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Thread: A New Way of Injuring Yourself on the Bandsaw!

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by David Walser View Post
    Edward -- You're being unfair to Alan Stratton, who was courageous enough to post a video that did not show himself in the best light. He did that only to alert our community to a possible safety issue -- knowing that many would take shots at him for being careless and/or showing disregard for safety rules. Perhaps, based on this video alone, you might feel justified in lodging such a charge against him. However, if you were more acquainted with his body of work, you would realize that Alan stresses following safe practices in his videos.

    Two additional comments: First, if your bandsaw fully encloses the blade on the left-hand side of the blade, great! Alan's video does not apply to your saw. However, the riser block kit you linked to on Rockler's website does NOT fully enclose the blade. The blade guard is a U-shaped channel that protects access to the blade from the sides, not the front. (The front has to be open to allow the blade to be removed from or installed on the saw.) As John said, the front gap is narrow so that most fingers cannot reach deep enough into the slot to contact the blade. Newer bandsaws deal with this issue differently. Some, cover the slot with the door that opens to reveal the top wheel. Others have a deeper and more narrow slot than does the older Delta design. These newer designs make what happened to Alan all-but impossible.

    Second, in a prior life I worked at a furniture mill. Part of my job was to teach crew-members how to use a 14" Delta bandsaw. None of the OSHA approved training materials addressed this issue. However, beanbags WERE an OSHA approved tool for preventing items being cut from rolling.
    The guard I linked to can only be attached in one way and will then enclosed the blade from all sides, see photo
    Whether you think I'm being unfair or mean spirited towards the man is the video is irrelevant, to me it's all about safety. You post a video for public consumption, you get all the comments.
    Yes it may be a good thing he pointed out his mistake but it should have never happened in the first place.
    Whether it's lack of knowledge, negligence or some other reason, it's unnecessarily dangerous.
    IMO you should not be operating a power tool of this nature if your acceptable level of safety puts you that close to injury every time you use the tool.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Mesa, Arizona
    Dude -- You are operating from the false(!) premise that the guard on your machine is identical to the one on Alan's. In your first post, you wrote: "I think someone didn't install the plastic guard." Alan's machine did NOT come with a guard that fully encloses the blade on the left-hand side of the saw. My saw, an original Delta, also with an original Delta riser block, does NOT have such a guard. The saw -- as designed -- is dangerous in this respect. That was the entire point of Alan's video! It was an alert to those of us who have this type of saw that we should do something to protect ourselves from this design 'defect'.

    It does not help anyone to turn this into a moral failing on Alan's part. The guard you suggest he neglected to install did not come with his saw. The part does NOT come with the riser kit sold by Rockler. Take a look at this picture from Rockler's website:


    The picture shows the riser block and the blade guard installed on the saw. The slot through which the blade runs is completely open to the front. The blade guard on my saw is virtually identical, except, being a Delta that dates back to the 1970's, the guard is made out of metal. But, like the Jet version, the slot is uncovered. I currently have a 1/2" blade installed on my saw. The blade is properly centered on the wheels. The tips of the blade's teeth are below the sides of the blade guard. Yet, I can feel the tips of the teeth with the pads of my fingers. If the saw were running, I'd get cut. I wouldn't lose a finger, but it would be a nasty cut. Allow me to stress: This is with a properly installed 1/2" blade on a saw that has ALL of its safety guards in place.

    Nor does it help to suggest that Alan was somehow lax in his attention to safety. Allow me to reiterate that I used to run one of these saws in a furniture mill and was responsible for teaching others how to use the saw safely. Until Alan posted this video, I had no idea such an accident was even possible. I've used a Delta 14" bandsaw for hundreds of hours. I know the saws very well. Yet, I had no idea I could be cut on the left-hand side of the saw! It's hard to follow a safety rule if you don't know it exists. It's also hard to avoid a danger you don't know is there. This is why safety rules are taught. We cannot rely on 'common sense' or 'being aware' to avoid accidents in the workshop. Instead, we need to rely on safety rules that were learned by analyzing the injuries suffered by the thousands of woodworkers who passed before us.

    Lastly, allow me to address why I'm harping on this: Saying, as you did, that Alan's injury was the result of a combination of laziness (not installing the guard), laxness in safety, and stupidity, does no one any favors. It tells those of us with similar machines we need not worry -- because none of us are similarly lazy, lax, nor stupid. Worse, it tells the rest of us that we risk being run down on the internet as lazy, lax, and stupid, if we alert anyone to a potential safety issue. Laying this at Alan's feet discourages us from learning from his accident and it discourages the free flow of safety related information.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  3. #18
    I simply disagree and the guard in not installed correctly IMO.
    If you're not aware that running a saw without a guard is a safety issue, I don't know what to say.
    I offer my opinion and pootos only to help others avoid injury.
    Turn the blade guard around and completely cover the blade.
    please be safe

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Tampa Bay area
    Here is another picture, this time from page 17 of the Jet bandsaw manual.
    Also a picture taken from the Grizzly site of their 14" classic bandsaw.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Robert Hayward; 08-23-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  5. #20
    It's your safety, take control over it. In this case, the manual is simply wrong.
    Take the guard off, flip it end over end, re-attach so that the channel covers the teeth. Anyone who see's this design and thinks ,"i'll install it like the diagram or picture" needs to stop and think about what they're doing. Cover the teeth

    I know many think I'm being harsh or a jerk or whatever but if one person doesn't chop off a finger I'm okay with that.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Martinsville, VA
    In my opinion, the video is simply a reminder of a potential hazard of a common bandsaw design element. (Disregarding the beanbag.)
    When we use these tools day in and day out, we often lose sight of hazards.
    We cannot eliminate all hazards and cannot realistically expect tool manufacturers to do so either.
    We are soft-skinned animals using power tools to cut up hard objects.
    As long as we stay aware of and mindful of these hazards, we are a step ahead.
    I still feel safer in my wood shop than I do in traffic. Even poorly designed machines are more predictable than drivers around here.

    My bandsaw is a Grizzly G0555LX that I bought new less than two years ago. It is basically another copy of the Delta 14" that most of us are familiar with.
    This one has a plastic guide channel for the blade but does not have a cover over the blade. I suppose the guide could be modified and turned over to cover the blade but I don't see too many folks going to that trouble. I don't see myself doing this.

    The power switch is mounted against the blade guide and the buttons are adjacent to the guide slot.
    I have not installed a riser kit yet so I don't know how that affects the situation.
    I have only used a 3/8 blade on this saw. With a properly adjusted 3/8 blade, the teeth are about 1/2" deep in the narrow guide channel. It should be extremely difficult to touch the moving teeth. However, with a wider blade it may be easier. I can also think of multiple conditions or errors that could cause the blade to run closer to the front of the guide channel.

    The locknut on my top wheel adjustment screw has vibrated loose in the past. Had I not noticed it, this might have allowed the blade to run forward on the wheel.
    Pulling a work piece forward may pull the blade forward on the wheel.
    I had a blade snap a couple weeks ago. (It was at least a year old and had been sharpened a couple times.) A fatigued and stress-cracked blade could run off the wheel.
    As it happened, when my blade snapped, the blade stopped immediately and was safely contained under the wheel cover. If the blade had separated in a different point in its path, I can see how it could have shot around guide, directly at the power switch.

    When the blade broke, I heard a couple seconds of tick-tick-tick and had enough time to wonder what the sound was and reach for the switch as it snapped with a loud Whack!

    These are just hazards to remember. If we discourage or chastise those who give us these reminders, we lose the advantage of the reminders.
    These discussions are good. They make us think about things we normally overlook or accept.
    This as long as we keep it as discussion and not argument.

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