I read the message below from davefr (thanks dave). It didn't answer
the two safety/procedural questions I have on table saws:
1. Is it ok to make a "cross cut" with a table saw?
-- i am installing my own floor (vermont soft pine)
-- the boards are too wide (9 inches) to fit a in my miter saw
-- i thought i read somewhere that you're only supposed to make "rip
cuts" with a table saw -- not cross cuts.
i'm a woodworking newbie trying to save some money on my house. hence
the cheap, kmnothole-ridden wood, which brings me to my 2nd question:
2. Is it ok to cut through a knothole with table saw? If not, what is
the best tool for that?
Thanks very much,
Search Result 1
From: davefr ( snipped-for-privacy@REMOVETHIS.com)
Subject: Re: Table Saw safety guards
View: Complete Thread (84 articles)
Most kickbacks are prevented by proper table saw use:
- Avoid using the mitre guage AND fence to make a cut. This is a big
- Avoid ripping warped or damaged wood. If you have to, then attach
it to a straight piece of wood.
- Adjust the blade height enough to just clear the work
- Make sure your fence is calibrated so it's parallel to the blade.
(it's a good idea to give it a couple thousand of an inch extra
clearance at the rear) Check this annually and never assume a brand
new saw is properly calibrated.
- Keep you blades sharp and use the correct blade for the cut.
- Don't stand in the line of fire. Work in a position that's not
directly in line with potential kickback.
- Use a featherboard when needed
- If the cut will put you in harms way than consider using another
tool. A bandsaw can be much safer for cutting damaged wood.
- Hearing protection, safety glasses, dust mask, and even a hardhat
will help protect you.
- Work when you are fresh and alert and think thru every cut before
you make it.
- Ask yourself if you can accomplish the cut safer using a different
tool. Sometimes you can make a rough cut on a safer tool and use the
table saw for a finish cut.
- Get an outfeed table for your saw.
- Work in a well lit area.
- If you are more comfortable using the guard then use it.
Cut away. Use a combination or cross cutting blade. Use the miter, not the
fence. Don't use both or that can cause a kickback because the fence will
cause the board to skew a bit. . You can set the fence an inche further from
the blade than you want to cut. Then you clamp a 1" spacer to the face of
the fence, but only near the fron. You can bring the board to the stop and
then ush ahead with the miter. That allows for a repeatable stop but
without the potential kickback problems from the setup.
It can be a little hard to hold a nine foot board to cut off an inch. Use
some common sense and be sure you are pushing the board squarely.
There are knots and thee are knots. If it is tight you can cut it. If it
is loose at all, thee is some risk of it breaking and pieces becoming a
projectilre. The guard helps with this sort of thing. There are names for
the types of knots. I don't recall them at the moment.
I think it is easier to use the chop saw. Make the cut as far as the blade
will go, then flip the board over and line the blade up with the kerf from
the first part ofd the cut and finish. We've been making cuts like that for
long enough to get tired of it so we bought the Makita 12" sliding miter
chop saw that has a 12" capacity at 90 degrees. That helps, but now we are
working with 12" and wider boards 10 or 12 feet long making 30, 45, and 60
degree cuts. You can't really do that on a table saw. Some of the material
is surfaced 3 sides, so when the board is flipped, there is no straight
reference on the back side. You have to take the time to accurately line up
the board for the second half of the cut so that the blade lines up with the
kerf to necessary tolerance. We used to use a worm drive as we are framers
first - woodworkers second. A radial arm saw is probably ideal for this,
but the lack of portablilty is a big negative.
I've had loose knots fragment and come flying out in my face on the table
saw. Eye protection is mandatory. You're not supposed to have your face
right in the line of fire, but I do a lot of free hand ripping to a chalk
line (no fence at all), and when trying to maximise accuracy, its hard not
to get your face in the danger zone. I've been thinking about a face shield
acutally. Use the chop saw - the fragments get thrown away from you.
|"Wes Stewart" wrote in message
|> On Sat, 24 Apr 2004 06:30:23 GMT, "Larry Church"
|> I was in agreement up to here:
|> | but I do a lot of free hand ripping to a chalk|> |line (no fence at all),
|> Say it isn't so.
|It is a very common practice on construction sites around here ... AAMOF,
|you are more likely to see a good looking female framer working topless than
|a table saw fence before the trim crew arrives.
I think it was common practice too when my Mother's step-dad removed
all of his fingers on his left hand and ended his carpenter career.
Coincidentally, my wife's father lost a couple of finger tips ignoring
common sense safety TS practices too.
When I tried freehanding a cut on a TS in a shop class the instructor
about had a fit and told me in no uncertain terms that that's what the
%&*#@+ bandsaw was for.
I am not advising you to practice it, I was merely explaining the reality of
... and what the wise guys on the construction site would tell you, in both
English and Spanish, albeit less politely, is that according to ER
statistics, yuppie hobbyists, with overpowered, fence equipped table saws in
their garages, are far more likely to lose their digital attachments.
... and FWIW, my recent relative acquisition, Uncle Teet, tells me that he
lost the first knuckle of his ring finger on a bandsaw ... so be careful
|I am not advising you to practice it, I was merely explaining the reality of
|> When I tried freehanding a cut on a TS in a shop class the instructor|> about had a fit and told me in no uncertain terms that that's what the
|... and what the wise guys on the construction site would tell you, in both
|English and Spanish, albeit less politely, is that according to ER
|statistics, yuppie hobbyists, with overpowered, fence equipped table saws in
|their garages, are far more likely to lose their digital attachments.
Wish we'd send all those Mexicans home. In Tucson, you're
statistically far more likely to be injured by being in the crossfire
between drug or alien smugglers or a crash (nearly happened to me)
with them running from the Border Patrol, than by using a tablesaw.
|... and FWIW, my recent relative acquisition, Uncle Teet, tells me that he
|lost the first knuckle of his ring finger on a bandsaw ... so be careful
I'm reminded of an incident from my youth. I was working in my dad's
automotive machine shop and cut my finger deeply doing something or
I wrapped it up in a shop towel and drove myself to our family doctor.
When I went to the reception desk and said that I might need stitches
they went into full-blown panic mode and wanted to look at it, asked
me if I was going to faint, etc. etc. I said it was no big deal and
took a seat.
When I saw the doctor I related this concern by the receptionist and
asked about it.
It seems that a week or so earlier a guy who worked for a drilling
company had come in under similar circumstances and they just asked
him to take a seat and wait. He was sitting there reading a magazine
when another guy hurried in the door and said, "Hey John, we found
your finger, maybe they can reattach it."
Lost fingers were so common in the drilling business that they didn't
make much fuss over it.
My last woodworking related trip to the ER involved a table saw and was no
doubt statistically reported that way ... although the saw did not have a
blade on it at the time, and was even not plugged in.
I was installing a _safety_ device ... a Uniguard, and inadvertently turned
it into the business end of a guillotine in the process ... 13 stitches, and
a numb to this day, but still functional, thumb.
Swingman May I award you ............. what would that award be? ;~)
Injured by a TS safety device.
Glad to hear that you came out mostly OK. Just goes to show you, you cannot
be too careful around big equipment.
|"Wes Stewart" wrote in message
|> I'm reminded of an incident from my youth. I was working in my dad's|> automotive machine shop and cut my finger deeply doing something or|> the other.
|My last woodworking related trip to the ER involved a table saw and was no
|doubt statistically reported that way ... although the saw did not have a
|blade on it at the time, and was even not plugged in.
|I was installing a _safety_ device ... a Uniguard, and inadvertently turned
|it into the business end of a guillotine in the process ... 13 stitches, and
|a numb to this day, but still functional, thumb.
I had a TS injury just yesterday too.
After 60 years of Arizona sunshine, many of them spent, in the
pre-airconditioning days, driving around with my left forearm resting
on the car door, my skin is so damaged than just a little pressure on
it will leave a purple blotch.
I walked around the TS and bumped my forearm on the corner of the back
angle iron rail and left a half-dollar size patch of skin and hair
behind. Damn I hate that.
Maybe. But with a TS I have seen Norm do it on TV. And I do it on
occasion but only on 1/4" plywood panels with the blade very low. Keep an
eye on what you are doing and know the problems that can happen and you can
do it without mishap.
Indeed, you can but...
When something goes wrong (and it will) the costs may be profound...
The simple reality is that a sideways twitch of the board being cut
can cause a problem that will reveal itself in tiny fractions of a
second. At the speeds involved, the skills of the operator at that
point are meaningless.
All the best,
Yes it will and can. Regardless of how careful you think that you are, that
is not careful enough. I have been using a TS seriously for the last 20
years and professionally for the lasy 9 years. 15 years ago I lost half of
my thumb on the TS. I was not cutting when it happened and this happened
agter I has shut off the power to the saw. My mistake was that I got in a
rush and started making adjustments before the blade stop spinning.
Agreed again. However I have observed a few things that have proven true
and goes contrary to many peoples thinking about more powerful saws. First
off, I do not free hand the cuts on wood that would not snap, break, or cut
easily. I also always have a very firm hand on the wood during the free
hand cut. What I have observed however is having used a 1 hp Craftsman TS
for 15+ years and now a 3hp Jet cabinet saw is that the Craftsman being
under powered was more dangerous. With a sharp blade on both models and a
Jet fence on both the Craftsman and Jet cabinet saw the chance IMHO of a
serious kick back lessens with more HP. I find that with a firm hand and
more HP the TS is more likey to cut the board rather than get bound up slow
down and toss the wood back. With the lessor powered saws you have to baby
the wood to keep from stalling the motor and again IMHO the lack of a firm
hand leads to a greater possibility of the wood binding and being kicked
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