Actually, it's kinda silly, IMHO. What's important is the ratio of
the length of the cut-off piece vice the width. As this increases, up
to a point, the likelihood increases that the cut-off piece can
vibrate into a position such that it jams between blade and fence.
Wham! Nothing to do with splitter.
Who knows? Who cares? In fact, you can greatly increase safety by
clamping a spacer to your fence, then set its position for locating
the position of work on miter-gauge. Auxiliary fence? Mainly, as cut
is finished, there's lots of daylight at the fence-end of the cut-off
piece. Watch Norm- he does this regularly.
Good books by Ian Kirby, Jim Tolpin, and others may help you to make
sense of this, and keep all your pieces.
I have found this an interesting post to read and sure has made me
A thought from me. When I started WW I didn't like the idea of safety
glasses, so I bought those large sheilds that the turners usually use.
On a cross cut ... the small cut off fell off to the right and I did
not clear it... On a subsequent cut, the piece launched off and
smashed my full face shield ... Bad operation on my part ... yes.
Happy to have that sheild to protect my throat!!
Like I said earlier... there are other things on your face worth protecting
besides your eyes. I kinda enjoy having front teeth, for instance. Tough to
eat apples without them, ya know.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Likewise here. When doing things that require eye protection I prefer to go
with a full face shield as much as possible. Sometimes it's not practical,
but to the extent that I can, I don the full face shield. So much easier to
Primarily not guiding your piece properly. A splitter can help avoid
catastrophy, but the cause was in the way you passed the piece through.
It's better to know why it happend than to credit something that covered for
bad technique. I'm curious though Gary - did you have adequate support
under the whole workpiece, or most of it? What were you using to guide the
stock through? Miter, or sliding table? What amount of the stock was
Ha! See - good reason not to use those "gadgets"... (just joking for those
who are funny impared)
Not true. Your table saw is perfectly capable of doing cut offs. You will
see fly-by's when you allow the stock to twist as you complete the cut. If
that same twist had happened earlier you'd have experienced a bind. Your
miter saw might well have been a better choice, but that does not make a
tablesaw the wrong tool to use for this type of cut. Again - it goes back
to technique. If you use the fence for a narrow piece you will lack
control - bad technique. If you use the miter on that same table saw to do
this you have all the stability you need.
Not understanding what really happens in an accident and then giving credit
to the wrong thing for preventing accidents from recurring in the future
only guarntees another accident down the road. I made a joke above, but the
point is very real. You cannot put faith in things like splitters and
guards. As you saw Gary, you had a splitter in place and you had an
accident. It isn't about splitters and guards. It's about what makes wood
go airborn. It's always bad technique. Splitters can indeed cover for the
bad technique a good deal of the time, but the bad technique is still there.
That's what requires the focus with power tools. Sooner or later bad
technique is going to catch up with you faster than not having idot proof
devices will. BTW - I really do believe splitters are a good idea - really.
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