How do you hold YOUR wood...

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: ...on your Table Saw? My brother in law was over last night and we were : standing at my table saw discussing safety. He said he always stands in : front of the piece of wood he is feeding into the table saw and feeds it : through by holding his push stick on top of the wood between the blade and : the fence. I said I always stand to the left of the blade and feed it : through by holding the wood on the outside of the blade. He felt he had : better control his way, I felt it was dangerous to stand directly behind : it. We both use those long notched push sticks. : : Also, he cuts thin strips with the waste side between the fence and the : blade. So if he wanted to rip a 1" piece off a 6" board, he would have the : 5" side between the fence and the blade. I do it in reverse. I never : really thought about it. How do you guys do it? Which is safer/better?
Answers to both these questions can be found on my web site - Circular Sawbench Safety - Feeding the Workpiece and also Fences.
Jeff G
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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I dislike having a significantly wider piece on the outside of the blade. It just feels funny as it's being pushed thru, especially at the end of the cut (like it's trying to rotate away from the fence). So if I was ripping several thin strips off a wide piece of stock, I'd have the waste against the fence. If I was ripping it from stock not much more than twice the width, I'd do it with the waste outside.
John
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John McCoy wrote:

While I can visualize what you mean, I was taught to keep the best edge against the fence, your way you are making a new edge every time and for some reason that was frowned upon. Maybe because we were students???
Josie
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I taught myself to do the same thing, narrow repeated strips at same time gets done with one rip fence setting then a LONG fence riding push jig holds the front end down and pushes the end out of the way of the blade. Biggest problem is transitioning from hand pushed long piece to fence riding jig without burning some woods from the stall in movement.
On Mon, 4 Oct 2004 13:00:56 -0400, "firstjois"

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"firstjois" wrote in message

Certain operations on the table saw are a matter of comfort level for some, and it always pays to stay within your particular comfort zone.
IME, there is nothing wrong, or inherently unsafe, with having the offcut wider than the keeper piece as long as you can control the keeper piece throughout the cut with a push device. Just don't go pushing the offcut against the blade, or reaching over to move it out of the way before the blade stops spinning.
I was taught (on two continents) to start these type cuts with both hands, the left holding the piece against the fence, well in front of the blade, then shifting control to the right hand, holding the push device, well before the left hand gets in the danger zone ... then don't touch the offcut until the blade stops.
In the interest of batch cutting precisely dimensioned parts, I routinely rip 3/4" (and often 1/2") strips off of 6" - 8" stock with the keeper strip between the blade and fence this way.
If it gets any smaller than that I use the butt end of a featherboard as a stop, positioned in the miter slot to the left of, and well in front of, the blade, and move the fence. For real thin strips (1/16 - 1/8'") you can often measure the board and move the fence the appropriate amount, taking into account the kerf, on each successive cut.
Then, as George wisely brought up, there's always the band saw.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/04/04
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I use a Sears rig I found buried by the router bushings when poking around their tool section. It's a yellow composite thing that rides over the fence and has a some notches on it to hold down various sizes of wood. It also has some settings to allow you to cut at 45 degrees in either direction, and can be used as a tenon jig (though I've not tried out the tenoning aspect of it.
As far as cutting thin strips goes, if they are under 1", I use your brother's method- if they are any larger, I use yours, only I still hold the piece between the fence and the blade, because of the way the tool I mentioned above is set up. However, I Never, Ever, Ever stand directly behind the wood. I got hit with kickback from a piece of that cheap phillipine mahogany plywood right in the solar plexas once, and I don't want to repeat that experience ever again. It's the only time I've ever had anything cause a black line across my entire body, and I spent days worried that I had ruptured some organs. Kind of ruins the joy of woodworking if you bust yourself up doing it, IMO.
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I'm a little surprised that nobody has mentioned using a horizontal featherboard while ripping.
Mount the featherboard so as to press the stock against the fence. Position the featherboard an inch or so in front of the blade (never position it so that it is at or overlapping the blade). Standing to the right of the blade, I use one push stick to feed the stock and another push stick to hold the stock down. In this way no part of my body is ever in line with the blade and neither hand nor push stick is pushing in line with the blade.
Whenever possible I also use a vertically mounted featherboard (easy to do if you have a high auxiliary fence) to hold the stock down against the table.
--Billy

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Billy,
I think I like the sound of this. I kind of do it the same way, but I stand to the left and push on the wood that is outside the blade using both a horizontal featherboard and a vertical one. But the more I think about it I would probably have more control pushing the wood between the fence and blade. My only problem here is I would have to stand to the right so as to not reach over the blade, and I am right handed. If I stand to the right I would have to use my left hand to push. I'll try it tonight and see how it feels.
-- -Jim
If you want to reply by email its --> ryan at jimryan dot com Please use BCC and lets all avoid spam

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On Mon, 4 Oct 2004 23:11:32 -0400, "Billy Smith"

You always forget something! I do have a couple of shop-made featherboards, and use them about 75% of the time when ripping. Not everything will fit into the adjustment range, so they sometimes get left off.

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