Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Talk about anything that floats your boat (no pun intended). This is general talk about anything not related to boating/fishing.
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fender66
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by fender66 »

Shoot...got to my second cut today when the saw kicked back and the aluminum about took my fingers off. Good thing I was wearing safety glasses. #-o I will survive though.

Who else has hurt themselves working on their mods? Be careful out there.

Oh yeah...anyone able to fill in on guitar for me for the next week or two?
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perchin
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by perchin »

Geez.... I hope your alright. This is why its good to use a table saw equipped with a riving knife, it stops bindings, and kick backs.

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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by island fever »

OUCH! Thanks for the warning and I hope it gets better soon.
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by dougdad »

ouch, thats why I always clamp loose pieces down to something, usually a piece of plywood on a sawhorse, better to have to stop and move it then take a chance on loosing a digit. The other thing I always do is wear heavy leather gloves when working with sheet metal of any kind, it's a bit clumsy but it beats those kind of results.
Hope those heal fast for ya Fender!
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poolie
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by poolie »

Ouch!

Yep, last year needed to put an 1/8" x 2" notch in a 2x2 for my rear floor which I did with a saw, but didn't like how rough the notch looked (ignore the fact that no one would ever see it) so I picked up a wood chisel to cleanup the notch. Next thing I know I've jammed the chisel into my left hand and needed 21 stitches to close it up.

Who knew boat building could be so dangerous. Glad you're okay!
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by bobberboy »

There are a lot of people here who are experienced in the shop but sometimes restating the obvious is good to do. Generally the table saw is the heart of the wood shop - and possibly the most potentially dangerous of stationary power tools. As such it gets the most use and necessarily your chances of an accident are higher. Basic safely practices for the table saw can make it a safe tool. First is to avoid standing directly behind the blade. Depending on whether you are left or right handed you should find a place where you feel comfortable, your stance is steady and you're not likely to slip on the floor. I'm left handed and usually stand on the left side of the blade - my saw fence being on the right side. When you are cutting sheet goods it's usually not possible to avoid standing behind the material. When ripping a 1x4 in half though, for example, my body is never directly behind the material. A kick-back in that case would drive the 1x4 right into your guts. Another basic is not to get your hands/fingers in front of the blade. In the event of a kick-back, you can't react fast enough to move your hand away and often it will get dragged into the blade as the material gets caught during the kick-back. Perchin is right about the riving knife, but not all saws are equipped with them.

The following picture shows some basic tools to help you stay safe on the table saw. There is a push stick, two push pads and an adjustable feather board. All are useful either alone or with others.

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Think about the relationship of length to width of material when you cut against the fence. The following two examples exaggerate this just to make the point.

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Don't use the combination of fence and miter gauge together.

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If you don't have a chop or cut-off saw, you can make a simple cradle to safely cut materials. You will need two pieces of hardwood that fit into the miter rails on the table saw bed. They need to be flush with the top of the bed and move easily in the rail so they don't bind. On top of the rails is attached a bed made of 3/4" plywood or MDF. Finally there is a 2x4 on the back side of the cradle to act as a stop. When building the cradle, put the hardwood strips into the rails, place the bed board on top and fasten the bed to the rails. This will insure the rails are parallel and won't bind. This cradle is designed to cut narrow pieces of stock. When used, the cradle is placed over the blade - if you push the cradle through you'll cut it in half. The blade slot needs to be wide enough that the blade won't bind on start-up and cause a kick-back. The material is placed on the back of the bed against the 2x4 and pushed through the blade (remember to keep the blade lower than the 2x4 or you'll cut that end of the cradle in half).

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A simple jig can be made to cut angles that aren't right angles and can also be used to make identical, multiple parts. It's no CNC router but it's cheap and easy to make and safe to use. The bed of the jig (#1 in the diagram) is made from either 1/2" or 3/4" MDF or 3/4" plywood. One half inch plywood warps too easily and the bed for the jig needs to be flat to be safe. Basically the material to be cut is aligned so the cut line is on the blade side of the jig bed. Two stop blocks made from 3/4" scrap are then attached to the bed (#2 and #3 in the diagram). I have used this simple jig dozens of times to make multiples and one-ups and it has always worked safely. A couple things to remember though. The fall-off material is not on the table of the saw, it's up whatever thickness the jig bed is. You need to be mindful that you don't cause the fall-off to kick-back when the cut is finished. I've never had this happen, but it is possible. Keep the fall-off material as small as possible (first cutting the basic rectangle as shown is the diagram is best). If the material is thick or heavy you can support the fall-off side with a piece of material clamped to the left side of the blade that will support the fall-off. Remember to be sure the clamps do not interfere with the passage of the jig or material through the saw. The following diagrams show the basic idea. Note that the first example shows how to position the material so the pressure from cutting tends to lock the material against the stop blocks. The second example shows how not to make the jig. In the second example you can see how the pressure of the saw will tend to turn the material out of the stop blocks. This makes for inaccurate cuts and increases the possibility of a kick back.

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I hope others will add to this. Unfortunately, fender's fingers have provided a chance for everyone to think about using tools. There are lots of tips and tricks out there and these are just a few that work for me.

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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by hossthehermit »

CUT-PROOF GLOVES REALLY DO WORK. Avaiable at your local hardware or building supply store.
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by wasilvers »

Thanks Bobberboy - I had to go look up table saw safty after a piece came back and hit me in the face (I was ok). I found out there were many things I was doing wrong.
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by fender66 »

Bobberboy...great post. Believe it or not....I have all those tools and practice all those safety practices....even wear safety glasses religiously as I have spent my life around one of the best tooled garages in my neighborhood....mine :mrgreen:

However.....it was my miter saw that I was using. Cutting 1/2" off a piece of 1"X2" offset aluminum angle about a foot long. (done this hundreds of times) For some reason, this time...it kicked back. Fortunately...it was just the aluminum that got me. The blade would have been worse even though it has a brake on it. I did get lucky. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much more I could have done to protect myself outside of gloves. I guess this is why they call this an accident.

I am more aware, or better wording would be "reminded" of the hurt that can happen even when you are being careful. Outside of splinters or hitting my finger with a hammer.....this is the worst injury I've had from my tool shop. (quick....knock on wood)

I appreciate all the well wishes. You guys are the greatest. I wish there was a way to get everyone together for a fish fry.

I will heal and fish again soon. Thanks again.
Peace,

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free jonboat
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by free jonboat »

i nearly cut my ring finger off on a band saw a few months back while i was in wood shopbecause i was trying to cut 2 pieces of wood stacked on top of eachother (i had 1 nail to keep them together but that nail was on the top). i didnt even know that i had done it until i looked down. so any way, i walk down to the clinic with the teacker and as soon as we get there, another kid from my class comes in and says "mr russel, james hit his head and is knocked out." it turns out, the kid saw my blood on the saw, fainted, hit his head on the table on his way down, regained consciousness and fell down again. anywaysthe kid was fine and i only nicked the tendon (thank god i didnt completely tear that up) and you were able to see the bone if you opened upthe cut :cry: , and it only took 3 stitches to "fix the problem" and now months later, it still hurts to the touch. #-o point of the story is, it can happen and will happen if your not careful.
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by bobberboy »

[quote="fender66" However.....it was my miter saw that I was using. Cutting 1/2" off a piece of 1"X2" offset aluminum angle about a foot long. (done this hundreds of times) For some reason, this time...it kicked back. Fortunately...it was just the aluminum that got me. The blade would have been worse even though it has a brake on it. I did get lucky. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much more I could have done to protect myself outside of gloves. I guess this is why they call this an accident.
[/quote]

Last summer I was cutting alum angle on my miter saw and the cut-off lodged behind the blade between it and the fence. It stopped the saw dead but not before it bent the cast alum fence. Note to self - always clamp in the future. I've been working in different shops for over 40 years and still have all ten digits...

Glad it wasn't any worse.

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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by wasilvers »

Never even thought to use the miter saw with aluminum... besides this problem, did that work pretty good for you? I used a 'scroll saw' to cut my aluminum. It worked ok, but was slow.
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by fender66 »

wasilvers wrote:Never even thought to use the miter saw with aluminum... besides this problem, did that work pretty good for you? I used a 'scroll saw' to cut my aluminum. It worked ok, but was slow.
Yes, it does work well. There are some very expensive blades you can buy to cut aluminum, but I use an 80 tooth and cut very slowly through the cut. Just be carefull...I'll never know why mine kicked this time??? It WILL throw splinters....so wear eye protection. Metal shards are of no use in your eye.
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Dang, Can't Believe I Did This (not for the squeemish)

Post by poolie »

The miter saw is great for cutting aluminum angle. One thing I found works best is to turn the angle over where it sits on the saw like and upside down V instead of an L.

And yes, both eye AND ear protection is a must. I rarely wear ear plugs when cutting wood, but cutting aluminum is way louder.
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Post by bassboy1 »

...(done this hundreds of times)...
That right there is your problem. Nobody ever cuts them self open on an intricate one off part, that is requiring odd cuts and the likes. Nope, it's always near the end of the day, doing a cut or making a part that has been made many times over. When you are making the odd part, you are aware of things going on. When making the production part over and over, you fall into a false sense of security.
Point is, when you are making a bunch of parts, take more care to be aware of things, as you aren't naturally aware at that point. Also, if you are nearing the end of the day, and just have a few things left, wait on them, as when you rush to complete them, you inevitably will screw up, be it putting the saw through your finger, mismeasuring a piece of material (big deal when you play with aluminum costing $200 a sheet), or just dripping some glue on top of your freshly installed carpet.
I hope others will add to this.
Yes. On top of what you mentioned, there are a couple things I would like to add. Main thing is a set of anti kick back rollers. The ones pictured are on the old factory piece of crap Delta fence. Dad is currently in the process of making a Biesemeyer clone, but that is unfinished, so the photos are of the old fence, sitting on the floor.

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Basically, they are a set of rubber rollers that roll smoothly in one direction, and won't roll in the other. They are adjusted in and out with the vertical thumbscrews, and thickness is adjusted by placing moving the wedge of wood back and forth. The springs hold them tight on the material, and because they hold well, kickbacks are virtually eliminated. I can't see operating a table saw without them.

The other thing is for cutting sheet goods without the use of a table saw. I'm currently in a somewhat cramped shop, so there isn't space to leave the table saw, as well as infeed and outfeed tables, set up. Sometimes, if I've just got a sheet or two to cut up, it isn't worth my time to pull the equipment out of where it is tucked away. Other times, I have a boat, or some other big fabrication project inside, and there isn't room for the table saw to be setup. Thus, I do almost all of my sheet cutting with a circular saw, and this simple guide.

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It just takes a hair over a foot off one edge of sheet of plywood. Basically, just rip off a few inches off one side. It doesn't really matter how straight, as long as you have the factory edge. Turn the off cut around, putting the factory edge towards the center of the sheet, and roughly lining up the other side. Stick a few screws in there, then run the saw, with the saw table (pad, deck, whatever you call it) up against the piece you screwed on. This leaves you with a guide that is the exact width of the saw. When you go to cut the sheet goods, all you need is a mark at each end. Clamp the guide on the keeper side of the material, lining the edge up with the line. Putting the guide on the keeper piece accomplishes two things - puts the saw kirf on the discard piece, and if the saw does, for whatever reason, walk, the keeper piece is protected.

As seen in the 3rd pic, when you go to make the guide, make your first strip wide enough to pass both the edge of the saw, and a clamp. I've gotten to the point where I am working with sheet aluminum on about a daily basis, and I'm using this to cut near all of my metal. Quicker than setting up the table saw (quicker than adjusting the fence, and moving the material into place, even if the saw was set up already), and yields excellent results. I've got a few of these, for different blade thicknesses, as well as different saws (and some shorter ones, so I don't have to trip over the extra length when doing cross cuts).


Another thing to think of is hearing protection. I bet a lot of us aren't as careful as we should be. However, I ended up with tinnitus last year, likely from running the angle grinder, as there was a period last fall when I was doing a bunch of steel fabrication, but I've been around loud tools since about birth, so it could have been an accumulation of a number of things. Anyway, it is no fun to live with, whatsoever, and I'm just 17 now, so I've got to live with it for the whole rest of my life.

Even the miter saw and circular saw, especially through aluminum, are enough to cause hearing loss. Go ahead and protect yourself now, as hearing loss cannot be fixed, at least as of this point.

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