Yesterday, while ripping literally hundreds of lineal feet of lumber, I made a mistake. I do not know exactly what happened — the 16-ft long, 7/8″-wide strip of pine I was cutting left the table saw fence and started to cut improperly. I quickly pushed the last few feet of the pine through the saw, but I was out of position to grab the push stick. Then, in the blink of an eye, the SawStop brake engaged and the machine shut down. I just stood there feeling stupid.
Looking back, I know that my thumb did not engage with the teeth of the blade, but if that had happened and without the safety feature in place, I shudder to think about the outcome. As you can see by the photo, there is not a mark on my thumb. (The gross-looking fingernails are from a different stupid thing I did, but that’s not salient to this story. Woodworking … you gotta love it.)
I mention this episode to point out a couple of things. First, even expert woodworkers occasionally have poor judgment and make serious mistakes. Second…don’t do that!
I was more fortunate than I deserved and should take a serious lesson from it.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
Preparing Rough Lumber
Cheaper Infill Option to Epoxy
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