2012 02:39 PM 1086 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4758 posts in 2375 days

05-15-2012 02:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw tablesaw jig

Man, I have had more accidents and near misses in my shop in the last two days than ever before. In fact I am going to take a break from woodworking for a few days to think about this. On Sunday I cut my right thumb on the bandsaw pushing a small part through. Luckily I did not have an aggressive blade on the saw and the cut is only minor. I put a bandaid on it. It really made me think, how much worse it could have been, though. Then yesterday, I was making a safety jig for my table saw and was cutting a dado in some plywood for some T track. Well the dado was a bit too narrow for the track so I decided to shim the stack dado to widen it a bit and re-cut. When I turned on the saw I saw the whole stack started moving to the right! I hit the kill switch and ran. Well to make it short, the dado stack was destroyed, the whole thing spun off the arbor and hit the insert. The insert I used was the stock Craftsman insert that came with the saw, made of steel. Poor material for an insert in my opinion. Note to self, make an insert for 3/4” dado. Lots of cracked and broken teeth on the dado stack. Fortunately no injuries to me, I really don’t know why the stack spun off the arbor, but I surmise that one of the shims slipped into a thread and although it seemed tight when turned the arbor nut, in reality it was not tight, just binding on the shim. Note to self, throw away those metal shims and go back to using playing cards. I have another dado stack so I put that on and finished up the job and got the T-track fitted, then when removing the dado stack I wedged a piece of scrap against while I wrenched the nut loose. The scrap slipped and I now have a nice cut on my left index finger. So all in all, I’m lucky, things could have been much, much worse than a couple of minor cuts to my fingers. Though, it has scared me enough that I am going review my procedures in the shop, resolve to do things safer. I am going to think about what could go wrong before I turn on a saw and take steps to make the cut safely. The irony of it all is that these accidents happened while I was making a jig to safely rip boards on the table saw. I can’t help but think how odd it is that this happened during safety week.

-- Bondo Gaposis

3 replies so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2508 days

#1 posted 05-15-2012 03:07 PM

You’re making me rethink buying a dado stack!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 05-15-2012 04:34 PM

Hi Bondo,
Sounds to me like your were in a hurry to get things done or were a bit lackadaisical about paying attention to all the little safety rules, or both at the same time.

Whenever I have little accidents or near misses in the shop, I have sat down to reflect on whats going on in my life, that my attention isn’t devoted to the task at hand. For instance there may be a family problem or something else going on, that may be on the back of my mind, or the front of my mind. You go to the shop to unwind and create something. While trying to unwind by doing something and trying to forget the problem for a bit, you tend to overlook those little safety precautions trying to do something. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped what I was doing and just cleaned the shop instead. Till I could get my concentration back in focus.

Then there’s those, this will take just a minute to do things, that tend for me to hurry and move on to the next task. Which leads us to the stacked dado set and its shims. I know what you mean about those shims hanging up on a threads deal. I’ve had no problems when I’m completely focused and nothing to bother me. Those shims just seem to slide right into place then. Let me get a little hurried and those damn things will catch every thread on the arbor shaft. Just frustrating the hell out of me even more. Again I find myself stopping to clean the shop.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I utilize shop cleaning therapy to slow me down and to focus on tasks at hand. Believe me I’ve even had days I just went out to clean the shop, because I needed to slow down and focus on things going on.

So have a good one and know your not alone with mishaps. I have them all the time when I’m not focused on safety.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2860 days

#3 posted 06-24-2012 03:14 AM

It’s been a while since last checking this forum – I hope you’ve been making sawdust since your last post on this thread. Greg makes an interesting point about being focused and a CLEAN shop. I always keep my shop very clean and when I get visitors (even unannounced ones), they always comment on how clean my shop is. Why? Safety of course – a small wood chip can cause a piece of wood to rock which can lead to dangerous situations. Sawdust left on tools on a hot humid day can cause moister to be absorbed, rust tools and effect their performance. As a footnote, wood chips can cause inaccurate cuts…

As for your problems, why don’t you use push sticks. I always have push sticks where your fingers were near the band saw. I make my own push sticks and the one I use the most has a long finger on it to keep the piece on the table, especially in rip cuts.

As for your dado cuts – why add shims when you could have simply moved the cut over a bit to re-cut one side only? That’s what I do and I’ve never had a problem. Just be very careful in your measurements and markings. For example, I never mark accurate cuts with pencils because pencil marks are too thick. I have a marking knife (any knife will do), and after marking my line with that very thin knife blade, I very carefully place that mark on the edge of the saw blade that will make that cut. I fine tune all my cuts in this manner.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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