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Another Shop Safety Warning


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So, I was making some panel and frame cabnet doors, using my table saw to angle the edges of the panel. I have a great panel jig, it supports the panel on the side and the back, and I put a clamp on it to hold it in place.

I grabbed one of those inexpensive metal bar clamps that you find everywhere for a few bucks. The bar had teeth, and it has a wooden handle to tighten. I had tightened it down nice, and ran a couple of panels through.

BAM, the saw blade exploded. The teeth on the clamp were worn, and the clamp slipped and dropped into the blade. It ripped the carbide teeth off the blade and sent them into my stomach. It took me 10 minutes to dig the carbide tips out of my gut. It looked like I'd been shot by a shotgun. No permanent damage, but sure did ruin my day. I'm glad I have a little fat around the middle.

Needless to say, now if I use a clamp anywhere around the table saw, I cut a slot in the jig to support it if it comes loose, I've been known to duct tape them in place now to be on the safe side.

I've seen this done on many TV shows, and books. Put a clamp on it to hold the panel at the top of the jig. I didn't stop to think what would happen if it slipped. Now I know.

-John

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to hear that happened to you and glad there was no major damage to you. I'm also glad you posted this. I think sometimes we do something so many times and nothing goes wrong that we take for granted that something could. This is a good reminder to think what could go wrong and how to prevent it. I am a hunter and the first thing that was grilled into me is to always know what is behind the target and where a bullet could travel. The same type of rule applies in the shop. Ask yourself "What could go wrong and what can I do to stop it".

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Woh, that's crazy! I'm glad you're not seriously injured. My father is a former contractor, and as such he has instilled in me a healthy fear of power tools. You can never underestimate those things! (I guess I'm preachin' to the choir though! :D)

Good job we all wear safety glasses around heavy woodworking machinery eh?

:D

CMA

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Yes, I think I was lucky.

I respect my table saw most of all. It's one of those 500 pound cast iron cabenet saws. It cuts 3 inch white oak like butter. The problem is, that 3 hp motor will throw a board that binds right across the room and inbed it in the wall. Ask me how I know.

I always stand to the side of the cut and use the safety features when I can. Obviously you can't use the plastic guard when cutting vertical panels..

Power tools can bite you. They deserve respect.

-John

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Power tools can bite you. They deserve respect.

-John

That is the very reason I am a fan of hand tools. Those whilring, spinning, finger eating devils scare me. I use power tools when I have to, I don't feel like cutting a neck pocket by hand. But if I can use a hand plane to do something, I will everytime.

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There is a furniture shop near my workshop. I know the guys and sometime, I go take a coffee or whatever with them. We were talking about shop security, and one the guy showed me a piece of MDF that had a 1/2" piece of rock, hidden inside. These guys never uses glasses, gloves and whatever security devices they should use.

Imagine if that rock got cought in the mitre saw blade, or any other power tools, and went flying. It can also damage the blade, and throw shrapnels through the air. Funny thing, he was laughing his ass out while telling the story... He wouldn't laught after loosing an eye.

I sometime use their 24" General planer when I have some large boards to plane. Seriously, that thing scares the **** out of me. It's got a 7HP motor, shakes the floor, and it's loud as a freight train. Imagine your gloves, or shirt, get caught in the rollers... Nasty thing.

Powertools are made of heavy steel, and spins fast. Like John said, they do deserve respect.

Edited by MescaBug
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Things that are more either powerful than me, are sharper than me or have more teeth than me deserve respect and at least three times as much thought put into planning the work, and thought during the work.

I made an accidental sandthrough on some nice but thin pink fingerwood through misusing a belt sander when I was a kid. I have two nice circles on my fingerprints of my right hand now to remind me of that (cough). A little thought prior to pressing that wood down (which shot under the fence) with my fingers wouldn't have gone amiss.

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Never trust those f-clamps near a router, tablesaw, or any other vibrating powertool - they are extremely prone to slipping when exposed to vibration, which can lead to injury to your project, your tools, or to you (see above!). G-cramps are a much better bet, but still need to be monitored - vibrations make threads creep undone, so keep your eyes peeled!

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