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Table saws are wonderful tools that are most important for carpenters and wood workers these days. Most of the wood workers now understand the importance of this till and are thus using table saws at their workplace for varied projects and purposes. Different table saws are easily available in market but the power you desire lies in the correct selection of an ideal table saw and its proper usage. Apart from benefits there are a lot of safety concerns that lay with this instrument and thus it is important to avoid making mistakes that can cause a serious personal damage or injury. So here we have outlined some common mistakes that are usually made and considering avoiding all these can minimize or even eliminate the risk of hurting yourself or someone else.
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Tips to follow for safe use of table saws
The below mentioned tips are some safe considerations that one must comply with in order to avoid any dangerous injury to happen.
1. Proper Attire and body position for safety
Many of the wood workers even professionals are usually seen not wearing proper safety attire while using a table saw.
- Avoid wearing gloves while using a table saw: Physical touch sense and tangibility is one of the most important factors. A loss of this sense may result in the loss of gripping. So avoid wearing gloves especially the ones that are loose. If you are gripping an item with loose gloves there is possibility of getting it grabbed by the spinning blade.
- Always try to wear short sleeves or fold up long ones firmly: Any dangling cloth like long loose sleeves, ties or even jewelry items hanging on your hand may get stuck with the spinning blade speed and you can face dangerous physical injury without getting a time to reach. Be as much comfortable as you can but stay a foot far. If you are dealing with a long stock, you must keep yourself far away to comfortably feed the material to the saw. We recommend you to wear non slippery footwear for perfect balance.
- Body position must not be in line with blade: If you have your body position in line with the blade, your face may get wrapped with the dust coming out of the blade. Apart from that not having your body in parallel to the blade would prevent you from risk of kickbacks injuries.
2. Table Saw Parts Adjustments
- Keep the floor in front of table saw free and clear: You must make sure that the floor in front of the saw is clear as any tripping, sliding or banging of head may cause a really bad injury to happen.
- Tabletop must be smooth and straight: The table top must be clean and smooth for effective ripping of material. For a rough surface, you may need to apply additional force to push the wood stock through blade and it may affect performance.
- Power off for adjustments and maintenance: Make sure that the power is completely disconnected whenever you reach the saw for any adjustments and maintenance such as changing blade of a table saw.
- Use Zero Clearance inserts: Use of zero clearance inserts can avoid the possibility of cuts from dropping in to the lower area of blade. It helps in minimizing splintering.
- Throat insert must be in place: Absence of throat insert may result in wood falling down and getting caught in the blade so make sure that the insert is at its place.
- Fence should be parallel to blade: Rip fence must be parallel to place in order to avoid any kickbacks and binding of stock to happen on the blade.
- Make sure that the blade has stopped before maintenance: Different work pieces may need you to change to different types of blades. Make sure that the table saw blade has completely stopped turning and the power is turned off in order to attend to change of blade or any other adjustments/alignments. Once you have turned the saw off, everything may appear safe but the spinning blade may still be turning and it can result in a dangerous injury. Wait for some minutes for blade to stop turning completely.
- Fence Adjustment: Same goes with the fence adjustment. Make sure that the saw has stopped running completely before you make any adjustments with the fence of the saw.
3. Table Saw Material/Stock Adjustments
- Use a push stick for a 6” or less wide stock: A minimum stock to blade distance of 6” is considered safe however for anything less, it is recommended to use a push stick.
- Use a small wood block for crosscut (short length): For short length crosscuts it is recommended to use a stock block and mount it on the fence in order to avoid pieces from binding between fence and blade.
- Avoid making any free-hand cuts: You must guide the stock to pass through the blade for ripping through the fence or miter gauge.
- Release the work when it has passed the blade: Some people release work before it has completely passed through the blade and this result in a kickback.
- If the stock is lifted and you lose your grip: If at any point of time, stock is lifted or tilted and you lose your balance; just bend down and press stop button of the saw. Loosing grip may result in a kickback.
- Review and check stock before ripping: It is important to check your stock before introducing it to the table saw blade. Check for nails, screws, any stones or other items that can be dangerous when introduced to the blade. These items can cause serious damage to blades as well as can give a personal injury.
Whether you are buying the most quality table saw or own an ordinary ripping machine, taking care in terms of personal safety should be your foremost concern. Check to see if all the parts and items of the saw are in place and adjusted properly before beginning any work on your saw. Improper use and some common mistakes can prove hazardous for the wood worker or operator. Pay close attention and with presence of mind you can avoid these mistakes and thus prevent from any accidents to happen.