Good news is you were lucky. You still have all of your parts and they are
in good condition. I have been using table saws for years and have
experienced a few kickbacks. There is a moment when it appears to be
inevitable and your best defensive move is to step back and let it happen.
Even better, stop it before that moment happens. Splitters, featherboards
and general caution work wonders.
I have posted the experience of my son's buddy before. A piece of thin,
hardwood trim board got past the rollers of his benchtop surface planer.
The 6'-8' piece passed about 1/2 way through his abdomen before it stopped.
Surgery and lots of recuperation but he's doing ok today.
Be careful out there.
A 1x2 is a fairly small piece. To be really impressed, you
need to see a 2x4 leave the room. A piece of 1/4" plywood
thrown at you by a VERY large table saw is also quite exciting.
I use a overhead guard and a splitter if "at all possible"
on 90% of all cuts now.
This is a timely discussion as I had a 20x20 mdf panel sail past me
just a couple of days ago that started me looking at overhead blade
guards. I have a unisaw with a 50" Biesemeyer fence and I am having
trouble deciding between the Delta and the Biesememer version. Any
suggestions or experiences would be welcome.
Back issue of FWW has an excellent article on this subject.
I have the Biesemeyer Overhead and Splitter.
Kelly likes both the Biesemeyer and the Delta guards.
Contact me privately with your "correct" email address.
MDF (and ply) suggestion: don't use a table saw :-) yes, I really do mean that.
When I want to cut mdf panels I have two tables/workbenches of equal height
that I arrange so the cut falls in the gap after I place the work on them. I
then securely clamp an aluminium fence to the work, and I run my DeWalt
circular saw, fitted with an aluminium cutting blade, over the top of the work.
I get superclean cuts, dead accurate to 1/2mm and I don't have to lug the sheet
over the saw which is never all that accurate unless you have a really good
carriage. Only truly safe way to do that is to have a specially equipped panel-
saw, in my opinion. If the work is smaller than 18" I use the radial arm saw.
I've never, ever had a problem, other than making sure the fence doesn't ski on
the superslick mdf dust. I now use a nonslip latex matting between fence and
work to prevent that :)
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
What caused the mdf panel to sail? Since it's pretty much the most
stable material to work with (i.e. it shouldn't have "pinched" the back
of the blade), do you know the mechanism that caused it? (Yes, I
realize it happened in microseconds).
Well, what really caused it to sail was stupidity. Not using a sled
but the fence in combination with sneezing at the wrong moment that
caused my hand to twist which caused the piece to twist back into the
blade as I was almost all the way through the cut. The stupidity part
was not using a splitter or blade guard as I had removed them to use
the dado blade and not reinserted them when I changed blades. The
factory ones are a real pain to take off and put back. That is why I
am looking at an overhead guard with an easily removed splitter. As
well as building a sled for this kind of stuff.
I went two ways after a couple of "interesting" kick backs. The Bies
splitter went into my Jet cabinet saw like it was made for it (it was,
of course). Later I added a Delta overhead blade guard. Works like a
dream. I bought an extra splitter blade for the Bies and cut it down
and removed the pawls, so I can split a board held on its edge.
Resawing w/o a bandsaw if you like. Bandsaw is next on my list as
splitting a 6" 5/4 board (2 cuts) is a bit spooky even with a fence
mounted sled. It works, but it is a bit scary.
Know all about that plywood. Had a 12 x 12 inch piece of 3/8 ply peel the
top of my left fore finger down to the tendon. On the way home from ER I
decided it was time for a good hold down. Purchased one with two spring
loaded adjustable rollers. This works great.
By "good cut"
do you mean the cut line is straight but
you're getting splintering on the edge?
the cut line is not straight because you
let the saw wander?
The former problem can be somewhat
mitigated by prescribing the cut line
with a utility knife, using the right
saw blade, set to the minimum "height"
AND with the "good face" down (splintering
and tear out with a circular saw is on
the side side of the stock whereas
with a table saw, it's on the bottom
of the stock on the table)
If wandering is a problem - they do
make a stragith edge clamp and saw
holder that fits in a groove on the
straight edge. No more wandering
Clamp 'N Guide makes this type of
thing. Of course, if you've got deep
pockets, FESTOOL has a plunge saw
and straight edge guide . . .
Trying to cut up a full sheet of ply or MDF on
a table saw - by yourself - is a recipe for a
bad back and often - bad cuts you have to do
over again. Half sheets pretty much the same
thing. When you get down to quarter sheets
the problem becomes keeping the edge against
the fence - throughout the cut. If you don't,
things can start flying in very unpredicatable
directions - all at high velocity.
SLIDING TABLE - NO RIP FENCE!
It's still a mystery to me why US table saws
don't have a sliding table option. Two
miter slots - but no sliding table? A
sled with guides riding in the slots on
each side of the blade is great for narrow
cross cuts. But when you want to work
with half or quarter sheets they're
And what the hell are you doing to do
with a 52" capacity rip fence system"
Rather than changing the name and/or
color of the table saw (Delta's "X"
models, "Platinum Limited Edition"
"75th Anniversary Model") why
aren't American brands actually
improving the machines they make
(or spec and farm out the actual
manufacturing)? OK - so there's a
LEFT TILT - but come on - there's
not bee much innovation by US
machine sellers. Of course, we
did come up with SawStop - oh boy!
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