Pro Woodworking Tips.com
The table saw is typically the most heavily used pieces of machinery in a woodshop. In our
shop, like most others, no project regardless of it's size is done without one. It generally is one of the first
pieces of equipment to be used. The uses for them range from rough cutting lumber to creating moldings.
They come in a vast amount of configurations, and range in cost from a hundred bucks to many
thousands of dollars. The differences in capabilities is also enormous. In the United States alone, there are
over six million units being used, and eighty thousand units sold per year.
Due to the sheer amount of use of these machines they account for most of the serious
injuries in a wood shop. It may be surprising that the majority of injuries happen to professional wood workers,
until you consider the fact that in general they are using the machines on a daily basis. They are also more
comfortable with them, which can lead to over confidence. They can also be in a little more of a hurry to
accomplish things as their livelihood depends on production. This in itself accounts for many accidents.
Also, given the fact that most professional wood shops do not use the safety guards supplied with
the machines, as they are not convenient, doesn't help. There was a time when I wouldn't use the saw without the
blade guard, but it became a chore to replace it. When others in the shop used the saw, the first thing they
would do is remove the blade guard. Then I would replace it. Then they would remove it again. They won. Even
after investing in an over arm style blade guard, it was shelved.
There is a relatively new Brand on the market, named Saw Stop, which all but eliminates table saw
accidents. It uses a cartridge that senses finger contact with the blade and stops the blade in milliseconds. It
also drops the blade below the surface of the table, rendering it harmless. The cartridge and blade must be
replaced after an incident, but considering the cost of the average table saw injury is in the neighborhood of $
45,000.00, it kind of becomes a mute point.
This saw has won many safety awards, in addition to being a top quality machine overall. The cost
of the machine is higher than most saws in the same size and quality range, but again when considering the cost
of an accident, it is money well spent.
Table Saws - part
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