Most Dangerous Power Tool?

Ian Gillis

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443
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Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore
I keep hearing people talk about the shaper, but what is the difference in a shaper and table mounted router? Even the weakest router has more than enough power and speed to rip your finger off. Seems to me the danger is the same.

Whats different is the PERCEIVED danger.

Jeff
You could very well be right Jeff, but the difference I perceive is that a 3 hp router will stall a lot sooner than a 3 hp shaper. The one shaper I used a lot was 3 phase, 3 hp 1 1/4" spindle. There was no perceptable slowdown when cutting 4" crown moulding in oak or cherry. I always figured that the any piece that got jammed would either become a missile or a fragmentation bomb.

I never had a mishap, so your comment about perception could be spot on. I know there are folks who are scared every time they use a tablesaw because they think kickbacks "just happen" and I consider their perception to be flawed.
 
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Travis Porter

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292
Location
Wake Forest, NC
I agree with Ian. I am new to the shaper and the raised panel cutter I have for the shaper is substantially larger and heavier than the ones I have used in a router table not to mention it is a 3 wing cutter. The fact that it can raise the panel in one pass is intimidating to me.
 

Mike Wenzloff

Member
Messages
290
Location
Forest Grove, Oregon USA
Heh Heh...I probably shouldn't look in the "still packed" moving boxes for pictures of me falling 4' Yellow Pines on cliff ledges...or the 12' Cedars or 4'-6' Fir trees. Or mention the exploding White Pines :rofl:

I have only been seriously hurt with hand tools. Not the shapers, not the table saws nor the routers. Just good old chisels and hand saws.

Well, I did once roll a rubber-tired log skidder over 200' down a mountain side once. That was a power tool [of sorts ;) ]

Take care, Mike
 

Frank Fusco

Well-known member
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12,181
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
that's chilling Frank. thanks for sharing from your son's experience.

...especially this part "I never do it that way, but just this once........"

when you do things differently and get hurt is that likely to be something you're doing out of laziness, tiredness or experimentation? Or is that too broad to say?
Yes, that is true. He is a Board Certified emergency room physician in a Level 1 trauma unit in a mid-sized city. He sees three or four finger amputations a month on guys just like us. :eek:
Recently, on a penturning forum, I told the story of how I completely messed up a pen and fine piece of wood. My mind was on an important family matter and I hardly recall being in the shop or using the lathe. :eek:
I was real lucky. It cost me a $5.00 piece of wood and some time. Another tool combined with my absentmindedness and it could have cost fingers. :(
 

Jeff Horton

Well-known member
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4,268
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The Heart of Dixie
As for a shaper, I think it would mangle a finger, hand or any other body part just as fast a router. There may be a point in that it won't stall out as easy as a router but if you get a finger in it it won't matter. If it launches a part into orbit I don't think the speed matters either.

I have been hit by missiles from the table saw and it was because I did something wrong. I cut my finger on the bandsaw recently. Scared me big time as I thought I had really opened up a big gash. Once the adrenalin settled and I looked, it was just a small cut. I have been cut several times by chisels. You can shave with my chisels and I am more scared of getting a serious cut from them than probably anything in my shop. My bandsaw scares me some because of the open blade and the fact my fingers are so close. I could go on with just about all the tools.

I don't think any tool is inherently dangerous. The fact is they all can be dangerous and hurt you bad in heart beat. The one uncontrollable factor is the operator and any tool in the right hands can be dangerous. Even hammers can kill people.

Jeff
 

Jim King

Member
Messages
39
Tools

The only tool that actually REALLY SCARES me to use is the jointer. Over the years I have seen to many fingers dissapear. It is much worse doing production work as you slowly become half asleep from the repetative nature of the work. When we started our business a long time ago it was just my wife and myself, I made some wooden gaurds that when edging 1/4 and 1/2 boards it was impossible for her to get a hand near the blades.
 

Frank Fusco

Well-known member
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12,181
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
The only tool that actually REALLY SCARES me to use is the jointer. Over the years I have seen to many fingers dissapear. It is much worse doing production work as you slowly become half asleep from the repetative nature of the work. When we started our business a long time ago it was just my wife and myself, I made some wooden gaurds that when edging 1/4 and 1/2 boards it was impossible for her to get a hand near the blades.
Do I dare say this?....and risk a friendship? :eek:
With HER using the planer, YOUR hands could never get near the blades. :thumb: Oh, well. I guess my next book will have to be set in Siberia. :rofl:
 

Bruce Page

Member
Messages
1,099
Location
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I once ran a Giddings & Lewis vertical turret lathe that had a 120” chuck/faceplate driven by a 100hp motor. That machine scared the hell out of me every time I hit the green button. I gave that machine a lot of respect :eek:
 

Ian Abraham

Member
Messages
97
Location
New Zealand
For all the mucking about we do with chainsaws and sawmills, a couple of months back my tree cutting buddy practically amputated his finger what an AXE :eek: :huh:

He's got the pins, screws and stitches out now, but is still working on getting something like normal movement in it. So it's often not the power or the percieved danger, it's the operator error / taking the tool for granted.

Cheers

Ian.

PS.. He tells me the docs reattached his finger (joined tendons, drilled the bone out for pins and stitched it all up) under LOCAL anaesthetic. He got to watch the whole thing and said "Well now I know what my finger looks like inside". The Doc wouldn't let him take pics of the operation with his cell phone though :doh:
 

tod evans

Well-known member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
i`d say that i agree with the most dangerous powertool being one that`s poorly maintained, specifically one with dull cutters....
shapers/routers-n-moulders will turn meat into hamburger....no repairs!
saws on the otherhand will usually leave parts to reattach....
when i worked in the e-r many moons ago the utility knife was the most frequent cause of e-r visits....
for myself i need to be very carefull using the bandsaw `cause after a short time i notice my eyes drooping kinda following the downward path of the blade....
i really don`t think there is one "best" answer to the question......every person has different work habbits, fears and abilities and should try to be aware of their own weaknesses......tod
 
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Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,846
Location
Tokyo Japan
I'd say the newest tool you own, as you may not know how exactly it operates.

The chainsaw is the one the scares most people being around them, they are noisy and those flying gnashing teeth, but really, I think that the obvious danger makes them a lot safer. I know that when I fire one up, my spidey sense goes into over drive.

I'd done more damage to myself with hand tools than anything else, thank goodness, as they take smaller bites :rolleyes:

Cheers!
 

Dick Rowe

Member
Messages
2
Location
North Central Wisconsin
I would take a different stance and say that the most dangerous tool is the one you are MOST comfortable with, and use all the time.

Once you take something for granted, become complacent towards it, and lose any sense of fear you may have about it's use ... it will bite you.
 

Mike Jory

Member
Messages
59
Location
San Francisco East Bay Area
Although I think every tool I own can be dangerous, like running with a screwdriver, it's the jointer, then the table saw, then the band saw. The jointer doesn't lend itself to feather boards and stuff easily. And those are huge blades spinning near the work. The pressure on the work piece is slightly downward, and forward to move the piece, similar to the TS, but it just freaks me out. So I'm very cautious, I think twice and make dry runs over the jointer.
I try to remember to also not push my fingers into the band saw blade, before it comes out the end of the cut.
Like many said above, everything is a problem if you get distracted, or forgetful. The one time I actually got away with yelling at my wife, was when she startled me in the shop while using a power tool.
I also have a lathe, and was thankful that I was wearing a full face shield. DAMHIKT:D
 
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Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
This is a quick note just to say hello to folks who may have made their way over here from the WoodNet forum.

I asked over there what they thought about the most dangerous power tools... and gave them a link to this thread so they could see what FamilyWoodworking thought

There are some good answers over there, but I wanted to point out this guy who really got creative... hilarious!!!
http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB2&Number=2889210&Forum=,All_Forums,&Words=&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Main=2888857&Search=true&where=&Name=26585&daterange=&newerval=&newertype=&olderval=&oldertype=&bodyprev=#Post2889210
 

Steve Ash

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2,437
Location
Michigan
After thinking about this since the topic started, my thought immediately was the shaper, then the jointer....I even got slightly "bit" by the tablesaw on my left thumb a few days ago, surely that would sway my opinion....but the one tool I have had the most "accidents" with on the job site, I'm not sure it can be considered a power tool although it needs some air to power it....that tool that has been the cause of more jobsite "blood and bandaids" is my air powered framing nailers.
 

Travis Porter

Member
Messages
292
Location
Wake Forest, NC
I have been bit myself with a pin nailer once. It was an el cheapo without a safety. Fiddling around with too much in my hands and hit the trigger. It stayed in flesh in my hand (no bone), but the LOML had me get rid of it and buy one with a safety.
 

Steve Ash

Member
Messages
2,437
Location
Michigan
Well this one had a safety ....picture below is like the gun I've had a few encounters with.

It all goes back to the operator and not the tool, every one of the accidents on the jobsite was because someone put their fingers too close to the stud and top plate when framing up walls, and misjudged where the nail was going.

Never life threatening, but still very painful. :eek: When my older brother worked for me he shot one 16c.c. half way through his index finger...luckily it completely missed the bone. Been shot by myself a couple of times too.
 

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I think a few of you are getting the Most Dangerous Tool mixed up with the most common tool found in the shop. What I mean is, I too have heard that the Table Saw is given the top billing for dangerous tool because it is the one that causes the most injuries overall in this nations hospitals.

But I think a lot of that is not really the machine itself, it is the popularity of the tool. I might be wrong but I think a lot of non-woodworkers have a tablesaw in their possession and lack other tools. Its just the first tool many people get. With the popularity of miter saws getting bigger every year, it only makes sense that its number two.

That is the problem with statistics, it really only states part of the answer. Myself I think the tool you are most complacent with is the one that is the most dangerous. They all need respect.

In my shop it is my 18 inch wide jointer that is the most dangerous. Built in 1865, safety devices were not even heard of yet. Just looking at that beast scares the crap out of me.
 
Do I dare say this?....and risk a friendship? :eek:
With HER using the planer, YOUR hands could never get near the blades. :thumb: Oh, well. I guess my next book will have to be set in Siberia. :rofl:
"The only tool that actually REALLY SCARES me to use is the jointer. Over the years I have seen to many fingers dissapear. It is much worse doing production work as you slowly become half asleep from the repetative nature of the work. When we started our business a long time ago it was just my wife and myself, I made some wooden gaurds that when edging 1/4 and 1/2 boards it was impossible for her to get a hand near the blades."

I'm trying to follow you Frank but I don't see where Jim said anything about a planer.:wave: :dunno:
 
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