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Safety Tip: Table Saw Safety Precautions

I have been a woodworker for 35 years and had never had an injury. I learned that no matter how good you think you are, that table saw that has been your trusty work horse all those years also has all the patience in the world. Get in a hurry and it will get you.

Recently, I was working on my table saw. Knowing the kind of damage that the blade can do has caused me to use just about every type of safety device I could find. On this day, I was ripping turning blanks for spindles to be used as staircase balusters. My blanks were 1-1/2" squares and I needed 1-1/4" stock. I was using my index finger to hold the stock against the fence. I was watching the blade as it passed through the upper surface of the blank. My left index finger came in contact with the blade and I lost about 3/16" of the side of the finger about a 1/2" along the right side. There was lots of blood and the finger felt like it had been struck with a hammer. No tissue could be saved. I could have saved a long recovery period if I had used a feather board. So my safety tip is to use all of the safety equipment you can get your hands on. It may take a little longer, but you will end up saving yourself a lot of pain.

John Nelson

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