Table Saw Safety

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A table saw, when used properly, can make working around the house as easy as possible. Find out how to use a table saw safely with help from a home remodeling expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Repair Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, and I want to talk to you today about some table saw safety, ways to keep your fingers attached to your hand. A lot of times, when the blade is up, and you're getting ready to make your first cut, you'll bring your fence in if you need to make a narrow cut. Right now, we're looking at about an inch and a half, and to put your fingers in there is really dangerous. You have to find that spot that is comfortable for you, and I usually tell people anything inside two inches, you want to make sure you're using a push stick, and a push stick, whether it's one you make in the shop, or one you buy at your local retailer, doesn't matter. It's something that uses, that you use to push your stock through the gap, keeping your fingers well away from the blade. Beyond two inches, if, and again, find your comfort zone. I like to, you know, I can ride my hand on the fence, and still control my stock, and not have to worry. I've got almost a good inch there between my thumb and the blade. So, I know that where my comfort zone is, and how close I can get to that blade. Another thing I want to talk about is the height of the blade, how high should your blade be while you're making a cut. Now, I've just got a piece of stock here, and a good rule of thumb is about a quarter of an inch, or the thickness of one tooth. So, we've got this set up way too high. So, if I was going to make a cut, I'd bring my blade down to this point. The reason I want it low like that is if, heaven forbid, something should happen while making a cut, only that much of the blade is exposed to my hand. Still a bad thing to happen, but it's much safer than if the blade were all the way up, and I could easily sever one or several digits. This way, I'm just going to get some really bad cuts, and let's, you know, just try to avoid all that that altogether. The next thing I want to talk about is using a miter gauge. And, a lot of times, and this is a slightly different miter gauge than a lot of you have seen, but it's a miter gauge still. And, when you're using your miter gauge to do what's called a cross cut, a lot of times they're using both their miter gauge and their rip vents, and the problem with this is, once you get beyond the blade, your off cut, this portion here, is going to rattle between the blades, and it's going to bind up. And, that's going to cause a kickback, and that's going to come shooting back at you. So, you never want to use both the miter gauge and the fence at the same time. Of course, one of the most important things to keep in mind safety wise with your table saw, is always wearing your eye protection and your hearing protection. Again, table saw may not seem like a very loud piece of equipment, but hearing loss is cumulative. So, over time, the loud noise and the high pitch of that motor will cause hearing loss. So, always make sure you use both your hearing and your eye protection. Okay, so with some common sense, and thinking ahead, and paying attention, you can safely use a table saw for years, and years, and years. I've been doing this professionally for 20 years. Point is, because I'm careful around my machinery, I've still got all my fingers, and hopefully you can do the same for yourself. I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.

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