My table saw scares the sh**out of me

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Forum topic by SaltyStame posted 03-05-2013 06:35 AM 5708 views 0 times favorited 83 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2345 days

03-05-2013 06:35 AM

So a few weeks ago i was building a tv stand for my father. Well i was cutting a slot so i could not have the safety on. My hand where safely away from the blade or so i thought. So i push the board through and i guess i brought 2 fingers back into the blade. I ended up with 3 stitches thank good.

Now everytime i look at my table saw i get sick to my stomach. Well any way has this ever happen to anyone else and how did you deal with it. I cant be the only one.

83 replies so far

View Kelby's profile


134 posts in 2652 days

#1 posted 03-05-2013 06:41 AM

How wide was the board?

-- Kelby

View SaltyStame's profile


7 posts in 2345 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 07:02 AM

it was around 3/4×6 x 24 i was doing a 3/8 dado

View bigfootphil's profile


18 posts in 2866 days

#3 posted 03-05-2013 08:51 AM

Using pushblocks would be nice.

View rctalmage's profile


9 posts in 3026 days

#4 posted 03-05-2013 09:21 AM

Look into micro-jigs grr-ripper.There are several reviews on Lumberjocks. I, myself, had a very scary accident on my saw, and left me looking blankly at mine for several months. After seeing the grr-ripper in action at the woodworker show, I bought a pair. They are the best investment I’ve made. I’m no longer afraid of my saw, but still a very healthy level of respect. Go to microjig’s website and watch the video. Just my 2 cents.

-- John 3:16

View SaltyStame's profile


7 posts in 2345 days

#5 posted 03-05-2013 09:38 AM

I bought a micro-jigs grr-ripper about 2 weeks ago and i havent taken it out of the package yet because i know if i do then i have to go use it lol. My girlfriend keeps calling me a female sex orgain. i figure i can wait till my finger nails grow back

View iminmyshop's profile


287 posts in 2235 days

#6 posted 03-05-2013 09:54 AM

If you can afford the SawStop, it is a beautiful, well made saw.

Accidents happen. Fast. And then suddenly life is different. We try to be alert and very careful in our shops and have enormous respect for what these machines can do to us. We use push sticks, splitters and try to leave the saw blade cover where it belongs though often it’s presence make cuts impossible or is just a PITA and we remove it.

In spite of our precautions and beliefs that accidents are not common and wont happen to us (because we’re more careful than everyone else), accidents happen. A lot. Facts can be stubbornly annoying things. EVERY SINGLE YEAR year there are 40,000+ table saw related accidents in the US alone and over 4,000 of those result in some degree of amputation. Every single one of those could have been prevented. So the question I asked myself was, how much did I value my fingers and could I afford that insurance that the SawStop technology represented. It is unfortunate that a whole bunch of political stuff built up around the technology. I set that aside and for me the answer was a loud yes. I am thrilled with the machine I now own. I still have respect for all the other tools that could do me in and I still do my best to avoid the blade on my table saw.


View knotscott's profile


8183 posts in 3616 days

#7 posted 03-05-2013 10:22 AM

The GRRrripper definitely would have helped in that situation, or any kind of push pad for those to don’t specifically own the GRRrripper. Hope you heal fast.

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

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2238 days

#8 posted 03-05-2013 11:58 AM

Never had a close call that scared me sick with a table saw but I came inches from death when a dead limb fell from a tree I was cutting. I am not and was not at that time a novice and I felt I knew what I was doing, I had just become too comfortable with the work. The experience made me sick to my stomach but I learned from it, thanked god for the lesson and went back to work. I now check every tree closely for the widow maker.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2489 days

#9 posted 03-05-2013 01:57 PM

I have a GRRripper, I don’t like it. Maybe because I have an underpowered saw and cut a lot of thicker hardwoods (I generally work with at least 6/4 stock) I have a hard time pushing boards though without the GRRripper loosing grip. I clean the pads regularly with DNA, it doesn’t help. A featherboard and a pushstick like this work better for me:

I make my own out of wood in case I cut through it. For rabbets, I use pushblocks and two feather boards. One on the table to keep the piece against the fence and one on the fence to keep the piece down on the table. All other dados I use a sled. I have a healthy respect for my table saw, but that dado blade scares the sh*t out of me and I am not comfortable without the sled or my sacrificial fence/featherboard set up.


View rrww's profile


263 posts in 2354 days

#10 posted 03-05-2013 02:18 PM

accidents happen, luckily yours was only three stiches.

I make my own push sticks, its just what I’m used to using.

Something that maybe helpful to you, even if your using a push stick of some kind. Take a piece of 2” tape and run it from the center of the blade to the front of the table, this will help remind you that you are in no mans land.

View syenefarmer's profile


519 posts in 3321 days

#11 posted 03-05-2013 02:19 PM

Go to Amazon or your nearest bookstore and pick-up a copy of The New Woodworker Handbook by Tom Hintz. ISBN 978-1-56523-297-6.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30153 posts in 2579 days

#12 posted 03-05-2013 02:21 PM

Take the stitches as a “lucky” warning. I have worked at the hospital for 33 years. Many are not that lucky. Now you take all the necessary safety precautions when working with the saw.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2539 days

#13 posted 03-05-2013 02:32 PM

make some big pushsticks please I never push a board by hand the only thing I push by hand is plywood thats at least 24 inches from the blade then I wonder

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3526 days

#14 posted 03-05-2013 03:36 PM


Yes; I’ve been there and done that.

Everyone has given you good advice on how not to let that happen again or at least cut down your chances of having an accident on your table saw, but that’s only part of what you’re dealing with right now.

I don’t know your experience with woodworking equipment or how often you work with them, but I do know how you feel looking at your table saw now.

I made my living working with my equipment and after working over 25 years full time in my shop, all it took was one simple wrong move and I was wondering if I could walk up to that saw and turn it on again.

I didn’t lose any fingers, but having to go back to work the next day and see not only some blood on my saw blade, but also bone fragments made my stomach turn. All I could force myself to do was to clean the saw up, change blades and go home.

A few days later I was back at my shop and back to work. It took some time using the saw again before my stomach would quit doing flip-flops. I’ve always practiced safety around my shop and equipment, but that doesn’t mean something can’t happen.

Only you can decide if you will ever be comfortable using the table saw again, but just remember, you’re table saw is not the big bad wolf and there are plenty of other tools in your shop that could do the same thing to your fingers. Have a healthy respect for your equipment, practice safety and enjoy your woodworking.

-- John @

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2755 days

#15 posted 03-05-2013 03:41 PM

I use pushsticks, pushblocks, and only take the blade guard off when the stick will just not get between the blade and fence, and then I try to reverse the cut if I can get more wood on the push side.
Worst I’ve had was to send a piece of wood through a wall, and that was on a radial arm, which I’ve since sold. Count my blessings…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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