Use Tools Properly and Smartly

The table saw is probably one of the most feared tools in the shop.  It has a bad reputation of being a finger-munching machine that likes to kick back.  I believe most accidents are preventable.  At the table saw, using the proper safety equipment such as a splitter or riving knife, featherboard or push block is very important and not only makes the tool safer, but contributes to better quality cuts.

It is even more important to understand what the tool is designed to do, how to use it properly, and what it should sound and feel like in operation.  If unsure about something, ask somebody who has more experience.  Shoot me an e-mail if I can help.

There is an old saying that goes like this: “The woodworker’s mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop.”  I think this is absolutely true.  Never work when tired, distracted or hurried.

In this video, Red Green shows how not to use a table saw.  List the safety violations and mistakes you see in the comments section.  Let’s see how long of a list we can create!

Here are some related table saw safety articles I have written:

  1. Why Not a SawStop?;
  2. Benefits of a Sliding Table Saw; and
  3. Why a Sliding Table Saw with a Scoring Blade?

8 thoughts on “Use Tools Properly and Smartly

  1. That gave me the willies….
    I spotted two safety violations:
    (1) Don’t wear work gloves.
    (2) Don’t do ANYTHING else that Red does in this video…

  2. Chris,
    While watching your video using the sliding table saw, I noticed a couple of things:
    1. Hair. Hair, neck chains, anything that can dangle in the way of spinning things is not good. Please tie your hair back.
    2. General ergonomics. Due to the lack of space in your shop, you seem to do a lot on awkward bending and reaching with heavy workpieces. You are young, but one day your lower back will send you a very uncomfortable message.
    3. Where o where is that dust mask? Your wonderful slider has no provision for table top dust capture. Shame on you for not protecting your lungs.


  3. Insufficient work piece support when cross-cutting.
    No safety glasses.
    No hearing protection.
    Uncomfortable working height (?).
    No riving knife or splitter fitted.
    Crown Guard isn’t fitted.
    Lack of dust extraction.
    Offcuts all over the floor surrounding the machine.
    Machine not securely fixed to the bench.


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