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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello - I recently made a custom jig to cut some tapered coffee table legs. After I used it I got to thinking that it may not have been safe because of the way the cutoff piece was wedged between the blade and the jig… but not really sure. If it was unsafe I suppose I got lucky. Attached are photos of the jig and final product.
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Typically, the "good" portion of the leg stock would be on the fence side of the jig. The "waste" cutoff would drop off the opposite side so nothing is trapped. Clamps for holding the stock are safer than using fingers to hold the stock.
(Photo grabbed off the internet, not my photo)
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where's my table saw?
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Put all your blocks on the right side of the blade and use a hold down clamp like Daves post shows.
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Your jig is very dangerous, do not use it again.
What you need is a "tapering jig"
There are lots of utube videos. one I have built and used is this one
Its the middle section of the video, but the other two jigs are equally as useful.
 

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where's my table saw?
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See my post number 4.
The blocks pre-position the workpiece to make identical multiple pieces. It would be safe if you add a hold down clamp.
You don't want any blocks on the left side of the blade which may rotate the offcut into the blade and cause a kick back.
The concept is OK, you just need that one change and a clamp. Do not use it until you make those changes.
 
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It needs a toggle clamp. After making thousands of these at the furniture company, we found after a few guys got nailed they need to be clamped down to eliminate vibration. Seem to do the trick..
 

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Yes it is dangerous. I turned a thumb into hamburger using one similar to that. I highly recommend you run it all the way through the saw so that there is nothing beside the blade and the sled it flush with the blade.

The problem is that your cut off can vibrate over into the blade and get tossed back at you. I was reaching for the switch when a tiny piece of cedar was kicked back and hit my thumb. Mangled it. I will not spare you the photos. But it was a long recovery.

I set about designing a better jig and one of the biggest improvements was what I said above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You need to lock it to the template
Could you expand on that? Do you mean use double sided tape or something like that?
The front block should have been on the left side of the leg. It would have been less dangerous. As others have pointed out … you got lucky.

Is the base plywood really as warped as it looks?
Base plywood was not warped, It was just scrap from a previous project that wasn't cut on a straight line
 

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where's my table saw?
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While I do clamp my part down it is for consistency, to keep it from shifting and getting an uneven cut. But that is not the dangerous part. The cut off is is the part that will get tossed back at you.
Yes, possibly. But after a few hundred thousand cuts, I've never had the off fall do anything except just lay there on the saw. If you clamp down the off fall side, my fear is that it may be more likely to bind because of a small shift.
In all my experience, and having just a few kickbacks, they occured for only one reason. The workpiece came away from the fence at the rear of the blade, and was rotated up and over the top of the blade, back towards me. If my right hand had been applying down pressure and following the piece next to the blade there would be a good possibility that I'd be missing some fingers. A proper push shoe is the only type I now use in conjunction with a splitter.

The jig should hold the workpiece very securely to prevent it from moving away from the fence. The offcut should never be held, or pushed, just left to drop on the table from gravity. Yes, there are a few occasions when I pulled very long pieces all the way through the blade, safely from the rear of the saw when working alone or was unable to push them from the front.
 

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You obviously didn't spend enough money on the jig.
More money makes for a better jig,
it needs a couple of thingamajigs and at least one whatumacallit
Not

The front block should have been on the left side of the leg.
This would have been my suggestion
No trapped wood
You'd still need to use common sense
But I figured that you made it this far in life...
 
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