Hi all; I was using a sliding miter saw at a community woodshop the
other day, and one of the docents (or whatever you call them there)
stopped me and told me that for safety reasons, I should let the blade
come to a complete stop before lifting it out of the material.
Is this standard practice? I'd never heard of stopping a power tool with
the blade in the material before, and I'd always avoided doing it.
That was suggested in a recent issue of FWW, as it would yield a better
cut (because the moving blade won't then contact the edge of the work on
its way back out/up). So far, I have to remind myself to wait! : )
Chop/trim saws have universal motors (with brushes) and to have them stop
fast or brake you short circuit the motor when the power is disconnected. I
can recall decades ago modifying slot cars by installing a switch to short
circuit the little motors. When a universal motor is spinning without power,
it becomes a generator. When the universal motor/generator is short
circuited it will cause the motor to almost immediately stop rotating. Table
saws use different motors and cannot easily be made to brake.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward A. Falk) wrote in
It's my standard practice. I found I get a cleaner cut this way, as the
saw blade isn't trying to cut on its way up. Safety comes in to play as
well, as the blade might catch the board on its way up.
If I were "trying" to do precise finish cuts on a sliding miter I suppose I
would use this practice to avoid blade score on the finished piece but unl
ess you are doing a tiny slice the possibility of the off-cut getting launc
hed is really low. Maybe OK practice but since I never do any precise cut w
ith that tool I am always rough cutting and just fly along. I think reachin
g under the spinning blade as it runs down IS a serious danger so maybe it
avoids that danger. I am very thankful for the retractable guards on modern
saws. Old saws surely ripped across many a back-hand and rendered fingers
useless after severing all the control tendons. I think about it every time
I bump the guard.
If you are cutting small pieces they can easily get caught by a tooth
and flung around. Not so much of an issue with larger pieces but you
should get in the habit of keeping the blade buried when cutting small
pieces. Easier to think about doing it all of the time than only some
of the time.
And technically the blade is no longer in the material, it has cut
through the material and you have loose pieces setting next to the blade.
Having said all of that I have very often had small pieces fly out even
when the blade was still buried, this happens immediately as the piece
is cut free.
A good idea... particularly if your blade has positive rake teeth that can
grab and launch things! With the negative rake blade I'm using now I have
had no issues with launches but I still tend to let the blade stop.
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