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  • New Yankee Workshop - Safety?

    Hi,

    I may be mistaken, but I think I have NEVER seen Norm use any kind of blade guard on his table saw. Am I right or wrong?

    Not only that, I am sure his glasses are UNSAFE due to the fact that there are no side guards.

    He always mentions "Shop safety" at the beginning of his show (and rightly so).

    I was just wondering what you all think.

    Best regards,

    Henry

  • #2
    Having worked it television producton for a number of years, I can tell you that Norm never uses a blade guard because the camera would not be able to get a good picture of the cutting operation. ie. Bad (Boring) Television. I am sure that Morash Productions' and WGBH's lawyers insisted on the Saftey Disclamer that Norm Delivers each week to avoid law suits. ie. typical "Do as I say, not as I do.."

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    • #3
      In fact, long time watchers may remember that in the first season there was actually a crawler across the bottom of the screen that noted the guard had been removed for demonstration purposes only and that you should always use your guard. I guess they figured we finally got the message and stopped running the crawler.
      - Tim

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      • #4
        So, bottom line, Norm does not use a blade guard. Even if for demonstration purposes, still, it is unsafe. Accidents happen during demonstrations as well. As far as a good picture of the cutting operation, there is nothing interesting about a piece of wood going through the blade with or without a guard. IMHO the shot should be made with the guard on. It would have no effect on the level of interest of the show. I watch it to pick up new techniques, not to see a piece of wood being cut. If that were the case, they should mount some cameras inside Norm's planer for extra interest.

        Best regards,

        Henry

        Comment


        • #5
          Whats the hoopla?

          I use a guard and most people I know use a guard. If a Master Craftsman chose to not use a guard so as to show us close detail so what the deal? He tells us each and every single show to use safety glasses and guard - that's enough I say.

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          • #6
            No hoopla, no big deal, just wondered what everyone thought given that many folks on the forum seem to be very safety conscious.

            Best regards,

            Henry

            Comment


            • #7
              Hoopla? A lot of people looks to shows like New Yankee Workshop and magazines like, well, all of them for guidance on how to use the equipment they buy.

              What do they see? Norm Abram using a table that never has a guard or splitter fitted, even when you see it in the background of a shot (thereby proving the "guards removed" disclaimer is bogus, BTW). Ditto on the mags, mostly. Occasionally a tablesaw will be shown properly equipped.

              Perhaps I'm jaded, but I don't find watching the actual meeting of blade teeth and stock all that exciting anyway. What would seem to be of much greater utility is proper body and hand position, feeding technique, and the like.

              I haven't watched NYW in a long time. Should I assume they have removed the guard from the jointer so as to show the cutterhead actually doing the cutting? Planer?

              My particular gripe is when I'm helping out at the woodworking store and some fellow is looking at his (often first) tablesaw. When I point out the utility of various blade guards, I often hear "oh, I won't even be installing that, no one uses those, do they?"

              Dave

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              • #8
                Right on, Dave!


                Best regards,

                Henry

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                • #9
                  Got to agree with Dave. I am one of those first time ever with a table saw. Imagine how I felt when I stood on the left side of saw, fence on right side, and used the miter on the left. I discovered what kickback was in a hurry!! Best to show proper techniques than the saw cutting the wood! DAve

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                  • #10
                    I'm going to regret this post but I must add another point to ponder. Safety and or common sense? For what ever reason my guard spends more time off my saw than on it, seems like every project I do requires a rabbit, or partial cut of some kind that can not be done with the guard in place. Does this concern me? Yes it does, however I learned wood working on my dad's saw that is going on 60 years old (the saw)and to the best of my knowledge it never had any kind of safety device. One of my first lessons when working as an electrical apprentice was to respect electricity, with that respect you'll be less likely to get hurt. The same thing applies to power tools YOU MUST RESPECT them, as soon as you start trusting those guards to much, or not paying attention you will get hurt. I've had closer calls with my miter saw than I have with my table saw, and I have never removed, bypassed, or otherwise tried to outsmart my miter saw guard. I am not saying that it's ok to permantly remove guards or that they are not required, I'm just saying that they may have to be removed to make a cut and when they are, RESPECT the saw it can be pretty unforgiving.
                    I'll take my lumps on this, but I hope that everyone see's my point not just jump all over the fact that my guard is off the saw.
                    Dave
                    It\'s not the quantity or quality of your tools that matters....<br />It\'s all in the firewood that\'s left over.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is a great thread and I hope it can be kept up front for new members and especially for new woodworkers to read.

                      There are many dangers in a wood shop that are beyond the control of a craftsman, even one as skilled as the master (my master Norm). Using DAVEM's example, most of us have great respect for the potential of kickback as we know that it' often caused by a flaw in the wood. We can tune a saw for perfect cuts but if the wood being used "squeeses" the blade then kickback is possible.

                      It's those dangers that the saftey devices are there for and I can't understand why all of them have to be removed. What production value is there having a splitter or kickback knives in the picture.

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                      • #12
                        OK, enough already.. how many of you have spent 49 tears making and fitting eyeglasses and the SAFETY FACTOR... I have and there times and trades thet DO NOT have side shields.. This is an option for the safety director and "Big Brother" to say. There are instances that I use a FULL Face shield( lathe & some routing). As for the blade fuard I personally fel that it is more "at fault" than not. I do not use it, it has NEVER been attatched toi my ts. As for eye glass lenses, most plastic lens "dress wera " would pass the industrial safety drop ball test" and if you have dress Ploycarb. at a 2.0 mm thickness, edge or center depending upon your Rx your lens would still pass the drop ball test. NOW INDUSTERIAL THICKNESS ( 3.0 MM ) IS STILL FAR SAFER AND WILL CONFORM TO ANY SAFETY SPES. i DO USE THE 3.0MM LENS WHEN I AM WORKING IN MY SHOP, AND AT TIMES ALSO USE A FULL POLY FACE SHIELD. rEMEMBER YOU ONLY HAVE ONE RIGHT AND ONE LEFT EYE AND EVEN "WALLYWORLD" CAN NOT REPLACE EITHER FOR ANY PRICE. Over the years I have seen a lot of "one eyed jacks" and most will admit that it was their STUPIDY for not having SAFETY GLASSES. Thte rest to me is just good shop pratices, if you think that this operation may HURT you it probally will.. Stop, think, and react accordingly or suffer the tragic accident..'nough said.. dd
                        "

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                        • #13
                          For what it's worth, a zillion years ago, the first time I tried to rip on my new Ras, it kicked back the 2x4 across the room and went thru the front of my NEW Kenmore Fridge. Didn't go thru the door, but thru the outer layer of sheet metal. 30 years later, I have a great respect for guards, hold-downs,etc. Dawg
                          He who dies with the most power tools wins!

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