I've had two, both my fault, not the equipment
Late at night wanted to make just one more cut. full bevel cut on a
right tilt and I was just a little too lazy to change the fence over
to get the tilt going away from the fence. Trapped piece kicked back,
caught me in the side then traveled another ten feet and put a deep
ding in a solid ply shop door. Bruise on my side lasted for weeks.
second was on a planer. Put a piece in that was too short for the
machine. Kicked out and turned the feed hand black and blue and
unusable for a week or so.
As mentioned, I knew better in both cases. Wasn't the fault of the
machines, simply operator error.
I had 3 cases worth mentioning. One was a 45 degree cut with the main
panel on top of the blade and the off cut under and away from the
fence. The off cut kicked back and hit me in the abdomen. I have done
the same cut a number of times since, and the off cut piece hasn't ever
kicked back since.
Another time, I was crosscutting some short pieces. I put a block on
the fence to measure with and to provide room so that the pieces
wouldn't bind and kick back. Well, the pieces were wider than long, and
one turned sideways and kicked back.
The other time was on a construction site. A guy provided a Ryobi bench
top table saw for ripping some siding into corner blocks. This is a saw
that has trouble cutting dry 2 x 4 material. A buddy ripped off a 4
inch wide piece and left it. It slowly kicked back and barely cleared
the table saw. I imagine the weak saw, and with no outfeed table so the
piece arched and barely contacted the blade, and a low fence combined
for a wimpy kickback. I told him that if he had been using my shop saw
(Unisaw) that the off cut would have gone across the pool, across the
driveway and into his truck, and he didn't seem to understand.
About 15 years ago, I was doing a test cut on my table saw. I stupidly
used a short piece of 2X4 (about 4 inches long). I was holding it
gingerly instead of using a push stick and didn't have a firm grip on
it. Needless to say, it kicked back right on my left tit. I yelled out
and cursed in at least three languages. The LOML thought I had chopped
off a hand or something. No blood on the outside, but my tit turned
all kinds of neat colours, purple, blue, green, red, yellow, etc. No
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
I will give you three. Two that have happened to me during 35 years or so
of table saw use. One very serious one that happended to a friend of my son:
1) Many years ago I got a piece of 1/2" plywood (about 2' square) crossed up
in the table saw that WAS fitted with a splitter. I think the mass of the
plywood just overpowered the splitter and pawls because it lifted off of the
table and a corner of the piece hit me in the chest. Hurt-no band aids.
2) About four years ago I was cutting ripping the edge off of a piece of 2x
about 1-/2' long and got a kickback (no splitter - shame!). I saw it coming
and stepped aside. The piece of wood flew about 10' across the garage and
ended up hanging from a hole in the sheetrock. Could have hurt real bad.
3) I have posted about my son's buddy a couple of times since it happend
last spring. He was planing some thin stock in a surface planer. They
don't know exactly what happened but a piece of stock, apparently about 1"
square and several feet long, got past the rollers and impaled him in the
abdomen. He ended up with much of the stock protruding from his back.
Luckily it missed most organs but did nick an intestine. He spent quite a
bit of time in the hospital and as of a month or so ago he was 'almost' back
up to speed. Unusual but rest assured this could happen with a table saw
Loads of them, never stood where they were going to get me.
Last one was in taking angled filler strips off the edge of a softwood
board. These were maybe 1/2" x 1/4" at most, so pretty lightweight. The
saw fired one off (between the blade and the fence) which flew a couple
of feet then hit a light plastic toolbox on the shelf behind. It punched
a neat hole in one side, then out the other.
So even if it's only a lightweight offcut, don't underestimate the
energy in those trimmings!.
Not sure these qualify as kickback, but they seem to line up with what
others are posting.
First was a brief moment of misjudgment (read: stupidity). I was moving a
piece of ~ 1' x 2' ply I had recently rabetted from the right extension wing
of my TS to my workbench, and I swung it into the blade. Board caught me in
the gut and knocked the wind out of me. No bruising or cuts, but enough of a
scare to call it quits for the day. At the time my saw was a tiny little 50
year old Craftsman (crapsmen for the more clever in the group) with an 8"
blade. I think my DW746 would've caused a bit more damage.
The other time was when I was planing a board that I now realize was way too
thin... I was approaching 1/8". The board broke at a knot, and the planer
sent half of it sailing out so fast that I never even saw it. My only clue
that something happened was that only half the board came out the other end.
(I had ear plugs AND over-the-ear muffs on at the time). I eventually found
the missing half lying on my garage^H^H^H^H^H^Hworkshop floor by the door,
with a fresh 1/2" deep impression in the door a couple above it. I'm not
entirely sure how it got past the infeed rollers. Perhaps that half of the
board was thinner than the half that had already gone through.
-John in NH
I had a piece of 3/4" ply 14" X 14" kick back. The saw flung it so
fast I never saw it. It was flung spinning like a Frisbee, hitting me
on the left hip, and deflecting off at about right angles. It flew 10
ft or so and smashed into one of those transparent plastic bins, which
totally exploded. I wasn't hurt at all, only because the spin on the
Frisbee was advantageous.
This happened to me about ten years ago. I had been working very long
hours and wasn't getting enough sleep. I was cutting 3/4" dadoes with
a dado blade and after a pass inadvertently let the board come back
into contact with the far side of the blade. The board kicked back so
fast I never even saw it. I knew I was hit, but wasn't sure where.
Checked my hands and said "oh sh*t". Very little blood, in fact over
the next three hours maybe only a dozen drops. Called into ER and told
them I'd had a tablesaw accident. Spent the afternoon there, listening
to the doctors argue over what to do. They were talking about
reconstructing tendons, ligaments, veins, etc. I finally spoke up and
told them I didn't think I was actually cut. but was just hit at the
joint very hard. One them said okay lets find out. He pulled the end
of the finger back on to the knuckle and it stayed (then there was
lots of blood). Four stitches and I was out the door, good as new.
Got back to the shop and found the piece I had been cutting had
impaled itself completely into 3/4" plywood sheathing behind me. I
knew I had been very lucky. Number one rule in my shop now is
"Do NOT use power tools when you are tired"
Once. Failed to push the piece far enough past the back of the saw blade,
and it vibrated forward and caught the back end ... wham.
It didn't hurt me because I was standing left of the blade. I always use
the blade guard and splitter where possible, and for narrower cuts I use
fingerboards. The bolts for my Jet splitter/guard are replaced with hand-
turn knobs to make it fast to remove and install. For crosscuts I prefer a
It sure was enough to put the fear of God in me, though. And it seriously
messed up a beautiful little bookmatched flame cherry panel I'd been
Some years ago I was cutting a 2x2 square of fiberboard on the
tablesaw. For some reason I did not hold the material tight against
the fence and it slightly rotated, kicked back, and hit me in the
thigh. I suffered a black-and-blue mark and was lucky the hit was not
in the gonads.
Not a table saw story, but about 25 years ago, a friend was killed in a saw
mill kickback accident. Cecil was a preacher, farmer, mechanic, and all
around jack-of-all-trades. I'm not certain how it happened but the piece
hit him in the head. He had a closed casket funeral. RIP Cecil.
What a way to start the day...
Sorry for the loss of your friend, he sounds like a real Renaissance
Man - in dungarees.
Ever seen a 60" mill saw operated with no guards, and almost no safety
equipment? Or trim/grading operators working with a 22" blade 12"
from their left arm... scary stuff!
When I first started woodworking I had a pretty nasty kickback. I was
trying to rip a big piece of plywood (no infeed or outfeed table) and
while pushing it through allowed it to twist just enough to catch the
back of the blade. Piece lifted up and was thrown into my gut, hurt
like hell, monster bruise. Looking at the piece you could see where the
teeth had grabbed it and thrown it back. These days I have two of the
anti kickback wheels that attach to the fence and a griptite to keep
stock firmly against the fence, I also use a tru-grip and circular saw
for my big panel cuts these days.
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