- Keep shop area clear of debris, cutoff pieces and other hazards.
- Wear Eye and Hearing protection at all time using woodworking power tools.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Tie long hair back, remove dangling jewelery, remove work gloves.
And Nick, take that doggone striped necktie off before cutting on the table saw. If we catch you doing that again, you're outta here. Nick - "Can I still cut with solid neckties?"
- Take your time. Accidents happen because someone is in too big of a hurry.
- Think about what you are doing. If something seems unsafe, it probably is.
The table saw is a great tool, but can be very dangerous if not used carefully.
- Ensure table saw in in good working condition. Top should be clean and smooth, the rip fence should be exactly parallel to the blade. Never operate the saw with the blade throat insert removed. Before you start your cut, note where the emergency stop button is.
- Ensure that your work is free of nails, screws, staples, stones and loose knots. These can damage the saw or become dangerous projectiles.
- Use a push stick to cut stock that is six inches or less in width.
- Think about what you are doing, and what will happen when the cut is complete. Will the work become unbalanced and fall? What happens to the offcut? Hint: Wedge shaped offcuts are extremely dangerous, and if they fall into the blade / throat area really bad things happen. (Been there, done that!)
- Always use the blade guard. Its there to protect you!
- Kickback is a particularly dangerous problem. What causes kickback is when the work or cutoff gets trapped between the fence and the moving saw blade and kicks back at the operator at high speed. Think blood, think gore, think cutoff and smashed fingers. All bad stuff
- NEVER use the miter gauge and rip fence at the same time. Its too easy for the cutoff to kickback at you. If you are making lots of repeat cuts, use a stop block reference at the aft end of the fence, or add a stop block to the miter gauge. If you don't understand this description, ask someone to assist. The one exception to using a miter gauge and rip fence at the same time is when cutting dados.
- No free hand cutting. Use miter gauge or rip fence with work held securely. Note: (one exception, cutting dados...)
- Cutting plywood is always troublesome. Best practice is to cut full sheets down to manageable 'rough' size. Later you can cut rough size down to finished pieces. It's just safer to work that way. Smaller sheets are easier to handle. If a panel is not too long in relation to its width, it can be safely cut referenced against the rip fence. (No more than 2:1 aspect ratio.) Panels too large for the rip fence or miter gauge should be cut using a clamp on cleat method, referenced to the edge of the table top.
- Don't release the work until the cut is complete. If something stalls, hit the shut off button, fast.
- When the cut is complete, turn off the saw. Don't lean over to pick up the offcuts until the saw blade is COMPLETELY stopped spinning.
- Do not vacuum any metal objects with dust-control machine, it must be used only for sawdust.