In Featured Article, Shop Blog, Techniques

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

My drivers education teacher in high school made a big deal about the difference between accidents and collisions. His point was that most of what we call accidents, events that occur unexpectedly and unintentionally, are really collisions, preventable events that happen because of a lack of control or a lapse of attention. In reviewing the responses to our recent table saw safety survey and reading about the recent lawsuit about a table saw injury, I couldn’t help but thinking most table saw injuries could be prevented with more understanding about how the machines work, and how to keep the work under the operator’s control.

In 2007 and 2008, we ran a series of articles written by Marc Adams that detailed the safe operation of woodworking machinery of all types. What set this series apart is that they are based on understanding all the forces at work when we stick pieces of wood into sharp spinning metal. With that understanding you won’t take unnecessary risks, and the quality of your work will improve. We don’t have to take a test or get a license to operate a table saw, we buy them, plug them in and go to work.

If you haven’t had any training in using a table saw, you are running a considerable risk of injuring yourself, or a loved one. There are many references you can read, and classes you can take. We are making two of Marc’s articles, Woodworking Essentials: Table Saws for our October 2008 issue and Avoid Kickback at the Table Saw from our November 2008 issue available online for free.

Click Title to Read: Woodworking Essentials: Table Saws
Click Title to Read: Avoid Kickback at the Table Saw

–Robert W. Lang


Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recommended Posts
Showing 2 comments
  • Bruce Jackson


    With all due respect, I disagree.

    A. Under no circumstances was Ryobi / One World Tech obligated to put a Saw-Stop like device on any of its saws.
    B. The flooring contractor for whom Osorio worked did have an obligation to its employees to see that they work safely with all due care. That includes ensuring that the employee understands safety instructions, in English as well as in Spanish.
    C. The flooring contractor is also responsible for providing safe tools – in my opinion a set of saws as follows: a bandsaw, a jig saw, and a chop / miter saw. Properly set up with Cool Blocks and new tires with good crowns, a band saw can cut just as straight a line as a table saw, and almost as fast. To allow an employee to use his bench table saw on the floor kneeling and without the proper guards is the height of foolishness.
    D. On all these counts and more, the judge gave the jury bad instructions. I hope One World Tech appeals this case – it seems completely reversible.

    Marc Adams’ testimony was needed; the judge could have instructed the jury that the brand of saw in Marc’s school is immaterial since Marc testified to safe practices with any table saw, Sawstop or not. With some degree of familiarity with our schools, I can assure you that were I sitting on that bench, that would bave been my explicit instruction.

    I may not be an attorney, but I smell a rat in this case and it stinks to high heaven. Appeal it, Ryobi!

  • Martin

    Marc Adams might have been the perfect expert witness to educate the Osorio jury on table saw safety and just how far Mr. Osorio had strayed from proper safety practices. Except for one thing. The cross examination probably would have gone something like this:
    Q. Mr. Adams, what kind of table saws do you use at your woodworking school?
    A. We have ten SawStop table saws.
    Q. No further questions.

Start typing and press Enter to search