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table saw kickback cause by the saw?

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Forum topic by el_mustango posted 01-21-2018 06:49 PM 3790 views 0 times favorited 71 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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el_mustango

29 posts in 354 days


01-21-2018 06:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw safety

I need the expertise of this board, as I am a novice maker at best. I recently purchased a used General International 50-185M1 table saw. Previously, I had been using a very inexpensive, no-name benchtop table saw that my dad has had for 20+ years. I feel that I need to (embarrassingly) admit that neither saw has a riving knife or splitter. I used my dad’s cheap table saw for a couple of months (making maybe a 100 or so cuts) with no problems (except the fence was horrible, which why I finally purchased the GI with its biesemeyer-clone fence). However, I’ve made maybe 20 to 30 cuts on the GI table, and I’ve had TWO kickbacks already. The first time it kicked back was last week, and the piece of wood grazed me and left a pretty decent sized sliver in my side. After that incident, I immediately ordered a MicroJig MJ Splitter SteelPro (which should arrive this week). Today, in an effort to finish up a project for my daughter’s birthday, I used the GI (still with no splitter) to do just a few cuts. I meade sure to go slow and be deliberate- using push sticks, microjig grr-ripper 3D pushblock, and a FeatherPro featherboard. Again, I experienced kickback, this time the board slammed me pretty squarely in the gut. Luckily I was wearing a waxed canvas apron and two shirts underneath. It did rip the apron, although not the shirts underneath. It felt like I had been punched super hard in the gut and it left a huge abrasion.

All safety issues aside (trust me, I will NOT be using the table saw until I get the MJ splitter install) I think there might be an issue with my GI. I say this because I’ve watched a ton of safety videos on how to properly use a table saw and I’ve read a ton of articles on safety. I’ve used the other, cheaper table saw with no issues. Most people use a table saw for decades without splitters or riving knifes and have only experienced kickback once or twice in all that time. I also know that it is a poor craftsman who blames his tools. But it’s happened to me twice in one week while using a new saw. So, I’m thinking the blade might be misaligned.

I set up my digital caliper to check the distance from the miter gauge slot to the blade. I marked one tooth and measure at the front of the blade, then rotated the blade and measured the same tooth at the back of the blade. Here is a picture of the set I used with the caliper and my miter gauge:

At the front of the blade, it read: 36.20mm
At the back of the blade, it read: 36.94mm

If I’m reading and understanding it correctly, it means the blade is closer to the fence on the back of the blade the front. I know that a blade that is misaligned can cause kickback. Would a misalignment of 0.74mm cause kickback?

I’m honestly frightened to use this saw again. Which would suck, because I just bought it and there’s no way I could afford to replace it. Is it the saw that’s causing the kickback? I think I’m a reasonably intelligent dude and I don’t believe this to be user error. Any and all advice is welcome.

-- I'm a simple man. I like pretty dark-haired women and breakfast food.


71 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1356 posts in 304 days


#1 posted 01-21-2018 06:56 PM

watching this one through “my good eye”

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12369 posts in 2521 days


#2 posted 01-21-2018 07:06 PM

Kickback is user error and usually from using improperly dried wood or wet wood. Definitely tune up the saw and then learn basic safety rules and follow them. If using questionable wood, only cut halfway, by setting blade to half the Thickness, through on the first rip and see if the kerf closes.

https://www.tru.ca/hsafety/workinglearningsafely/work/tablesaw.html

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5067 posts in 4102 days


#3 posted 01-21-2018 07:07 PM

Sounds as if ya need to do a bit of realignment. Blade should be even with the slot and fence. Some even “relieve” the trailing edge of the fence a bit (few thou.) to allow clearance.
This adjustment and the splitter will help big time.
Just my thoughts.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3519 posts in 2130 days


#4 posted 01-21-2018 07:09 PM

It is partially user error. Do not stand in back of the saw where a kicked back piece can get you. Stand to the side.

You need to find someone close to you than can give you some lessons before you kill yourself.

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

1052 posts in 1702 days


#5 posted 01-21-2018 07:12 PM

Since your measurement is from the outside miter slot away from the fence it indicates the blade is tighter to the fence on the rear than the front which will cause kickback. I assume your fence is in alignment with the right miter slot? It is better to take the measurements from the miter slot on the fence side.

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MrUnix

6920 posts in 2340 days


#6 posted 01-21-2018 07:12 PM

If the fence is closer to the blade at the rear, you will get kick-back as it’s pinching the wood between the two. Your new used saw should be given a complete once over before using – clean, lube, align, etc… that will also give you a chance to examine the machine for any consumables that may need replacing like belts or bearings.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1712 posts in 1939 days


#7 posted 01-21-2018 07:27 PM

Boards that are warped or twisted are more likely to give you trouble. I read in your post what the condition of the wood is milled flat and straight ? I do believe that a table should be in proper alinement but mostly for clean cutting and longer blade life.
I rip all rough wood on a bandsaw or anything that hasn’t been milled flat by me.

-- Aj

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4476 posts in 2450 days


#8 posted 01-21-2018 07:29 PM

https://youtu.be/0WhnZS1p5Qg?t=110

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jbay's profile

jbay

2659 posts in 1040 days


#9 posted 01-21-2018 08:06 PM

I’ve never been a fan of standing in a certain place.

More of a fan of learning how to not have a kickback in the first place.

Of course your fence needs to be set up properly, I keep mine equal distance.
The next thing to learn is not to let go of your piece until you have gone past the blade.
If you push it all the way through how can you have kick back?

You can’t run a warped, crooked piece without the chance of trouble, so you have to learn when a piece can be a problem or not, before you cut it.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 733 days


#10 posted 01-21-2018 08:07 PM

0.74mm is 15 times worse than acceptable. I am surprised you got only two kickbacks.
If you keep the workpiece pressed against the fence as you should, there is 0.74mm of wood at the back that overlap with the blade. It has more than enough support to grab the piece and raise it from the table.
However realigning the saw is very easy whether it has table mounted or cabinet mounted trunnions. You should have done it first thing after you bought the saw.

View Dr_T's profile

Dr_T

43 posts in 1933 days


#11 posted 01-21-2018 08:17 PM

el mustango,
Couple other things to think about and measure in addition to what has already been mentioned above:
1. Using the same setup, measure to the fence parallel to your blade front and back. Your blade can be aligned with the miter slot but not with the fence, which could contribute to the issues you are seeing.
2. Are you getting any play in the miter slot? If there is side-to-side travel of your runner in your miter slot, you may not be getting an accurate reading on your original measurement.

Hope you get your problem figured out, I know how disappointing it can be to get something and then figure out you can’t use it for some reason or another.

Dr T

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4476 posts in 2450 days


#12 posted 01-21-2018 08:27 PM



I ve never been a fan of standing in a certain place.

More of a fan of learning how to not have a kickback in the first place.

Of course your fence needs to be set up properly, I keep mine equal distance.
The next thing to learn is not to let go of your piece until you have gone past the blade.
If you push it all the way through how can you have kick back?

You can t run a warped, crooked piece without the chance of trouble, so you have to learn when a piece can be a problem or not, before you cut it.

- jbay


Two things. You are a seasoned table saw user (not everyone is) 2, That’ like saying I don’t wear a seat belt because I drive safe.

Standing out of line of fire is just one layer of the whole process.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1127 posts in 1050 days


#13 posted 01-21-2018 08:31 PM

I remember when you were shopping for this saw and said that you made several cuts on site and thought it performed beautifully. When you transported the saw home did you disassemble it and then reassemble when you got it home? Perhaps something got out of alignment?

It’s a Biesemeyer Fence, correct? If so, have a look at this video (if you haven’t discovered this already) on how to adjust the alignment of your fence.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10245 posts in 1627 days


#14 posted 01-21-2018 08:32 PM

Never assume everything is setup properly. Especially after transport.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jbay's profile

jbay

2659 posts in 1040 days


#15 posted 01-21-2018 09:39 PM

I ve never been a fan of standing in a certain place.

More of a fan of learning how to not have a kickback in the first place.

Of course your fence needs to be set up properly, I keep mine equal distance.
The next thing to learn is not to let go of your piece until you have gone past the blade.
If you push it all the way through how can you have kick back?

You can t run a warped, crooked piece without the chance of trouble, so you have to learn when a piece can be a problem or not, before you cut it.

- jbay

Two things. You are a seasoned table saw user (not everyone is) 2, That like saying I don t wear a seat belt because I drive safe.

Standing out of line of fire is just one layer of the whole process.

- AlaskaGuy


You can’t compare a table saw cut to driving a car.

Being a seasoned table saw user is why I’m trying to teach how not to have a kickback.
If you have flat true wood, saw is set up properly, push wood all the way past the blade and don’t let go of the wood, the chance of kickback should be nill.
There is no reason to concern yourself where to stand, except for the best position to make the cut properly.
Just my Opinion!

I know there are plenty of people more concerned with standing out of the way, waiting for the kickback.
If you have kickback on your mind you don’t have the confidence to start with, and probably will end up with a kickback. To each their own.

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