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Thread: Table Saw Kickback

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Central New Jersey
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    493

    Table Saw Kickback

    So I did something stupid. I was cutting out a slot from a piece of plywood, making two cuts to a hole 3/4 inch hold I made in the board. Well instead of shutting the saw before backing out the board, I pulled it back and the blade caught the wood, turned it a bit and shot it at me. It was luck being punched in the gut. It broke the skin a bit and I will have a heck of a black and blue. The good news, only damage to the saw was a bit of damage to my zero clearance insert.

    With the power of the saw tossing that board makes me thing of what could happen if it was a hand. I think my router table upgrade will wait and a sawstop is now in the front-runner of my next tool.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
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    956
    Glad that you were not injured worse.

    I have a hard time with partial information, and prefer photos of the set-up, so that i am sure that I understand exactly what the situation was. The size of the plywood, the fence setting, cut that caused the problem, at what point it happened etc..It all helps give us a clear picture of what happened and how.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
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    I'm glad you are okay.

    It is always better to shut down than it is to back out of a cut.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Central New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    Glad that you were not injured worse.

    I have a hard time with partial information, and prefer photos of the set-up, so that i am sure that I understand exactly what the situation was. The size of the plywood, the fence setting, cut that caused the problem, at what point it happened etc..It all helps give us a clear picture of what happened and how.
    Mark,

    The plywood was small, 10 inches wide, 16 inches deep i was cutting a 3/4 inch wide slot a a few inches deep into the 16 end of the piece of wood. This required 2 cuts from the edge of the board to the hole i bored into the wood. When making the first cut, i was backing the board out after the cut was complete, and the black caught the board and kicked it back at me. I normally would shut the saw off and let the black stop before backing the board from the saw.

  5. #5
    I'm glad you weren't seriously injured. Offcuts at 60 mph leave a mark. I still bear a light scar on my forearm from a kickback 25 years ago.

    Sawstop is good technology but its not a failsafe for bad procedure. A riving knife (which Sawstop has) might have prevented this kickback, but a better approach might have been to use a bandsaw or stop the tablesaw cut before completing the cut. As Mark said, photos or a drawing would better show what happened and might help someone else avoid the same problem.

  6. #6
    Some are overly careful, cutting too…sloooleee.. that makes the wood heat up and move and pinch ….and “here’s the pinch-pitch”…”it’s a high fly hit to the gut ! “. Another tip : buy and USE a RIP blade ….and avoid R.I.P.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
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    1,781
    Glad it wasn't more serious. Hope you heal quickly. Don't be misled that a Sawstop will prevent kickback. A riving knife is helpful but not a guarantee. A sliding table saw would probably be the safest at preventing kick back. There are several videos on kickback if you google it. I always shut the saw off before reaching in by the blade to retrieve cut offs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
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    3,023
    I have several faint scars above my belt right side. I don’t call them scars apprentice marks is more accurate. I had a unisaw that lived to throw cuts offs. My current saw has never once thrown anything. Weird
    Last edited by Andrew Hughes; 10-31-2021 at 6:37 PM.
    Aj

  9. #9
    It's happened to me and I agree, it's scary as crap. Glad you are ok.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    58,730
    Thanks for the poignant reminder... 'glad you are ok. It's amazing at how fast, hard and far that a table saw blade can throw a piece of wood, even a larger one. And with a typical North American cabinet saw or similar, the operator is often right in the line of fire, too. (I'm currently re-training myself because I'm using a cabinet saw in my temporary shop for space reasons and have been a slider user for a decade and a half with a completely different standing position)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    I stand where ever i need to stand to feed the material properly. You will guys feeding longer solid standing at a saw right hand side on the material. No. How anyone can get a kick back with a riving knife ? First saw ive ever had has one now and I feel like im using a crutch albeit a good one.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Rapp View Post
    Mark,

    The plywood was small, 10 inches wide, 16 inches deep i was cutting a 3/4 inch wide slot a a few inches deep into the 16 end of the piece of wood. This required 2 cuts from the edge of the board to the hole i bored into the wood. When making the first cut, i was backing the board out after the cut was complete, and the black caught the board and kicked it back at me. I normally would shut the saw off and let the black stop before backing the board from the saw.
    It sounds like a riving knife would have made no difference given the short length of the offcut. Stopping the cut before reaching the hole and finishing with a handsaw would have been safer.

  13. #13
    what does backing out mean, you pulled it back towards you?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Central New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    I'm glad you weren't seriously injured. Offcuts at 60 mph leave a mark. I still bear a light scar on my forearm from a kickback 25 years ago.

    Sawstop is good technology but its not a failsafe for bad procedure. A riving knife (which Sawstop has) might have prevented this kickback, but a better approach might have been to use a bandsaw or stop the tablesaw cut before completing the cut. As Mark said, photos or a drawing would better show what happened and might help someone else avoid the same problem.
    Yes sawstop would not have helped me from this situation, but it made me think of 'what if'. And yes, after I had the kickback I realized the bandsaw would have worked way better for this.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Central New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    what does backing out mean, you pulled it back towards you?
    Yes. I've made this cut before, I always turn the saw off and let the blade stop before pulling it back. From now on, I do this one on the bandsaw.

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