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  • #46
    Re: free hand table saw use

    Just had to share this link. Ole Red is doing it free hand.

    The Red Green Show - Handyman Tip "Cutoff Shorts" (1998) - YouTube
    SSG, U.S. Army
    Retired
    K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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    • #47
      Re: free hand table saw use

      You killed me with that one TOD!

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      • #48
        Re: free hand table saw use

        Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
        I'm always interested in new ways of doing things and perhaps you've got a method you'd like to share. I think any question might simply lay in your definition of "freehand", much as BHD as mentioned.
        CWS
        Originally posted by cjh20 View Post
        My question is, why do it? If you feel like the only safe free hand cut is ripping, why not use the rip fence?
        In what cases does the risk outweigh the work needed to do the task more safely?
        Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
        #2 hardwood is not straight by any means of the imagination. It needs to have a straight line cut on one end prior to any other sizing operations. In some instances it is not very practical to attach it to another board for its initial milling as it will leave holes on the lumber. Damage from screw or nail holes are typically not acceptable in stain grade material. The way I was taught, snap a line, run it thru the saw. I still left it up to the boss on critical pieces, but on long pieces, I never had much problem as long as I was careful, had my outfeed table set up properly, and had somebody on the receiving end to assist with guiding the material.
        When I have "free hand" cut lumber, it has been in edging or long tapers, where the use of a fence is not possible

        but as I said in one of my first threads to this discussion, I commented on using a line light, a line light is a light that is mounted above the saw, that shows one where the blade track is,

        taking the method that Master beavers said, "The way I was taught, snap a line, run it Thur the saw.". when you have the board marked and the track of the blade indicated, one can guide the board with out binding the lumber into the blade,
        also when edging lumber (98%) of the time the board is 4 foot or longer, and board has a fair amount of weight, and because of these factors the chance of kick back is minimized, also when one is using a long and wide board your hands hardly ever get near the blade, as there is plenty of area to control the board away from the blade,
        (if the board is less than the length of the fence, I step over to the jointer and make a few passes on the jointer to clean up a flat to either saw from or to use),

        the same method for long tapers that are longer than the fence,

        to totally free hand a board that is shorter than the fence is (first of all usually not necessary and the danger is increasing dramatical, as to cut a taper that is with in the length of the fence, one can usually use the fence to control the wide end of the board, and a set of push sticks and as the front if the board enters the blade the cut normally is a good straight cut and the width is controlled by the fence,

        but still the best way to do the edging or long tapers would be to do it with a Board feeder, but do not have a board feeder,

        link to a line/guide light CARTER "Q-15" GUIDE LIGHT
        (it casts a shadow on the lumber and table below it,
        mine is a home made unit using a quarts light and I bolted on some arms, and stretched a copper wire between the arms, and mounted it above the saw from the ceiling, and aligned the saw under the light, )
        it does a great job of illuminating the saw it self when being used as well,

        a simple way of duplicating the line light would be to mount a cheap lazer level with a beam splitter and mount that above and align the blade and saw under the lazer light that is through the beam splitter,

        ON Cross cutting, the reason I say NO no, is that as one cuts the board, and nears the last of the cut, the potential of pinching the blade is very great, and causing kick back, and throwing the board, also any twisting or out of alignment your binding the blade, if one has hands on both sides of the lumber the change of pinching the blade is greater yet, for no harder than it is to grab a miter gage and use it I do not see a need for free handing a cross cut cut, even if one needs to use a reverse use of the miter gage, it still controls the lumber while it passing trough the blade.

        This is the type of Free hand cutting I am talking about,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #49
          Re: free hand table saw use

          It's nice to see that some of the guys who were freaking out about a safe and useful technique have now been straightened out. There is NOTHING at all wrong with free-hand cutting on a tablesaw as long as it is done properly. A guy doesn't have to be a "young hot-shot" to do it, he just has to know what he is doing and pay attention. Just like many other processes used with other machinery around the shop.

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          • #50
            Re: free hand table saw use

            My neighbor is a 30+ year Union trim carpenter/cabinet maker. He has been the shop safety officer for 10+ years now. Somehow he managed to cut himself on his saw in the shop. His reasoning on what happened, Somebody used it, altered his settings (blade height), he did not notice the blade was higher than usual, ZING, he cut his thumb. Everybody was surprised and was making jokes about the shop safety officer damn near amputating his finger off due to carelessness. It just goes to show that all it takes is one careless moment for any accident to happen.
            We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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            • #51
              Re: free hand table saw use

              Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
              It just goes to show that all it takes is one careless moment for any accident to happen.
              That's exactly right.

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              • #52
                Re: free hand table saw use

                I had three pieces of 1/2" plywood that were 16"x15". All three needed a couple of notches. The first notch in a corner was 1" deep by 3" long. The other three notches were 3/4" deep and 1" long and went in the opposite corner. I marked out the first 1"X3" notch with a small square and free hand cut it on my table saw. First a one-inch cut then spin the piece and make the three inch cut following the line. The same in the opposite corner for the 3/4" by 1" notch. Now I had a stencil and I marked out the notches on the next two pieces of plywood and cut them free hand on my table saw by following the pencil lines. I had moved my Biesemeyer fence over a couple of feet to get it out of the way and my miter was hanging from the front leg of my saw just under the table. Neither piece of equipment was needed and all of the notches were cut safely and fit perfectly.


                Edit to note: By not having a guard on my table saw...it made cutting the notches a safer process by making it easy to see the pieces of plywood and the pencil lines for the entire cut (s).
                Last edited by Abbott; 11-05-2011, 05:30 PM.

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                • #53
                  Re: free hand table saw use

                  Originally posted by Abbott View Post
                  That's exactly right.
                  Hopefully your focus will always be 100% on the task at hand and
                  you will never fall victim to forgetting anything or being distracted.

                  If it should ever happen I am sure your second episode of forgetfulness will be to forget to tell us. :-)
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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                  • #54
                    Re: free hand table saw use

                    Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                    Hopefully your focus will always be 100% on the task at hand and
                    you will never fall victim to forgetting anything or being distracted.

                    If it should ever happen I am sure your second episode of forgetfulness will be to forget to tell us. :-)
                    It's a table saw Bob...I make sure I know where my fingers are.

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                    • #55
                      Re: free hand table saw use

                      Originally posted by Abbott View Post
                      It's a table saw Bob...I make sure I know where my fingers are.
                      That's what I wanted to hear.

                      Ya just gotta treat it like a gun in some ways.

                      Turn your back on it and it WILL bite you.

                      Play safe.
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                      ---------
                      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: free hand table saw use

                        Originally posted by Abbott View Post
                        Did I mention I never installed the guard on my tablesaw.
                        Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                        No... but should any of us be surprised?
                        https://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/t39550/

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                        • #57
                          Re: free hand table saw use

                          Abbott,

                          I do not disagree with your methods, and am a firm believer that there are different levels of skill and tool knowledge in almost any trade. I also do not think that it is the responsibility of the tool maker to insure that the user is not inexperienced or an idiot.

                          However, in the future, it might be best if you preface your posts with something like the Mythbusters intro:

                          "Caution: Do not attempt to do this at home. We are (I am a) professional(s)"

                          LOL

                          Go
                          Practicing at practical wood working

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