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Hi, 

 

I recently bought a Proxxon FET table saw. I have been experimenting with different cuts as I have never owned a table saw before. The biggest problem i see is it is difficult to do very thin cuts with the saw blade guard attached. I know most people remove it. With out the blade guard I seemed to be getting some kick backs. I was using a push stick but what do I do if I am cutting a piece only a mm or 2 in width? That is the cut stock is 1mm cut from a larger piece. Do I use a 1mm push stick. I put the blade guard back on and just rested it on the fence for the close cuts. It still seemed to kick back, even though the spreader blade was attached. 

 

I have been mainly cutting 1/4" plywood for my frames.  Is it the blade, it is a 24 tooth carbide bit (supplied). I also tired adjusting the blade higher. 

 

I was also getting kick backs with larger cuts, say thicker than 5mm. 

 

Hope this makes sense. Any help would be appreciated. 

 

Cheers, Cole 

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I have a Proxxon saw. I removed the plastic portion of the blade guard, and left the vertical metal part in place. That allows the metal part to act as a riving knife which helps the cut piece from falling into the blade resulting in kickback. The most important part is to push the piece completely through the blade so it doesn't kick back.

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Cole,

For starters, make sure the fence is square to the blade or even a like more away from the blade at the rear of it.  If the fence is closer to the blade rear than the front, it pinches and then kicks the wood out.  Also, lower the blade it's just above the top of the wood.  As I recall there's several videos on youtube.com about this and about cutting thin planks.  I had some links for videos about pushsticks and featherboards... I'll have to do some research to find them.

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Cole.

 

Definitely look up pushsticks and feather boards as well as cutting small pieces on a table saw with Google. There used to be a link to a great video from the old site on how to deal with small pieces.

 

I am showing a pushstick that is now well used, to fit the higher Byrnes rip fence. It rides along the fence, and has an adjustable hook at the back that pulls the piece along the fence while your hand is safely up above. It also has sandpaper on the bottom edge, so it grips the wood all along its length. You can see it has been chewed up with a lot of close cuts. the hook is adjustable up and down for a precise fit with whatever thickness of wood you are cutting.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mark

 

 

post-477-0-42289500-1363574836_thumb.jpg

post-477-0-29432300-1363574837_thumb.jpg

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One of the reasons for the kick back on any table saw, particularly when cutting a longer piece, is that the wood pieces on the run out side of the blade tend to pinch together.  This will bind the blade a little causing the piece to lift and kick back.  Any sort of rifing on the run out side will help minimise this a lot. 

 

Nice piece of work on the push stick, Mark.  Will have to construct somethin like that for those small cuts on the Byrnes table saw.  Currently, I use push sticks that are approx. the same width as the piece I'm cutting.  I also use sandpaper on each stick to assist in the guiding of the piece being cut.

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A few things I found on the Proxxon FET when setting it up:

 

1. I use a digital vernier caliper to make sure the fence is square by measuring the ends from the side and using the depth gauge. Once set up it seems to stay perfect

 

2. I use a cheap comb for African hair (just over £1) as a featherboard. It was simple to get it to a 2mm dimension simply by running it through the saw. It will probably go finer if I bother to cut it again. The handle it already has is perfect for holding, and so far I haven't needed to angle it by cutting across the base.

 

3. I oiled all the screws on the adjustment slide to make the adjustments really work smoothly (and I don't have it centred as it is the offset that matters). The micro adjustment works well for me now.

 

4. I made sure the saw was really vertical by using a set square and then clamping it securely. I don't intend at the moment to do angled cuts, so that seems fine.

 

5. I'm using the 50mm blade, 0.5mm thick with 100 teeth (Spring Steel Cutting Blade Ref: 28020) that comes from one of their other saws as it has a much finer kerf than the one supplied and, because of its smaller diameter, really does go below the table so that you can raise it to any level you want. The regular blade at its lowest comes to about 1mm above the board.

 

I'm still learning how to work this thing nicely, but it seems to be doing the job just fine! However, I am aware that others using this saw have complaints about its level of precision and the amount of time you have to fiddle with it to get it just right.

 

Tony

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Very informative post - thanks all.  I've been looking for this type of information.

 

Nice push stick idea, Mark.  I've been using a similar approach, but didn't think of constructing it so that it would fit over the fence.  Thanks!

 

Frank

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Wow, thanks to everyone! A lot of excellent information! I will try all of your suggestions.

 

Cheers, Cole

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Cole, here are some suggestions from someone who has experienced 'kick-back'.
post-246-0-95577400-1363823711.jpg

 

This happened, of course, many years ago on a larger machine when I reacted and tried to grab my work piece. But the same thing applies with smaller saws: Use a push-stick!!! 

 

After my accident, I make my own push sticks out of scrap pieces of good wood. They have a square cut-out to hold the part down on the table. Crude sketch below.

post-246-0-74502800-1363823730.jpg

 

But I am not afraid to use my hands as long as they are away from the blade. I start to cut a piece, say 12 inches long, and feed it into the blade by holding the first part down on the table with my left hand. When it gets close (you be the judge), I grab the push stick (which is right next to my right hand) and continue with it until the part comes out free and clear.
 

So the push stick has a groove, or two, or ten. I can make another one in no time.

 

BTW what I am describing above is for small saw blades (4 inch diameter or so) and does not apply to large table saws. For those I will use a push stick a bit longer and a feather board as well. But I am still not 'scared' and will react cautiously if something is not quite right.

Edited by Modeler12

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Great advice Jay.  And this from one who knows.  Thnks for the picture, also, worth a thousand words.  Sorry it happened to you.  Reminds me of a advertisment for a table saw in one of my WoodCraft magazines.  It shows a guy with his hand in the foreground, three of his fingers are missing at the first knuckle and the caption reads "and this guy is good."

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I wonder how many cooks are out there that have never burnt their hand. Or how many wood carvers have never seen their own blood.

 

It happens, but it also teaches you a lesson to be more careful the next time around.

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. But I am still not 'scared' and will react cautiously if something is not quite right.

 

This is really important advice. I remember reading many years ago in Fine Woodworking Magazine some advice that I have always tried to heed. When the little birdie on your shoulder says "this doesn't feel right", always, always listen to it. Before I read that, the few times I got impatient and thought just this time I'll risk it, it will be OK, my intuition had turned out to be right. It wasn't OK. Nothing irreparable, but close.

 

Mark

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Being scared is not helpful, but a healthy respect for any power tool is a good thing. Mark's advice to listen to your intuition is excellent. That applies to life as well as model making!

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I have been searching information about kickback with small tablesaws and how serious it can be. Not having found reports of kickback acidents with 4" tablesaws of course does not mean such accidents did not happen, so I am still a bit concerned because I am going to own one of those Rolls Royce Byrnes saws, which I believe have no riving knife. Of course I will stick with push sticks, feather boards and the like, but I am unsure if I should consider modifying the saw (= add a splitter, adjustable or not, etc.) once it will have arrived, or if I am concerned about something that can not get really dangerous on small table saws. :unsure:

 

I'll appreciate any suggestion. Meanwhile I'll have a chamomile tea to calm my nerves. :D

 

Cheers,

Markus

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Markus,

 

Have a look here:  http://www.hobbymillusa.com/byrnes-saw-operation.php   Particularly how he sets the fence further away from the blade at the rear of the blade.

 

Yes, these saws are small which to me makes them more dangerous because we underestimate the damage that can occur. I use the featherboards (not religiously :() and pushsticks (always) and have still had kickback with a bit of wood flying off.  Depending on the size of the flying wood, it can do some damage so I stand off to one side, just in case. 

 

Just exercise caution and don't get overconfident.  I've managed to get bit and have spilled blood from every power tool I own.  So far, I've been lucky... but I'm more cautious now.

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Making narrow cuts in thin stock --  Would a "push stick" that is a covering layer of the stock with a piece of the stock to be cut tack glued across the back to push it work?  The covering piece can be thick enough that the blade does not come close to cutting thru it.  It would work like an upside down sliding crosscut table.

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Markus,

 

Have a look here:  http://www.hobbymillusa.com/byrnes-saw-operation.php   Particularly how he sets the fence further away from the blade at the rear of the blade. [...]

Thank you for your hints Mark.

 

Also, that's an excellent text you linked to!

Actually, this is a bit similar to what the HSE recommends here and here:

 

"To prevent kickback, the front of the fence must be

no further than the base of the gullet at table level."

 

I believe that this recommendation works best in comination with a riving knife.

 

 

[...]

Yes, these saws are small which to me makes them more dangerous because we underestimate the damage that can occur. [...]

Just exercise caution and don't get overconfident. [...]

Good to know that I am obviously not alone with my thinking.

 

[...]

I've managed to get bit and have spilled blood from every power tool I own. So far, I've been lucky... but I'm more cautious now.

I'm glad you had no serious accident. Hearing you have spilled blood from every power tool sounds scary. Although I have to admit that I even managed to cut off one of my fingertips (luckily re-attached by the doctor) ...with a hand tool!

Oh well, I think I went a bit off-topic with that. :blush:

 

Bottom line: I will have a serious look at how (if) I will be able to incorporate a reliable riving knife to the Byrnes saw or, should this not be possible for me, at least add a splitter.

 

 

Markus

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Making narrow cuts in thin stock --  Would a "push stick" that is a covering layer of the stock with a piece of the stock to be cut tack glued across the back to push it work?  The covering piece can be thick enough that the blade does not come close to cutting thru it.  It would work like an upside down sliding crosscut table.

 

I'm not sure if I am understanding well your description. If you are thinking of a "covering layer" thicker than the blade's height over the table, this would mean you would cut a groove in the assembly. Although this gets done with dado blades, I think it is a dangerous practice (maybe unless the working piece would be secured to a sliding table). I'm not an expert, but again, this is what the HSE recommends here:

 

"Rebating and grooving

A circular saw should not be used for cutting a rebate or groove unless the blade is effectively guarded. This is because the normal saw guard cannot be used. Suitable alternative guards and fixtures are necessary. [...] "

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Hate to say it but that's a bit of bunk about NOT doing rebates, dados, etc.  I have the Micromark saw and there's washers available to cant the blade such that it can cut a dado up to 3/16" wide.  The guard HAS to be removed to cut dados.  I also cut slits such as rabbets (I then finish by hand) using a slitting blade.  I should add, so does just about everyone else here on MSW who has one will cut rebates, dados, etc. on our table saws.

 

Also, with the thin pieces of wood we cut, many of the guards and anti-kickback devices will jam or not let the fence get close enough to the blade.  A zero clearance insert is needed by all means, however.

 

Yes, it's dangerous.  You really don't want to work with a tablesaw, milling machine or lathe when exhausted, tired, after a few adult beverages, etc.  You need to be on your toes at all times.  I should have added to a previous statement that the power tool that hasn't bit me yet (yet being the keyword) is my scroll saw.

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This is what I always use.

 

A feather board and a push stick.

 

post-838-0-63309800-1410766270_thumb.jpg

 

An on/off foot pedal.

 

post-838-0-52492700-1410766289_thumb.jpg

 

Regards

 

 mij

Edited by mij

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Hate to say it but that's a bit of bunk about NOT doing rebates, dados, etc. [...]

Obviously, these are common practices but they apparently were recognised as potentionally more dangerous than achieving the same result by the use of other tools.

 

I believe that rather than calling official safety recommendations "a bit of bunk", it would be a good idea to think about why commonly applied techniques are considered by the HSE as, what I would translate as "at least more dangerous than necessary".

 

Of course, there may be workarounds which to the "avarage" woodworker are too complicated and time consuming, and of course it may be that using smaller machines than those safety sheets actually are addressing to, is less dangerous (or not).

 

But deducing that some techniques were safety-wise just fine by saying "everybody does it" seems to be a bit strange to me.

By the way, I had cut off the fingertip I mentioned in this post by applying a technique that almost everybody uses to do the same task, and which I had applied without a single incident since 40 years - until the day I got distracted a bit.

 

Markus

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This is what I always use.

 

[...]

 

An on/off foot pedal.

 

 

That's what I use even on my drill press, and also on my router table.

 

When sometings starts to turn out differently than I imagined it is a huge relief to not have to take off one hando of the worlikng piece in order to turn off the machine!

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Ok.. I understand HSE and here in the States, OHSA and their primary purpose is commercial/manufacturing operations.  On the other hand we have commercial suppliers of the equipment supplying the tooling that requires the removal of the guards.   I think it boils down to: "do what's right for you". 

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Hi All,

 

I once had a kickback incident on a 10" 3hp saw. I became a bit pre-occupied and careless when cutting some 2" wide pieces of oak. In an instant a board kicked back, whizzed just past my face, and was thrown with enough force that it splintered, with part imbedded into the rafters on the ceiling (I was in the basement). Needless to say that it scarred the hell out of me.

 

Yes, it's dangerous.  You really don't want to work with a tablesaw, milling machine or lathe when exhausted, tired, after a few adult beverages, etc.  You need to be on your toes at all times.  I should have added to a previous statement that the power tool that hasn't bit me yet (yet being the keyword) is my scroll saw.

Mark is absolute right. One needs to pay attention at all times with ANY power tool. The force that can be generated by a Dremel spinning at 35,000 rpm would shock you. Be careful.

 

Best,

Steve

Edited by Perls

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I was suggesting a way to cut thin stock on a 4 inch or smaller table saw.  Using not particularly long stock, since at 1:48 a 6" piece is 24 feet.  After the first cut , the blade would not be cutting into the covering carrier and the trailling part - the part behind the stock can be wide enough that the blade need not emerge before the stock is completely cut.  But yes, the blade guard must be out of the way, so it is like a dado cut.

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I don't have a table saw but found this interesting:

 

"Whilst the risk of kickback is real, good sense and technique, as with any tool, is the key to safe usage. Just don’t read any American magazines or books on how to use them"

 

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/editors-blog/table-saw-safety-why-the-british-think-were-crazy

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wis16.pdf

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Hi,

 

I just read Queen Anne's post and in the absence of any

direct experience I fail to see any contribution.

 

Steve

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