Miter saw accident - no pics or gore here - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Miter saw accident - no pics or gore here

Tame post, but I got a huge wakeup call yesterday when working with what I consider one of the safest tools in my shop. The miter saw is that old standby that sits there on the bench and cuts without complaint or trouble. So long as you properly secure your wood that is.

Almost cut my hand off because I thought that using hand pressure would be sufficient to keep the wood secure - it isn't. The blade bit into a particularly hard knot and spun the wood into the path of the blade. Only the guard on the saw kept me from losing half my hand.

I wonder how many tools there are in our shops that we take for granted because we are so familiar with them? You know what - I'll use the hold downs and spare myself yet another injury.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 11:34 AM
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Don't understand your post. You don't need hold Downs to cut on miter saw. I have cut on mine for thirty years with hand pressure. Was your board on the deck and against the fence. Don't understand your accident knot or no knot. Please explain how your board was positioned on the saw so we can better understand what went wrong
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 11:38 AM
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Yes, I to don't understand. A miter saw cuts down and towards the fence, there would be no way that it would do that unless the piece wasn't flush with the bed and fence. I almost never secure a piece to the fence with a hold down, actually I think I've only done it once.

Glad nothing went wrong, but please tell what the situation was so people on here can help your technique. I know I have learned a lot of safe cutting techniques from posts on here, this could be another one for somebody.

-luke
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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It's not that difficult to understand really.
Saw bit into a knot and got stuck, picked up the piece off the deck because I'm not that strong, saw blade carried board with it on the upstroke taking my hand with it.

The blade's dull, that's obvious, and the wood was particularly pitchy.
Haven't you ever had a miter saw kick back on you?
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 12:09 PM
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It sounds like the blade is well beyond its usefulness, as I go right through SECURE knots with no problems, loose knots should be avoided. Blades are only $30-50. Even with a dull blade I cannot see it catching a knot and bringing the board upwards unless its startled you and you released the mitersaw handle, thus allowing the spring to bring the board upwards.

With a dull blade I have got a lot of burning and excessive motor strain.

Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to help. Whenever I'm working on the miter saw I always do the following:

-Make sure there is no wood pieces that are keeping the stock being cut either not level with the bed and not tight against the fence.
-Make sure the stock is supported well on both sides of the bed so that it doesn't pinch the blade.
-Grasp the back side of the fence with my four fingers and the stock with my thumb so there is a firm grip and control, so that my hand doesn't go where I don't want it to.
-With firm, slow pressure and the saw at its operating RPM, plunge the saw into the wood.
-If there is any concern during the cut it is always on my mind to let go of the trigger, but keep down pressure on the swing arm of the saw.

I hope these things help you.

-luke
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 12:33 PM
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You must have not had the wood against the fence or you were holding it at an angle. Or the blade was unbelievably dull. Or the blade was not up to speed. Or you fed the blade to quickly.
A knot will not stop a sharp, properly fed blade without warning such as noise or without the motor bogging down.
Agree?

Last edited by daryl; 12-18-2010 at 02:27 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 12:59 PM
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A dull blade makes for a very unsafe tool
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 01:44 PM
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I agree with all of the above. I would also include an incorrect blade. A table saw blades tooth design will pull the wood to the table, on a miter saw, it will try to lift the wood off the base.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 06:26 PM
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If you had a pc of wood with a lot of stress in it, it can clamp down on the blade and it will be lifted up like you described. I have had a pc of wood get so stuck on my blade I had to remove the blade from the saw and cut from the other side with a jigsaw to relieve the grip. Doesn't happen to often, but it does happen.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G
If you had a pc of wood with a lot of stress in it, it can clamp down on the blade and it will be lifted up like you described. I have had a pc of wood get so stuck on my blade I had to remove the blade from the saw and cut from the other side with a jigsaw to relieve the grip. Doesn't happen to often, but it does happen.
If the board is that stressed you can visually see the warning signs. So twisted and stressed or cupped whatever it wouldn't sit on bed or against fence
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 07:41 PM
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Wanna bet.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 07:55 PM
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With a professional grade blade like a forest and the stock visually against the fence and bed this is extremely unlikely. With that said shop safety is not to be taken lightly. A unloaded firearm should always be considered loaded. We are simply saying hold Downs should not be thought to be a requirement to cut a board on a chop saw by am experienced individual
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-20-2010, 02:33 AM
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I think others have said it best...

Your mistake saw not releasing the trigger before attempting to dislodge your blade. But hey at least you don't seem seriously hurt.

Check out some of the best compound miter saws here.
Find Great deals on miter saws, blades and miter tables
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-20-2010, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by <*(((>< View Post
Whenever I'm working on the miter saw I always do the following:

-Make sure there is no wood pieces that are keeping the stock being cut either not level with the bed and not tight against the fence.
-Make sure the stock is supported well on both sides of the bed so that it doesn't pinch the blade.
-Grasp the back side of the fence with my four fingers and the stock with my thumb so there is a firm grip and control, so that my hand doesn't go where I don't want it to.
-With firm, slow pressure and the saw at its operating RPM, plunge the saw into the wood.
-If there is any concern during the cut it is always on my mind to let go of the trigger, but keep down pressure on the swing arm of the saw.

I hope these things help you.
I agree with all of the above. Plus I say out loud but to myself right before I pull the trigger "Finger Check" and take a glance at where my cut line will be and where my fingers are located.
I'll say that I do this on every cut, every tool, but that's not entirely true. I occasionally forget. It is my goal though.
I can still count to 21 and plan to keep it that way.

Dale
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-20-2010, 12:56 PM
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I want to know what you were doing with that saw when you can only count to 20.

Oh, wait a minute...maybe I don't

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-20-2010, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy View Post
I think others have said it best...

Your mistake saw not releasing the trigger before attempting to dislodge your blade. But hey at least you don't seem seriously hurt.
I don't think anyone said that. Your way off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
If you had a pc of wood with a lot of stress in it, it can clamp down on the blade and it will be lifted up like you described. I have had a pc of wood get so stuck on my blade I had to remove the blade from the saw and cut from the other side with a jigsaw to relieve the grip. Doesn't happen to often, but it does happen.
Leo I agree I have seen a miter saw lift a board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klr650 View Post
Tame post, but I got a huge wakeup call yesterday when working with what I consider one of the safest tools in my shop. The miter saw is that old standby that sits there on the bench and cuts without complaint or trouble. So long as you properly secure your wood that is.

Almost cut my hand off because I thought that using hand pressure would be sufficient to keep the wood secure - it isn't. The blade bit into a particularly hard knot and spun the wood into the path of the blade. Only the guard on the saw kept me from losing half my hand.

I wonder how many tools there are in our shops that we take for granted because we are so familiar with them? You know what - I'll use the hold downs and spare myself yet another injury.
I have a question was this a sliding miter saw or just a miter saw. If it was a sliding miter and you started the cut from the out position and pushed it in, then the scenario you described would seem more likely. As others have said a dull blade makes things more dangerous. Personally I don't think you need hold downs unless it is a small piece your cutting. however if it makes you feel safer then do it.


Now as for the rest of the naysayers, I can say with an absolute certainty that everyone claims they do certain things all the time to be safe. I say Lies , you just haven't gotten caught not doing it yet. You will notice it when you have an accident.

As for saying something can't happen. Again good luck with that anything is possible it just takes the right serious of events.

My last point is an accident by definition is a specific, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. The problem is these events or circumstances or overlooked just once or can not be foreseen and that's when accidents occur.

Most accidents can be avoided if people would just listen to there gut. Most times people can feel something is unsafe but they don't stop and change anything. Then when an accident happens they want to act surprised. Sometimes it's a series of small events that go unnoticed and lead to the accident. There are also the accidents that occur during long routine repetitive acts (over confidence or being to comfortable is usually involved)




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post #17 of 18 Old 02-22-2011, 02:25 PM
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i agree that the board can be pulled up also. it has happened to me. so when i am cutting a particularly knotty piece, or a piece i assume will have stress, i will usually (on my scms) take about a 1/4"-1/2" cut from front to back and continue this process until the piece is cut. this way you leave some material to prevent binding until the final cut is made. this works well with pre-finished material like flooring when the face cut needs to be crisp.
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post #18 of 18 Old 02-22-2011, 07:20 PM
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Safety

I know myself I have to make a mental note as I walk in the shop that I'll follow all the safety rules. Sort of like a ritual..
It's easy to get lazy though.
Fred
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