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Thread: Bandsaw Bite

  1. #1
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    Default Bandsaw Bite

    File this one under dumbass...

    Working in the shop Saturday using a shopmade jig for cutting dovetails in the tops of table legs; I need to make six legs, twelve cuts total. The jig and the leg require a reasonable amount of pressure on the rip fence and the table to keep everything aligned.
    Mid cut on the second or third piece I felt the table tilt just the tinest bit. Stopped the cut and reached under the table to tighten the handwheel that secures the table....without shutting off the saw......
    Chewed a pretty good trough in the tip of my second finger, nice clean V groove in the end of the nail. Lots blood and cursing. Probably should have gotten a couple of stitches but opted for the traditional paper towel and black electrical tape.
    Healing pretty nicely so far if not a little tender.
    Lesson learned....maybe even qualifies as "Double Dumbass".

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Ouch! Good to know others use the paper towel & electrical tape bandage.

    Cuts into a nail do take time to heal & don't heal right unless kept really clean (if even then). I'm sure you know that, but thought I should say it...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    The one and only good thing about a minor mishap is that you'll be very safety conscious for the next thousand hours in the shop.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    You were out at least on the 2 sigma part of the curve of workshop dumbness. Been out there a few times myself.
    Tom L

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Well at least you didn't reach under there just to see if something would hurt you (seen that one before).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Whats really scary is how quickly I reached under the table without even a second thought.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    One important question is: Were you multitasking in any form? Listening to headphones, thinking about something else, etc.
    Tom L

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Nope. I was concentrating on keeping the jig flat on the table and tight to the fence.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    There is definitely a danger gap under both of my bandsaws where the table tilts down and blade is exposed,right near the tilt handles.
    I don't use them enough to be casual about reaching without looking.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    I'm very happy that you're not badly hurt. Sounds like the nick will heal OK. But I'm going to go out on a limb here: I bet something about this jig setup isn't right. And you knew/know it. A proper jig for a power tool shouldn't require such concentrated attention. Nor should it require such pressure to cause the table to tilt. I'm not trying to ruffle your feathers, willin. Nor am I trying to criticize. Goodness knows I've done some stupid things myself. But discussion of a machine mishaps need to be complete, I think.

    When you felt the table tilt just a bit, why didn't you shut it down to re-set? It would seem that the accuracy afforded by any jig went away with that tilt.

    Jeff

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Glad it was not worse!... it's messy cleaning sawdust off of fingers and hands that fall on the floor....
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    I got bit once too and so can sympathise with you. Saw was off but blade was coasting a bit and it bit! Not on the table but in the gap between the wheels that was covered with thin tape for a dust collection set up. Now I have a piece of door skin under the tape!

    Wishing you a fast down wind tack on the healing!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 02-26-2018 at 02:26 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Sure happens fast, eh? Those little warnings that keep us alert are worth the trouble.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Of course we all know not to make adjustments etc while the machine is running ��
    A shop teacher in high school (60+ years ago) told us "the blade isn't stopped until you can count the teeth."
    pvg

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Reminds me of the time I reached in to adjust the timing right through the fan blades on a running John Deere.
    ( The blades are invisible when running...)
    Ouch

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    I'm very happy that you're not badly hurt. Sounds like the nick will heal OK. But I'm going to go out on a limb here: I bet something about this jig setup isn't right. And you knew/know it. A proper jig for a power tool shouldn't require such concentrated attention. Nor should it require such pressure to cause the table to tilt. I'm not trying to ruffle your feathers, willin. Nor am I trying to criticize. Goodness knows I've done some stupid things myself. But discussion of a machine mishaps need to be complete, I think.

    When you felt the table tilt just a bit, why didn't you shut it down to re-set? It would seem that the accuracy afforded by any jig went away with that tilt.

    Jeff
    No criticism taken and you make a fair point. There is more table leg off the saw table than on so it does require a certain amount of pressure at the business end to keep it all flat on the saw table. Using a support on the infeed end would mitigate the pressure needed. Note to self....

    Never been hurt on a bandsaw before other than whacking my head on the underside of the table when standing up once...I do make adjustments with the saw running; height of the guide blocks to suit the thickness of the stock, adjusting the thrust bearings, moving the fence to predetermined settings. I would never tilt the table with the saw running.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Glad it was not too bad.

    I did something similar last week. Working in a dark area, I reached up and grabbed the sawzall in front of the guard. Not too bad. Been working with the same tool for 10 years. oops.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    I too cut a bit of my finger off yesterday. Yesterday the kicked back piece of cherry pushed my finger tip into the blade.Took off a middle finger tip corner and made me seriously review my saftey practice.
    After a lot of years using table saws I've had two big kickbacks recently.
    I was working with 8 qrt cherry and black walnut in these two kickback events and I have a new Forrest woodworker-2 blade (first time user).
    I was ripping the 8 qrtr cherry (on the correct side of the blade and using a push block) at the end of a 24" rip when it happened.
    It seems i've three variables.....thick cherry, forrest blade, no riving knife.
    I've never had a riving knife so that seems to be a general concern that i'll remedy regardless....but do you think the new forrest blade is more prone to kick back? Is 8/4 cherry and walnut a factor. Never has been with fir,pine,maple etc.
    Maybe it's just time to take the keys away from the old man.
    Thanks for any ideas,
    Paul

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Quote Originally Posted by pvg View Post
    Of course we all know not to make adjustments etc while the machine is running ��
    A shop teacher in high school (60+ years ago) told us "the blade isn't stopped until you can count the teeth."
    pvg
    Yep. On a similar note, when I rented a big bulldozer, I watched several OSHA and related videos about bulldozer injuries....and read some accounts of people getting run over/killed/crushed by the steel tracks and dying in other horrible ways. I decided that the only time the engine was going to run was when the seatbelt was fastened. No exceptions. That and "Don't put your finger where you wouldn't put...." Reminds me I need to pass that one on to my nephews.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Quote Originally Posted by Granite Falls View Post
    I too cut a bit of my finger off yesterday. Yesterday the kicked back piece of cherry pushed my finger tip into the blade.Took off a middle finger tip corner and made me seriously review my saftey practice.
    After a lot of years using table saws I've had two big kickbacks recently.
    I was working with 8 qrt cherry and black walnut in these two kickback events and I have a new Forrest woodworker-2 blade (first time user).
    I was ripping the 8 qrtr cherry (on the correct side of the blade and using a push block) at the end of a 24" rip when it happened.
    It seems i've three variables.....thick cherry, forrest blade, no riving knife.
    I've never had a riving knife so that seems to be a general concern that i'll remedy regardless....but do you think the new forrest blade is more prone to kick back? Is 8/4 cherry and walnut a factor. Never has been with fir,pine,maple etc.
    Maybe it's just time to take the keys away from the old man.
    Thanks for any ideas,
    Paul
    Welcome! Glad you are ok and hope you stick around.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    tks bluedog225, I'm a long time lurker here but really scared myself yesterday and turned to this forum for feedback.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Quote Originally Posted by Granite Falls View Post
    I was working with 8 qrt cherry and black walnut in these two kickback events and I have a new Forrest woodworker-2 blade (first time user).

    I've never had a riving knife so that seems to be a general concern that i'll remedy regardless....but do you think the new forrest blade is more prone to kick back? Is 8/4 cherry and walnut a factor. Never has been with fir,pine,maple etc.
    I too have a Forrest WW-2. I bought it about a year ago as an all-purpose blade. As such, I think it neither fish nor fowl. It doesn't cross cut as well as my designated cc blades nor does it rip really well. I find it especially lacking in the rip capacity especially on thick dense wood such as cherry. That said, I don't think it's prone to kickback. In fact, I don't think kick back can be attributed to blade type at all.

    Also, I've never found wood species to be a factor in kick back either.

    What does contribute is any tendency of the stock to warp or twist during the cut. If it binds the blade, watch out. If it warps away from the fence, stop everything and shut off the motor right now! Don't attempt to straighten the board and don't move it backwards.

    One's hand should never be put into a position where it could be drawn into the blade.

    Jeff

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Mr Falls, two questions , first how many teeth on that blade? Second, what do you mean by the right side of the blade? OK I lied, one more, what’s the size of the saw’s motor?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    it is a 30 tpi blade and a 1.5 hp motor. I meant that i was not ripping stock with the narrowest piece of the board between the fence and blade. So the cut off was outside or to the left of the blade.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Jeff,
    Given the comment about warping i wonder if cherry and black walnut are more or less proan to warping or twisting during a rip cut?

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Willin': ouch! Thanks for the cautionary tale. I hope it heals well and soon. The bandsaw feels like one of the less hazardous big tools in my shop, but that doesn't mean it can't bite.

    Granite: I use a WW2 as my standard blade, and I've certainly had 8/4 cherry (especially) and walnut (less so?) pinch shut while ripping, which (if I understand correctly) can make it a bit more prone to kicking back. I was once told that it's a side effect of kiln-drying --"case hardening"-- but I can't speak to the accuracy of that bit of lore. Maple has always seemed especially hazardous that way.

    Not that my WW2 is deficient, but I second Jeff's assessment that while it's a good all-purpose blade, task-specific blades do better. I eventually went to a Freud ripping blade just because it gives a cleaner finish, but it may make for safer stock handling, too. I can't say for sure.

    FWIW, I keep a few slim wooden wedges close by, while ripping, and as soon as the leading edge of the wood is safely past the blade, reach CAREFULLY forward and drop a wedge into the cut to prevent it from closing up and binding. Sort of a pseudo-riving knife. I can't claim that's the most safe pratice you'll find here, but so far (touch wood) it has done well for me.

    Alex

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    It is amazing how fast you know you made a mistake. Usually before you even start to feel actual pain. Glad it wasn't worse. Finger tips are especially sensitive. The pain and then the memory should help keep you safe for a good long while.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    All
    well, a close call is still a call to reevaluate and your questions and comments have helped. I went out to double check alignment of blade and i believe it is the big culprite. i'm about a 1/32 out front to rear, with my miter slots.
    Always square rip fence to front and back of blade. I like the wedge idea but think i'll go ahead in get a riving knife to put on my old delta.
    Granite Falls

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Did exactly the same thing trying to hold down a to small piece of steel flat bar in my drill press. The bit caught the bottom lip,of the work and whirled it around like a fan, clearing off the top of my thumbnail and thumb. Crushes, blood and stitches in the ER. Now a month latter the epidermis still hasn’t grown back, but I can at least open plastic zip,lock bags with both hands.

    I learned its really important to lather the wound with Neosporin and keep it wrapped with gauze till it heals up.

    Oh well, in three or four months you’ll hardly remember it!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    I told the kid's " The only thing you need to know about bandsaws is that there is one in every butcher' shop."
    Glad it was just a nick.
    SHC

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Amputations happen just as fast as these little nicks you guys are getting. No part of your body including hands should be in the same plane as the saw blade.

    Use a big hold down and feather boards.

    Don't be messing around on those jointers. Sawing a finger or thumb off is one thing, sometimes the Dr. Can sew it back on. The jointer however makes chips,.....bone chips. It's beyond ugly. Don't hold small hard boards down with bare hands!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Don't be messing around on those jointers.
    A jointer ate the forefinger, ring finger, and little finger off my grandfather's left hand when he was a young man. I remember his stumps every single time I so much as look at a jointer.

    Before the accident he had played saxophone. Afterwards, he shifted to trumpet.

    Alex

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Keep the gaurd working smoothly and freely and never prop it out of the way and always use push pads on small or flat pieces on the jointer. As has been noted there is nothing to sew back on if it gets you.

    If you are ripping fat stock like 8/4 you need to be real certain that you have a flat surface to ride on the saw table. Any wobble or rocking is going to bind on the blade, riving knife or not. The same goes for the edge that rides the fence. If it isnt dead balls straight you are going to bind on the blade and its going to kick back. Small wedges close at hand for dropping into the kerf can save a lot of heartache.

    The height of the blade is key as well. The distance from the top of the stock to the bottom of the gullet should be the same as the distance from the bottom of the gullet to the tip of the teeth. The thicker the stock the more important this setting becomes.

    I use the FWW2 and the Freud Glue Line Rip exclusively. I have found the FWW2 to be an excellent all around blade. If youre not happy with the performance, Id ask how often you get your blades sharpened? For my money Forrest makes about the best blades out there. I like the amount of carbide on the teeth. You can sharpen them a bunch of times. I typically swap out my blades at the end of any given project. Dull blades are a hazard and can butcher expensive stock and soft flesh..

    I had a pretty good wake up call this past weekend. Hope it opened some eyes out there as well. If thisnthread prevents one injury it will have been worth the time and trouble.

    BE SAFE!

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    Dull blades are a hazard and can butcher expensive stock and soft flesh..

    I had a pretty good wake up call this past weekend. Hope it opened some eyes out there as well. If thisnthread prevents one injury it will have been worth the time and trouble.

    BE SAFE!
    That is worth repeating several times and applies to even sharp blades coated with resin. A fast turning, sharp and clean blade driven by plenty of horsepower is a must for safe work on a table saw. Many may think a low power motor is safer but the truth is just the opposite. Anything that causes the blade to slow down is dangerous and should be rectified. A blade slows because it is binding for some reason and that causes kickback.
    Tom L

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Bandsaw Bite

    When I had my dumbass the doc in er was concerned that bone would have been nicked. Wasn’t but he said if it were it would be a different story than the four stitches.

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