Some of My Table Saw Safety Practices

My Table Saw Safety List:

  1. Always wear eye protection. Teeth on blades have been known to fracture, break off, and be slung back in the direction of the person operating the Table Saw. I’ve also ripped thru a board with a knot, and had the knot shatter (Was glad I was wearing eye protection).
  2. When ripping boards, I use a Featherboard religiously.
  3. When ripping boards, I use a push shoe (not a push stick — push stick bad). I want my fingers as far away from that blade as possible.
  4. I stand beside the board when ripping (not behind the board) on the opposite side of the fence from the blade. If the board unexpectedly kicks backward, I do not want to be behind it.
  5. If ripping a board to a width that a push shoe will not fit between the blade and fence, then reconfigure so that the ripped width will not be between the fence and the blade, and insure that overall board width is such that a push shoe will safely fit between the blade and fence. A board ripped and at the same time left unrestrained (no push shoe) between the blade and fence, will likely turn into a missile being launched back at you (bad, real bad), when most likely the blade grabs a hold of the wood.
  6. When ripping a board, I push the board with a push shoe in my left hand (I am left handed), and place my right hand on the back of the Table Saw on the right side of the fence (and blade on the left side of the fence). I feel this helps me to prevent loosing my balance (due to something unexpected happening) while pushing a board thru during a rip cut. This works for me, you might want to see if it works for you. Your body dimensions and the dimensions of your Table Saw, will determine whether this works for you. If it doesn’t feel right, then do not use this technique. Make sure the power to your Table Saw is off when evaluating this technique.
  7. When crosscutting off multiple pieces from a single board, do not let any of the cutoff pieces end up being pushed back pass the back of the blade. I had a wood cutoff piece as described above, get pushed back pass the back of the blade. Apparently the wood piece that was back pass the back of the blade, vibrated forward until it made contact with the back of the blade. The blade then grabbed the wood piece and slung it at me. It hit me in the stomach and left an approximately 2 inch diameter blue and purple bruise. Lesson learned, will not do that again.

In closing work safely protect your eyes, ears, and fingers.

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Until Next Time, Take Care
AL

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