Who says bandsaws have no kickback?

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Forum topic by Padre posted 03-06-2009 05:53 AM 4742 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3727 days

03-06-2009 05:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: safety bandsaw kickback emergency room stitches bowl blank turning

Well, it finally happened. I had my first full blown “go to the emergency room bleeding all over the place accident” tonight. All from stupidity too.

After dinner I decided to cut up a 10 foot 16/4 board of cherry into bowl sized turning blanks. I cut the wood with my circular saw into 16” lengths, then started cutting the 16” lengths on my bandsaw. I have on my 1” rake tooth blade, so I’m all set.

Put the first 16” on the bandsaw, cut in half like butter. Rounded both sides off. I then measured the true thickness and it was 5” not 4”. SOOOOOO, I said to myself, “Self, just resaw the bowl blank to 4” and you have a 1” piece for a plate to match.” Uh oh. I put the almost round blank up against my resaw fence, put it up to the blade and ZINGO, that very heavy piece of cherry bounced off my chin/cheek/mouth/nose in about 1 nanosecond. I used to box as a kid, and I never took a right as bad as this one hit.

I stood there for a second, dazed, wondering what the heck had happened. Then I felt some warm stuff on my mouth, nose and face, and I came inside. Looked in the morror. Ouch. It had put my teeth through my bottom lip on the right hand side. It cut my upper lip inside and out and caused my nose to bleed. No loose teeth though! :) I’m bleeding like a stuck pig, so I grabbed a towel, headed out the door, and went to the ER. There I met a most gorgeous Physicians Assistant who stitched me up. She found a nice cherry splinter inside the laceration and in my mustache! :) When she went to inject the lidocaine, it squirted right through my lip from the outside to the inside. Man, that stuff tastes really bad.

Patched me up, sent me on my way, and gave me a script for antibiotics. It’s throbbing, but it’s a good reminder of how stupid I was.

Needless to say I won’t be doing any resawing of a round bowl blank ever again.

Be careful folks, there IS such a thing as kickback on a bandsaw. And it happens instantly.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

39 replies so far

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3961 days

#1 posted 03-06-2009 06:00 AM

Wow, what a bummer. Must be a combination of the blade size and the round stock. Glad to hear there weren’t any lost body parts. Skin heals and lessons are learned: thanks for sharing your misfortune with us all so that we all learn.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4112 days

#2 posted 03-06-2009 06:38 AM

Yeah, bandsaws pull down. With round stuff that presents a problem.

I’m sorry you got hurt, but am very glad it wasn’t any worse.

-- -- --

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3953 days

#3 posted 03-06-2009 06:44 AM

Do you get to go back for a checkup? :) Hope the healing goes well, and sorry to hear about your unfortunate circumstance.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3799 days

#4 posted 03-06-2009 06:53 AM

Oh man that sounds painful

I guess the blade tried to spin the stock and it rolled forward into your face?

I bought a polycarb face shield two weeks ago after another LJ posted a picture of his face getting whacked, and I use it for just about all operations – even those that “seem” safe. About half the time I wear reading glasses while I work and a face shield doesn’t care what I am wearing beneath it.

I don’t know how much it would have helped you, but maybe it would have been the difference between cuts or bruises.

As Peter said, glad it wasn’t worse.

-- Joe

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3680 days

#5 posted 03-06-2009 08:26 AM

Doh!!! resaw before cutting the round corners. I,ve actualy seen this done at my old work, thankfully without the gore. It,s was all over in a milisecond and luckily the guy had nothing more than a stunned look on his face. Get well soon mate, and just tell people you got it in a knife fight with some bikers, it sounds more impressive!

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

542 posts in 4128 days

#6 posted 03-06-2009 09:06 AM

And I’ve always wondered how Sam Maloof cuts parts on the bandsaw WITHOUT HOLDING THE PIECE DOWN TO THE TABLE TOP. Man that guy must be strong (or stupid??)!!! I’ve seen him sculpt entire chair parts without the wood touching the table…and no kickback. But his cuts weren’t on round stock either.

Sorry to hear about the accident. You did good to get yourself to the ER. I’d have passed out as soon as I saw the blood…what a wimp…

Oh, and by the way, don’t cut 4” pvc dust collection pipe on the bandsaw either. You won’t quite get right-hooked in the face, but you’ll sure have two smashed thumbs!!

I also apologize for laughing out loud as I read your story. It was well written. I must be a real sicko !! ;-D

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3764 days

#7 posted 03-06-2009 05:33 PM

alanealane, remember that SAM is missing the tip of one of his fingers also!

Thanks for your story Padre, I have been getting too comfortable with my bandsaw of late, time to rethink what I’m doing.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3727 days

#8 posted 03-06-2009 08:52 PM

Holy Cow! I don’t remember when I was boxing waking up and feeling like this!! I did play hockey from pee-wee through college graduation (with time out for Uncle Same, drafted in ‘71), and I was a goalie, but I wore a mask. HMMMMM, I wonder where that mask is now?? :)

I did brake my nose 6 times, well, actually 8 if you count the surgery to correct the first 6 and then getting blown up in a truck while I was in the service and walking away with nothing more than a broken nose. Not all hockey either. Actually the count was: hockey 3 – nose 0. fight 1 – nose 0, water polo 1 – nose 0, football 1 – nose 0, surgeon 1 – nose 0 and truck 1 – nose 0. :) The nose never seems to win. Kinda’ like the Buffalo Bills and the Super Bowl. (Yes, I am a Bills fan.)

Last night at the ER they told me to rinse after eating. They did NOT say that eating would feel like pulling porcupine needles out of the base of your nose!!! So no need to rinse since I can’t eat. LOL.

My nose has gone on complete strike and is doing nothing more than issuing forth various different bodily fluids of various colors and consistencies.

I am staring to look like a dalmation in the facial area, and I am only talking out of the left side of my mouth since the right side looks and feels like it has been permanently shut with CA glue. :)

I still have all my teeth though. And no broken nose. :)

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#9 posted 03-06-2009 09:33 PM

Padre, all the assistant gave you was “a script for antibiotics” ? dissapointing… next time you should aim for more damage…;o)

glad to hear all teeth are in place… I had a similar thing happen to me, and I can only relate to your experience, and on the same note -to the stupidity of the case – after hearing so much that the bandsaw is the ‘safest’ tool of them all, it’s easy to lower your guards when working with one. I had cut 10” off of the end of an apple log, did that on the bandsaw, since the entire log was large and heavy, it was easy for me to stand to the side of the blade (2 feet away) hold the log and move along with it through the blade – the problem was when I was about to clean up the 10” cutoff piece… for some unknown stupid reason , I didn’t think of putting the straight cut face on the table top, and instead kept it on it’s rounded bark…. that thing flew like a torpedo, luckily for me, I was still to the side of the saw, and not behind the piece… only caught my fingers – and damn that hurt. left some serious marks on my cast-iron table that took me a lot of elbow grease to clean up (aka impact was severe).

hope recovery is fast, and the nuisances that accompany it will be mimimal ,and pass quickly.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3966 days

#10 posted 03-06-2009 10:09 PM

I before I was your follow up post, I was going to say that I took a cross check to the mouth that put my teeth through my lower lip when I was baout 1/2 as old as I am now. Didn’t knock out any teeth, but did knock em pretty crooked, and only about 3 months after my braces had come off. As I see it, the score is:

Bandsaw 1
Hockey 1
Us 0

Hope you feel better. The mouth has a lot of nerve endings. Very painful spot to get injured.

View jack1's profile


2117 posts in 4265 days

#11 posted 03-07-2009 03:46 AM

I just got off the bandsaw about 30 minutes ago thinking, “Hey, this is the safest piece of equipment made”. Serendipity…
Hope you are doing well. I had a router table incident about a year ago, know what you are going through. Hang in!

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Karson's profile


35153 posts in 4638 days

#12 posted 03-07-2009 05:53 AM

Sorry to hear about your situation. I’ve had bandsaws grab a log that I was trying to cut into smaller chunks. I didn’t have any damage done other than a bent bandsaw blade.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18423 posts in 3914 days

#13 posted 03-07-2009 06:10 AM

Prayers for a quick recovery. Mentioning boxing reminds me of a Milwauke Hole Hog with a large wood auger hanging up that got away from me. Came around and hit me squarely on the jaw! Didn’t knock me off the ladder, fortunately ;-)

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

View jack1's profile


2117 posts in 4265 days

#14 posted 03-07-2009 09:52 AM

Thank you for your thoughts and sympathy. It’s been a few months and while the finger looks normal, I have no feeling at the tip (which was routered flat). It could have been worse but I have a wife that first drives fast, asks questions and scolds me after I feel better! lol

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3619 days

#15 posted 03-07-2009 02:16 PM

Sheesh! I had no idea that could happen, and I’ve been looking forward to resawing when my new blades get here next week (Timber Wolf 1” 2TPI and 3TPI). I am positive I would have tried pushing a log through the blade sideways by hand at some point pretty soon. Thanks for taking one in the face for my knowledge! I’m going to live with all of my teeth in place thanks to you :)

Also, I’m glad you’ll be alright.

I understand what happened, and how, but it’s still hard to imagine that it can. I almost feel like we should all have cameras all around our shops, always recording, and then whenever something goes bad, we can all pass around multiple angles, like a football game replay, and analyze together what went wrong.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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