Ripping Boards Safely

If you have questions or comments about table saws or table saw safety please feel free to leave a comment below. Great post, and very helpful as I’m new to woodworking, and college kids like myself can’t always afford the more expensive tools like table saws. A table saw is arguably the most dangerous tool in the woodshop, but a basic understanding of table saw safety, the machine and a few simple precautions will keep you from harm. When faced with more stringent safety standards, The trumped-up-doomsday rhetoric by industry rarely happens. And my table saw already has government mandated safety features: it’s electrically grounded. All members of society have a right to expect that the products they use will be safe.

A dirty or rough table requires you to use more force to push the stock through the blade. On lawsuits, with all the promo, if the brake failed and you lost a couple of digits as you can with any other saw when you don’t pay attention,(but unlike other saws on the market where no recovery can be had) the monetary recovery would allow you to buy a bionic hand for your woodworking, should you so choose. Make sure that the saw blade is turning freely (especially if you made any adjustments) and plug the saw in. This way it cannot be bumped into and offers protection if the saw is accidently turned on.

Whenever you remove the upper saw guard, keep the lower saw guard in place and work with extreme caution. It is time for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to act quickly to enact a performance standard that would require table saws to mitigate injuries when blade contact occurs or is about to occur. These dreadful excuses for a safety device usually have a handle area and a simple notched end, seldom more than ¾”-wide that actually contacts the wood.

End of the second paragraph should read Throw in that it’s on par with table saws for ripping safety, and I’d be quite comfortable without a table saw.” Obviously the maximum rip width of a table saw can be much wider than that of a radial arm saw, and could theoretically be as wide as any stock one could find. Use the quill feed to make fine adjustments ( Figure 2-35 ). Be sure to measure from the fence to the tip of a tooth that’s set toward the fence.

Doing a balancing act with a sheet of wood over a death delivering blade mounted in a tiny platform is… The table for a regular saw should be 16 by 6 feet or twice the size of a sheet, so no overhang and binding no suprises. We complete the cut, push the stock beyond the blade and shut the saw off before retrieving it. As you feed the stock, it comes off the outfeed end of the table and the support table and/or the roller stand will support it. If consumers want to pay extra for safety, they can buy the safe table saw that is now on the market.

Take a look at Cut Guide Series 1: Basic Table Saw Skills to learn everything a beginner needs to know about making cuts with safety and accuracy. Drift has never been an issue on this saw and I never needed to adjust the fence. A circular saw with its big kerf’s tends to remove bits before you can slow it down when things go wrong, in much the same manner as a chainsaw. For me I’m sure I could live without my saw but would have to rely on what I consider more dangerous, the shaper. Third, you learn how to manage the board while it’s being cut on the table saw. Loose fitting clothing and jewelry should be avoided while operating a table saw.

If you want to discuss table saw usage without the safety elements engaged that’s a different story. Even more so, SawStop is fighting against Wood Workers that are too proud and stubborn to admit they would be better off with a safe table saw. I don’t know that I really have anything new to add here other than I think table saws are hard to beat in terms of accuracy and cleanness of cut vs the time spent. Then I use a router plane to clean everything up. This may be another place where the Rip Cut may shine to some extent.

You’ll have to notch the protruding 2x4s to make the top even with the outfeed surface and leave enough room behind the saw for the backside of the fence mechanism. The versatility of the table saw usually provides an alternative way of doing nearly any cut that is safer and often more effective. As mentioned band saw for removing waste router for clean up of joints, and planer to clean up rips works. I will not give up my table saw even after I buy a better band saw, my chop saw comes in handy for repeated cross cuts but for smooth cuts I always turn to my table saw.

To set up your Mark V in the table saw mode, follow the instructions in the Owners Manual that came with your machine. Looking on at this Saw Stop shemozzle (Australian slang for debacle) from afar, I really did not think it would have the legs to influence government policy at all. If the machine bogs down, slow your feed rate and let the saw get back up to running speed. Use a guard high enough to cover the part of the blade rising above the stock and wide enough to cover the blade when it is tilted. You can saw up some pretty substantial or pretty funny shaped logs on a bandsaw.

Yet, blade guards have proved to be ineffective in reducing the 40,000 serious table saw injuries that occur every year. Decide on which side-right or left-of the blade is the most comfortable for you to stand when you saw. Using a small portable table saw on the floor cutting flooring with no fence or miter gauge FREEHAND is just plain ignorant. However, the vast majority of table saw procedures are easily accomplished with far greater safety if the blade guard and splitter installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. General use will dull the teeth quickly, as will certain types of plywood cores (particle and fibre).

I live without a table saw because I don’t have the space, power or extra cash to spend on a good cabinet saw so its easy to justify not needing a table saw. If you’re planning to rip boards longer than 3′, get a helper to support the wood after it passes through the blade, or use an off-feed table or roller. They are high-quality saw blades specially designed for splinter-free results in hardwoods, softwoods, and materials like hardboard and plywood, whether you are cross-cutting, ripping, or mitering. A quality table saw is often start in the $2500 range and then there are the countless attachments on top of that.

I purchases a sawstop cabinet saw 2 years ago and I love it. The operation is the same as any other table saw and I have never had the break accidently trigger. The problem is the the workpiece really shouldn’t be much narrower than the track, however I recently saw that Kreg is releasing the Rip Cut” which connects to existing circular saws and is relatively cheap, so I pre-ordered one.

Also google Table Saw Kickback Demonstration for another video out created by a shop teacher. I grew up woodworking but doing small strips on the table saw alwas made me squirmish. Our society, like so many world wide, was founded on a thirst for freedom not a need for safety. To set up for ripping, use the quill feed to make fine adjustments in the distance from the saw blade to the rip fence.

Before you ever plug in the power or turn the saw on, begin by making sure your workstation is in order. Always unplug the power before changing the blade or doing any other maintenance on the saw. I’ve been using table saws for 30+ years…I still have all of my fingers by following that simple rule. The quill feed can be used to make fine adjustments in the position of the saw blade-making it easier to be accurate.

Under some circumstances, you can use both (see above on stop blocks), but the fence then needs an auxiliary fence added. Before turning on the machine check that the saw guards are in place, adjust the table height, and make a five-point check. Another benefit of the sacrificial fence is that if made tall enough, a feather board can be clamped to it to help keep the wood being cut flat on the table to insure a consistent depth dado. Up until about 5 years ago I NEVER used that saw without the guard for any through cut.

On the Model 510, mount the rip fence to the extension table and lower it until the top of the rip fence is flush with the top of the table. At worst, they are actually a serious safety hazard — you can’t see what’s happening, they interfere with the cut, and can even cause a kickback. Marc is most correct in pointing out that SS does not remediate the full range of TS safety issues, and by focusing on flesh-cutting, you have only treated the most visible and avoidable injury.

In short, we should ALWAYS have a fearful respect of our table saw, but should NEVER throw it to the wayside because of fear or any governing act stepping towards safety” or because our current saws are not equipped with such technology. Most table saw injuries are caused by a phenomenon known as kickback — surrendering control of the material to the machine. Another common problem area is trying to control a long piece of wood, especially as it moves off the rear edge of the table and its weight, multiplied by leverage work against you.

Also, what happens to these dumbed down high school students when they go from the warm safe confines of a school wood shop to the actual cold world where a table saw guard or Saw Stop is not on the job site. He even said he was thinking of doing an experiment…basically putting his table saw away for a year to see if he could do without it. It’s an intriguing idea.

To rip wide stock, mount the rip fence so it straddles the extension table and the worktable. Understanding your table saw and respecting its potential for injury is enough to keep you safe. Finally, I’d recommend you watch someone on the saw who knows what they’re doing. My eyes are beginning to be opened to how we can use both power and hand tools. A table saw should be something that you add into your woodworking if you feel the need. Clamp the stop block to the fence near the front of the table (photo 5, image gallery), so that you can reference the wood for the cut without anything pushing the cut piece into the back of the blade.