Newbie - First tablesaw accident

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HI Folks,
I'm a newbie at WW and I'm in the process of building Norm's Router table. Everything is actually going together fairly well.
This morning I had my first accident. I must say I'm still a bit intimidated by the tablesaw. It's a RYOBI BTS20. I know, I shoulda bought better.
Anyways, I've made a habit of cutting and leaving the board on tbe saw, turning off the saw then pulling the would off. This morning I had a board 15 inches long. I made a cross cut to remove 3 inches. The fence was on the left side of the blade. So, I make the cut and take both hands of the board, step to the left a bit to turn off the saw and the damn 12 inch piece comes flying off the table and cracks me in the forearm!
Did I do something wrong??? Is my blade getting dull?
Thanks! Tony
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take the fence off for cross cuts.
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bridger wrote:

That's overkill...just set it back a ways to get clearance.
Also don't leave loose pieces laying on the table while the saw is running...
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The clearance should be at LEAST the hypotenuse of the triangle formed if the board was to shift.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I suppose...never thought of it in that specific manner, however. I just make sure the cutoff is cleared of the blade so isn't there to get 'pinched'...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Duane Bozarth wrote:

or if you have a table saw with a small table, just take the fence off <G>
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bridger wrote:

Or, get a larger saw would be my preferred choice... :)
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TonyP wrote: > take both hands of the board,
that's one thing you did wrong. If the saw is running, it's going to vibrate and the wood will want to walk around. Murphy's law says it's going to walk directly into the spinning blade, then go for a short flight.
Learn to turn the saw off with one hand, preferably without looking, so you can keep both eyes on the blade.
-j
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Good point, Joe... I missed the part about both hands off the Board...
With a 15" piece of stock I'm not letting go of the sucker until it's lying on the bench or something.... then, if I'm not cutting something else, I'll use the push stick to clear the piece I cut off and turn the saw off...
I know, it's overkill, but I think that having a healthy respect/fear is why I've been playing with power tools for about 50 years still have all my body parts, as old and creaky as they may be... YMMV
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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found, a board will bind on the blade and come flying off. Consider yourself lucky if you didn't get a serious injury. This event happens on all saws. Jim

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Jim wrote:

...
I agree he did something wrong, I just disagree on what (unless he actually <did> do what you think). In that case he did <two> things wrong... :(
It's not absolutely clear he used the fence to guide the crosscut, but if he did, I'll agree that's mistake number one.
The mistake I see is leaving the material on the saw table w/ the blade running w/o having it secured.
To OP, in my opinion trying to turn the saw off at the earliest possible instant isn't a necessary action. My recommendation is to complete the cut ensuring the cutoff piece is well past the blade using a push stick if necessary to avoid getting close to the blade and pull the primary piece away from the blade. Then you can go ahead and turn the saw off at leisure knowing there's no loose piece waiting to get flung at you.
I don't know the arrangement of the on/off switch on this saw but a nice feature is to have a large "panic button" push switch in a location where it can easily be hit w/ a knee or thigh (w/o, obviously, going through contortions which would cause a loss of balance, etc.).
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but I might be mistaken.

Jim
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Jim wrote:

Unfortunately, he later confirmed he did that no-no too, and I was the one making the wrong assumption... :(
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 13:39:30 -0500, Duane Bozarth

I don't like to think of this as a "panic button", but rather as a convenient knee switch for everyday use.
I have a proper magnetic contactor on my saw, so I can very easily add stop switches (just wire them up in series). I have one on each side of it, with knee paddles. I very rarely turn it off with my hand - much easier to use a knee and leave both hands free for hold-down.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I use it that way, too...just a figure of speech, perhaps poorly chosen for the current thread.
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TonyP wrote:

Dave
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Thanks folks.
Yup I screwed up and used the fence for the crosscut. The problm I have is there's so little table leading in that I can't use the miter guage. I guess I'll have to make a sled or just pony up for a new saw!
Thx again.
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TonyP wrote:

or both <G>
make a sled right away. it's a good exercise and will make a big difference in what the saw will do.
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TonyP wrote:

With most saws you can do crosscuts while standing on the same side of the blade as the switch.
Remove the fence or move it way back out of the way for crosscuts. Do not use both fence and miter gague for crosscuts.
After cutting, remove the workpiece from the table and use a push stick to push the cut-off off the table or at least away from the blade.
As others have mentioned, a cross-cut sled is much better for crosscutting than a miter gague.
--

FF


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I wouldn't rely on switch position to determine anything, though most seem to be left of the blade for right-handers.
If your miter gage and what it's guiding the cross-cutting of can fit right of the blade, you may use the fence as a stop for repetitive cuts. This if the fence is not perfectly parallel, but clears a bit to the rear of the blade. Just remember, the fence is a touch gage, not what you use for guiding the piece through.
The standard for cuts made with operator and gage left of the blade is the touch gage block mounted on the fence, but not extending past the beginning of the blade area. Butt the squared end against, cut through, move the cutoff right then through and up.
NB - don't tell those people who say that angling the fence to give clearance past the cut invites disaster about the second method. It refutes their contention, and can lead to loss of self-esteem.
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