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Forum topic by MrRon posted 05-31-2014 11:21 PM 1112 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

2834 posts in 1899 days


05-31-2014 11:21 PM

The following instructions came from a Harbor Freight table saw instruction manual. It really doesn’t matter which manual it comes from; they all say the same thing. The point here is: The safety precautions have been spelled out and if anyone is injured using a table saw, the reason is because you didn’t follow these basic instructions. BTW, this particular saw which sells for $130 has a riving knife and all the safety features of saws costing 10X more. If you are injured by a table saw, don’t blame the saw; blame your own stupidity for not reading the safety precautions. I can’t see; if you follow these precautions how you can have an accident. I’m prepared for backlash from this thread.

1. After adjusting the width and/or angle of the cut, plug the Table Saw into a grounded 120V outlet.
2. Insert the Switch Key and turn the Switch on.
3. At the start of the cut, the left hand holds the work piece firmly on the Work Table (and against the Fence, if used), and the right hand, with the aid of a Push-stick, pushes the work piece toward the turning Saw Blade. Keep both hands out of the path of the Saw blade.
WARNING! Throughout the cut, keep all body parts a safe distance from the spinning blade.
4. After the cut is under way, use the Push Stick to continue guiding the work piece forward. Just Before the cut is completed, move the left hand safely farther away from the work piece and the saw blade. Continue pushing the work piece into the Saw Blade with the Push Stick until the cut is complete.
5. Once the cut is complete, continue to maintain control of the work piece. Turn the Switch off. Then, wait until the Saw Blade completely stops rotating before removing the work piece.
6. To prevent accidents, turn off the Table Saw, remove the key and disconnect its power supply after use. Clean, then store the Saw indoors out of children’s reach.


25 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1715 posts in 1764 days


#1 posted 06-01-2014 01:09 AM

We live in the litigation nation/generation, where those who are demonstrably stupid and careless expect to be taken care of, no matter the obviousness of said stupidity and carelessness. Kids get awards these days merely for participation; one of my sons says his is the “cookie generation” (he’s 34 years younger than I, at 27), where awards are handed out for basically nothing. Let’s see how much flak you and I catch. Regardless, it is still true.

FWIW, I have talked to my wife about a SawStop table saw, and she’s on board with it. Just understand that this is an acknowledgement that I’m not perfect (no one is). But if something happens, it happens, and the manufacturer has warned us about the risks. At some point in a person’s life they have to accept that risk. I have been sawing, cutting, burning, etc., metal, wood and other substances, and still have all my digits. I could be killed in a crash tomorrow, there is no telling what can happen. But if I’m in an accident, it’s probably the other person’s fault. So far, it has been, every time (I’ve been rear-ended three times).

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lateralus819

1395 posts in 545 days


#2 posted 06-01-2014 02:16 AM

Tools are inherently dangerous. I’ve gotten myself on a table saw, i didn’t lose anything, but it woke me up.

I was watching a guy at work, rip a strip roughly 1.5 inches wide. Not biggie. He THEN procedes to crosscut the same piece, to 1.5×1.5 with no miter gauge, or anything. I was watching and waiting for something to happen. Luckily he didn’t mess himself up.

I don’t see why people take the risk out of laziness.

-- Never confuse mistakes with failure. Kevin

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jonah

453 posts in 1954 days


#3 posted 06-01-2014 02:43 AM

For the love of mike, please not another political BS thread.

Can we please talk about woodworking?

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ColonelTravis

571 posts in 549 days


#4 posted 06-01-2014 02:56 AM

Before I got a table saw I asked my wife’s uncle, who has been a furniture maker/carpenter his entire life, about table saws. First thing out of his mouth was about how dangerous it was. It was almost like he didn’t even recommend it. As far as I know he’s never had a major accident, but they really are about the most dangerous thing in the shop.

With SawStop, even they are like – dude, if you royally screw up it is not our fault. Below is from the SS manual – it is Item #1 of two pages of info. about their system. You can see how they want people to know they’re responsible for them, not the saw, which is how it should be. No way I will count on that brake firing.

1. Do not rely on the SawStop safety system to protect against unsafe operation. Although the
system is designed to stop the blade very quickly in the event of an accidental contact, it cannot react until contact is detected. This means that you may receive at least a minor injury even with the SawStop safety system. Therefore, always use safe operating practices, and use the blade guard, push stick and other safety devices whenever possible. The SawStop safety system, like the airbag in a car, should be considered as a last measure to minimize injury when all other safety practices and devices have failed to prevent an accident.

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Jim Finn

1677 posts in 1577 days


#5 posted 06-01-2014 02:46 PM

jonah. The post is not political just factual. It IS about woodworking.

-- In God We Trust

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1340 days


#6 posted 06-01-2014 11:07 PM

All tools sold today will come with 20 pages of safety warnings and then about 5 pages explaining how to use/maintain the tool. Then it turns to Spanish or French. Just the way it works. But on the bright side. I am learning spanish and french!

View squaretree's profile

squaretree

148 posts in 227 days


#7 posted 06-02-2014 12:38 AM

Ron, I said the same thing a few weeks ago in a forum you created on this same subject, and this was your response to me:
“squaretree, Calling people stupid if they get injured with a saw is a bit extreme. Have you never cut yourself with a knife or razor, or hit your finger with a hammer? The first time you do, will you call yourself stupid? People, all people make mistakes. That is a given. I too have never been injured with a saw after 50+ years of using power tools, but I have been injured in car accidents and falling off ladders. If that makes me stupid, then everyone in the world is stupid, except for you of course. Have a safe day”

-- if you can't find me, just follow the extension cord

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2834 posts in 1899 days


#8 posted 06-02-2014 12:44 AM

Squaretree, True it may sound like a contradiction. “Stupid” may just sound appropiate in certain instances. I don’t like to think of myself as stupid, but maybe I am guilty as charged. I was just trying not to insult anyone.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

164 posts in 385 days


#9 posted 06-02-2014 03:15 AM

5. Once the cut is complete, continue to maintain control of the work piece. Turn the Switch off. Then, wait until the Saw Blade completely stops rotating before removing the work piece.

Boy, it’s a good thing all you guys are only hobbyist because you’d never make a living in woodworking following that rule….. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Rick's profile

Rick

6454 posts in 1688 days


#10 posted 06-02-2014 03:46 AM

Jerry:

You got that right! Once MY Cut is complete the work has gone through and is OUT of the Saw.

Who in their right mind would stop the Piece, still in the Blade if the Cut had been completed?

3 or 4 Cuts of the same size? On/Off, On/Off, On/Off. DUHHHHH!!!

Number 4 is just as bad.

“4. After the cut is under way, use the Push Stick to continue guiding the work piece forward. Just Before the cut is completed, move the left hand safely farther away from the work piece and the saw blade. Continue pushing the work piece into the Saw Blade with the Push Stick until the cut is complete.”

My Left Hand is what keeps the Piece tight to the Fence at the leading edge ALL the way through the Cut. Move it away and use the Push stick Only? to finish the Cut??? NOT!! Asking for a Kick back!

”All The Manuals are the Same”? There is Nothing this DUMB in my Ridgid Table Saw Manual.

If you are injured by a table saw, don’t blame the saw; blame your own (A) stupidity for not reading the safety precautions. I can’t see; (B) if you follow these precautions how you can have an accident. (C)I’m prepared for backlash from this thread.”

(A) I’d be STUPID if I Followed these “Precautions”

(B) I sure as Heck do! Instructions or no Instructions. It happens all the time!

(C) GOOD! You’ll probably get it!

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

427 posts in 1738 days


#11 posted 06-02-2014 10:27 AM

“My Left Hand is what keeps the Piece tight to the Fence at the leading edge ALL the way through the Cut. Move it away and use the Push stick Only? to finish the Cut??? NOT!! Asking for a Kick back!”

So when your ripping 4” stock down to 3 1/2” you keep your left hand in contact with the stock until the cut is fully completed?
I would think a general contractor with as many years of experience as yourself would have some realization of how ‘unsmart’ and lacking in ‘common sense’ that is.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1616 days


#12 posted 06-02-2014 10:46 AM

Stupid is as stupid does- Forest Gump. Saw blades are like snakes- don’t get close to them!
Did WWers get hurt before power tools came into existence?

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

194 posts in 1722 days


#13 posted 06-02-2014 02:18 PM

I can understand the experienced users having problems with the instructions. However as someone who’s written technical information for users, remember you have to write this stuff for the lowest common denominator which is the person who has never used a table saw that decides i’m going to become a Diy’r today and will be cutting a few pieces at a time.

You think that keeping your hands away from the blade is common sense, but it’s not. I also don’t think any tool sold by harbor freight would have spent a lot of time or $$ on documentation. They probably had the lawyers review to minimize liability. I remember studying a class in my MBA program on why you have a sticker on your riding lawnmower deck grass outlet saying don’t put body parts here and it was not to keep you safe but because of litigation loses.

For me, I don’t want my digits anywhere near the blade. That’s what’s safety tools are for i.e. splitters’, hold-downs, featherboards’, push sticks, riving knives, grippr’s by microjig etc.

A well designed push stick, good basic respect (not fear) of that blade, and knowing good stance technique, along with

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unbob

403 posts in 558 days


#14 posted 06-02-2014 03:29 PM

“knowing good stance technique”

If I get you right on this, very important point.
The saw I use the most is 7.5hp using 14” blades. Nothing will stop that saw.
The worst incidents I have had is the wood coming apart just a head of the cut, and blowing back out in sharp pieces with massive force.
When something like that happens, it blows you back. If the weight of your body is forward, you will fall back into the blade.
With a saw like this, it would be not wise to stand in front of the blade or board at any time.
Oversize stop buttons, well, good luck with that.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2834 posts in 1899 days


#15 posted 06-02-2014 04:01 PM

bonesbr549, I was also a tech writer back in the 70’s. I wrote manuals for the USMC. The important thing was to know who your audience was so you could tailor your writing to their education level. It was quite a challenge writing manuals about things you knew nothing about. A good tech writer (I was one of them) spends much time getting educated in the workings of the item you are writing about. If you don’t understand how it works, then you can’t tell anyone else how it works. I see this all the time in instruction manuals that are poorly written by people who know little or nothing about the product. After I wrote a manual, I knew all about that item inside/out. In my case, they were complex communications systems used by the marines. In today’s economy, companies don’t want to spend the money for someone to write an instruction manual and certainly won’t pay for the time it would take for that writer to learn all about the item. The manuals I wrote, took around 18 months and cost in the millions. I don’t think any company today would spend that amount of time or money, so crappy manuals are the result.

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