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Clearly Defining Blade Usage


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I recently received a table saw for my birthday to help me with some large furniture projects. I fitted it with a Diablo 40-tooth general purpose blade. For the time being it will be living in a "semi-public" workspace, so long as others adhere to a rules sheet that I am putting together. The short version of that sheet is


  • Use appropriately for a given task
  • Be safe
  • Leave it as you found it


Point one has hit a bit of a snag; I would like to be able to clearly define when the blade should be temporarily swapped out. Officially this blade is "intended for cutting oak, pine, plywood, pressure treated lumber and boards". That's pretty vague, and I would like to be able to say something like "Only cut wood. If your wood is harder than ******* then this blade is not appropriate".


I was wondering if anybody could give me some guidance on this. While I do have some professional-level training in set building, I am overall fairly amateur at woodworking and I feel this is important to get right.



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The biggest thing in my book for a table saw is safety. If you don't get safety right then someone could get seriously hurt. Push blocks aren't a save all but they can protect your hand from the blade by keeping it further away from the blade. Another thing I do is rest my pinky finger on top of the fence so my hand wont gravitate towards the blade. I would say if the fence is 2-3 inches or less from the blade, the cut should require a push block/stick. One thing that wouldn't hurt is require anyone needing to use the saw to go through safety training before being allowed to use the saw. For the material restrictions, maybe you could say please only cut wood. Make sure it is free of metal or any other foreign objects. If you need to cut something else please ask _____ for assistance/approval.


I listed my suggestions/ideas below in a more rule like format I guess. I hope this helps.

  1. Do not operate power equipment without going through safety training.
  2. Only cut wood with this saw. If you need to cut something else please ask _____ for assistance/approval.
  3. Make sure the material is free of metal or any other foreign objects unless approved by ____.
  4. A push block or push stick is recommended when using this saw. Any cut where the blade is 3 inches or closer to the fence a push block/stick is required.
  5. Never operate the saw without the riving knife installed.
  6. Leave the saw in better condition then when you found it.
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Thanks for your input! The document as-is more or less expands upon your rule set, though I did add a bit about foreign bodies and fiddled with the blade text based based on your suggestions. Expecting people to ask for training is a lost cause in this context, but all the rest of it is along the sames lines that you were thinking.


In case you are curious, this is v1 that I will be putting up today.

Table Saw sans information.pdf

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  • 3 months later...
On 10/18/2018 at 6:44 PM, nintendoeats said:

Thanks, it's all common sense really. Sometimes it's hard to make people adhere to that. The other day I had a couple friends help me rip some 4x9 down to 3 feet. I had to force them to wear gloves. They were coughing for the next hour. Durrrrrr. Smart people can be dumb.


Slightly oldish thread, but I just read it, so it's new to me :D



I'm going to disagree about wearing gloves around anything that spins.  On one hand, I don't want a splinter, so I see the point there.  On the other hand, I want to keep all of my hands and gloves can get pulled into spinning blades of evisceration.  Anything that hangs (gloves, sleeves, hair gets put away.


Breathing and hearing protectors are non-negotiable, but gloves just seem to have too many downsides.

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