Radial Arm Saw

Radial Arm Saw Safety Instructions

1. Proper eye protection must be worn when using the radial arm saw.
EXPLANATION: This protects the eyes from danger created by flying particles and accidental moves by others.

2. Get permission from the teacher each time before using the radial arm saw.
EXPLANATION: This creates order and keeps unqualified students from operating power tools.

3. Check to see that the blade to the front of the operator is pointing downward away from the operator.
EXPLANATION: An improperly installed blade will tear and/or burn the wood being cut. This could damage the machine or cause the operator to panic, resulting in an accident.

4. The operator should never put his hands or fingers in the path of the rotating blade.
EXPLANATION: The most dangerous area of the machine is the teeth. Avoidance of this area will all but eliminate personal injury.

5. The operator of the radial arm saw should not crosscut lengths shorter than 6 inches.
EXPLANATION: Short material encourages fingers to be dangerously close to the cutting action of the blade.

6. The saw blade should extend about 1/16 inch below the surface of the table.
EXPLANATION: Excessively deep cuts could cause damage to the machine and operator injury.

7. Always hold the material to be cut firmly against the fence creating workpiece control.
EXPLANATION: The power of the saw blade can overcome the strongest of operators, throwing the workpiece or pulling the operator into the path of the blade.

8. When using the radial arm saw for crosscutting keep your arm firm, and control by holding back on the saw blade cutting action.
EXPLANATION: The rotation of the saw blade has a tendency to pull itself into the material to be cut grabbing or choking the wood and stalling the motor.

9. If the saw blade grabs, binds or stalls, the operator should immediately turn off the power.
EXPLANATION: This reduces damage to equipment and allows wood to be removed without possible harm to the operator.

10. Material (wood) should never be pushed into a coasting blade (a rotating blade not under power).
EXPLANATION: This action may break teeth from the blade causing damage and operator injury.

11. After making a cut you should return the saw motor/blade to the rear of the table, turn off the motor and wait until the blade has come to a complete stop.
EXPLANATION: Unattended saw blades under power or coasting can cause unexpected personal injury.

12. In addition to the operator, helpers may assist by supporting large material if they have the teacher’s permission and have approved eye protection.
EXPLANATION: Teamwork on a power tool is safe if all members have sure knowledge of what to expect from each other.


REFERENCES: Pictures and more information on the radial arm saw can be obtained from these books.

         General Woodworking, by Groneman, pp 161-164.
         Exploring Woodworking, by Zimmerman, pp 45-46.
         Cabinetmaking and Millwork, by Feirer, pp 306-336.
         Advanced Woodwork and Furniture Making, by Feirer and Hutchings, pp 242-252.