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Thread: Safety: Kick back can be seriously destructive. Oh yeah, and dangerous.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ

    Red face Safety: Kick back can be seriously destructive. Oh yeah, and dangerous.


    I have been using table saws for many years. I currently have a Delta Contractors saw that is about 25 years old. Until today I had never had a serious accident with it. I can't say that anymore. I was trying to slice a very thin shim off of a too small piece of birch and managed to fire it through my shop window and 18 feet into the back yard. Total distance of travel about 30 feet. It took out the window, the screen and one of the false muntins that is between the double glazing. As you can see from the last picture, the piece managed to get on top of the blade and achieve liftoff. There was birch completely filling the gullets of the saw blade in the area where blade caught the back of the board. Never saw that before and I hope never to see it again.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Don't forget to put the splitter back after using the dado blade. I am not sure it would have helped as the piece of wood was quite short and would barely have hit the splitter. A riving knife would have prevented this altogether, but, alas, no riving knives on Delta saws.

    2. When slicing short, thin pieces use the band saw. This was just going to be used to shim a drawer guide. The finish of the wood off the saw was not an issue.

    3. Use a hold down and/or a featherboard. May have worked, but, again, this was a very short piece of wood which is always asking for trouble.

    4. Always try to stay out of the firing line of the blade. That one I did right or I would be recovering from broken ribs or badly scrambled innards.

    I am sure there are a few more lessons you guys can come up with. I am currently coming down from the high of knowing that this birch missile missed me. I can't begin to indicate to you how fast this happened. I had my ear muffs on and didn't hear the window break, so immediately afterwards I was looking around wondering what the heck happened to my wood when I noticed the destruction and popped a fast sweat.

    Work safe!!

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P5170004.JPG   P5170006-1.JPG   P5170008.JPG  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    Glad it did not hurt you. That is a great wake up call. Thanks for for your lesson.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    El Paso, TX

    WHEW ! . . .

    Glad you're OK ! Impresive though ! Thanks for the wake-up ! Posts like yours wake everyone back to the real world hazards of our craft. I know I tend to get complacent with the machines. I'll be give'n the TS the stink-eye for awhile again ! Everyone check your fire extinguishers while we're on it !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    As costly as that looks, I'm sure it is cheaper than a finger or two or worse.

    Glad that you weren't injured!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan

    WOW! Glad you weren' hurt.

    Could you show the position of the board when it "caught"? I'm a bit confused with the position of the blade slice/catch in your last pic.


    P.S. I also have a Delta Contractor saw, but also use a Uniguard blade guard and splitter.

  6. #6
    That's an eye opener. Glad you weren't hurt!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I know that some guys need bars on the OUTSIDE of their widows, but man, you need them on the INSIDE

    Sure glad nothing was hurt but your pride, and good for you for sharing your mistake, hopefully it will make us all think again before we do something similar.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Well, the CoC here prevents me from saying the first words that came out of my mouth after seeing the fist picture, but it's great that you didn't get hurt, and just as great that you shared the story here to serve as a wake-up call. Thanks for posting the reminder.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    I'm glad it was the window that got hit instead of you! Thanks for the "gentle reminder".


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Gees, Don!

    I echo everyone's comments. Small pieces on big tools are always a dicey situation. Remember my California Friend I told you about with is small piece on the jointer? Glad you came out better than he did.

    The window and screen are way less than a trip to ER.

    Many years ago I had a piece clamped in the miter gage and the same thing happened. The miter gage bar impaled itself in the shop door 20 feet behind me. Very impressive! And I needed 7 stitches in my left thumb.

    The launch capability of the table saw is very, very powerful and quick.

    Like the sergeant said on an old TV show, be careful out there, folks.

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