Table saws are useful for any woodworker. But they can also cause significant injuries if not properly handled. Most of these injuries lead to severance of the fingertips, thumb, nerve damage, rupture of the arteries and veins or complete amputation of the hand.
Although makers of table saws are mandated to add blade guards to the saw at the point of manufacturing so there will be no contact with the blade, this notwithstanding, table saw injuries are very rampant in many workshops across the globe.
Probably, that’s why in spite of its indispensability, so many people are somewhat afraid to power them on and use them in the first instance. The reason being that they lack the necessary rudiments of keeping oneself safe while operating the table saw, and they are scared of hurting themselves in the process.
Presented below are some table saw safety tips to prevent possible injuries and keep you safe while using the equipment.
How To Prevent Injury And Stay Safe
First, Go Through The Manual
A lot of people today when they buy their table saw, they fling the manual away immediately they unbox the new table saw and start using the machine. Well, that’s quite dangerous and inadvisable. Take up your manual, and start reading it from the beginning to the end and read through.
Most probably, your table saw will come with some personalized safety components you will need to understand and know. Reading through the manual will help you in discovering all these and even many more from your saw.
Prepare Yourself For The Task
There are a few things you must do to get yourself ready when you want to start using your table saw. The very first thing you need to consider is your dressing. At no time should you put off your woodworker’s gear, and if for any reason you are on casual, you must ensure that your clothing isn’t potentially dangerous for the work environment.
Loose dresses are not advisable as they can quickly be caught by the blade of the table saw. If you are on long sleeves, it should be rolled up beyond the elbows, and all items should be taken from the pockets including jewelry and hand bands. It is equally important that you mind the shoes you will be putting on.
The friction pad of the shoe should be intact, so you don’t slide or trip to the saw blade while rotating. Lastly, peradventure you keep a long hair, put it up and tie it back. Then get an earmuff and eye google to protect yourself from dangerous bits flying off from cuttings.
Inspect Your Table Saw
Afterward, you will need to inspect your table saw to ensure that it is set for work. You can begin this by removing the plug from the socket. After that, check the power cord and ensure it is in excellent condition. Subsequently, check the blade and remove any leftover clogs or dirt and clean with a dry solvent if need be.
Again, ensure that the blade isn’t blunt for the cutting you want to make. Then, you can now inspect all other components of the table saw. Ensure everything is in their right order and proper place and good condition before you start using them.
Working With The Table Saw
Of all the table saw safety tips meant to prevent injury, this point cannot be overemphasized. While using the table saw, do not go behind it or bend over a rotating saw blade. It is potentially dangerous and can cause great harm.
Similarly, never thrust your hands in the locus of the blade and try as much as possible to use the blade guard at all time. It protects your fingers from the edge and measure that you are kept safe. Additionally, do not leave the wood until it has entirely moved through the blade with no part remaining.
Also, only cut one plank at a time. Never should you attempt to rip planks stacked together at a time otherwise you might end up getting hurt in the process. Do not stay behind the table saw blade or a plank as there might be a forceful kickback and you’ll be seriously injured by the fast-moving bit. You should also always make use of the riving knife and splitter anytime you are operating the table saw.
Make Use Of An Out Feed Table
Anytime you are cutting a huge and long piece of wood, to prevent dangers, it is good practice that you guide and support the board with an external table attached to the board to support the whole length of the plank. This table saw safety practice would ensure smooth passage through the blade and prevent injuries while cutting.
When You Are Through With The Table Saw
After using your table saw for a woodcutting project, set the blade down till it gets below the surface of the table. This is to prevent it from injuring you even while it is not in use. Similarly, always keep your workshop in a clean state for safety reasons while you want to work next time. Then, unplug your table saw and prepare very well for the next woodcutting project.
Additional Tip On Preventing Dangers In Yable Saws
Be yourself while you are attempting to operate the table saw. Never should you use the table saw for cutting purpose while you are fatigued or inebriated with alcohol. This is potentially harmful as you can easily lose consciousness. Besides, you might not be in the best condition to use your skills or creativity when you’re not in the right frame of mind. It is necessary to comply with all the specified table saw safety tips while working on all projects.
There is almost nothing a woodcutter can do to prevent all dangers. For instance, we can’t check carelessness or stupid moves. However, installing the right safety components and going through the necessary safety tips can keep you safe from dangers while working with the table saw. Even if the chances of injuries are still there, it is considerably minimized.