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  • #46
    Insurance is just a #s game. They hope that he people that pay the premium outpaces the payout for those who lose a finger. When this happens The insurance company will start worrying about my finger and only then.


    • #47

      You are correct in noting that i do ask a lot of woodworking 101 questions, 99% however are about specific technique solutions to what are "simple" problems to the more experienced woodworker. I dont recall ever, however, asking any questions in which the use or lack of use of the table saw blade guard would have made a difference. I understand your point though, being a beginner i am new to these types of tools, and in most cases you are right. The table saw however, is not something i am new to, although some of the tehniques are.

      It appears that there is are a great many here with a hell of a lot more experience than i am that use it, and also a great many whom dont.

      It is the responsibility aspect and taking ownership in ones actions that is the key. There are many out there that would potentially injur themselves by not using the guard and blame ridgid/attempt to sue (or any mfgr for that matter). If anything were to ever happen to me personally i would have no one to blame but myself. And i would blame no one but myself.

      getting back to the original it wrong not to use the guard...well in all reality....yes. it is there for a specific purpose. it is required as per the mfgr, and the saw is not properly assembled, as per the manufacturer without it. Some people are just not comfortable with them for various reasons. some of those reasons make sense...others don't. I personally dont like the obstructed view nor do i like the fact that i have one more thing to fumble with while trying to set my saw up for a cut. and it is one more thing that has to be set up 100% correctly true with the blade or binding/kickback is possible. Are these "right" reasons? as per the mfgr's spec's, no. in my mind yes. this works for me.

      I may have brought this up here before , i dont remember, but this is another reason i dont use it. i was actually cut by a table saw a few years back. and i do believe if was the guard was not there i would not have been cut. It wasn't bad, more of a nick of the finger tip, hurt like hell and felt worse than it was. now in all fairness it wasn't a true table saw either. it was one of those old "hirsch" saw tables. remember those things that allowed you to mount your circular saw to it and use it as a table saw? so it was not the greatest guard, probably not 100% square/true, nor was the rip fence likely 100% square/true. was ripping a piece of poplar i believe and it bound up on the guard and kicked back. as it did my hand slid forward (would not have happened if i was using a push stick), got caught between the board and the guard and the blade nicked my finger. no stitches or anything and probably damn lucky. but that is one of the reasons i dont use the guard, and why i have spent quite a bit of money on push sticks, blocks and feather boards.

      more ramblings from space. well my point is, i did not blame hirsch, nor did i blame craftsman (the circular saw maker), i blamed myself because it was my fault, no one elses.

      i am sure my 3650 has a much accurate everything than that old hirsch saw table, and it is the other reasaons listed too that i do not use the guard


      • #48
        Interesting discussion----really enjoying it.

        As to insurance companies---don't know about other states, but here in Calif., an injured worker gets paid even if he is dumber than dirt and caused his own injury-----the basic qualifications of a compensable injury is that it took place in the course of employment or arose out of employment. OSHA has traditionally found that the ultimate responsibility is with management/supervision for allowing unsafe conditions (unguarded machines) or allowing unsafe acts (employee taking guard off). There were rumblings that Fed-OSHA was to start fining aggregious unsafe acts of employees, but I never heard if it was implemented.

        As to other insurance coverages not paying off for unsafe acts (auto---driving drunk or refusing to comply with state seatbelt laws)---it's hard to say, but I totally agree that we all pay for the stupidity of reckless individuals in taxes for emergency services, taxes or higher premiums for medical care and again, taxes for SS and other payments to persons with perminent disabilities.

        Spaceblues'---not familiar with the Hirch, in particular---if it merely used the guard on the circular saw--- that guard is ment to protect the user in the common use of the saw---not mounted on a table surface---which personally, is not only unsafe but of questionable function.

        I've been there and done that with boneheads on construction sites who would pin up the guard on circular saws. I can assure you, that were this practice was allowed, there would be at least one or two serious injuries as a result----most involving the saw kicking back and having no guard to spring back into place.

        I guess my main point is that safety isn't something that each person should be learning based solely on their own experience. It used to be said that 80% of safety is common sense. I took my first classes in safety almost 30 years ago, and I have to tell you---present company excluded---safety has to be learned and respected, and in the case of workplaces, strictly enforce---or better yet---become a part of the safety culture.

        Example----I was at a client's factory yesterday. While in a room setting up an new, more ergonomic workstation, two maintenance people were working on an adjacent tool. They had the thing apart with exposed circuits all over. Then came the question of where was the breaker/main switch for this tool-----no one knew, yet they were sticking their hands and heads into the interrior of the tool, without first checking to see if the power had been locked out. So, for the risk of a serious electrical shock, no one could be bothered with 60 seconds worth of effort to see if the tool was properly locked out. The Lock-Out requirement was developed due to the graves of hundreds of workers who either weren't trained or had to learn the hard way.


        • #49
 it wrong not to use the guard...well in all reality....yes. it is there for a specific purpose. it is required as per the mfgr, and the saw is not properly assembled, as per the manufacturer without it.
          Ever install a ceiling fan? Look at any ceiling fan manufacturer's specifications and you will find that the fan should be installed so that the blades are 8' above the floor. How high are your ceilings? Over 90% of all homes in America have 96" ceilings. That means that you can't install one per manufacturer's specifications. The specification doesn't make the fan operate better, so why is it there? So that when you are jumping on the bed and get your hair caught in the fan blades, you can't win a suit against the manufacturer because you didn't install it right. If the manufacturer actually expected fans to be installed according to specifications, they would go broke because the fans couldn't be sold. Like a lot of specs, it is only leagaleze for CYA.
          If it don\'t fit, force it. If it breaks, \'needed fixin\' anyhow. 8{~


          • #50
            While I would tend to agree about ceiling fans, as I said when this was brought up before, it isn't the same as guards on machinery. Believe me, if saw manufacturers were worried about product liability, they'd have a better guard as an OEM part. Read my earlier post on why this isn't a total product liability issue.


            • #51

              I did a websearch on the old hirsch saw table and came up empty. my dad still has his, it was a fathers day gift back in the early 80's. essentially it was a table that allowed you to clamp any standard circular saw under it. you zip tied the circular saw guard back and zip tied the power switch on the circular saw on. the table had a switch you plugged the saw into on the front, had a rip fence, a miter gague and of course a blade guard. i think the thing went for like 39 bucks back in the 1980's and it was a nice idea. but it had a cheezy blade guard and as this was my first real exposure to a table type saw at an early age this is all i knew. As i got older and got more into wood working i would use friend's table saws to complete my projets primarily when i needed something ripped precicely. the majority of them did not have a guard attached. I got a part time job in high school at a friend's dad's glass shop cleaning up and they had a delta unisaw in the shop, no blade guard. so i guess it just comes into how i was brought up around the table saw. i have seen pro carpenters pin their guards on their circular saws and i think they are nuts. i have a good friend who has been a carpenter for 50 years. has an old skil worm gear he removed the guard from. he uses his thumb as a guide while ripping lumber on the jobsite and ill be damned if it isnt a perfect cut every time. luckily he still has all of his fingers and has never ran it through his leg. this is his way. i think he is nuts!

              Dave on the surface it may seem like i take safety for granted, but if i told you what i did for a living, what envinronment i spent several years of my life working in, i think you might have a little different opinion about me. i am sure it wont justify my lack of use of the blade guard on my 3612, but in all honesty, in my life, safety is paramount. it has been ingraned in me!


              • #52
                Spaceblues'--no opinion--no judgement---just the previous observation.

                You're right--that guy was nuts! The most comon injury, from the pinned up circular saw guards came from kick-backs---that naturally ran right into the thigh or "higher" regions. Once guy sliced his femeral artery and it was only due to a former medic working near by that he lived.

                Yes, there are some strange tool concepts out there. Back when I was getting started, combination or highly "accessorized" tools were the rage----Seems they had almost any accessory you could imagine for your 1/4" electric drill or for your radial arm saw----one scary thing was a geared circular saw blade you attached to your 1/4" drill. Another was a jig saw/saber saw you somehow attached to your radial arm saw----this stuff was strange to say the least.


                • #53
                  Here's what can happen when you don't use a blade guard.


                  • #54
                    This gentlemen had a bad day and you are right this is something that can happen without a blade guard.! but this also could have been avoided with the use of a feather board and/or a check to ensure the blade and fence were parallell? the board kicked for a reason and a feather board would have prevented him from getting cut. just an observation/opinion
                    \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL


                    • #55
                      Good points----however, again we have to remember that the typical OEM guard is part of the splitter and anti-kickback pawls (which IMHO, vary greatly in effectiveness). But the splitter, for ripping is a must, regardless of whether you rip the guard off or not. Totally agree---featherboards are a must as well, to prevent kickback and assure a quality cut.

                      Spaceblues'----also, excellent point on proper alignment. It's not easy to learn, on a contractors' saw----and it takes practice and patience, but good alignment is a must if you're going to build anything either safely or without gaps or uneven joints. I'd be the first to admit it took me time to learn the right method, as well as time to fine tune the components, but the results are worth it.


                      • #56
                        i dont know if i have the correct alignment proceedures or not. i invested in a orange plastic johnson square and checked it for accuracy. it is 99% accurate. what i do is put the square at the top of my table and run it against the blade. i do the same thing from the bottom. this ensures the blade is square to the table? probably not always. i then use the same square and the same technique against the fence...and adjust fence alignment as necessary. at times i have noticed that the fence is not 100% parallel to the miter gague track but it is aligned to the blade and the rip cuts seem to be accurate. is there a better way?
                        \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL