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The WORST table saw tip I ever saw could cost me my fingers!

I know some folks hate when I talk about safety so today I want to talk about the opposite of safety let's talk about stupidity as in one of the stupidest table saw tip videos I have ever seen on YouTube something so recklessly dumb that honestly it's a wonder the guy made it to the end of this 45 second clip with all of his fingers intact but before I show you this mind-bogglingly irresponsible video I want to make clear that I'm not calling the worker himself dumb I'll explain why not shortly what I'm calling dumb stupid Reckless irresponsible is the video itself for showing something that is dangerous on so many levels without warning or context and under the title table saw tricks which frankly amounts to a recommendation of this asinine practice as if it's a way to improve your woodworking skills so this video is going to add the critical context that the original video lacks I'm going to break down what's going on I'm going to show why it's so dangerous and how you may inadvertently be putting yourself at a similar risk with other techniques that you may not have known could cost you your fingers the video is about 45 seconds long and I'm going to break it into a couple parts let's begin with the first part interestingly this guy's standing on the opposite side of the table saw as normal table saws are designed to be used in a pushing motion for many reasons but one is that you won't have to begin your cut by leaning over the exposed spinning blade like he does with each pulling motion but really that's the least of his problems here I'm more worried about what will happen when that work piece inevitably kicks back or since he's standing on the opposite side of the saw kicks forward away from him why do I say it's inevitable well I don't know how long he's been getting away with this and I don't see any missing fingers yet but all the signs of disaster are there let's start with the fact that he's cutting a narrow work piece on end with no means of support against tipping other than his grip and he isn't just balancing on the end he's also tilting it to his left to create a beveled cut now freehand cuts on the ends of narrow work pieces are dangerous enough because if he lets the work piece tip during the cut that puts pressure on the side of the spinning blade causing potentially a bind and a kickback that pulls the bottom of the board away from his hands and brings them down on top of the blade with meaty consequences can't he just be really careful to hold that board at its compound angle while leaning forward and drawing it towards him well evidently that's the plan but look at all that's working against him the force of the blades cutting is pushing the bottom of the board in this direction while his hands are pulling the top of the board in this direction at the same time he's concentrating on holding the board at an angle against the fence in this direction but since his fence is short and his hands are above the Tipping Point there's a Levering effect that pushes the bottom of the board in the opposite direction now he may be able to balance all four of these directional forces at the same time if he's really careful but working as quickly as he is making repetitive Cuts after repetitive Cuts over and over on piece after piece the chances of upsetting that balance begin to grow tremendously and if one of these directional forces exceeds the others to a sufficient enough degree he's going to need a sewing kit and a lot of Band-Aids but there are other issues going on as well from this end view you can see that he's also pushing downward with quite a bit of force to keep the work piece on top of the saw he has to do this because he's actually fighting some of those directional forces I talked about the work piece wants to roll on top of the saw so he's trying his best to hold it down and keep control but look at this the Gap in his throat insert is wider than the remaining thickness of the wood between the blade and the fence really the only thing that keeps that work piece from jamming down into that Gap under the pressure of his hands is the Loosely connected material on the side of the blade granted at this point he's cut past most of the Gap and so the saw top is offering support to his work piece but earlier in the cut when virtually the entire board is over that open Gap there's still very little material holding that offcut on and what remains could easily split off along the grain if it does the edge of the board can wedge down in that Gap and then there's a good chance the blade will fling that board away and the only thing he's going to be gripping is the top of the spinning blade but wait there's more after the bevels are cut the work pieces laid flat on the saw and passed over the blade four more times to remove the waste and create shoulders for a raised panel again we have a narrow end against the fence without the support of a sled or a miter gauge to keep it from twisting during the cut if it does twist the blade can bind in the kerf and it'll be Bye by board this time he's standing behind the blade where he can hit by the flying wood but my biggest concern isn't that he might be struck by the wood itself I'm more worried that such a kickback could rip that wood from under his hands and the downward Force he's applying on top of the board will then be over the now exposed blade and he will have nothing to protect his meat hooks but again can he just be really careful not to let that board twist and pinch against the blade as he's making cut after cut have you ever been sawing a piece of wood and it's feeding nice and evenly until the blade encounters a bit of tough grain around a knot and then it suddenly becomes harder to push now if you're feeding peace after peace through you can imagine how something like a knot can throw off that Rhythm and perhaps cause you to loosen your grip now let's talk about the guy in the video himself honestly I don't know him it looks to me like he's working in maybe a Furniture Factory probably in Asia I see a lot of video showing some of the Reckless stuff that some people are frankly forced to do in these factories if they want to feed their families because that's just the way things are done there so I'm not calling him dumb because he may not be able to help the situation that he's in I mean look at the wobble in that blade look at the inconsistent Cuts he's getting because he has to run all these pieces through the saw so fast surely he'd use different tools and methods if he could but most of us do have a choice if we're truly honest we can spare the extra two or three seconds it would take to put a cut like this into a jig that would support the work piece and keep our hands away from the blade or on a sled to properly support a cut like this or at least use some push blocks to add a layer of protection between your hands and the blade if something does go wrong it's not being afraid of your tools do

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