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Thread: Must have safety accessories for older TS

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Greenfield, MA
    Posts
    1
    Woodstock Board Buddies are a cheaper alternative to the (awesome looking) JessEm guides. Thanks to Trent Davis’s page https://www.trentdavis.net/wp/2018/0...sawstop-links/ for clueing me into them. I haven’t tried them yet but when I’m ready to splurge again on more store-bought jiggery, I’m tempted.

    I’m relatively new to woodworking but some principles I’ve gathered follow.

    When using push sticks to rip, avoid the antipattern of making contact only with the near end of the work. Doing so keeps your hands further from the blade (the visible danger), but it increases the risk of kickback (the invisible danger) - it’s the far end that the blade is trying to lift; pushing the near end away from you horizontally does nothing to control this; and it’s easy to push down as well, which helps lever the far end upwards. The style of stick that bears along the top face of the piece instead of the near end is safer.

    Bob Van Dyke’s shop-built L Fence can’t be used on through cuts, but it avoids a number of kickback opportunities for rabbets and tenons.

    The less material is cut off, the easier it is for the blade to grab ahold of it, but the less damage it can do when it hits you. You can plan your cuts around: workpiece control, avoiding captive pieces, and minimizing the mass of possible captives. (Sometimes these are competing concerns.)

    I like to take an adversarial approach: okay, saw, what ammunition am I giving you today (by sending it to the rear of the blade and letting you grab both sides of it), how might you use it, and do I want to re-plan my cut now that I’ve thought of that. It sounds like a lot of work but you quickly build up a set of idioms for how to make each kind of cut.
    Last edited by Oliver Steele; 05-22-2019 at 5:52 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    19,701
    A good alignment

    22124 Alingment 009.jpg

    Splitter
    ZCI

    ZCI-gap-002.jpg

    Grr-Ripper

    MJ Splitter and Grr-Ripper 002.jpg

    Sled(s)
    Outfeed support
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 05-23-2019 at 9:29 AM.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    16
    Hello Joe,

    I have the same saw, and share your concerns about safety.

    Before doing anything else, I recommend going through the owners manual (there are digital copies available online). In addition to the safety information, it is important to ensure your saw is set up correctly. Among other things: it is essential to ensure the table is properly aligned with the bade, and also that the fence is aligned with the table and locks down securely. I deliberately angle my fence very slightly away from the blade, to reduce the possibility of binding against the back of the blade, but not everyone agrees with this approach.

    One challenge you face with the Ridgid TS3660 is that the stock splitter is not full dimension and so it may not be worth much for prevent kickback (the guard includes pawls for that, which are okay at best). Installing an after-market splitter, either shop-made or the MicroJig, prevents the installation of the Ridgid blade guard. As a result: you are faced with keeping the original blade guard installed and forgoing an adequate splitter, or omitting or replacing that guard so that a proper splitter can be fitted.

    As for guards, the Shark Guard is a good choice provided that you only plan to make through cuts (a considerable limitation). To accommodate partial depth cuts or dado cuts, you need to choose an over-arm blade guard. I would select a floor standing over-arm guard rather than one that clamps to the table, because the forces applied when clamping these long appendages to corner of the table can flex on all but the sturdiest tops.

    I have a pair of GRR-Ripper push blocks that I like for some operations, but generally I prefer to use push blocks that I make myself from scraps of 2x10 lumber. With the blocks I make myself, I run them straight through the blade when ripping small pieces, and replace as needed. I keep a variety at hand, with different sizes and hooks.

    I have the JessEm TS Stock Guides installed on my saw (a tight fit on the Ridgid fence), and I feel that this contraption does improve the quality and safety of my ripping. Not all cutting operations are compatible with these guides, however. They can be tricky or impossible to use when ripping small pieces.

    Feather boards may also be useful, in some cases. Please note that placing a feather board behind the blade will pinch any off-cut against the back of the blade, which is a sure way to cause kickback. I like the MagSwitch feather boards, but there are many quality options available.

    As Rick mentions, a crosscut sled is invaluable for cross cutting and/or working with small pieces of wood. There are many good tutorials for building a crosscut sled, but I am partial to William Ng’s method (see youtube).

    The downside of safety accessories is that these devices can contribute to increased complacency. There is absolutely no substitution for working carefully. If you are less than confident about how to handle yourself around the saw, education is strongly recommended. Be selective about who you learn from, however. I’ve known several experienced woodworkers, both amateur and professional, who do not use so much as a splitter or riving on their saws, let alone a blade guard.

    Best of luck.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  4. #19
    Thanks for the outpouring of info guys. Spent a good amount of time last night and today refreshing and learning some new things about what TS can do. Always liked Stumpy Nubs and how informative he is. Ibuilditscrapbin is another youtuber I like.

    I've always liked push blocks and think I'll make my own and get a couple of bigger L Shaped push sticks. Also looking at making a small sled once I get squared away.

    Ryan thanks for the info. I've been thumbing through my manual and I'm in the middle of assembling my table and the guard support (part i55) didn't come with my table. Sharkguard said he's fabricated that piece along with the other guard attachment so I may be a bit limited here unless I go standalone (still need to research a bit more).

    How did your saw do cutting 8/4 hardwoods like maple and walnut? What blade did you find worked best with our motor? I've been looking at a Freud 30t Glue Line Rip and a Freud 24t (LU87R010).


    I'm definitely going to be getting back into things a bit slow and steady. I'm in no rush to crank anything out just trying to get some piece of mind.

    Thanks again everyone for the insight.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    4,349
    When making those 'L' shaped push sticks, be aware of the grain if you use solid wood. You don't want to have the handle connected to the bottom with just a bit of horizontal grain. Snap!

    I make mine from plywood. Much less chance of it breaking.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Frank View Post
    How did your saw do cutting 8/4 hardwoods like maple and walnut? What blade did you find worked best with our motor? I've been looking at a Freud 30t Glue Line Rip and a Freud 24t (LU87R010).
    Hello Joe,

    I use the 1/8" version of the Freud 24T (LM72R010) as my primary ripping blade on the TS3660, and I have been satisfied with it. So long as the blade is clean and my pace is even, I can usually rip 8/4 sugar/rock maple without burning or excessive bogging.

    When I do notice the saw starting to struggle, I simply make my cut in two passes rather than one. I have occasionally had issues with deflection when using thin kerfed blades (the saw plate is also thinner), and given the above I chose the heavier option. I also lack the ambition to make and manage any more zero-clearance throat plates than I have to, so I have standardized on 1/8” blades in my shop.

    I do not have experience with the Freud Glue Line blade you mentioned. As a general comment, I recommend dedicated ripping and crosscutting blades rather than a combination offering. Eventually you will want multiples of each style so you can keep working when one is out of rotation for cleaning or sharpening.

    Regards,
    Ryan

    *edited for formatting

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    When making those 'L' shaped push sticks, be aware of the grain if you use solid wood. You don't want to have the handle connected to the bottom with just a bit of horizontal grain. Snap!

    I make mine from plywood. Much less chance of it breaking.
    Thanks for the tip!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Lloyd View Post
    Hello Joe,

    I use the 1/8" version of the Freud 24T as my primary ripping blade on the TS3660, and I have been satisfied with it. So long as the blade is clean and my pace is even, I can usually rip 8/4 sugar/rock maple without burning or excessive bogging.

    When I do notice the saw starting to struggle, I simply make my cut in two passes rather than one. I have occasionally had issues with deflection when using thin kerfed blades (the saw plate is also thinner), and given the above I chose the heavier option. I also lack the ambition to make and manage any more zero-clearance throat plates than I have to, so I have standardized on 1/8” blades in my shop.

    I do not have experience with the Freud Glue Line blade you mentioned. As a general comment, I recommend dedicated ripping and crosscutting blades rather than a combination offering. Eventually you will want multiples of each style so you can keep working when one is out of rotation for cleaning or sharpening.

    Regards,
    Ryan

    *edited for formatting
    Thanks for the recommendation I'll check out that blade. I do like using thicker blades for bigger stock, and I've been eyeing a used jointer that's cheap locally. I kind of figured this 8/4 I need to cut up may be seeing two cuts.

    Just got done sanding a bunch of rust off the table and she's cleaning up good. Still need to get the dremel and wire wheel out for the miter slots . Fingers crossed they clean up well. Small price to pay I suppose for the good deal I got on her.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,530
    Hi Joe, for the saw you’ll need a blade guard and splitter or riding knife.

    The design of the saw will dictate whether it can use a riding knife or splitter.

    Never run the saw without a guard, period.

    If you can’t perform an operation with the guard in place, you’re either using the wrong guard, or the wrong machine.

    Guards can either be commercial or shop made.

    A good set of push blocks and sticks is also required.....Regards, Rod

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,524
    The best safety accessory that you can have for using any woodworking power tool is your brain, and you need to completely clear it of any side distractions when using a power tool, especially when using a table saw or router. Always take a moment to imagine what you are about to do before you begin doing it to assure that you will do it safely. Do not be distracted by anything until the cut is complete.

    Build yourself an imaginary safety bubble around the cutting area of your tool in your brain that is at least 6" in diameter. If you ever find yourself putting your fingers or any part of your body into or even very close to this imaginary bubble, stop immediately, and find another way to do what is needed. Bigger, longer push stick, clamp the piece in a wooden clamp, use a different tool, etc.

    Use push sticks that also hold down your work as well as push it forward. Make these push devices large enough to keep your hands outside the 6" bubble when you use them.

    Take special care when cutting material that is less than 1 foot in either dimension. They can easily bind the blade and result in kick-back.

    Never trap an off cut between the fence and the blade. The off cut must be able to fall free.

    Never use the miter gauge at the same time that you use the fence, unless you have set the fence length to end just before the blade cuts the material. In this case you would be using the fence as a length stop for cross cutting many short pieces. The cut pieces must be able to fall free from the blade as they are cut.

    Never make a fence or miter gauge adjustment with the table saw running.

    Never reach over a spinning blade. Add an out feed table to support the work as it exits the blade. Stop the saw or go around the side of the saw to reach the cut parts.

    Use a push device or piece of scrap to push small off cuts safely away from the blade or stop the saw before attempting to remove them.

    Keep the saw table surface clear of everything but the wood being cut, even the part of the table that is on the back side of the fence, except for multiple pieces being staged as the next identical pieces to be cut and do not stack them high. Make certain that all scrap is kept off of the saw table while the saw is being used. Stop the saw to clear the table of scrap.

    Never stand with your body directly in line with the saw blade as you use the saw. If a helper is working on the out feed side of the saw they should never be in line with the blade either.

    Never use the saw to rip boards unless a splitter or riving knife is in place. Anti kick-back pawls should also be used, if possible.

    Avoid setting the blade height higher than necessary for the work being cut. One tooth height above is all that should be necessary.

    When doing blind cuts, like DADOs, never allow your hands to pass over the blade area when feeding the work. A thin spot in the work or a blade height adjustment lock failure could raise the blade up through the top surface of the work. I've added a ceiling mounted laser line generator that shows the cut line of my table saw. It extends from past the front and back of my saw and completely across the table. This helps me keep long pieces lined up with the fence and blade, but it's main purpose is to keep me fully aware of where not to put my hands as I feed the work. If the red line is ever on my hands, they are in the wrong place.

    My wife and children (now grown) have been taught never to enter my shop if a power tool is running. Always to wait until I acknowledge them or I turn the tool off.


    I hope these rules, that I do my best to follow, will help keep you safe too. We humans tend to forget and do erratic things sometimes, so accidents can and do happen. I do my best to live by all of these shop rules, but I too am guilty of a shortcut every now and then because my brain doesn't always keep on track. Fortunately I've never done this at exactly the wrong time. I've been woodworking for over 65 years and have had no serious woodworking related injuries. At the age of 8 my uncle taught me to use a table saw and other woodworking tools safely, mostly stressing his 6" rule for staying away from the sharp spinning thing.


    Charley

  10. #25
    Wow thanks for the great input guys!

    I've been watching a number of videos and am very surprised how much safety info there is now compared to the late 90's when I was actually last using a TS.

    Charley what brand is your laser mount? I have one on my craftsman chop saw that I really like.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    78
    Joe - Great advise from everyone above. Like Roger, I keep duplicates of all my blades on hand so I can have a sharp blade. I didn't see using the correct blade mentioned above (sorry if i missed this). When I started out I used a combo blade to rip hardwoods. Then the sharpening store told me about a 24 tooth rip blade. Wow - It changed my life.

    I also use the Shark Guard - It's a great solution. Just understand that it's a splitter and not a riving knife. With the anti-kickback prawls, blade guard and splitter it offers good safety. And it has added benefit of additional dust collection.

  12. #27
    Sharp blades are must for me. I'll be ripping primarily 8/4 walnut to begin with. When I can I'll use my chop saw. I'd like to have a heavier duty band saw but that's down the road.

    I'm in talks with the fine gentleman at Shark Guard. He's been very helpful. Even helped sorry to save me some money looking for a guard attachment for my saw.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,524
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Frank View Post
    Sharp blades are must for me. I'll be ripping primarily 8/4 walnut to begin with. When I can I'll use my chop saw. I'd like to have a heavier duty band saw but that's down the road.

    I'm in talks with the fine gentleman at Shark Guard. He's been very helpful. Even helped sorry to save me some money looking for a guard attachment for my saw.
    Joe,

    My laser unit came from Woodline www.woodline.com or call them at 1-800-472-6950, but they stopped selling it several years ago. You could contact them, ask to speak to Wayne. He might still have a few, but not list them in the catalog. They had been in their catalog, but just before I bought mine they had been left out of the new catalog. I called and asked, and he did have a few left, so I ended up buying two, one for myself and one for my son. It's been about 10 years since I did this.

    My laser unit is powered by a wall wort type power supply that is plugged into a ceiling outlet near my Unisaw. A small single button remote came with it that I attached to the top of my Unifence casting with a piece of Velcro, so I can change the battery if I ever need to. The remote is for turning the laser on and off. You can mount the laser unit roughly above the saw and then make final adjustments of the laser position and it's line angle to be in line with the saw blade. The laser is in a gimble mount and can be moved/turned easily. Doing this is a bit tricky and hard to get accurate, but some persistence will get it very close. This unit was originally sold as a saw guide and not a safety device. To me, it really isn't accurate enough for that, but I saw the benefit to use it as a safety improvement, and I've been very happy with it for this purpose.

    Charley

  14. #29
    Thanks Charley! I was actually at the hardware store today looking at a few lasers and how I might mount them. I wouldn't use them as a cutting line but as you say a guide. May be overkill but they're cheap now a days. I do like the the one on my chop saw. Maybe I could mount one on the TS guard? Hmmm

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    Joe, give Wayne at Woodline a call before you do this. He may still have some left. It was advertised in their catalog as a guide and not a safety device, so it didn't seem to sell well. They pulled it from their catalog with some still on the shelf. The batteries are likely very dead by now, but he may still have one or two that will work with new batteries. I didn't pay the full catalog price for the ones that I bought, because they needed batteries too, but I don't remember how much I paid for them. I like mine a lot, but consider it as a safety device more than a guide. Having the wireless remote on the saw fence makes it easy to turn on and off, so I use it often. If plugged in you will only need a battery for the remote.

    Charley
    Last edited by Charles Lent; 05-26-2019 at 1:43 PM.

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