Most of the tools I have, I'm pretty confident using it. My first worm drive
Skil circular saw had so much power as it would kick as soon as the trigger
is pulled and would run away if both hands were not holding on to the saw,
especially cutting up the floor. Pretty lucky with the tablesaw, couple of
kickbacks was all and one loose carbide tip fling across the room at
lightning speed. Drill press bit bind on a workpiece and almost took my hand
off. Than came the chainsaw on the last cut on a 50 foot tree where it lean
backward and bind the chain. The saw was useless at that point and I had no
idea where that tree was going to land . Up to that point my most
intimidating operation was ripping on a radial arm saw when the tablesaw was
out of commission. Now the number spot, although not woodworking, is the
handheld 14" gas saw with a composite cutting blade for steel. Couple of
those blades blew up on me cutting at full throttle - just like a bomb went
off. With about 5 hp at 4,000 rpm in your hands, you really have to think
before hand how the cut is to be made and try to anticipate at what point
the blade is going to bind or the work is going to shift and avoid the line
of sight from the rotating blade or chain.
What is your most dangerous tool in your homeshop?
None of the tools are dangerous. It's how you use them that makes
Look into a diamond blade for the cutoff saw - those don't explode and
cut _much_ faster and last _much_ longer. Well worth the money.
They're ALL dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn't know how to use
them properly. You seem to have more lives than a cat. I'm glad that I don't
live or work near you.
Before you use any more tools you should get some good training in how to
use them properly and safely. Everything that you have said indicates that
you don't know how to use your tools properly or work safely.
Not one small accident in the shop throughout your lifetime? Sounds like no
one had a table saw kickback, a thin piece of wood blown up in the planer, a
drill bit bind on a workpiece, a chain came off on a chainsaw, etc. - not
even once, year after year working with those tools? Never had a wrench
slipped and skinned you hand either? My accidents happen over a 30 year
period working on of off with tools. Those are one time events. I'm careful
but also lucky.
As for the 14" gas saw, you could have a new defective composite blade
shatter at full throttle even without doing any cutting action. I already
noticed a new defective blade on the shelf at one of the big box stores and
know its going to shatter. This was no a cheap blade either, you just need
to inspect it every time before you start up the saw. As for the advice
using diamond blade instead of a composite one to cut steel - don't do that.
I have 10 new wet and dry 14" Hilti diamond blades and none for cutting
steel - they don't make one.
I know couple of old time woodworkers missing a finger or two but they work
on fast moving assembly lines cutting millions of board feet of wood year
after year that most of us couldn't even come close. A few lumberjacks have
chainsaw cuts on their bodies and a few died from falling limbs, contractors
get hurt all the time from equipment failures or due to accidents they have
no control on. I wouldn't say those professionals are dangerous as accidents
do happen even after proper training and safety use of tools. Even a very
respected woodworker doing a TV show cut his hand and continue working on
the project smeared with blood. As I remembered, some of the TV
personalities, contractor and designer types had accidents as well although
they didn't air it on the show. See that famous bike builder on TV doing TIG
welding without gloves or eye protection, or our favorite TV master
carpenter ripping wood on the table saw without a fence? I don't remember
seeing a blade guard on his table saw either.
I was just hoping some of you share your strange shop accident experiences
and how to best avoided it in the future.
Your original post made it seem like they were all happening one after
the other. That's why you're getting the reactions you're getting. I've
had my share of minor shop incidences, and the best thing to do is be
aware of what can happen and have a game plan in the back of your head
for responding when it does.
You know... it might just be safer to use a power tool with an
appropriately rated extension cord than it is to plug it directly in to
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
Never did have an accident in the shop, no not one in my lifetime and I have
been working with wood for around 50 years. Now if you want to talk stupid
dangerous mistakes that's a whole different matter. I have had wood explode
in my face, wood come flying back at me from the table saw, wood come flying
off the lathe and hitting me in the face, to many cuts and contusions to
count, cuts and beat up knuckles from the drill press and a lot of small
blood spills on wood. All of my "accidents" were avoidable, if I had known
what I was doing, been more careful, thought things through before I acted
and not been so cocky. If you want to know which tool I am most careful
with and has caused the most accidents in my shop it is the flathead
screwdriver. It get used improperly all the time, gets little respect and
has knicked me more then once. Number two on the list is my pocket knife
for the same reason.
I am confused, you start off with,
Never did have an accident in the shop, no not one in my lifetime and I have
been working with wood for around 50 years.
Then you contradict that statement with,
I have had wood explode in my face, wood come flying back at me from the
table saw, wood come flying off the lathe and hitting me in the face, to
many cuts and contusions to count, cuts and beat up knuckles from the drill
press and a lot of small blood spills on wood. All of my "accidents" were
avoidable, if I had known what I was doing, been more careful, thought
things through before I acted and not been so cocky.
Can you explain the change in comments?
You do realize that accidents are often the result of mistakes.
Accident: unavoidable or unexpected event, usually of a negative nature.
All "accidents" are caused by or are the result of mistakes. If I had
checked the wood and the setup more carefully the wood would not have
exploded because I would not have used a bad peace of wood under stressfull
conditions. If I had checked the set up of my TS fence, hight of the blade
and and other TS setup and safety issues before I cut I would not have had a
kick back. The list goes on and on when ever I make a mistake and do not do
the proper thing with my tools, I stand the chance of an "accident' due to
my mistakes. So I am saying that all "accidents" are avoidable if you don't
make mistakes. When you say you have had an accident you are saying that
some where along the line you made a mistake that resulted in an "accident".
I am not saying that bad things don't happen in my shop I am saying that
they could be avoided, and some times I learn how to avoid them through
having "accidents" which are my fault. So even though I have a lot of
mishaps in my shop they are my fault and are avoidable if I took the time
and effort to prevent them, which I will probably never do as well as I
would like to.
That contradicts the first of the two alternative definitions above--and
isn't true, either.
That assumes the defect was detectable from a visual inspection or other
indications. It's quite possible it wouldn't show up under tests
normally available in a woodshop.
While certainly a large number of accidents are either wholly caused by
or made significantly worse by carelessness of willful disregard for
safe operation, it is certainly not the entire cause.
That said, caution is, in general, A Good Thing (tm)...
On January 16, 1825, in India, a man and a woman were struck and killed
by a meteorite. What mistakes on their part brought this about?
While many accidents are caused by mistakes, not all of them are.
So how far do you take this checking? Do you do NMR scans on every
piece of wood you saw to determine the internal structure?
Unless the kickback was caused by internal stress in the wood, the
relief of which allowed it to close on the blade.
And if you are omniscient and omnipotent perhaps.
So, again, what mistake did that couple in India make?
Certainly one should strive to avoid accidents, however that does not
mean that that striving, even if perfectly executed, will prevent all
Many accidents happen as a lesson to point out that you are only human and
there are greater powers involved that teach you lessons about the way you
think about events. Whether you recognise those lessons or not is another
The fact that you cut your thumb with a knife at 2:32 pm this afternoon was
a fact that was going to happen before the day you were born.
I still say that all "accidents" are avoidable. Knowledge and skill will
help you avoid mistakes. The couple in India did not have the knowledge,
skill or equipment to avoid the meteorite, much of what they needed was not
avaible to them, thus a mistake occured, resulting in them getting hit by a
meteorite. Mistakes are not always avoidable with out the right knowledge
skill or equipment but they are still mistakes . From each mistake we
learn more on how to avoid it or in the case of the Indian couple encourage
others to find ways to avoid the mistake, this some times takes long periods
of time to learn what is needed.
Knowledge of the way the wood was dried and the type of wood would give you
an indication of a problem, use of splitters or other devices on the TS
would either solve or lessen the impact of this problem. If the wood may
have internal stress that would cause it to close on the blade and you don't
use a splitter (you should have gotten one with your TS) then you have made
a mistake and the kick back is not an accident but caused by a mistake.
If I had
That would be a good way of doing it. I don't have the equipment so I look
at the wood and based on my knowledge I use it or don't use it. Sometimes
I'm wrong thus a mistake if there is a problem and not an "accident", If I
was right then no mistake.
We often need the knowledge of others to help us avoid mistakes, if you go
out of the house for the day you have probably listened to a weather man or
made use of weather data suppled to you by someone else who has knowledge of
the weather. If it is 30 deg below zero and you go out in shorts and a tee
shirt it is not an accident but a mistake. You did not take advantage of
knowledge avaible to you. The same applies to most of our actions in life.
Mistakes and learning how to avoid them can be half the fun of doing
anything including wood work.
So I am saying
When I reach that level all the fun will be gone. Untill then I will strive
to make as few mistakes as I can and learn from the one I do make, and
accept the results of my actions.
Well, you can say that, but it isn't true for any rational definition of
"all" and "accident"...
This is simply preposterous. What _precisely_ was the "mistake"? That
they didn't happen to have a yet-to-be-invented-at-the-time technique to
monitor and track meteorites? How can that possibly be a "mistake"?
So now you have to go back to the sawyer and the kiln to pedigree every
piece of lumber??? Just as preposterous.
The mistake was that they did not plan to protect them selves from a meteor
strike. They did not study the conditions needed to prevent damage to
themselves from a meteor strike and take actions to mitigate that event.
Even with out "yet to be invented technology" there was much they could have
done. They failed to take those measures and suffered the results of thier
mistake. Preposterous no, You must do a threat assesment of your
surroundings and pick which events you will prepare for based on the
likelyhood of thier occuring and the level of damage you will suffer from
them. If you figure wrong you have made a mistake. The indian couple did
not rank meteorite threat as very high and did not take the proper steps to
protect themselves from it, the mistake. The "yet to be invented
technology" comment was ment to show that it is often hard to mitigate
against a threat that is almost unknown or hard to predict. Prime example
is Tornado warnings. I was taught that you can not predict tornados only
the conditions from which they occur. Tracking a tornado was only done in a
general way with out knowing precisely where it would go, and warning the
public in the path of the tornado was almost imposible. Now we can predict
very closely where a tornado may occur and when, we can track it to within a
few hundred feet and predict its future path very closely. The public can
be warned of it's approach in time to take shelter with out problems.
Before the new technology we did a good job of lowering deaths due to
tornados now we do a better job and will do an even better job in the
future. Before the new technology you could protect yourself quite well
from a tornado by gaining knowledge of what to look for and what actions to
take to prevent damage to yourself, The same applies to nearly all events
be they meteor strikes or tornados or TS kickbacks. The mistake is not in
Now you have the idea! That would be a very good way to do it. If that is
not possible then you look for signs that indicate problems, such as
warping, bowing, skewing, cracking, type of wood mostiure content, etc..
Then you take measures to prevent the wood from closing on the blade.
Things such as wedges in the kerf, spliters, riving knives, cross cutting
the board to make shorter rip cuts, suit of armor what ever is needed or
works for your condition to prevent injury from the kickback..
Just as preposterous.
Not if you want to prevent a mistake that could lead to an "ACCIDENT"
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