– Hey guys, my name's AaronMassey from mrfixitdiy.
Com, and today I'm here to talkto you about table saw safety because earlier thisweek I had an accident.
(rhythmic instrumental music) If you follow me on social media, you know that earlier thisweek while doing a cut similar to cuts I've donethousands of times before, I had an accident, andmanaged to screw up my hand by making some careless mistakes that led to my hand making contact with the blade.
Now, I'm extremely lucky and fortunate that I didn't lose any finger, however, my fingers did get chewed up pretty badly, leading to a bunch of stitchesacross these three fingers.
And I'm gonna be out of commission for at least a month or more.
I'm not gonna include the graphic images of my accident in thisvideo, but if you do want to see the extent of thedamage to my fingers, I will put a bunch ofphotos on my website along with a companion piece to this video, which you could check out inthe description down below.
Again, I was extremely lucky.
Many people who havehad table saw accidents have actually lost fingersor done more severe damage than what I have, soI feel very fortunate.
And I know it might sound odd to take table saw safetyadvice from somebody who has had a table saw accident, but I can assure you that Ihave been around this tool for close to 20 years, and have always had a fearful respect for the table saw.
And I've never considered myself someone who didn't operate the saw safely, so if it can happen to me,it can happen to anyone.
And my goal with this videois to show you exactly what happened in my accident,how and why it happened, and how I could've avoided it.
And hopefully, give you a few tips on how you can avoid a similarsituation down the road.
So here's what happened in my accident.
This was the setup that I hadat the time of the accident.
As you can see, I had the piece, I had the blade set justtaller than the piece itself.
I was ripping a drawer front down to its final size to installmy custom vanity build.
And the piece got behind the blade, resulting in the piecegetting kicked back at me, and my hand being sent into the blade.
Now, I'm not sure if my handwent into the blade as a result of the piece coming backand hitting me in my side, and my reaction to that,or if the kickback motion of the piece itself sentmy hand into the blade.
But I do know that I madethree critical mistakes that combined led tothis accident happening, and I want to show you those right now.
My first mistake was starting the cut without locating my push stick first.
Normally, my push stick isattached to my table saw fence, but in this case my push stickwas actually across the shop, and I started cutting thepiece before I realized it.
Because this was a finishedcut on a drawer front, I needed the cut to be clean,so I decided to continue with the cut, just by using my hand.
My second mistake was an immediate result of my first mistake, and that was because I was pushingthrough with my hand, I decided to slide my handover towards the fence, further away from the blade, thinking that it would make my hand safer, even though I know thisnot to be the case.
In doing that, I actuallychanged the direction of the force that I was applying on the piece from thefence towards the blade.
And when the piece gotto where the majority of it was beyond the blade, and the blade was no longerthere to push back on it, the piece deflectedimmediately behind the blade, allowing for the kickback to occur.
And my third mistake was not having my riving knife installed on the table saw at the time of the accident.
A riving knife is designedto prevent kickback because it doesn't allow a piece to get pinched immediatelybehind the blade, or allow the piece to getimmediately behind the blade by turning, like it did in my case.
Had I not made any oneof these three mistakes, the accident likely wouldn'thave involved my hand, and let me show you why.
I'm gonna start with the first one.
If I had had my push stick, even if I was to push the piece very close to the fence, and change the direction ofthe force I was applying on it, the kickback stillwould've likely occurred, however, my hand would havebeen up and off the table.
And because my bladeheight wasn't that high, even if the kickback occurred, which still may havekicked me in the side, my hand would've beenwell above the table, and my hand wouldn't havemade contact with the blade.
So it still would'vebeen a kickback accident, but my hands wouldn't have been involved.
Secondly, had I actuallyjust left my hand closer to the blade than furtheraway, the force in which I was applying on the piecewouldn't have changed, and I actually would've been safer to have my hand closer to theblade than by further away.
Which seems to be counterintuitive, but it's true in this case.
And three, if my rivingknife were installed, the piece wouldn't havebeen able to deflect and turn behind the blade until it was already beyond the riving knife, which means it wouldn't makecontact with the blade at all, and the kickback wouldn't have occurred.
My riving knife wasn't installedbecause it's slightly bent, and it interferes with myability to use my crosscut sled.
But rather than fixing the issue I had taken the easyway out and removed it, and obviously that was a mistake.
I think at least for myself,sometimes I have a tendency to kind of rush thingsalong, and try to get as much done in aslittle time as possible.
Sometimes I sacrifice safetyfor convenience or for speed, and obviously that is atremendous mistake given that it only takes one time tocause an accident like this.
So while I obviouslymade a lot of mistakes that led to this accident,there are two things that I did that I think lessened the severity of the accident.
Number one is that I set the blade height of my table saw properly.
Had I not taken the timeto adjust the blade height, and the blade height wassignificantly higher, you can see how much more cutting area that would've leftexposed above the table.
So if my hand had madecontact with that amount of cutting area, you can imagine how much more severe the damage would be.
The second thing that I'm happy about is that I never stand directly behind the table saw blade forkickback reasons, specifically.
Now, in this case, obviously,the piece kicked back, but it kicked back on kind of an angle.
And it hit me in the hip in kind of a glancing blow, andthe piece continued on.
Now, had I been standingdirectly behind the blade, that piece would've shotback, and hit me square in the abdomen, and I would'veabsorbed 100% of that impact.
You can see how much bruising was done with that glancing blow,so if I took the piece in a direct hit to theabdomen there's potential that I could've hadinternal injuries as well.
So I'm thankful that I wasn't standing directly behind the blade.
At the end of the day,what it really comes down to is developing good sawhabits and sticking with them because it only takes a split second for a potentiallylife-altering event to happen.
So I just want to outlinea couple more quick tips for you that hopefully will help you develop good saw habits, so that you don't have anaccident like this, or worse.
Number one is the most important, and that is take your time.
Make sure that you haveeverything that you need to make the proper cuts nearby you.
Make sure that you're following all the safety proceduresthat you possibly can.
And take your time, evaluatethe cut before you make it.
I think the majority of accidents happen because people were rushingor not paying attention.
And that was certainly the case with me because these are notthings that I've learned after the fact, I knew all of these things beforethis accident occurred.
But because I was in a hurry, and just trying to get something done at the end of the day,this is what happened.
Number two is to never letyour hands go beyond the front of the blade withoutsome sort of push stick.
Now, there's tons of different schools of thought as to what pushstick is the best push stick.
I don't really care what push stick you use, just use something.
Imagine there's a do not cross piece of tape across thefront of your saw blade.
And if your fingers get to that point, you know it's time totransfer to a push stick.
Hell, I don't even care, puta piece of tape on there, and write no fingers beyond this point.
Just never let your fingers go beyond that line at the height of the blade.
Number three is don't stand directly behind the saw blade inthe event of kickback.
Always set your blade height just taller than the material that you're cutting.
Never reach over or across the blade to grab a piece that you're cutting.
Never wear gloves, orbaggy sleeves, or clothing around the table saw when you're using it.
And always try to keep a blade guard or riving knife on the tablesaw as much as possible.
In addition to these safetytips, I'll include a bunch more on my website that youguys can also check out.
And if you use yoursaw a ton, and you want to make sure that you'reas safe as possible, you can always save up yourmoney and purchase a SawStop.
I just did that prior tothis accident happening, but the saw didn't arrivebefore the accident happened.
So from that perspectiveit's a little bit ironic.
This is not a paid or sponsoredpromotion for SawStop, they just happen to havethe saw with the technology in it that I think shouldbe industry standard.
But until it is they happen to kind of corner the market on it.
Owning a SawStop doesn'treplace having good saw habits, but it is an added level of security in the event that something does happen.
That's it for this video,I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I hope you learned something.
And at the very least, I hope that it has made you reevaluateyour own saw habits, and maybe pointed something out that you might be doingthat's a little bit unsafe, and you should correct itbefore it becomes and issue.
I also want to say a quick thank you to all of you who have reachedout to me via social media, and offered your support,it means a lot to me.
And the healing processis going well so far, so thank you so much for that.
And if you did like this video,please hit that like button, and leave a comment downbelow, and let me know.
Also, consider sending it to your friends who may benefit fromdeveloping safer saw habits.
And if you guys want to check out more of my home improvementand DIY related videos, I'll leave links to those right here.
Or you can always visit mywebsite at mrfixitdiy.
Thank you guys so much for watching.
I'll see you next time.
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