Cutting Wood Safety Tips

by Mr.900
(New Jersey)

Cutting wood safety tips, Kickback. A split second is all the time it takes for a saw blade to grab hold of a wood and throw it back in the direction of the saw operator. Protect yourself from kickback situations by sawing with a splitter in place, equipped with antikickback pawls.


Stand clear of the wood path behind the saw as you are cutting. Kickback occurs when the saw blade grabs a work piece and propels it straight back toward the saw operator. Typically kickback happens because the wood binds on the outfeed (back) side of the blade, pinching the blade enough for the saw teeth to grab hold and lift the board off the saw table. A saw can eject a board in a number of cutting situations, whenever the teeth have the opportunity to grab hold of a board. However, kickbacks are most likely to happen when making rip cuts without a splitter installed on the saw. You'll have no time to react when kickback happens, which is why splitters are so essential to making safe rip cuts. More cutting wood safety tip.

Never make rip cuts with the splitter removed. Stand clear of the path of your work-piece as you are making a rip cut, to keep the board from striking your body, should kickback occur. (the part between the blade and rip fence) matches the width of the pieces you need to make. The "waste" piece will constitute the remainder of the stock you're ripping from on the other side of the blade.

Use a narrow push stick to guide work pieces through the blade (See bottom left photo, previous page). The procedure changes if your strips are so narrow that the space between the rip fence and the blade guard doesn't leave enough room for the width of a narrow push stick. In these cases, narrow rip cuts are still possible, but you'll have to build a simple jig with a notched cutout that matches the width of the strips you need (See bottom right photo, previous page).

The width of the jig isn't important, so long as ills wide enough to give you room between the fence and the blade to safely negotiate your hand or a push stick. To set up the cuts, rest the jig against the rip fence so the notched side faces the blade, and adjust the rip fence until the blade touches the outside edge of the jig's notch.

The blade will cut flush against the notch without cutting it oft. Set your work piece in the notch and make your rip cuts, supporting the outside corner of the work piece closer to you with your left hand or a push stick. As the work piece narrows, use a push stick in your left hand to keep your hand a safe distance from the blade. Thanks for reading this page on Cutting Wood Safety Tips.

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