Besides if you have the blade guard on, the chances of a kickback is less
and if you're pulling from the back, the worse is you hands smashing into
the blade guard. I don't want to push the piece into the blade guard since I
don't have a clear vision under the guard. I guess we are assuming most of
us don't use blade gards which includes me as well.
I've been ripping long narrow (1/4" or less) this morning and pulling from
the back - seems to me it's safer to pull from the back than push into the
blade with only 1/4" or less clearance. But I could be wrong but lucky for
As far as pulling from the back I see contractors do that all the time even
see them doing it on the home improvement shows. For long pieces I don't
think I've seen a contractor pushing it all the way and a some point he is
going to go around and pull it - it just seem like a natural process but
again could be wrong technique. I wonder has anyone seen Norm pulling from
the back? He doesn't use a blade guard either.
One of the FEW kickbacks I've had on my Unisaw came within the first day
or two of firing it up. The guard's plastic shield rested on the
workpiece at an angle due to the narrowness of the piece and forced it
to twist, resulting in a horrendous kickback. Right after that
incident, after I evaluated why it happened, I removed the offending
part. I rarely (not NEVER; just RARELY) use a splitter either. I can
see where the blade is, and I keep my precious fingers WELL away from
it. I use push blocks and push sticks.
Good technique prevents kickbacks except for the case of relieved
tension in a board that jambs it between the fence and blade.
I'm not suggestion that YOU go sans guard. Just reporting how I prefer
to run MY TS.
There is a semi-klutzy neighbor a few doors down that sets up his TS on
the sidewalk and does free-hand crosscuts during remodeling chores. I
shudder when I've watched him, as I know he does it out of ignorance;
not practice. I gently suggested he avoid cutting w/o the miter
gauge--my words fell on deaf ears.
I'm a "no guard" kinda guy, though. took mine off after the first nasty
incident due solely to the guard causing a kickback.
I was doing this with some pine I was ripping down.
When I got to the core the wood was quite weak. The saw grabbed it and shot
it across the room. Wow. I was surprised. But then again I was on the other
side so my heart was hardly beating any faster. It did NOT suck me into the
This discussion is silly. People pull wood through tablesaws all the time.
It is no less safe than pushing it.
WRONG! To quote someone I read. When pulling you are utterly out of
the line of fire of a kickback. When pushing you are in the line of
fire of a kickback. That fact alone makes pulling less dangerous than
But as someone else said, this whole discussion is silly. It's just
like the grounding in the DC system. Someone somewhere came up with
the idea that pulling is dangerous and has decided to trot out the
boogeyman in this chicken little conversation and everyone is jumping
For one thing, no one has suggested pulling stock through is the
standard modus operandi for all table saw operations. It is
appropriate in a tiny, specialized arena of action that isn't easily
accommodated in any other way. In fact, it is especially appropriate
because the alternative is clearly dangerous.
Geez, guys, stop making up danger. There's plenty of real danger to
pontificate about. You're as bad as the people on one of the other
woodworking fora who got all worked up about someone using their
calipers on a piece of wood on a lathe while it was turning.
I doubt you are taking into account how your arms would move during the
split second of shock you would feel when there is an explosive
kickback--the sudden noise and movement could cause you to involuntarily
move your hand into a dangerous spot--namely the blade. THAT'S why I
continue to insist that dragging a board through from the rear isn't
such a hot idea. Obviously we disagree on this point... :)
the danger reflex is to pull your hands in close to your body. if you
are in front of the saw reaching over the blade, that would put your
hands through the blade. if you are behind the saw, pulling a rip
through, the danger reflex moves your hands away from the blade.
I've got a pair of the anti-kickback wheels on my rip fence. They hold
the board in place while I walk around to pull it through. No way is
that board going to pull my hand into the blade, the wheels only allow
about 1/4" of backward movement.
And since they hold the board down and against the fence, "kickback" is
just about impossible - "pushback" is as bad as it gets, and as I
said,that's limited to about 1/4".
Just to add fuel to the fire -- has anyone who experienced kickback while
using a push stick ever had the pushstick propelled at them? I have. When
I first got my shaper, I made the mistake while testing one of the profile
bits of having the wood with fingerboards holding the piece against the
fence laterally,but not vertically. I was using a pushstick to guide the
piece, but somehow managed to push just slightly off such that the wood
twisted a bit upward while moving through the cutter. The twist caused a
kickback event -- by design, I was not in the line of fire, but the
kickback pushed the push stick into my arm and caused a fairly nasty gash.
Sooo, just because you are using a push-stick don't think that you have
eliminated all possibilities for injury to yourself.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
45 seems a bit steep for a french cleat. it's enough that the cabinet
is trying to wedge the cleat off of the wall. I generally go more like
20 or 30 degrees. you really just need to keep the cabinet from
shifting forward off of the cleat.
sounds right so far.
as long as your featherboards are set up right, this is just fine. it's
a method I use with lots of stationary machinery, not just the table
Seems like the consensus, if there is one, is this:
"If it feels safe to you, then it IS safe"
I didn't feel safe making the cut the way I did, so I guess I will
need to figure out a better way next time. For the record, it wasn't
pulling the piece from the back that didn't feel right. I have
pulled wood through numerous times before without feeling
uncomfortable. It also wasn't ripping a board at 45d that didn't
feel right. I have done this before with shorter but wider boards.
It was the combination of everything that didn't feel right:
Feather board close to blade
Narrow board I couldn't use a push stick on
Angled rip cut
Board didn't hang off the edge of my outfeed table before I had to
So, next time I will have to do it differently so I feel safe.
"Can't we all just get along?"
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