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NO SINGLE SATISFACTORY GUARD
No single satisfactory
guard has been developed for the ordinary table saw. Why? Because so many
different kinds of jobs are done on these saws. Each individual kind of sawing
job can be well guarded. But no single guard can protect us on all operations.
Be sure you know the safe way to perform each operation. And be sure to do it
that way. Table saws probably cutoff more fingers than any other kind of
EXAMINE THE SAFETY DEVICES
Is the guard the kind that rides on top of the work? It should be for all
ordinary sawing, particularly ripping. See that it moves up and down freely
without side play. Saws should have anti-kickback dogs and spreaders. See that
the anti-kickback dogs move freely and are sharp enough to dig into the stock,
if it starts to kick back. See that the spreader is close to the saw teeth,
stiff, and well secured. Check the guide (fence) to make sure it lines up
parallel with the saw blade. Then set it for the cut you want. All inspections
should be performed with the saw un-plugged.
CHECK YOUR FOOTING
When you have a sawing
job, check your footing. Be sure the floor isn't slippery and there isn't
anything for you to stumble over. Place your feet securely and comfortably. See
that there is nothing loose on the saw table to get in the way. Be sure there is
enough light so you can see what you are doing.
STAND IN THE RIGHT POSITION
If you have more than a
piece or two to rip, place the stock on a hand truck or where you can easily
reach it from the saw table. Avoid standing in line with the saw blade whenever
possible. Stand far enough right or left of the line of the saw blade so that a
kickback will miss you. But not so far that it's awkward to feed the wood
through. Make sure no one else gets behind the saw while you are ripping. In
some shops or on some jobs, an extension is added to the saw table, so that the
operator can't stand directly in line with the saw blade. It also permits long
stock to be controlled more easily.
Unless you have seen a
kickback, you don't realize how vicious one can be. Those saw teeth may be
moving from 10,000 to nearly 20,000feet per minute. The teeth at the top of the
saw blade are running toward you. If they get caught in the wood, they'll shoot
it right back the way it came. Saws
don't kickback if they are treated right. If used correctly, a properly mounted
saw blade, in good condition, will cut its way cleanly through the wood. But if
you don't feed the wood in straight, it will get caught against those up-running
teeth. The saw may grab it, lift it up, and throw it back.
Some people will tell
you that the way to prevent kickback is to keep the saw as low as you can and
still have it cut through the wood They
are right, if those teeth are sharp so they'll cut clean. And if the stock is
fed straight. The amount of set a saw has will also have a bearing on how it
cuts. Slide the material smoothly ahead
along the guide and through the saw. Be sure to keep it against the guide all
the way through.
A good way to have an accident is to use the saw without a spreader,
especially when cutting green or twisted wood. The spreader is located right
after the blade to keep the stock from binding. The anti-kickback dog should be
used ,too, because the wood might bind against the teeth before it reaches the
KEEP HANDS AWAY FROM BLADE
Always keep your hands
a safe distance away from the saw blade, at least six inches and preferably
twelve inches. You can do this by using a push stick or push block. If the stock
or block is made to fit the lumber and has a good handle, you can do a better
job with it at the finish of the cut than you can using your hand only., And if
something should go wrong, you won't lose your hand.
DON'T CROWD THE SAW
Don't crowd the saw. A
blade in good condition will take the wood easily. It will almost feed itself.
If it doesn't, something is wrong.
If table saws are
gasoline powered ,there is the possibility of fire. Housekeeping becomes doubly important. Mufflers should be
tight and no sparks should be emitted during operations. Engines should be shut
off and allowed to cool before refueling. Spilled fuel should be cleaned up
before restarting the engine. If a funnel is needed, use one. Belts should be
covered with guards at all times.
Whenever using a power saw, don't forget to protect your eyes by wearing
your safety goggles.
Whatever kind of a saw
you are using, gasoline powered or otherwise, good house- keeping is important.
Continually pick up sawdust and scrap that accumulates near the saw. And also
keep a fire extinguisher handy.
IT'S UP TO YOU
Because there is no single satisfactory guard for table saws, the main responsibility for avoiding accidents is up to you.
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