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Thread: Kickback

  1. #1

    Default Kickback

    I had my first kickback yesterday. I was cutting about 6 inches off of a 27 x 17 piece of 3/4 melamine particleboard. Got hit with the 21 x 17 piece in my belly just above the belt. Real lucky, superficial damage that hurt pretty good for a while.

    Looking back there were several things that I think may have contributed to the incident.

    1. I'm wondering if my saw (table surface) is too small for what i've been doing with it. I have a Ryobi BTS20 and it's a great tool but a small table. It has a pullout outfeed device, which I had pulled out fully, but there is a gap between the table and the outfeed support. I had checked to see if the piece would land on the support properly and it did, but I wonder if I was thinking about it while making the cut.

    2. The guard and splitter were removed because I didn't want to risk the anti-kickback pawls damaging the melamine surface.

    3. I had just yesterday waxed the table and fence for the first time. Previously there was quite a bit of friction when pushing material through the blade and I don't think I had adjusted yet to the now smooth and faster feed rate.

    4. The cut was complete and I was focusing on the cut-off in case it came flying back and I think I was reaching to remove it. The good piece twisted ever so slightly into the blade when I reached. I noticed the saw sounded laboured, suddenly realized what was happening, then before I could react it threw the piece.

    5. I guess I was standing in the wrong place as well. I was behind the good piece. Not really sure about this though.

    I think this mishap would have been prevented, or at least minimised, by having a splitter to install when the guard is removed or by having a second guard/splitter to install with the pawls removed.

    Feel free to comment, I would like to be able to improve my methods so this doesn't happen again. Hopefully someone else will learn from my mistake.

    Thanks, Rick

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Whitby, Ontario

    Default Re: Kickback

    Geez...Glad your ok.

    Play safe.


  4. #3
    Hendrik Varju Guest

    Default Re: Kickback

    The splitter would have prevented this if properly set up. You shouldn't have taken it off!

    Next time, raise the anti-kick back fingers and tape them or otherwise secure them in the upward position. But don't remove the blade guard altogether.

    A splitter with no fingers or guard would have also prevented this.

    Count yourself lucky on this one.



  5. #4
    Rob Wilson Guest

    Default Re: Kickback

    Thank heavens you're ok. I used to leave the guard and splitter off all the time too. Always in the way.

    Came across a product put out by Micro Jig - makers of the GRR-Ripper System. Call the MJ Splitter. An excellent product that you use with a zero-clearance insert. Has been written up in some ww magazines in terms of safety and reliability.

    There is a Canadian supplier who sells it for the same price as the US version, but in Canadian $.

    DeWinton Woodworking & Supplies
    Site 5, Box 10, RR1 DeWinton AB T0L 0X0

    Hope this helps. Cheers, and safe ww.

  6. #5
    Rob Wilson Guest

    Default Re: Kickback - a PS *LINK*

    You can view the MJ Splitter at - the US site.

  7. #6
    Rob Wilson Guest

    Default Re: Kickback - a PS - Another Link *LINK*

    Link to Canadian supplier is:

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  9. #7
    Marc Yealland Guest

    Default Re: Kickback - a PS - Another Link

    I see that Lee Valley carries this as well- $80 I think.
    Anyone have experience with it?

  10. #8
    Norman (Metcalfe, Ont.) Guest

    Default Re: Kickback


    You mention a 27X17 piece. Which dimension or side were you feeding into the tablesaw?

    Reason I'm asking is that when the width begins to equal the length or exceed it, the danger of the board tilting into the saw blade increases.
    If your piece is wider than it is long, I can see this easily happening.

    A splitter would have definitely helped this situation, but it is one more thing to watch out for , and might be the cause of the piece tilting into the saw blade.


  11. #9
    Randy in Dartmouth Guest

    Default Good Point

    A well made panel cutting sled virtually eliminates this problem.



  12. #10
    Rob Wilson Guest

    Default Re: Good Point

    Do you have any links to a good plan for such a sled?

  13. #11
    Randy in Dartmouth Guest

    Default Re: Good Point *LINK*

    Mine is simple a piece of 1/2" plywood with a strip of 3/4" UHMW polyethelene (Busy Bee or Lee Valley) as a runner. The fence is a piece of 2 x 3/4" oak that runs the length of the leading edge of the plywood. Some prefer the fence on the trailing edge.

    The link is a plan for a pretty fancy one that can do angles as well.



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  15. #12
    Mark Watts Guest

    Default Re: Kickback - a PS - Another Link

    Lee Valley only carries the gripper not the splitter. It is about $80 and it's great for use with many tools. Had one for about a year and love it, especially for cutting small pieces. I have the splitter as well but haven't installed it yet.

  16. #13

    Default Thanks guys

    Thanks for all the info and comments guys. I had no intention of making this post when I got up this morning but I was reading a thread in another forum this morning (after checking here first, of course)and a guy there had a post similar to mine.

    That got me thinking about the post below mine from Christine who is thinking about getting into woodworking and maybe a few others with similar thoughts who may be lurking. Thats what I did before I bought much of my stuff and I learned a ton. I'm also very new to this hobby. I still check here almost every day.

    I had read about kickback, and I thought I had carefully planned this cut (actually I made the same cut on 3 other pieces), didn't look like a problem. I hope someone else learns from my experience and all of your comments and suggestions, I know I have.

    Oh, by the way that Dimar I got at the Woodstock show does a really nice job on melamine, no chips whatsoever.

    Once again, thanks for the support and suggestions, this is a great place for information and help.


  17. #14
    Gord in Newmarket Guest

    Default Pawls control "pushback", Zero to do with kickback *NM*

  18. #15

    Default Re: Good Point *LINK*

    Rob, this was just posted today in another forum.

    I hope posting this link doesn't break any rules here.

    Later, Rick

    Panel Sled

  19. #16
    Gord in Newmarket Guest

    Default Re: Good Point *PIC*

    Hello Rick,

    Here's the one I use, it's made from 1/4" Arboron that is hard as nails and flat as a pancake.

    It will cut a 24" panel with eaze and has a 30" 3/8"X3/4" steel runner.

    All the best

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  21. #17

    Default Re: Good Point

    Gord, what the heck is Arboron?


  22. #18
    Gord in Newmarket Guest

    Default Re: Good Point

    Hi Rick,

    Arboron is a phenolic based product that is generally used in the electrical industry to isolate high voltage circuits or phases from each other or ground. Itís similar to but not the same as a router base plate although itís a lot stronger and flatter. I can be drilled, tapped and worked with general woodworking tools. It can be found at better stocked plastic outlets.

    All the best

  23. #19

    Default Thnks Gord "NM" *NM*

  24. #20
    Norman (Metcalfe, Ont.) Guest

    Default Re: Kickback


    You say you directly behind the good piece. Did you have the waste side of the piece of wood against the fence ( between fence and blade) or on the opposite side of the saw blade?

    Were you using the miter gauge and rip fence together?

    Yuo mentioned you wanted to correct anything you were doing wrong, maybe we should look at how you were feding the board into the saw, where you were standing..


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