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Table Saw Safety Rules

February 20, 2013

Safety is one of those things that everybody rolls their eyes at and nobody wants to talk about. Taking the time for a weekly safety meeting is worth the time it takes to learn simple rules to keep everybody on the job site safe.

The table saw is at the heart of any workshop, and personally my favourite tool. It is also one of the most dangerous tools. Below is a rundown of some of the rules I constantly preach to my employees. The majority of mistakes are made before you even power up the table saw.

Check yourself:

  • Check that you are wear proper eye and ear protection, have short sleeves or have them rolled up and hair tied back.
  • Check that you have push sticks or pads within reach.
  • Check that you are standing out of the danger zone ( the area behind the blade).
  • When a piece of material “kicks back” and gets caught on the blade your material will come shooting out the back of the saw at a high speed.

Check the saw and setup:

  • Table saw safety setup

    Job site table saw with guards intact

    Check that you have an outfeed table to catch your work piece and prevent you from reaching over the blade.

  • Check that you have guards installed or a riving knife for kerf cuts.
  • Check blade for wobble, lost teeth and sharpness.
  • Check that the fence is parallel to the blade.
  • Check that the blade is adjusted so that only one tooth extends above the workpiece.
  • Check that if you are ripping anything 3” or less you are using a push stick. This also avoid reaching over the blade and extends your reach.
  • Check that the blade is not angled towards the fence.

When using a table saw:

  • Keep your fingers away from the blade!
  • Only push your workpiece between the fence and the blade.
  • Never cut a piece of wood smaller than the diameter of the blade, a miter gauge or table saw sled works much better.
  • Let the blade stop before you reach to retrieve your cut pieces.
  • Leave a comment with any more table saw safety rules!
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