Home project gone bad.
Late one evening, I was in my garage, working on a project for my house. The job required engraving a design into a piece of wood with a router and then ripping the piece in half with a table saw. Sound easy?
The engraving of the wood went as planned. I set up the table saw, intending to make two cuts to rip the piece in half. With the guard removed, I raised the blade to three inches. The first cut was uneventful. I then rotated the piece and started feeding it into the exposed blade for the second cut. Moments after the blade touched the wood, it bound between the fence and the blade and then was flung across my garage. When the wood kicked back, it pulled my hand into the rotating blade, cutting off the tip of one finger.
For those who use powerful cutting tools, it's important to remember that safety guards are installed for a reason; it's not smart to remove them. Further, always wear the appropriate protective gear. The moment you lose respect for the tools you use is the same moment a mishap is likely to occur. The lack of adherence to safety measures cost me a day with orthopedics, two days sick in quarters, and 14 days of light duty.
* Two Dozen Table Saw Safety Tips, http://www.woodcraft.com/articles. aspx?articleid=317
* Production > Table Saws, http:// www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/woodworking/ production_tablesaws.html
* Rip Safely With a Table Saw, http:// www.rd.com/17672/article17672.html
* Table Saw Safety, http://www woodworkingtips.com/etips/etip24.html
By SK2 Jason Lamarsna, VAQ-139