Table Saw

TABLE SAW (Circular Saw)

1. Proper eye protection must be worn when using the circular 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 circular saw.
EXPLANATION: This creates order and keeps unqualified students from operating power tools.

3. Be sure that all lumber is free from loose knots, nails, dirt and paint. All lumber from “home” must be checked by the teacher.
EXPLANATION: Knots, nails, paint, etc., dull the blades and require increased pressure and, therefore, increase the danger to the operator.

4. Select proper blade for ripping and cross-cutting. Make sure the blade is sharp and free of cracks or other defects.
EXPLANATION: Cracked or dull blades may cause the material to bind and cause a kickback.

5. Make adjustments only when machine is at a complete stop and power is off.
EXPLANATION: Making or checking adjustments when the saw is turning may cause damage to the machine and injury to the operator.

6. Limit saw blade extension to maximum 1/4” above the stock being cut when not guarded.
EXPLANATION: The greater the amount of blade exposed above the stock the more dangerous it is if the operator’s hands slip.

7. Make sure all guards and other safety devices are correctly mounted.
EXPLANATION: Any exposed blade is very dangerous. The guard covers the blade, thus reducing the danger to the operator. The splitter and anti-kickback device reduce the danger of kickbacks.

8. Ask the teacher to check guard removal, all special set ups and dado heads.
EXPLANATION: Special set ups require special instructions and assistance because of the difficulty in holding and/or controlling the stock.

9. Use ripping fence or miter gauge when cutting material, never cut freehand.
EXPLANATION: Use of the fence or miter gauge gives the operator more control and stability which reduces the chance of kickback and injury.

10. Fasten a clearance block to ripping fence when multiple cutting stock to length.
EXPLANATION: The clearance block provides extra clearance space so that after the piece is cut off it will not bind between the blade and fence.

11. Be sure there is an adequate number of push sticks available to be used for ripping short (6” or less) or narrow (2” or less) stock before you start your cut.
EXPLANATION: The use of push sticks helps to keep the operator’s hands a safe distance away from the blade.

12. Make sure that no one but you is inside the operator’s safety zone.
EXPLANATION: Anyone in the safety zone is liable to distract or bump the operator, thus increasing the possibility of an accident.

13. Stand to one side of the line of the saw blade.
EXPLANATION: Splinters, boards, knots, etc., can be kicked back directly in line with the saw blade.

14. Keep fingers out of line with the saw cut and never allow them to be closer than 5” to the blade. (May be changed under special set ups and/or clearance by the teacher.)
EXPLANATION: This will help insure that the operator’s hand will not slip into the cutting blade.

15. Stop the saw and move out of operating zone before responding to anyone trying to attract your attention.
EXPLANATION: You cannot talk while operating a machine and at the same time keep your mind on your work. Accidents are nearly always caused because the operator does not have his mind on his work.

16. Feed stock only as fast as the saw will freely cut.
EXPLANATION: Overloading the saw may burn the blade and can cause kickback. Also, the chance for the hands to slip is greatly increased if the stock is forced into the blade.

17. Push the stock by yourself. Make certain that a helper “tailing off” only supports the stock.
EXPLANATION: The operator must control the feed and direction of the cut. Students helping to “tail-off” should not push or pull on the stock, but only support it. This will prevent binding and kickbacks.

18. Turn off power after using circular saw and stand by until the machine comes to a complete stop.
EXPLANATION: By waiting until the blade comes to a complete stop the operator can prevent those who are unaware from having accidents.

19. Clean saw and surrounding floor area with a broom and brush.
EXPLANATION: Good housekeeping helps to avoid accidents.

20. Reset saw to normal operating position when completing an operation requiring a special set up.
EXPLANATION: The saw in an abnormal position can be dangerous. Furthermore, it can increase the danger of someone making a serious mistake in their work.

21. Check with your teacher to determine the proper holding device for cutting cylindrical stock dowel or irregular shaped stock.
EXPLANATION: The difficulty of holding and securing such shapes makes them dangerous to cut.

22. Always use a stick or the eraser end of a pencil to rotate the saw blade. NEVER USE YOUR FINGERS.
EXPLANATION: The teeth of the saw can cut when moving slowly with the power off.

REFERENCES: More information and pictures on the circular saw can be obtained from these books:

General Woodworking, by Groneman, pp 153-160.
Exploring Woodworking, by Zimmerman, pp 40-44.
Cabinetmaking and Millwork, by Feirer, pp 267-305.
Advanced Woodwork and Furniture Making, by Feirer and Hutchings, pp 273-293.