Popular Woodworking 2008-10 № 171, страница 34

Popular Woodworking 2008-10 № 171, страница 34

nuke multiple cuts or passes you could be putting yourself at more risk. For example, there is no sense in nuking several passes over a table saw Made to nuke a wide cut when you could have done it in one pass with a dado blade. As you present yourself to extra passes or multiple moves, you expose yourself to more risk.


There are two types of limitations to consider. The first are common-sense items such as your physical limitations and the limitations of your shop space. Everyone has difficulties handling a sheet of plywood or cutting heavy or long wood. And small shop space can sometimes require a lot of planning and strategy before nuking a cut. As I mentioned earlier there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

The other type of limitation, which is definitely the most important factor in understanding any nuchinc. is to know when that nuchinc is not capable of safely performing an operation. At some point you haw to determine when the table saw has reached its limits. My rule is simple: I use the guard as my determining factor. II" the guard on my saw will not permit me to make the cut that I desire or if I can't effectively make or obtain a guard that will work, then the table saw is not the nuchinc for that operation. There is nothing wrong with walking away from the table saw when it's the wrong machine. Actually. I find the challenge of figuring out a second approach to be a great learning experience and believe it has made me a better woodworker - not to mention it's helped to keep me out of the emergency room.

Understanding Guarding and How it Relates to Through and Non-through Cuts

Guarding simply is the act of positioning barriers or oilier safety methods so that hazards are inaccessible to the user. I'm probably going to take a hit for this next statement, but I think that most table saw manufacturers make guards that are inefficient and not very user-friendly. Yes. they do meet the provisional requirements by OSI IA (1917.151 (c) (1.2.3)) for having

an enclosure, splitter and anti-kick-back fingers, but they lack real design ingenuity.

What nukes a table saw so wrsatile is it can make both through and non-tluough cuts. Standard "off-the-show-room-Hoor" guarding doesn't nuke it easy to move between these two actions and worse yet. most nunufac-turers haw attached all three guards together to act as one unit. If you remove one. then you've removed all three. It can be a lot of work to remove a guard - followed by a lot of work to put it back on. After doing this a time or two. frustration sets in and it won't be long before it becomes a habit to just kaw the guard olfakogcthcr.

Ask any woodworkers today if they still use their guard and watch how quickly they look at the top of their loafers and say."... uh. no." Then ask them if they even knows where their table saw giurds are and they usually don't know that either.

I truly bcliew that everyone who uses an American-nude table saw-today would use their guard system, no questions, if the guard systems were user-friendly. This is why aftemurkct guarding is becoming so popular today. Aftemurkct guards separate the enclosure from the splitter, which allows you to remove oik- and leave tin* other in place.

Plus, most aftemurkct guards haw a degree of adjustability, which gives

them a better range of protection and they can be taken otfand put back on in a matter of a few seconds. But even with that, afternurket guards can't accommodate every possible cutting action on a table saw - but they sure arc better, and I definitely recommend that you look at upgrading your standard guarding.

Every table saw that I'w owned over the last 15 years has had the standard guard replaced by afternurket guarding systems. Make sure the afternurket guard you purchase has at least the blade enclosure and a splitter. More than likely the splitter will come with anti-kickback fingers attached to it.

In order to fully- understand guarding on the table saw you haw to understand the differences between the three guards, their purposes and how they function during through and non-through cuts.

Blade Enclosures

The blade enclosure, which is sometimes referred to as a shield, hood or top guard, is the most visible pan of the guarding system on a table saw. A good enclosure shoukl either rest on top of the wood or be set as close to the wood as possible. It should not allow your fingers to get between it ami the wood or near the blade and should not haw pinching forces. Enclosures that do not pivot act to a small degree as a way to help hold the wood in control and to

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