Cross cutting a 13 x 30 piece of 3/4 ply. I had thought that it was a little
narrow to cross cut BUT pushing aside that one shred of common sense I cut
it anyway. This ply is very light weight for 3/4 (luan) so I am thinking
this was part of the problem. Anyway I turned the right side piece just a
hair as I was just finishing the cut. Probably now that it was free it
needed less force to guide accross the saw.
The blade grabbed it, spun it around on the top of the saw like a top and
shot it out and hit me in the gut with more than a little force.
Having a nice red line across my mid section about 3/4 thick is very
interesting. Not to mention the pain inside when eating and drinking. I
would attribute the same feeling as if someone took a broom handle and did a
Sammy Sosa to your stomach. This was Friday at noon and the pain is more
localized to the 3/4" stripe now.
There are no exterior bruises or serious internal damage so far and no flesh
touched the blade, thank God, this incident could of been so much worse.
TS with no guard or splitter
I will finally make my crosscut sled now as I have been warned.
You know that "Gut Feeling" you have some times... Let it be your guide so
that the "GUT" feeling that you have now will not be common place. ;~)
I am glad to hear that you are still with us..
This cut can be safely made, but you absolutely have to keep the panel flat
against the fence through the WHOLE CUT and the edge against the fence has
to be absolutely straight. Your hands firmly pressed down on top of the
panel as it is being cut will help hold it down in the event that the blade
grabs the panel. If the edge against the fence is not straight, what
happened to you is likely to happen over and over. As you indicated, a sled
is a safer option.
Sun, Jul 11, 2004, 2:08pm (EDT+4) email@example.com (Rich)
Cross cutting a 13 x 30 piece of 3/4 ply. I had thought that it was a
little narrow to cross cut <snip>
I do a lot of cross-cutting, usually about 12", or sliglyly less,
wide. No prob. Of course, I do use a saw sled.
Making a success of the job at hand is the best step toward the kind you
- Bernard M. Baruch
More likely, your boss gets a raise and/or promotion, from getting
credit for your work.
horror story snipped
|TS with no guard or splitter
There is your major problem. A splitter would have likely prevented
A secondary, but contributory factor.
|I will finally make my crosscut sled now as I have been warned.
Aha, a man who learns by his mistakes.
Boy have I done a lot of learning. [g].
For a crosscut? He was crosscutting a 13x30 piece ply.
I'm guessing he was either using the fence, thinking that 13" was
enough to simulate a rip, or trying to freehand it.
In either case, the work can fly even with a splitter.
A splitter is not necessary with a properly done crosscut, as the sled
or miter gauge prevents attempting to cut a curved kerf, and wood
dosen't close up when cut across the grain like it does when ripped.
It would be interesting to know if he had one installed. IME, there is
distinct possibility that a splitter may well have prevented the incident.
The OP stated he was at the end of the 13" cut and a splitter may have
physically prevented the board from rotating onto the back of the blade,
which was the mechanism that propelled it toward him.
A riving knife, of the European kind that hugs backside of the blade, may do
a better job of it, however.
On that note, I did a tune-up on my Unisaw today ... first one in over a
year. The fence was toed out at least a 1/32nd at the back, and was about 2
degrees off being perpendicular to the table wings. Although I haven't
noticed a deterioration in cut precision, apparently I need to start
checking these things more often to be on the safe side.
I did the same last month, 18 months after installation of the new Unisaw.
Seems that bouncing the saw & mobile base over the expansion joint in the
concrete ustabeagarage floor caused the horizontal alignment of the
extension table to go out. That led to adjusting the wings & top,
requiring the adjustment to parallel of the blade & miter slots, as well as
the fence. Cleaned out the accumulation of various chunks, sawdust & debris
from inside the saw as well.
I don't think I just imagined the improvement in the quality of the cuts.
Yesterday's maintenance chore was cleaning & emptying the dust collector
bags and tubing. Next up: cleaning the crud off of the sawblades in the
holder, and determining which are due for a touchup.
On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 00:25:45 GMT, B a r r y
|>|TS with no guard or splitter
|>There is your major problem. A splitter would have likely prevented
|For a crosscut? He was crosscutting a 13x30 piece ply.
Well, he said, "Anyway I turned the right side piece just a
hair as I was just finishing the cut. Probably now that it was free it
needed less force to guide accross the saw."
I imagined that he was using the 13" side against the fence,
otherwise, I can't imagine "turning the right side piece...."
|I'm guessing he was either using the fence, thinking that 13" was
|enough to simulate a rip, or trying to freehand it.
That's funny, do we agree or not? Since as I just stated, that's
exactly what I was thinking, which makes it a "rip cut" not a
|In either case, the work can fly even with a splitter.
Much less likely in the envisioned scenario, especially if the
splitter incorporates (as mine does) anti-kickback pawls.
|A splitter is not necessary with a properly done crosscut, as the sled
|or miter gauge prevents attempting to cut a curved kerf, and wood
|dosen't close up when cut across the grain like it does when ripped.
Yeah, but it's the "properly done" part that is the gotcha.
For the right side piece to turn, it would seem to me there was no fence
involved, or he failed to use a cutoff stop to provide clearance and was
guiding from the other side of the blade. If there was a standard miter
gage in use, he must have been doing the unforgivable and holding on to the
offcut, a recipe for disaster even on a 2" crosscut.
In any case, tilting the trailing edge of the piece into the blade could
easily spin that puppy around and back. Whether or not a splitter would
have helped depends on the height of the splitter and the lift imparted to
the piece. A blade guard or good sense would have prevented the entire
Not really. I wrote "simulate" a rip. He's not actually ripping,
only fooling himself that he is. This is a very common newbie move
One of these cuts WILL kickback with a splitter. When I was a green
newbie, I did the same, with a splitter. The result was so painful
that I actually thought I had just killed myself.
Not really. The short edge of a long strip of ply dosen't really hold
well in the pawls once the part gets leverage against the fence. My
incident also involved pawls. My pawls had a bit of side to side
play, which easily allowed the ply to slip out from underneath as it
rotated. The pawls work better on a real rip due to grain orientation
and the overall length of the work.
On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 10:52:38 GMT, B a r r y
|>|I'm guessing he was either using the fence, thinking that 13" was|>|enough to simulate a rip, or trying to freehand it.
|>That's funny, do we agree or not? Since as I just stated, that's|>exactly what I was thinking, which makes it a "rip cut" not a
|Not really. I wrote "simulate" a rip. He's not actually ripping,
|only fooling himself that he is. This is a very common newbie move
Hmmm. My brother's name is Barry, so I feel like I'm arguing with
him, which was never very productive either. [g]
If we are cutting ply that has no defined grain pattern, can we agree
that neither rip nor crosscut have their regular meanings. In which
case I propose that if the fence is in use to guide the work it is a
"rip" cut and if a miter gauge or sled is in use it is a "crosscut."
I'm guessing (always a bad move) that you consider it a "rip" when the
long edge of the workpiece is against the fence and a "crosscut" when
the long edge of the work is against a miter gauge or sled.
If, on the off chance that I guessed correctly, how should I cut a
two-foot square of plywood in half? Do I "rip" it or "crosscut" it?
What if the piece is one-foot square? (My secret answer here)
I'm not arguing, I'm discussing. Sorry you feel differently
It dosen't matter, it's square. <G> Read on...
What the OP did was try to cut a 40 something x 13 inch ply part down
to 30 inches using the fence, rather than a proper miter gauge or
sled. Maybe he was using both a gauge and the fence. Either way, a
part that is much wider than it is long is very easy to launch this
way. The part gets ever so turned, and since it's trapped between the
fence and the blade, the blade gets all kinds of leverage to grab the
board. On a normal crosscut without the fence, the board would simply
turn, simply damaging the end of it. Since the fence IS there, a
very memorable event follows,usually even with a splitter.
The true moral of this story is NEVER trap a board that is much wider
than it is long between the fence and the blade. If using the fence
to measure repeat cuts, use a short stop block clamped to the fence,
so that there is nothing to trap the wood.
What the OP did could have just as easily have happened with a
glued-up wide solid board, the fact that it's ply is actually
I hated doing it. :) Seems like there is no end of someone waiting to jump
on a mistake/omission like a duck on a June bug these days. But considering
the thread and that someone will be trying to cut two inches off the end of
a six foot tubafour using just the fence ....
May beetle! http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/youth/bug/bug075.html
Not to mention the heresy that increasing the opening size beyond the cut
(as in fence not parallel) can produce anything but disaster.
See the thread of 3-4 months ago about setting the fence for clearance
after the cut when ripping.
I think I even posted a site for elementary vector analysis.
You do feel better about someone jumping on the post, though, don't you?
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.