Why my table saw scares the hell out of me.

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Hey
I am new to woodworking and I have found my self avaoiding using my table saw. I have a delta 10 inch saw and it is vibration free. However, I think that my early experiences have scarred me. ( luckily only mentally).
When I first got the saw, one of my friends related a story to me about kickback that is burned into my mind. This friend had a professor (this story sounds fake already) who saw a kid ripping a long board that was warped. The board binded in the saw, kick back and hit him in the sac and burst one of his testicles.
Obviously, this has had an affect on my sawing technique.
When I was in junior high shop classes, I received very poor grades and although I was saftey conscience I never thought I would be using those skills again so my effort was poor. ( Being a teacher now I can only sympathize with Mr. Newton)
So basically I knew nothing about the table saw and for my first thing I crosscut 8 ft 2x4s. After putting them through with the miter guide I could feel the wood binding and my testicles immediately called for me to turn off the saw. After doing some research I learned a lot about crosscut sleds and why you shouldn't cut long things the narrow way.
So then I am cutting some poplar 1X8 and I am standing off to the left side and on the side of the fence I hear the saw start to have some trouble on the cut and all of a sudden I see the cut off piece shoot across the garage and hit a metal sheet propped up against the side. It was like a missle. I think it hit the sheet metal at about the tables height!
So I do a little research and I find that my saw blade ws up too high. I think that I was also pushing the wood toward the fence at the height of the blade and behind the blade.
Since then I have lowered my blade and been aware of where I am putting pressure on the wood in relation to the blade so I have not had any more kickbacks.
However, I am still standing at the back left side of the saw with the fence on the right. What can I do so I can actually feel comfortable ripping a board and not having a 10 ft push stick? I feel like less of a man!!
FYI I bought the saw off of craigslist and the guy told me 8 times that it wasn't stolen. But then he also tried to sell me a 18v dewalt and a router out of his trunk. He also wouldn't meet me in the orange borg parking lot (He says they like him and everything, but there are some legal issues.)
He claims he only used the saw twice, but one of the bolt holes connecting it to the stand is broken.
Maybe my table saw wants to kill me for the bad karma of buying a saw that was obviously stolen (in reterospect)
Sorry for the long post but it is definitely a kind of therapy. I wsa surprised when so many people talk of how they never see kickback and I have seen it at least three times. Hope this was at least entertaining.
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snipped-for-privacy@robmward.com wrote:

Stand at the right side or move the fence to the left side. Either way, you won't have to reach over the blade.
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

Being new to the tablesaw, I always wonder about this. I haev read that you should stand to the left side of the table, but when ripping that means I am reaching over the blade to push the stock through. Is this incorrect?
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Locutus wrote:

You need to be where you can push the stock, and keep out of the way of the saw blade and any kickback. If one pushes with the right hand, the most comfortable place is usually to the left of the blade but one's hand or arm should never be above the blade. If one pushes with a fixture riding on the fence, it is easy enough to stand to the right. Same is true if the stock is wide and you push with your hand. If the stock is narrow and you are to the left and you can't push the end through keeping your arm/hand from being above the blade use a good push stick.
Main thing is to cut the wood and not get hurt.
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dadiOH
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Locutus wrote:

No, that's correct. It's easier to push into the fence and past the blade.
If you stand on the right of the fence, then you need to pull the piece into the fence while pushing it past the blade...which is more awkward.
Typically with kickback the piece rises up at the back, then the top teeth of the saw dig in to the bottom of the workpiece and fling it. It generally goes more or less . There is relatively little chance of your arm being hit.
Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@robmward.com wrote:

^^^^^^^^^^

Hopefully not of English! <g> [This coming from one who just sent an email to a friend asking whether to use very course[sic] sandpaper for a certain job<g>]

Did you state this correctly? You mean at the outfeed side???

_The Table Saw Book_ by Kelly Mehler
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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wrote:

I purchased this book based on the recommendations I read here.
I am curious if you have actually read this book? The main thing I learned from this book was the European saws are superior to saws sold here in the US.
I can't really say I learned much more than that.
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That causes me to wonder if *you* actually read it... <g>
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

I read it, cover to cover. I just didn't find it all that educational, pretty much just reiterated everything I already knew. And I don't think I know that much about tablesaws.
You didn't find the constant mention of how much better European saws are at least a little bit distracting? If euro saws are great, fine, I live in the US, it doesn't help me to know what I am missing out on. It seems this book is marketed to a US/Canadian market, so I don't understand why so much real estate was devoted to euro saws.
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Doug Miller wrote:

As an English person I can assure you that only the English drink tea - or at least some of us who still know how to brew it. If you're throwing tea can you please miss my Ceylon leaves out of it please? Thanks awfully. Pip pip!
By the way, we're going to invade soon and take back our rightful possessions in various parts of the US. Otherwise please feel free to look after yourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan for that matter.
Anyway, my recommendation is to stick with a band saw unless it really cannot cope anymore.
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I took part in many war games against you guys. I hope you do better for real, otherwise, just stay home.

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Quite the contrary. Many Americans, this one included, drink tea -- and I quite surprised a Polish friend a year or two ago: he and his wife were at our house for Sunday brunch, and -- without thinking -- I offered him coffee, as is the custom here in the States. He declined, and asked if we had any tea. I could tell he was not expecting an affirmative answer, and was more than a little surprised to receive one.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Not having used a US TS I'm not sure of that. But my 40+ year old UK TS has its blade guard on its riving knife and a short rip fence. When I need to use it without the riving knife the lack of a guard makes me treat it with extra respect. I have never had a kickback with it even though when I started using it I had no training and was not very careful. This is most likly due to its design.
I will be getting another TS and shudder to think of not having a decent riving knife on it .
--
>replace spamblock with my family name to e-mail me

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No, I am actually a science teacher, but I am from the spell check generation. If a little red line doesn't show up under my words I assume they are OK. But I do admit. I may do a preview next time instead of post.

No, I mean the left side of the feeder side. Standing so far away from the fence as to not be within missle range.

Thank you, will do
They also have table saw movies for rent on netflix!
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Kick-back is operator error. I've had many a board warp as I ripped it. In the worst cases, as I witness the board warping or closing up after it leaves the blade, I realize I will have to apply more downforce to insure it won't lift. I then, using more downforce, insure it stays next to the fence, down on the table and shove it through. I've even seen old-timers shove a 16'd nail behind the cut to prevent the board from closing. (This action might scare the week of constitution but it works)
If I need to rip more of the same stock, knowing it will warp/twist I take it to the bandsaw and rip it close to size and touch it up in the tablesaw or jointer.
Dave
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[...]
A wooden wedge performs the same function, but is a whole lot safer.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I have a gizmo for that. small scrap of wood, set the saw height to kerf halfway through, then make a rip cut that produces a thin piece that just fits the kerf. glue them together thus, round over the edges and taper the "blade" a bit for easy inserting.
it lives in the open left end of the beisemeyer tube where I can reach it but it won't get lost.
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Many moons ago when starting work in a saw mill we bought the timber in the round mostly ash and 4ins thick, it took four men to lift, two to push through the saw and two to pull, my job as a lad was to hammer steel wedges in the cut as near to the riving knife as possible,if this wasnt done the timber would close on the blade, and create a hot spot, the blade then distorted and cause an almighty wobble, my next job was to dive for the off switch.I dont think this happens with modern tipped blades or at least i hope not.
Bill.1

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On 28 Sep 2006 08:06:55 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@robmward.com wrote:

Well after all the good advice about avoiding kickback, your answer might be a jockstrap and a cup. If that fear is overriding your attention.
Yes it is a bit of a smart ass answer but hopefully a bit amusing.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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Good to respect your saw! I can't believe I'm the first to advise you to...BUY A CUP!
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