Please be careful guys - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Please be careful guys

Guy just lost his fingers today. Dado blade. Pretty sure you can figure out what it looks like when you get hit with that. Be careful, please. If it seems sketchy then don't do it. I don't care how experienced you are, that guy had been working there longer than I've been alive. It still can happen, and I'll tell you it wasn't pleasant to watch nor clean up so be safe.


-T
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post #2 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 01:10 AM
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... I'll tell you it wasn't pleasant to watch nor clean up so be safe.
One would imagine not. But I think it would be more helpful for us to understand exactly how it happened. What did the user/operator do wrongly that led to the injury?
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post #3 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 08:32 AM
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One bad thing about getting into a saw blade or dado, they don't cut flesh they mangle. I know first hand.
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post #4 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 09:03 AM
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Oh man. And that would probably end his career. I'm guessing no push stick? Or was it a freak accident?
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post #5 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 09:35 AM
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Dado blade on the tablesaw?

Dados on the tablesaw are cut from the bottom up, in other words... blind. You can't see where the cutters are from above. Ok, there are times when there is no better way, but for widths under 15" I use a radial arm saw. I can always see the cutterhead since it cuts from above.

To be more safe, a router would be best. A rail saw carriage or vertical panel saw can be easily be converted for use with a router. Look in at 6:20 in this:


Here's a great one:


A production shop would benefit from having setup like this in my opinion. I made my own a few years back, but I've never used the router with it.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-13-2019 at 09:38 AM.
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post #6 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 11:33 AM
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Dados on the tablesaw are cut from the bottom up, in other words... blind. You can't see where the cutters are from above.
True: You cannot see exactly where they are, but you know approximately. So keep appendages and digits away from anywhere near where they are?

That's why I asked the OP for details on how the accident occurred.

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -- John Ruskin (1819-1900)
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post #7 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 12:03 PM
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Damn. Makes me glad to be using hand tools. :(
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post #8 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 12:26 PM
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Damn. Makes me glad to be using hand tools. :(
Same.

I'm guessing it's not a choice for the OP, as it sounds like he works in a mass-production shop.

Of all my myriad of power tools (used for home maintenance/construction), the only one I'm uncomfortable with is my table saw.

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post #9 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 01:30 PM
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Yes, of course.....

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True: You cannot see exactly where they are, but you know approximately. So keep appendages and digits away from anywhere near where they are?

That's why I asked the OP for details on how the accident occurred.

I'll bet it was a rotational type kickback where the workpiece spun up and over the blades and the feed hand was along for the ride, but you are correct we don't actually know. Often times things happen so fast even the "victim" really doesn't know for certain either. Workpiece size and distance from the fence would be good to know. Depth of cut as well.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 01:53 PM
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Back in the 60s, I did some work for another contractor, he was using a stack dado in a RAS, without the guard on of any kind. His little girl was right behind him when he realized that the dado was coming off the shaft, he started to spin around to push his little girl out of the way. His hand was just above his head when they did come off. The stack went everywhere but one caught him in the middle of his left hand. The little girl wasn't hurt. It was the raker that got his hand, not a pretty sight.

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post #11 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 02:18 PM
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I am a big safety freak and accidents are basically an unplanned unfortunate event. They usually happen in a flash.
I have had injuries before but never an amputation, major or minor.
The few accidents that I did have always started with the sudden thought "I really ought not to be doing this this way" and BAM!.
I listen to my instincts. And even then accidents will still happen, just less of them.
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post #12 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 03:05 PM
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I listen to my instincts. And even then accidents will still happen, just less of them.
I can't count the number of times I've ignored that little voice in the back of my head trying to tell me something and paid for it. Not by way of injuries, so far, but in terms of lost time and materials.

Had a friend once nearly lose an eye nailing. Yes: Nailing. And not with a nailer, either. Nail and hammer. You know how, sometimes, you go to drive a nail and somehow, apparently defying all logic, when you don't quite miss the nail it goes flying back toward you? It's happened to me. It happened to my friend, and ended up stuck in his right eye.

I've worn safety glasses when hand-nailing ever since.

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -- John Ruskin (1819-1900)
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post #13 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 05:27 PM
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Damn. Makes me glad to be using hand tools. :(
I've heard of people sticking a screwdriver in their hand. Mash finger or thumb with a hammer.

I have a practice of keeping my hands at least 6 inches from a TS blade area.
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post #14 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 07:12 PM
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My stomach dropped when I read the original post. I can only imagine what that guy is going through right now.

I try to follow best practices always, but we all know the consequences of one simple mistake. If I am being truly honest with myself, I just hope that my luck holds out until I am done with power tools.

Allow me to express my hot tears and anger at Steve Gass of SawStop and the other table saw manufacturers, who could never find a way to license blade retraction technology for all table saws. @WeebyWoodWorker's guy and many others paid a high price for that. Who will be next?
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post #15 of 42 Old 12-13-2019, 07:32 PM
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Production shop issues ....

A good friend who runs a one man custom door shop and needs to work late hours to get the work out, ran is fingers through the shaper cutter a few years back. The hand surgeon sewed his hand to his chest to maintain blood flow and eventually he almost fully recovered. He was tired and it was late, so it was primarily his own fault because he knew what he was doing and had done so for 25 years or more. It's just dangerous work. And repetition leads to lack of focus. When you are so tired you can not maintain your concentration, it's time to bag it and quit. When I was the "catch man" for the straight line rip saw, I could barely keep up with the pace of that thing and all I had to do was stack the 24" long cutoffs on a cart. I could NOT do that job for more than a few hours at a time.



When making cabinet parts and sides I've run my share of dados for shelves and dividers on the table saw using the fence. It's not a difficult operation, BUT you must maintain the edge against the fence and press down on the sheet to get an even depth of cut. Some sheet goods are slightly warped so they need special attention.

I am a stickler for kickback prevention whether by being informed as to why it happens or using a splitter when ripping. I am always posting the whys and wherefore of kickback here.

And here's two of my favorites:

http://www.waterfront-woods.com/ see table saw techniques

http://www.raygirling.com/kickback.htm
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post #16 of 42 Old 12-14-2019, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'll bet it was a rotational type kickback where the workpiece spun up and over the blades and the feed hand was along for the ride, but you are correct we don't actually know. Often times things happen so fast even the "victim" really doesn't know for certain either. Workpiece size and distance from the fence would be good to know. Depth of cut as well.


That's exactly what it was. He was making a hand rail (about twenty feet of white oak) and got a kickback from his test piece. It ended up about thirty feet behind the saw. The thing that gets me is that the saw had an auto feeder attached to it and he moved it out of the way. His test piece was only three eighths thick about five inches long and he was taking off a quarter inch. That's insane. Only got about two inches in before it kicked. I had to do that rail today and I set up a sawstop with an autofeeder on it. Since I had a feeder on it my test piece was full height and width to my actual boards and about three feet long. "Everything is twenty twenty in hindsight" but I don't get why he for one used such a small test piece and two didn't use one of the five sawstops we have. It's a pretty bad situation to be sure, honestly hope that he recovers.



-T
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post #17 of 42 Old 12-14-2019, 10:28 AM
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That's exactly what it was. He was making a hand rail (about twenty feet of white oak) and got a kickback from his test piece. It ended up about thirty feet behind the saw. The thing that gets me is that the saw had an auto feeder attached to it and he moved it out of the way. His test piece was only three eighths thick about five inches long and he was taking off a quarter inch. That's insane. Only got about two inches in before it kicked. I had to do that rail today and I set up a sawstop with an autofeeder on it. Since I had a feeder on it my test piece was full height and width to my actual boards and about three feet long. "Everything is twenty twenty in hindsight" but I don't get why he for one used such a small test piece and two didn't use one of the five sawstops we have. It's a pretty bad situation to be sure, honestly hope that he recovers.



-T
That is how I got cut on a table saw, a small test piece. I was blessed that it only ripped out the side of my middle finger and part of that joint.

As for nails glancing, I was really fortunate that the two times I had a slight injury was when hand nailing with 8D nails one time and 12D nails another. The nails glanced and stuck up in my forehead (at different times) Just a little lower and to the right or left and I would have lost an eye.

One thing to remember when using wood machines is to never get comfortable using them. When you get over confident using a saw, or other machine, is when a lot of accidents happen. Never lose the fear or respect of the tool, it can hurt you quicker than you can imagine.

I have had the tips of my fingers just grazed by a planer blade and router bit. It didn't hurt when I got into the table saw, it felt like something had grabbed my sleeve and jerked it really hard, but it wasn't my sleeve, it was my hand.

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post #18 of 42 Old 12-14-2019, 11:48 AM
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His test piece was only three eighths thick about five inches long and he was taking off a quarter inch. That's insane.
Yikes! Thanks for the explanation.

Doing really narrow pieces on my TS makes me cautious as hell. I define "really narrow" as anything so narrow I have to remove the guard, anti-kickback and riving knife assembly to have room enough to use my push shoe.

If it's too small even for the push shoe I'd hook two or three of my fingers over the fence so my hand couldn't slide toward the blade. Don't know how that's going to work with the new, beefier fence. I think a new, thinner push shoe is will be in order.
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post #19 of 42 Old 12-14-2019, 12:38 PM
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Narrow pieces on the table saw....

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Yikes! Thanks for the explanation.

Doing really narrow pieces on my TS makes me cautious as hell. I define "really narrow" as anything so narrow I have to remove the guard, anti-kickback and riving knife assembly to have room enough to use my push shoe.

If it's too small even for the push shoe I'd hook two or three of my fingers over the fence so my hand couldn't slide toward the blade. Don't know how that's going to work with the new, beefier fence. I think a new, thinner push shoe is will be in order.

I must have close to 10 push shoes of various widths and lengths and materials. There is NO one push shoe that works under all situations. If I need to saw through the lip end of the shoe, that's OK I can make more new ones. I make 3 at a time anyway. I also have a few thin push sticks for those "rare" situations they work better, but not very often.


The job of the push shoe is:
First to to feed the workpiece into the blade.
The second is to maintain downward pressure towards the table.
Finally, it keeps pressure towards the fence to prevent a kickback.
A ordinary push "stick" can not do all these vital things.


The job of the splitter is:
To maintain the workpiece against the left side of the fence which prevents a "rotational" type of kickback, spinning up and over the top of the blade and coming back at the operator.
Second, to prevent the newly created saw kerf from closing on the blade and either stalling the saw OR sending the workpiece up and over back at the operator.

By using both the push shoe and a splitter, you are virtually assured against kickbacks, at least that's my experience in my shop. For the "rare" times I need to remove the splitter, I am extremely cautious to maintain downward and "left to right lateral pressure" against the fence.

On my older Craftsman 12" tablesaws, there are no anti-kickback pawls on my splitters, I removed them. There is no OEM or factory clear plastic blade cover on my splitters, I removed them. All I use is a simple steel plate that was designed to attach the blade cover and pawls, and this has evolved over about 40 years of experimenting with all sorts of devices.

My newer Craftsman 10" 22124 hybrid has a quick detach blade cover which I can install or remove within less than a minute depending on the type of operation, like a "stopped" cut or kerf where a tall splitter plate would interfere, like this:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/l...allenge-33352/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-14-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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post #20 of 42 Old 12-14-2019, 01:20 PM
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On my older Craftsman 12" tablesaws, there are no anti-kickback pawls on my splitters, I removed them. There is no OEM or factory clear plastic blade cover on my splitters, I removed them.
There's a thought. There's no good reason I couldn't modify the cover/pawls/riving knife assy. to make it easy to remove just the cover when I want. That clear plastic cover is what's making the assy. so wide. I think that'll be my next mini-project.

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -- John Ruskin (1819-1900)
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