Boat Building Forum

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Re: Tools: A lesson in table saw safety

I never used a tablesaw but a buddy just got rid of his and swears never to use one again, he now uses a bandsaw. I am more comfortable using a handheld circular saw personally, I feel it's much safer, cheaper too, and surprisingly accurate though less so than a good quality table saw. What makes it so useful is my cutting table which is topped with insulating foam, so I can lay the piece down on it - with the blade adjusted to the right depth it just leaves a tiny groove on the foam. After a few boats I need a new foam slab, but it's the cheap stuff.

The only tool that bit me seriously is my so-called palm router. With a name like that you'd expect it to be safe to hold in your hand, right? Not so; it has an extra large chip window opposite the grip and is perfectly proportioned so my thumb pops conveniently into the bit as I wrap my hand around it. Amazingly the thumb - which was somewhat shredded - looks fine now. I put some cream called "Scar Therapy" on it while it was healing and it actually worked. No scar, full feeling. It's just a bad design - I had an old Wen router for years which I actually wore out, I never had a problem. I wear a leather glove when I use it now.

Speaking of cutting strips on a table saw, a few months ago someone suggested cutting them on the left side of the blade, adjusting the fence each time, to avoid having them catching on or riding up the fence. I think it was on this forum but I thought I'd mention it again.