• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Just use the blade guard!

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
1,496
Reaction score
723
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
Here's another mad yank. He's going on about the dangers of kick back (real, but usually not serious with small components and small machines) but he's using gripper blocks - which are the cause of the kickback and ALSO very nearly result in a nasty cut - which he blames on the kick back, not the use of grippers. He worked out why he needed a riving knife in place, but hasn't worked out why he should be using push sticks

Absolutely right Jacob, how close his hand came to that blade ! – like he said he needs some new shorts now! Yes those push blocks are bloody dangerous, if he had been using push sticks his hand wouldn’t have been anywhere near and it wouldn’t have been able to move slightly to the left to be picked up by the blade at the back because he was pushing it to the right with his left hand holding the other push stick, also of course as he did say, use a riving knife.
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
436
Location
Yorkshire
.Th
This is "guidance" and "should be used" is the operative expression, not "must be used".
In other words you can do what you like but are advised to use their suggestions, or if not to use alternative safety measures along the same lines or better. It mentions alternative guarding if the crown guard is taken off.
Some of their advice is not that good - an inadequate design of push stick and no suggestion of using two - which is probably the single most effective safety measure for TS, planer or spindle. And two drawings show hands on the workpiece where a second push stick should be used.
Here you go Jacob, a HSE poster for your workshop which mentions using 2 push sticks (y)

 

Spectric

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
1,355
Reaction score
542
Location
North Cumbria
A lot of emphasis is placed on the guard and as I said nothing will protect some people, guard or no guard. I have a set pattern when I use my table saw and always stick to it. First thing is to ensure a clear, tidy work area with nothing around I am likely to trip over. Then I check that what I intend to do can be done, can the wood have free entry into the blade and also exit without fouling on anything. I always use long pushsticks and never allow my hands to get anywhere near that blade. After the cut, turn machine off and again keep well clear until that blade has stoped, there is nothing here apart from common sense and understanding that with man versus spining blade there is only one winner and it's not you. I find it really strange that some people do not seem to have this ability for self preservation, perhaps they are playing to many computer games and think they are invincable.
 

akirk

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
114
Location
Bristol
More likely is that all people are different 😉 some people are structured and organised - the upside is that they may be safer... others are more fluid and creative and off the cuff- downside might be a higher risk of injury, upside might be higher creativity with wood!

yes, conceptually it is simple and easy - hands at a distance from a spinning blade = lower risk, but then conceptually many other things in life are simple (driving, managing finances, being nice to people etc 😀) but it is amazing how many people mess up with those things as well... the rich tapestry of life!
 

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
2,052
Reaction score
340
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
You know there is an upside to those that lob off a few fingers. The ones that do it when younger provide a clear visual clue to potential mates that this one isn't good breading stock and will sire throwbacks. Unfortunately the ones that do so later in life have already added to the twit pool and they go on to reach new levels of stupidity. 🤪

Pete
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,371
Reaction score
394
Location
Wiltshire
I saw a carpenters workshop in Rwanda, huge old cast iron machines, no extraction (but plenty of ventilation as there were no walls), open belt drives and petrol engines driving, not a guard in sight.

Not a single person there had all their fingers, including the children, some were missing several.
 

quintain

Established Member
Joined
25 May 2007
Messages
29
Reaction score
4
I spent a very enjoyable 30 years in a v busy fire service even when dealing with "things that people never considered would go wrong for them"...."we have always done it this way and this has never happened before..." (smoking in bed and falling asleep-lpg cylinder gas fire left unattended in house-overloading electrical circuits-reading maps while driving- and many many more) if you don't need all the fingers you presently have or indeed if you don't need to live any longer or even perhaps you are simply so kind-hearted that you wish to give employment to medics and a lot of others...just remove the blade guard and realise it isn't if; it is simply when; the unexpected occurs. My apologies to anyone who thinks I am pontificating or even just a smart ass, safety MUST always come first. And yes, some youtube videos are frightening when you realise they are instructing people wishing to learn.
 

Tenacity

Established Member
Joined
7 Feb 2021
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
Location
Sheffield
Trained as a joiner and machinist about 40 years ago and now coming onto this and other forums is scary. I used to sell and demonstrate Triton 2000 systems, their table saw, router attachment and all the other gear, safety was always there, never liked their idea of tenoning with no blade guard, so didn't demonstrate it but all their stuff had simple but effective push sticks built in to use. That was up to the user. Most missing finger and thumbs I have come across in the trade, "tradesman" who didn't guard up. Usually a case of bad practice or a one off and the accident happened. Once started a new job as a bench hand machinist, first morning there was asked to rip and size timbers on a table saw. Where's the ring knife and guard? says I. Probably under that bench amongst the off cuts. 30 mins later searching nothing "never mind" says he "we need it doing now". Several minutes later "Where the f**k are you going" Home with my tools including fingers and thumbs, he was gob smacked :). On the smaller site/ workshop why don't makers agree a standardised size slots fo accessories?
 

DennisCA

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2014
Messages
990
Reaction score
76
Location
Finland
I don't have a guard installed like that either, I have a riving knife and I use two swan neck push sticks (aka wandel style), has served me well. I wasn't able to see from looking through that video if he had a riving knife or not.

But that and a propensity to put ones fingers near the blade tend to be the main reasons for injuries like that.
 

jcassidy

Learning.
UKW Supporter
Joined
5 Nov 2020
Messages
198
Reaction score
145
Location
Ireland
Concentration is finite. I doubt most hobbyists have enough use of a table saw to get through the hours of safe usage required to build up safe working habit and muscle memory. Safety is then dependent on concentration, and when concentration lapses, as it must, 'chop chop chop'...
 

Spectric

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
1,355
Reaction score
542
Location
North Cumbria
But that and a propensity to put ones fingers near the blade tend to be the main reasons for injuries like that
Thats bang on, people don't loose fingers because the saw blade decided to attack them, treat that table saw like a wild animal that is not in it's cage.

I doubt most hobbyists have enough use of a table saw to get through the hours of safe usage required to build up safe working habit and muscle memory
There is a downside to having loads of time using a machine, thats complacency. You never want to be over confident and robotic when using any machinery because that is really dangerous and you always expect everything to be as it always has. Always approach a machine with an edge of uneasiness, your body will automatically be more alert and focused, just stop and think how much your life will change if you have a pile of fingers in amongst the saw dust and what things you will no longer be able to do, things like wiping your rear end to picking your nose and lots in between.
 

Jar944

Established Member
Joined
5 Feb 2020
Messages
52
Reaction score
30
Location
USA
I would say that here in the US you might find a riving knife if you walk into the average home shop, but its unlikely you will find a blade gard (installed)

If you think the lack of a blade guard is scary you should see the site carpenters free hand a long scribe cut on a table saw (no fence) or using them to cope a peice of skirting.

Speakign of lack of guarding, This spindle moulder video made me cringe
 
Last edited:

JohnPW

Established Member
Joined
5 Jun 2013
Messages
898
Reaction score
43
Location
London
Isn't the problem is placing your hands so close to the blade? Even with a guard, you should keep your hands well away from the blade by using 2 push sticks.
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
1,496
Reaction score
723
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
I would say that here in the US you might find a riving knife if you walk into the average home shop, but its unlikely you will find a blade gard (installed)

If you think the lack of a blade guard is scary you should see the site carpenters free hand a long scribe cut on a table saw (no fence) or using them to cope a peice of skirting.

Speakign of lack of guarding, This spindle moulder video made me cringe
Yes, home-made push block again, he could’ve done that perfectly well with two push sticks "and as long as I keep my fingers away from the orange bit I’m good to go"
Doesn’t anybody use push sticks in America? I suspect they have all been swayed by the advertising for push blocks – not much profit to be made from two bits of wood that anybody can make!
 

TRITON

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
551
Reaction score
288
Location
Scotland
Isn't the problem is placing your hands so close to the blade? Even with a guard, you should keep your hands well away from the blade by using 2 push sticks.
Apparently not for some it would appear. Apparently having a guard on means you can never have an accident ;)

Speakign of lack of guarding, This spindle moulder video made me cringe
yeah, though the moulder is a different beast entirely. its more prone to big kickbacks. Experienced as I am, still doing curved work on it scares the bejesus out of me. I'm like a skittery kid getting it on for the first time.
Even in the YT vids of factories in Indonesia where guards dont appear to ever be fitted, you nearly always see them using a powerfeed for big moulding techniques.
 
Last edited:
Top