George Vondriska

Table Saw Safety for Beginner Woodworking

George Vondriska
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Duration:   5:54   mins

Whether you’re an experienced woodworker, a beginner or somewhere in between, revisiting basic safety practices in the work shop is always a good idea. George Vondriska takes the time to go over basic table saw safety with a beginning woodworker. From where to stand, when to use a push stick, blade height and other table saw safety practices, this video is a quick reminder of how to stay safe when using the table saw in your work shop.

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11 Responses to “Table Saw Safety for Beginner Woodworking”

  1. Ray Pugh

    three inches may be a littles conservative. One key safety issue is to keep fingers over fence. If some issue happens, ledge on fence can keep from pulling hand into blade..

  2. Eric Schumacher

    George, your blade appears to be “anti-kickback”, due to the reverse facing non-cutting teeth. I’ve heard that those reduce the effectiveness of the SawStop function. Can you comment?

    • Customer Service

      Hello Eric,

      Thank you for contacting us. Here is the reply to your question:

      From SawStop’s web site:
      “Any standard steel blade with steel or carbide teeth can be used. You should not use non-conductive blades or blades with non-conductive hubs or teeth (example: diamond blades). They will prevent the SawStop safety system from applying the electrical signal on the blade that is required to sense skin contact. Steel blades and dado sets with a lacquer finish or other coating on the teeth should not be used as the coating may inhibit or slow the speed at which the safety system detects skin contact. However, most coated blades do not cover the blade teeth. Those blades may be used on SawStop saws. Further, blades with depth-limiting shoulders may take longer to stop in the event of an accident than standard blades, and you could receive a more serious injury. Therefore, SawStop recommends using blades without depth-limiting shoulders.”

      Woodworkers Guild of America

  3. JR

    I bought my table saw a couple weeks ago, and found that in my first project and only 2nd time using it, that I was not able to get close enough to the blade to make the narrow cut that I needed to. I took the guard off, and then realized that I would also need to take the kickback piece off as well due to the bolts holding that on, being in the way. I ultimately decided against making the cut with the table saw, and added the guard and kick-back on for next time. I ended up getting it done by planing with a hand-planer for quite some time, which was a lengthy process, although fun to do. I’ve noticed that all the woodworkers I follow on youtube do NOT have the guard or kickback in place. How do they navigate these risks for so long without incident?

    Woodworkers such as….

    “April Wilkerson”:

    “I Like To Make Stuff”:

    “Woodworking for Mere Mortals”: (Ramsey does talk about kickback and shows a kickback piece in this video, but I don’t see him using one?)

    “Chris Salomone”:

    …and many more.

    I’ve learned a lot from and have a ton of respect for these woodworkers, but that being said, they do seem to operate their tools safely, without using these safety features. I would go so far as to say that there are many cuts needed for their projects that cannot be made with these guards and devices in place. They all appear to only be using the riving knife and none of the rest. Anyone able to shed light on this?

  4. JOHN

    I can attest to blade height being a safety process to learn. I had my workpiece with the blade about 1/8th inch higher, and put my hand on top of the work piece and it caught my thumb on the tip. If I had had the blade higher, the little bite it took out of my thumb may have been my whole thumb tip. One week later almost totally healed. Please take this tip as gospel and not a suggestion.

  5. Chris Sebzda

    This was a good start for any novice woodworker, and a nice refresher for veteran users as to why you don’t stand between the miter gauge slots. I think it would be additionally helpful to highlight the differences between safely making a rip cut versus a cross cut, which blades you should use and why.

  6. Harry

    Thanks George, very informative and affordable video. I feel that whatever your experience level, their is always room to learn. I too will be replacing my guards and kb pawls.

  7. AirForceVet

    I am also new to using a table saw and have a Porter-Cable table saw. I appreciate your video and after seeing it, I’m going to make some changes. I’ve only used my saw one time so far, to rip a piece of plywood, but after watching some other videos on using table saws, I saw that they weren’t using the riv knife or plastic blade guard. So, I took mine off. Well, after seeing this video, I am going out right now and put them back on. Thanks again for the great safety training, and I look forward to seeing more of your table saw videos.

    • Scott K Williams

      Table saws will hurt you, if YOU let them. They are very safe when used properly but boy, if you break a rule, they can jump up and bite you in the hand, arm, face, and a**! Be careful and play it safe. It takes only a second of indiscretion to spend the rest of your life missing a finger, or an eye.

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