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Thread: had to get this off my chest

  1. #1
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    Default had to get this off my chest

    I attended the One of a Kind craft show in Toronto and I particularly enjoyed the large posters of craftspeople engaged in their various fields...except the woodworker: this fellow was doing a rip cut on a table saw - no guard, left hand beside the blade, right hand using a fish mouth style push stick, and was standing behind the stock. I'd say the only thing the he was doing right was having his eyes open. That photo should be pulled.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    This fellow?

    http://www.oneofakindshow.com/xmas10/

    I'm with you Paul and always use at least a splitter, unless I was being an idiot as I posted a few months back.

    I wouldn't be to critical of the individual as a craftsperson though, as far as I've seen as soon as you get to the world outside of internet discussion boards table saw safety is not very often given the respect most of us around here feel they deserve. It's crazy, because everyone it seems has got a story of a nasty kickback, but still the lack of consideration seems almost universal.

    Matt
    SPCHT


  3. #3
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    Brandon (18)

    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    “Almost every day I wake up I realize how amazing it is to get to do what I do: being able to put my own ideas into fruition, and constantly search for new inspirations. Some wood workers read books and magazines to find new ideas, I look to nature and pull from it what I can. Assembly line products are based on routines. To keep things interesting, I try to make the time I spent day-to-day at the studio as diverse as possible.”
    - Jon Black


    Keep that kind of safety up and you won't be making your own ideas anymore.
    and if you ask me he doesn't look like the "wood worker" kind of guy.

    Here is the picture if people can't find it or just want to be lazy

    A Termite walked into a pub and asked,
    "Where's the bar tender?


    Apprentice at Ledlie Construction Ltd
    "Never think you know every thing, when it comes to carpentry you're always learning"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Very good. Third from the top...and I read a bit of his bio...he is self taught.
    I don't question his ability...just technique...he obviously cuts a lot of shorts for his cutting boards and his technique begs kickback. Just a guard would go a long way to keep his stock from climbing the blade and ejecting.
    As an aside, I've often wondered what percentage of us are self taught and if there is any correlation between that and frequency of injury.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Let's give him the benefit of the doubt....there are probably 5 people in his 'one-man' shop. They are all staring at him and pointing lights and camera at him. He even has a clean shirt on, which for us woodworkers, just feels weird. That *may* be the reason for a temporary state of mind loss.

    I think (barely) the worst thing he is doing is using one of those thin, awful push sticks. They are not the least bit positive... they rock as you make a cut... they give you that false sense of security that leads to bad things. That he even had one within arms reach of his table saw I believe is a big mistake. One with a long (10" minimum) surface that stays in contact with the workpiece during the cut and has a little notch at the back end is what I recommend. It has a much more positive, stable feel, you can control the workpiece much better, etc.
    ______________________________________________
    Rob Brown
    Editor - Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement

  6. #6
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    I have been ripping tens of thousands of thin sticks for years and the only difference between me and this guy is i don,t stand directly behind the blade and i never use a push stick . I agree 100 % with Rob about the push stick .
    I have never used a guard on my saw and i don,t plan on it anytime soon .

    I had a close friend last month who chopped 3 fingers off using a brand new table saw with a guard on it .
    Just because a saw has a guard on it It doesn,t mean accidents won,t happen .
    I think the more paranoid you are about using table saws, mitre saws and power tools the more you are bound to get hurt .
    I grew up with a shop around me all my life so i feel 110 % confident when it comes to using power tools . That doesn,t make me invincible but i sure don,t get any negative thoughts about chopping body parts off

  7. #7
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Then again after an accident, how many people say, 'Gee, that never happened before'
    He who laughs last..............probably didn't get it

  8. #8
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Hey John what do you use for cutting up your barn board into those thin strips? Personally I love the Gripper for short stuff and to finish long thin cuts..

  9. #9
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    Hey John what do you use for cutting up your barn board into those thin strips? Personally I love the Gripper for short stuff and to finish long thin cuts..
    I just use my fingers
    Whenever i get 3 or 4" away from the end of each stick i pull it through from the other end with my right hand . Maybe i,ll make a quick video later so them paranoid woodworkers can cringe over it

  10. #10
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    From looking at the photo...

    I don't see him standing directly behind the blade. If you draw lines you'd see he is standing to one side. Maybe not all the way, but any more and he would be totally off balance.

    You can see he doesn't have a guard, but you have no idea if he has a splitter. Not being able to see directly behind the blade and considering the thickness of the wood, you just don't know. I have a micro splitter that works very well. I'd rather use it than the guard any day. My saw doesn't come with a riving knife.

    His left fingers are about in line with the blade. And he is using a push stick rather than his hand..

    My problem is that the is not waring safety glasses. He might have ear plugs for the noise.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    + 1 for the GRRRipper for short narrow pieces -- and you can't use it with a Guard. The worst accident I had, a long time ago, was trying to cut similar pieces with a pushstick and guard. The stick got tangled up in the guard, and the workpiece kicked up onto my hand.
    Jim

  12. #12
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    I was in a hurry once and trying to do something stupid so I had a kick back years ago that flew over my left shoulder. It was a piece almost the same size as the one pictured. Put a hole in the garage door. The problem with kickbacks is they aren't always precise enough to kick straight back but they are great teachers.

  13. #13
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    Jim

    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Add me to the bad books.
    I have made a cut similar to what this guy is doing hundreds of times, even using a similar push stick, though not my favourite kind of push stick either. I do make certain my body is to the left of the blade, and this guys is for the most part.

    Safety glasses would be a good thing, for sure. I use mine most of the time, but who here can honestly say that they use them every last time they use a tool or machine. I know I am guilty, and I would estimate that probably only 75% of the time I use glasses, though almost 100% of the time I use hearing protection as the dust collector is the noisiest machine in my shop.
    JIM
    Calgary, AB

  14. #14
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Brown View Post
    I think (barely) the worst thing he is doing is using one of those thin, awful push sticks. They are not the least bit positive... they rock as you make a cut... they give you that false sense of security that leads to bad things. That he even had one within arms reach of his table saw I believe is a big mistake. One with a long (10" minimum) surface that stays in contact with the workpiece during the cut and has a little notch at the back end is what I recommend. It has a much more positive, stable feel, you can control the workpiece much better, etc.
    Could you post a picture of what your push stick looks like? I am having a hard time visualizing it.

    Thanks.

    Steven

  15. #15
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Today if I saw someone doing that under my responsibility I'd have a word with him and I would never permit a photo of myself cutting like that. 5 or 10 years ago it would have broken safety rules but I would have seen nothing wrong with what he was doing. I would have thought his push stick was a little ... well not something to be proud of because an effective one that's sacrificial if necessary is so easy to make. He isn't directly behind the blade or are his fingers in a position where they'll be drawn into the blade. (unlike some overconfident idiots I know. Not to name names but lets just say when you point with one finger, or part of one finger there are 3 others pointing back ) He looks confident and experienced so I would assume he knows the feedback and warnings you get from stock that's binding. I would also assume that if he's experienced he would know better than to use a saw that was badly tuned, a dull blade, an improper blade for the job, a blade raised to the wrong height, a fence that's out of alignment or a cutting area that's full of tripping hazards or distractions.

    A guard is the last line of defence. If anyone believes they are safe because they use personal protection and guards they are just deluded. The guards are there when all else fails. I'm not advocating using power tools without the proper guards attached. I believe that a lot of manufacturers will throw a guard on a piece of equipment that meets the law but makes the tool unusable in some cases, like ripping narrow stock or doing intricate cuts, using sleds and fixtures etc. I would rather see everyone using european style sliders and power feeders where you never have to get behind the blade at all rather than the delusion that a plastic guard suddenly make a cheap table saw with a dollar store blade safe to use.

    Lets give this guy the benifit of the doubt and assume that aside from the obvious sins he has all the other bases covered safety wise

  16. #16
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    I am guilty of most of the things in the picture. Well all, I guess, except I require bifocals to get about and I had them made with safety glass and frames. But, no guard, no splitter, push sticks. Thats me. Wont say it wont happen the next time I use my saw, but 40 years and counting I still have all my fingers and no tatoos on my gut from kickbacks. I use pushsticks and like John, I go around the back and pull a lot of the stuff thru.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Quote Originally Posted by BearLeeAlive View Post
    Safety glasses would be a good thing, for sure. I use mine most of the time, but who here can honestly say that they use them every last time they use a tool or machine. I know I am guilty, and I would estimate that probably only 75% of the time I use glasses, though almost 100% of the time I use hearing protection as the dust collector is the noisiest machine in my shop.
    I will say that I do not use any of my large power tools without glasses. I have on several occasions not done any woodworking as I could not find my glasses. I try to keep 3-4 pairs of glasses in and around for just that reason.

    I will admit to using a power drill to put in screws without glasses, but never a saw, jointer, plainer, or drill press. I guess you have to pick which rules you will never break.

    Matt.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in Waubaushene View Post
    But, no guard, no splitter, push sticks. Thats me. Wont say it wont happen the next time I use my saw, but 40 years and counting I still have all my fingers and no tatoos on my gut from kickbacks.
    Me too. Because I use cabinet saws and job site table saws and do a lot of fitting with them I can't do the work I do with guards on the saws. I use a pushstick, sometimes it's a piece of scrap or the end of my hammer but I do use a pushstick. I know enough never to get my hands behind the blade and never pull stock through. That's the first thing you learn as a helper when using a table saw, always let the front guy control the feed.

    I said that I never get my hands behind the blade. Well I have broken that rule on occasion and after using a table saw daily for 30 years one day, foolishly, I tempted fate and lost a finger and badly mangled another one and since the day after I did it I was to start a job that I lined up to get me through the recession as a carpenter foreman finishing a large hospital project, I lost at least couple of hundred grand and had to change career paths as well. My bread and butter was installing commercial doors and hardware which requires a lot of mechanical dexterity. I was really good at it, I loved that aspect of the job and it was a valuable skill. As a contractor it got me in the door on a lot of projects where I picked up the complete millwork and finish carpentry package. I can't do that any more. After 3 years I have enough dexterity that I can do woodworking and most other carpentry but no where near enough for hardware. I'm moving into a position as a trainer for the carpenters union but that won't be full time for 6 or 8 months. Right now I'm finishing basements and doing small woodworking jobs.

    All this because I was too lazy to get a jig saw out of the truck and broke the simple rule of never getting my hand behind the blade. I'll be honest with everyone, I'm saving up for a slider and until I get one I use a table saw without a guard. A well tuned, well cared for table saw with sharp blades and I'm still confident about using the saw as long as I stay in front of the blade.

    I have to go now and see if my not so well cared for snow blower will start. I've left it warming up in the shop.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    I don't get the phobia about table saw guards.
    I have a General 350 with stock guard/splitter/anti-kickback fingers. Over the mouth of the guard (where the dust flied) sits a 4" dust extraction hose which leads to an overhead duct. I don't need to see the cut. The fence is dead accurate so why do I need to see the cut? The guard is visual; it helps keep the stock down on the table; the anti-kickback fingers prevent kickback - in fact I often leave the stock to go around the saw and pull the last bit through; the splitter does its thing.
    The only time that guard is off is when I have no choice - dados, cutting coves et cetera.
    Re. safety glasses..I don't use them unless there's an obvious risk. And I don't see any risk at most machinery I use including the table saw.
    I know we have medicare...I just don't want to use it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: had to get this off my chest

    You are absolutely correct. In most, if not almost all, cases it is not necessary to see the cut. You can tell more about how the cutting is going from the sound of the cutting and the tactile feedback when feeding the work into the blade. Even more to the point, the TS cut starts from bottom-rear of the workpiece; by the time you see the blade above the workpiece it is too late if the cut isn't in the right place anyway.

    I won't argue that many stock guards are not ideal but they do work.

    billh

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