Table saw material control

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Forum topic by REO posted 01-29-2015 11:11 PM 962 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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929 posts in 2310 days

01-29-2015 11:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

My special activity for my 10th birthday was getting to operate the table saw while making a box with my dad. Over the years I have seen many operators. Winced and shuddered as I watched many use a table saw. There are over blade guards, antikickback pawls, riving knives and splitter inserts. There are good explanations and demonstrations about many of the aspects for using a table saw and the dangers. Some are downright foolish and leave me counting the fingers of the person demonstrating! Here on LJ’s there have been threads about safety and accidents alike. As I have watched several videos I have seen things that although safe were quite extraordinary. For me in many cases I am beginning to understand why there is so much concern about kick back. I have a couple musings. Why do people let go of the stock and turn off the saw? I can understand not backing out of the saw. I can even understand some other cuts stopping the saw and then removing stock. Never let go of the material until clear of the saw blade or the saw is stopped! The other bugaboo I have is “push sticks”. Often people use two at a time one from behind and the other from the side. Then move the one on the side to a different position while proceeding in the cut. This is a situation where just so much can go wrong! Not being held down on the saw with the second “stick” the material rides up over the saw just a fraction and when the hold down pressure is reapplied the saw bites and kicks the pushing stick back. If there is a good grip on the handle then the hand follows back and away, if not the stick gets loose and the hand continues forward possibly into the blade. They are usually long to keep the hands away from the blade which make them more awkward to handle. “push sticks” scare me. This is not a commercial for the gripper but I really do like the concept. If you have a second to describe or include a picture of your Control measure and why you like it please post it.

4 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile


1579 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 01-29-2015 11:56 PM

I have two gripprs and love em. I use them to walk lumber through the saw and keep constant pressure on both sides of the riving knife. I also use them on the jointer, to keep down pressure, and are a have to have for the router table. on the TS, I can cut as thin as 1/8” strips with the fence and no chance of kickback due to downward pressure on material on both sides of the blade. Love-em.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Woodknack's profile


12463 posts in 2616 days

#2 posted 01-30-2015 03:51 AM

I see a lot fewer idiots on youtube than most other woodworkers apparently but then I am selective about who I watch and idiots don’t make the list. But at the end of the day I’ll confess that I don’t really care what other people do. Your fingers, don’t expect me to worry more about them than you. (By “you”, I mean everyone, 2nd person plural; not “you” specifically)

-- Rick M,

View Pimzedd's profile


614 posts in 4379 days

#3 posted 02-01-2015 03:24 AM

REO, as a retired shop teacher of 34 years, I agree with pretty much all you had to say. Especially the part about using two push sticks, that scares me as well. I only use a push stick when I can’t safely put my hand between the blade and the fence.

My experience says my students got in trouble when they let the material drift away from the fence. Only two students had kickbacks. One serious. The student had not been instructed in the use of the table saw. Decided the line for the bandsaw was too long. Tried to cut a board about 4 in x 8 in. into to 4×4’s. Not fence, no miter gauge, no guard. Kickback broke two ribs. Follow the rules and keep the material against the guide, you will be in good shape.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1757 days

#4 posted 02-01-2015 05:06 AM

A good friend of mine once said :
“Take a picture of your hands early in your working life so you can remember what they used to look like.”

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