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TIPS: safety on the table saw

what are your TIPS for (safely) using the table saw

-- Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit

tips safety table saw

Make sure your lighting and power circuits are separate. Before I separated mine I had an overload that left me in the dark with still spinning blade. Not fun. I fixed that the very next day.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Use push blocks and push sticks to keep your hands clear of the saw blade

adjust the blade height only about an1/8th higher than the thickness of the material your ripping.

stand clear of any possible kick back when ripping wood.

When ripping longer material make sure you have the end of the material supported with a rolling stand or out feed table to avoid the end of your board lifting off of the blade at the end of the cut.

when ripping then strips have the thin strips to the outside or fall off side of the blade to avoid kick back.

Keep the floor saw dust free in front of the table saw to avoid loosing traction ,also when possible keep your hip in contact with the front of your table saw in case you do loose traction.
Keep you table saw top clean and waxed to avoid having to exsert to much pressure and avoid the wood from dragging.

don’t cross cut material without a sled or miter gauge .

Do not get distracted while using a table saw or and other woodworking tool

Keep your saw blades clean and sharp to avoid drag when ripping.

use a splitter or riving knife to avoid kick back.

If ripping wood or sheet goods that are to heavy for you to handle ,get help.

Never help pull material through a table saw from the back,you can pull the person’s hands sawing into the blade/

If you can afford a Sam Stop buy one.

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

I tried to edit my post after posting it, but all it did was add another post, sorry about that.
I’m surprised there’s no edit tab.

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

The edit icon looks like this , Jim .
It’s quite small and the color is blue .
When you are through editing, click ’ save changes ’ at the bottom of page .

Advice so good it’s worth reading 3 times over. Safety first!

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Thanks guys

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Always wear wrap around safety glasses!

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

Not much can be added to Jim’s very thorough post, but I always wear my full face shield at the table saw. I once had a kickback hit me in the face (with my face shield on, thankfully).


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

I think one more item belongs on the table saw safety list and that would be the use of feather boards to hold your wood down or against the fence.

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Jim basically summed up safe use of a tablesaw. I work in an emergency department and fairly regularly see people that have tablesaw related injuries. I always make a point of asking how it happened; almost every injury I’ve seen could have been prevented by the person following the points he posted.

-- Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

When cutting small pieces, use a zero clearance plate around your blade.

On the matter of lights, I’m adding a second bank of lights on another [three-way] switch. Baring a total power loss to the shop, loss of one bank of lights should leave me with the other.

For sheet material, I built a 2′×4′ cart, which sits to the side, running length ways. In addition to the back support mentioned, this cart adds side support and can even roll with the material. Even if it doesn’t, the extra side support is nice to have. [When not in use for this purpose, it’s another horizontal surface to work on.]

“OFF” switches for the saw should be easy to hit, while the “ON” switch should take some effort to activate.

Next, there is the matter of dust collection.

Using a dusthood.

I’m guilty of having attempted several of these no-no’s early on, and have been lucky to have not had any serious injuries, other than a few bruises and a few scares. Thank you for sharing these with us!

  • “OFF” switches for the saw should be easy to hit, while the “ON” switch should take some effort to activate. *

I’d like to add that hitting the off button should really make it turn off. The contacts got fouled on my delta switch and once in a while I couldn’t turn it off. I bought one of those cheap 20A 2 pole Chinese paddle switches on amazon. Haven’t had an issue yet.

Another tip if you replace the switch: you must bond the ground to both the motor and the table! To retrofit my completely different switch, I used a short piece of steel angle to connect the electric box for the switch to the table fence rail. Then I could ground everything right to the box itself, of course with a connection on the power cable to the wall outlet.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

I’ve yet to have my first kick-back (or any scary moment) with my TS. Frankly, the first time I fired it up after getting it home, it made me a bit nervous. A couple of things I can add, because they are always on the top of my mind when I turn it on are:

1. Don’t wear anything that could come even remotely close to getting tangled in the blade.
2. Pay attention to the blade. Just because the saw is off, doesn’t mean the blade has stopped spinning.
3. If you have a contractor saw, make sure no small cut-off pieces can fall behind the saw and hang in the belt.
4. Make sure everything (work piece, cross-cut sled etc…) is clear of the blade before starting the saw.
5. Make the cut in your head before you make the cut. This is especially true if trying something for the first time. Try to imagine everything that could go wrong.
6. Just because you saw it on youtube, doesn’t make it safe.
7. Respect the TS for what it is; a powerful monster that would just love to tear pieces off of you at the first hint of complacency.

-- Where are the band-aids?---Pro Libertate!