Kickback

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Hi, All,
I thought kickback was for thumb fingered geeks who didn't read the manuals. I was wrong!!! Just got my first table saw last week, and while putting some grooves in the ends of 1x2's, I dropped or bumped an 8 inch piece against the blade. Of course the blade guard was up! LOUD THUNK! Oh, well... Finished the other pieces, and went looking for the missing piece. Nowhere on the floor. Then I saw the piece embeded in the plasterboard wall! Well embeded!
I had learned enough to use multiple push sticks, and stood well to the left of the blade, so there was no injury, except to self esteem.
I am now a FIRM believer in the hazards of kickback. Even letting a smaller piece of wood touch a moving blade will give you a scare, and a vivid example of very rapid acceleration.
Hope this helps someone else avoid the experience.
Regards,
Rich.....
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Hi, Rich! I thought that, too, and of course I was young and bulletproof to such a common mistake! How wrong I was! I was at NASNI Woodshop cutting a 30 degree isosceles triangle side piece for a dictionary holder. An amateur woodworker, I was promptly introduced to kickback by North Islands "Monster" table saw and took one devilishly placed impact on the right thigh only inch from my boys! A young woodworker, I took that as an immediate revelation. I quietly and quickly excused myself from the MWR woodshop, went home, and counted my blessings. Still two! I was lucky! Yet I flew the next day. Lucky Lucky
Study "Kickback" folks! It's the most common mistake!
Take care! Bobby
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I'm a disciple of Kelly Mehler, author of _The Table Saw Book_ and a strong proponent of table saw safety. He would not describe what you experienced as kickback. In his words, kickback happens when a piece of wood gets bound between the back of the blade and the fence, causing the wood at the back of the blade to raise up, pivoting on the front corner, and getting tossed back at something approximating a 45 deg angle to the left. In fact, I'm not sure what word he would use to describe your experience. Something else many people call kickback, when a cutoff piece between the blade and the fence is pushed backward, he calls "ejection". I'd call what you had an "accident" that thankfully had no negative consequences (unless walls can feel pain). [Ed.- which for some reason reminds me of this Jack Handy quote: "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."]

If you get a real kickback, you'll be standing directly in the path of the projectile on the left side of the blade. In my opinion, the safest place to stand while cutting is outside the room. The next safest place to stand is to the right of the fence, which isn't always possible.

As do I. It happened to me once, though the block wall was a bit more resilient than your plasterboard. In my case, I was picking up pieces from the outfeed table and dropped one. It bounced right on top of the blade. It put some nice saw tooth marks in the back of a drawer front which I left as a reminder.
todd
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Should the saw be stopped when picking up pieces from the outfeed table?
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I'm sure it should. But of course I had more pieces to cut and these were just piling up and getting in the way. Another case of being in a hurry creating a dangerous situation.
todd
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BTW, It was an honest question, I wasn't trying to be a smart ass. I am new to this and still learning about proper tablesaw safety.
Thanks.
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Well, I suppose each person works differently and some would shut it off and some wouldn't. The safest thing to do would seem to be to turn it off whenever you're not doing an (intentional) cutting operation.
todd
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wrote:

If you are walking around to the back of the saw and moving things to somewhere else, technically you aren't supposed to walk away from any machine until it has completely stopped. Imagine there's something on the floor that you didn't notice and you lose your balance, what are you going to do instictively with your arms? In practice I do it all the time though.
-Leuf
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I received a very large black and blue at belt level from not pushing a piece all the way past the blade. If I was taller I can only guess what would happen. I now use The GRR-RIPPER instead of two push sticks as before. http://www.microjig.com/ Any comments on this new to me tool good or bad would be appreiciated.I am interested in Todds comment "The next safest place to stand is to the right of the fence, which isn't always possible. " I guess I thought of pieces coming straight back so standing to the left was the safest. My problem and most Right handed persons would be that if we stand to the right of fence we would have to use our left hands.
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Locutus wrote:

Rather than trying to remember a bunch of rules, sorting out some of the conflicting rules, or doing EXACTLY what Mr. X or Mr. Y says, how about understanding what causes what and why - then YOU decide what you're willing to do to minimize the likelyhood of getting hit by a flying piece of whatever you're cutting. Short of ALWAYS using an adequate power feeder, set up correctly, working with a table saw is inherently dangerous - as are cars, bath tubs and electrical outlets.
So - I guess it's time to post this again - and maybe save someone some memorization - and hopefully - some grief.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/KickBack1.html
charlie b
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Your posts all make a good argument for building a saw sled like David Marks uses on his DIY programs. He typically opens the program by cutting a small piece of wood on the sled while holding it with a pencil eraser. A very safe and stable method everyone should use. Bugs
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todd wrote:

Great book, own it, read (most of) it. He was a presenter at the Sacramento WWing show a couple years ago.

Personally, I agree w/ you. I like standing to the right of the blade for a couple reasons, including not having to reach across the blade (even w/ pawl/splitter/shroud) as I push the work fully past the back of the blade.
Thing is, Mehler in his book says standard position is to the left of the workpiece/blade.
Go figure.
I tend to stand to the right when the piece between the fence and the blade is wide enough (at least 6") for me to use my hands. If I'm using a pushstick for narrower pieces, then I stand to the left of the blade. ... has to do, I think, with keeping the piece guided up against the fence.
-Chris
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He's a strong proponent of riving knives. He's on some standards subcommittee and I think if he had his way, riving knives would be standard equipment on all table saws. With that said, he recommends that people fashion something that does the job of a riving knife. With that in place, it is not possible for a kickback (as he defines it) to occur.
<snip>
todd
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todd wrote:

How does he deal with the varying knife height as the blade height is adjusted?
If you set it up so that the knife is level with the blade when the top of the blade is just above table level (allowing to to do non-through cuts without removing the knife) this would leave the knife a lot lower than the blade when the blade is brought up to full height, making it more dangerous to cut 12/4 stock.
Depending on the saw this might be workable.
I have an old Rockwell and there's maybe an inch or so behind the blade in the insert...not enough for any of the standard splitters/knives I've seen.
Chris
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A riving knife adjusts its position as the blade height is changed. It is curved to fit the shape of the blade and maintains a consistent distance from the blade, as opposed to a splitter. It's also set up so that the height of the riving knife is slightly less than the blade height at any time, permitting non-through cuts.
<snip>
todd
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todd wrote:

Second illustration shows the difference between a splitter and a riving knife. Notice that th distance between the exposed rear of the blade and the splitter INCREASES as the depth of cut decreases while with the riving knife the distance between the rear of the blade and the knife remains constant - AND CLOSE.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/KickBack3.html
charlie b
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Thanks for reinforcing my point with a pic.
todd
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NAS NI: When were you there, what squadron? VAW-11 (post VAP-61), late 60's, here. Lived offbase in 'nado at 9th & B. Long live the Hotel!
Pop

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Hi, POP!
I went through the HSL-31 RAG and SAR Swimmer school in 81-82. Later when the SH-60B came out I went through the HSL-41 RAG in 85. I then joined Afloat Training Group Pacific (ATGPAC) from 94 to 97. Now I'm retired and working with the HELMARSTRIKE Weapons School down here in NS Mayport.
I miss San Diego very much. I loved the NASNI woodshop and recently called the local MWR and asked about base woodshops here in North Florida. I am sad to announce that the MWR is phasing out ALL of the base woodshops. It's a shame! When I was introduced to the NAVY, EVERY base had a golf course, a bowling alley, a theater, and a woodshop, this was a standard fixture. Now where are all of the CPO selectees going to build their hat boxes and book cases?
I am proud to say, though, that my humble shop has become the shop of choice for selectees here at COMHELMARSTRIKEWINGLANT. It started off with one selectee last year and wound up with seven new Chiefs in my shop! This year there will be even more. I still have materials left over from last year, ready for next years "Slugs!" Bring 'em on!
Cheers! Bobby AWC(RET) (4000Hrs 30 Min) career SH-2F, SH-60B, SH-3H, MH-60R, MH-60S, SH-60F, HH-60H
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I use a splitter now.
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