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 In Woodworking Mistakes

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Flying Sawdust

Last summer, due to the heat, I covered my portable saw with a canvas tarp and retreated to the cooler air inside my basement shop.  For two months, the saw sat under the shed roof, unattended, until I needed to cut some boards that were too long and unwieldy to maneuver in my basement shop.

I uncovered the saw and set up infeed and outfeed tables to handle the boards. I pushed the start button and with a loud whine, my trusty saw sprang into action. Clouds of sawdust billowed out from under its frame, which seemed odd, because I hadn’t started cutting. Then I noticed the dust was black and yellow…and buzzing.

Clouds of enraged wasps boiled out from under the saw. Dropping the board I was about to cut, I beat a hasty retreat. I didn’t stop running until I reached the fuse box at the far end of my shop, where I turned off the saw’s power.

My wife happened to look out the kitchen window just as I was high-tailing it toward my shop.


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