Home>Discussions>HEALTH & SAFETY>Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows
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Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows
alatraveler50 wrote:

I'm with you on all of the above. I am a "DIY"'er but pretty much know my limitations.

One thing I noticed the other day, watching TOH, was Tom Silva gluing two pieces of plastic trim together, then cutting them down to create an exterior window sill. NO blade guard on his table saw! This was three days after a buddy of mine, a carpenter, sliced his finger to the bone on a table saw 'cause he didn't want to take the time to put the blade guard on.

Most of the time these guys on TV do work safely but this one really hit home being just a few days after the incident. I believe that all the shows should take a few minutes to go over safety.


You're right about this one. Not only because it's the code, but also for safety reasons.

Carpenters often lock the blade covers for the obvious reasons, but there is one more reason: the covers are sometimes in the way of a smooth cut. I understand them, but I don't justify them.

BTW, a prudent inspector has the power to shut down a job site when he spots a carpenter with a disabled blade cover. I've seen carpenters unlock the cover when the inspector arrives...

In the final analysis, it's the carpenter's finger which is on the line, nobody else's.

Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

Ditto the last. The rule is that if you don't know how to use it safely then don't touch it. Guards will not create safety, only enhance it when it already exists. Because others work around me I keep guards in place, bypassing them only as needed then restoring them when I'm done. The exception is my table saw- the most dangerous tool on the jobsite. Only those using it should even get near one. When I reach for the switch on mine, I've already looked all round me and thought it through, including what can go wrong- especially the part about a future life with only one hand. Only then does it get turned on. That process happens every cut, not just when I set the saw up. I do dangerous work, it goes with the turf, but that doesn't mean it can be overlooked for one moment, cause that's when it will get you.

Pros usually suffer accidents because of complacency, DIY'ers from a lack of understanding all the possibilities that can happen. Whatever. This is never a safe type of work.


Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

I haven't taken a look at Tommy's table saw, but the lack of a guard doesn't necessarily equate to a lack of safety. If the saw is equipped with a riving knife behind the blade, that helps to reduce kickback. As for the guard itself protecting the user from the blade, I believe it only provides a false sense of security. If any part of your body is close enough to touch the guard, it's too close. It has no business being there. If your hand touches the guard while the saw is running, you are not using it properly. It is very easy to accidentally push your hand or a finger right under the guard.

Besides, that, the guard is consistently in the way and its presence often leads to more dangerous usage to compensate for the shortcomings of the guard. In the two years I've subscribed to Fine Woodworking magazine, I've never seen a blade guard in any photo, but every photo featuring a table saw demonstrates safe usage practices and proper eye protection.

A. Spruce
Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

Funny we should be talking about saws, I was watching **** Rush on Discovery the other night and somebody got their finger into a chopsaw. Guess what, they blamed the saw as being defective, made a HUGE production out of walking over to the saw and cutting the cord off it so no one else could use it . . . I will lay you odds that the idiot wasn't watching what he was doing or was doing something unsafe and it bit him in the ass, as is the case in most saw related accidents.

The moral of this story is, no amount of safety devices attached to a piece of equipment will make it safe for an idiot using it. For a piece of equipment to be safe - regardless of condition or quality - requires the operator to know how to use the piece of equipment properly, know their own limitations AND that of the machine, and to use safe practices while operating said machine.

For the record, I injured myself on a tablesaw many years ago. It was an accident, somehow I managed to get a finger where it didn't belong. BECAUSE I practiced safe saw techniques, the blade was only slightly proud of the material being cut, preventing serious injury to the finger that inadvertently got in the way. I do not blame the saw for being unsafe, I don't blame the manufacturer for not having made a "safe" saw, and I don't blame the owner of said saw for having removed the guards. The blame solely rested on my shoulders for not being fully aware of what I was doing.

Finally, many "safety" devices affixed to saws are inherently dangerous in and of themselves, as they prohibit necessary functions that the tool is commonly used for. In the case of a tablesaw, a splitter and blade guard, both have their place, and both do provide a certain level of safety when cutting large objects. Try cutting a small object with these "safety" features in place and you'll soon find out that they're far more dangerous in place than not. Ever try to do dado work on a table saw with a splitter? Not gonna happen, and in most cases, when you remove the splitter, you also remove the blade guards. All this brings us back to the original point, no amount of safety devices on a piece of equipment can make it safe, it is completely and totally up to the operator to know what they're doing and respect the equipment they are using. Be smart, be aware and YOU will be safe. Expect the equipment to protect you and you'll soon find yourself in the hospital or worse.

Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

Are you guys aware of the safety saw. Please check it out. if I were the boss of all job sites I would insist that every table saw be equipped this way. BTW most carpenters that i have worked with over the years are missing some parts of their hands. One guy cut his right hand off and had it reattached. It is basiclly useless. PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO.


MLB Construction
Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

there's several threads on this board about that saw. it's something that's been discussed several times.

A. Spruce
Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows
bill shack wrote:

Are you guys aware of the safety saw.

The best piece of PPE that anyone can have is directly between their ears. No amount of guards, warning labels, electronic shut-offs, or anything else can compensate for common sense. If you think for one second that these safety saws are going to prevent injury, you are dead wrong, in fact, just the opposite tends to happen, people rely on the "saftey" equipment and don't pay attention to what they're doing, getting themselves into a situation where they get injured.

Rule #1 - If you don't know how to safely use a piece of equipment, you have no business running it, whether it's a pencil, tablesaw, or a bulldozer.
Rule #2 - If you are afraid of a piece of equipment, you have no business using.

Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

And please use the same common sense to LADDER SAFETY.

Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

I think the best thing working in my favor when using my power saws is that they still intimidate me! I damn well know where my finges are and where the blade is, especially if it is making a blind cut where it is not visible until it exits.

Funny, over the years, i've fallen off planks from 2 or 3 feet heights dozens of times, but never come near it when 15 feet in the air! Again, the intimidation factor. I sure as hell was aware if it was plain grass below me, or a picket fence!

I'm happy to state that over almost 4 decades as a painting contractor, I never had a major Workman's Comp claim.
Don't ask about the Property Damage claims though! :) That might be an interesting topic: your worst oops?

Re: Response to DDIY Don't do it yourself and all DIY shows

I totally agree with A. Spruce and add to that the following.

Spouse is on notice to not approach me if machines are running. Any distraction could cause loss of focus and that may cause an accident. Same goes for children, grandchildren & pets.


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