USING TABLE SAW RIVING KNIFE GUARD
This has been mentioned before but it is important for the safety of our members.
The Main Table Saw has a riving knife and guard which covers the saw blade. This MUST be used for all normal cuts, unless you are not cutting your timber right through, in which case it has to be removed. The guard has a plastic see through top so that you can see what is happening while you are making your cut. The guard should be lowered on to the timber to prevent the timber from lifting up during a cut.
The picture above shows the correct position of the guard prior to cutting. Note that the timber is not touching the saw blade prior to the saw being turned on. Always use a push stick if there is not enough room for your hand/s. When the timber has been cut through, continue to push it forward until it is clear of the saw blade – then turn the saw off. DO NOT pull the timber back while the saw blade is still running.
USING TABLE SAW FENCES CORRECTLY
I also believe that somone was using the table saw incorrectly and almost caused a serious problem. It has been mentioned many times before that you mustn’t use both fences when crosscutting timber. If you don’t know what that means ask someone who does. I have reproduced below a segment from a previous newsletter which highlights the importance of this issue.
This particular problem has been mentioned many times before but some members
are still ignoring the safety issue involved. Probably because they didn’t read or
understand the previous messages and are ignorant of the consequences. In my opinion, apart from keeping your fingers away from saw blades/router bits, etc., this refers to the most dangerous thing you can do in the workshop.
When crosscutting on a table saw NEVER have the two fences in contact with the timber at the same time.
The cross-cutting fence is for cross-cutting and the rip fence is for ripping. If you don’t know what this means you shouldn’t be using the saw.
If you want to cut multiple short pieces of a particular length from a long piece of wood the temptation is to move the rip fence the exact distance from the saw blade so the off-cut will be the correct length.
This will invariably cause the off-cut to jam between the saw blade and the rip fence with catastrophic results. With the saw blade spinning at 2,000 plus revs the wood will be tossed out at great speed and can cause major injury – even death to persons (not necessarily the operator) and severe damage in the workshop. If you must use the rip fence as an aid to precise cutting you can overcome the problem by using a “block of wood” clamped to the rip fence in front of the blade so that the timber is in free space when it is cut. See picture below. Note. The “block of wood” clamped to the rip fence must be thick enough so that enough space is available for the off-cut to rest after it is cut. This is to ensure that if it skews its corners cannot touch the saw blade and fence at the same time.
You will see in the picture that because of the width of the clamped block the short off-cut will have plenty of room to rest after cutting without the possibility of it being
trapped between the saw blade and the rip fence. The block is clamped in front of the fence so that by the time the timber reaches the saw blade it has plenty of room to move.
Table Saw Blade Height
Two incidents of sawing 2 pieces of MDF with the sawing blade only high enough to cut through the MDF saw that piece of timber hitting a member in the chest and the other piece hitting the back wall missing the member.
The sawing blade should be at full height. The diagram attached shows how the blade should not be used and how the blade should be used.
USING THE DRILL PRESS
As mentioned in the minutes, when using a drill press it is important to ensure that the timber being drilled is secure. In the case of small pieces this means that it must be clamped so that it can’t move. Whilst Drill Presses appear to be a very safe machine to use they can also cause problems with timeber spinning around because it wasn’t clamped or secured properly.
USING A LATHE – –
NEW POLICY:- ALL WOOD TURNERS MUST WEAR A FACE PROTECTION WHEN USING A LATHE.
In the last issue we made mention of the need to start a lathe on the lowest speed.
Below is a speed guide which may help you. Note the right hand side of the diagram indicates how to connect belts for the various speeds.
Based on a motor speed of 1,425 rpm the lathe head speeds are calculated as
Multiply the size of the motor pulley by the speed of motor and divide by the size of the lathe pulley.
Motor Drive Pulley .1.5” x 1,425/Lathe head pulley 5” = 427.5 rpm
Motor Drive Pulley .3” ” x 1,425/Lathe head pulley 3” = 1,425 rpm
Motor Drive Pulley .5” ” x 1,425/Lathe head pulley 1.5” = 4,750 rpm
The table shows the speeds that should be used depending on the size of your
You may need to make your own calculations based on the motor speed of the lathe on which you are working.
Please study this carefully if you are using a lathe as it is an important safety issue.
A large unbalanced workpiece that flies off the lathe because the initial speed is too high can do enormous damage to persons (not necessarily those standing nearby) and in the workshop.
On another issue, when using the woodfast lathe, make sure that the speed control is on the lowest setting when you first turn on the lathe. To change the speed on the other lathes, please note that the lowest speeds are achieved by installing the belt on the SMALLEST WHEEL attached to the Motor.
Members need to make sure that
router bits are secured tightly as they are spinning at around 25,000 rpm so can do some serious damage if they work loose.
One of our members (John Antcliffe) suffered minor damage to his hand as a result of the cutter in the overhead router coming loose and hitting him in the stomach and hand. The warm clothing he was wearing protected his stomach but he had no protection for his hand. This could have been much worse and there are some lessons to be learned here.
The problem was caused by someone else leaving the cutter in the router after they had finished their project. This is a NO NO. Whoever was responsible, hang your head in shame.
Whenever a member finishes a router project, the cutter must be removed and put back in its proper place.
On this occasion, because the cutter was the exact size that John wanted to use, he assumed that it was secured tightly in the chuck as someone had obviously used it before him. Sadly this was not the case.
Once again a reminder that safety is your responsibility. Although we do our best,
we can’t protect everybody all the time from doing something that is not safe.
Some points to consider: –
Always take your time – don’t rush.
Practise on an offcut first to make sure what you want to do will work.
Don’t force the workpiece too hard. Let the saw or cutter do the work.
Keep your fingers out of the way of blades and cutters.
Wear safety glasses and ear muffs when appropriate.
Return cutters and tools back to where you found them.
Clean up your mess immediately after you have completed your job.
Help other members if you think they need assistance.
Proper Use of the Twin Drum Sander
This is our Twin Drum Sander. This is
a great machine but is constantly being misused
causing the belts to get clogged and therefore need-
ing replacement. This is not easy and a very costly
exercise. It has been mentioned many times that
the machine is NOT a thicknesser but a sanding ma-
chine. It is to be used for very fine sanding and not
for the removal of large lumps of wood. The timber
being sanded MUST be free of paint, wet glue and
any other material likely to clog the papers. Timber
with glued pieces MUST be dry for at least 24 hours.
Anything glued on the day is NOT acceptable.