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  1. #41
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    You can tune the saw to be a good useful tool. Main thing is to get the rip fence parallel to the blade. If its off a bit let it be off so that the far end is farther away from the blade. You have to have clearance. Perfectly parallel is best. The next part is to attach a sacrificial fence to the metal one. A piece of plywood will work. Then make sure it is slick and smooth and dead flat. Wax it and the whole table. Anything hanging up is going to get you hurt.

    Your push stick is too short. Make one about 3X longer with a tiny notch in the end. Make it from light softwood, just good enough to push the work through but not so much to make a dangerous projectile. Never hold it with the butt in your palm unless you want a trip to the E.R. Hold it so the stick will be thrown clear of your hand and body. Push the work piece from the blade side so it is pushed hard to the fence. If the end of your push stick gets cut - good, its doing its job, you are using it correctly and you have all your fingers.

    And the table saw sled is a great tool to make your work better, faster and safer. Do a search on the internet.

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    Thanks for all the advise and insight so far.

    As far as doing small pieces on the saw pictured, I usually don't as we also have a Hammond trim-o-saw that gets used for our small work (has a small sliding table and fine adjusting work stop). It's only a 7" diameter blade and has a limited width and length of work it can do, but perfect for small stuff. I foolishly didn't use it for the block that started this thread because I wanted the larger diameter blade of the Craftsman. It would have been better to use the Hammond and push the block through twice. We also have a miter chop saw that gets used more than anything else. With those two saws, the only thing we really use the Craftsman for (or at least the only thing I SHOULD be using it for) is sizing plywood, ripping long boards, and doing an occasional angled cut too long for the chop saw. The Craftsman's miter gauge rarely gets moved away from being perpendicular to the blade. We usually do have a sacrificial board on the fence, but I think it was taken off the last time it was adjusted to be parallel and hadn't been replaced yet. We use spray Teflon to slick up the bare table and guide surfaces of the wood tools.

    Were I to replace the Craftsman, I've always liked the design and build of the old Rockwell Unisaw's, but in either case, I plan to extend the outfeed of the saw by at least 3 feet. We're planning to build a warehouse behind the shop in the future that will also become the new wood shop with enough room for the saw to stay in one spot. Our current wood areas tight quarters require the table saw to roll out into an aisle way to be used, so I'm thinking about making a rolling work-bench that can fit into the back of the saw and clamp to it, or mounting it to the saw but having it hinge up when not in use. That way the folded outfeed table prevents the saw from being used in tight quarters.

  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    You can tune the saw to be a good useful tool. Main thing is to get the rip fence parallel to the blade. If its off a bit let it be off so that the far end is farther away from the blade. You have to have clearance. Perfectly parallel is best. The next part is to attach a sacrificial fence to the metal one. A piece of plywood will work. Then make sure it is slick and smooth and dead flat. Wax it and the whole table. Anything hanging up is going to get you hurt.

    Your push stick is too short. Make one about 3X longer with a tiny notch in the end. Make it from light softwood, just good enough to push the work through but not so much to make a dangerous projectile. Never hold it with the butt in your palm unless you want a trip to the E.R. Hold it so the stick will be thrown clear of your hand and body. Push the work piece from the blade side so it is pushed hard to the fence. If the end of your push stick gets cut - good, its doing its job, you are using it correctly and you have all your fingers.

    And the table saw sled is a great tool to make your work better, faster and safer. Do a search on the internet.

    Henrya,
    You make some good points but your push stick advice is really not the best. I posted photos of a really good design. A stick with a notch in the end light enough so it won't become a dangerous projectile is less than ideal. The push stick I use has never even been close to becoming a projectile and it never will due to its simple elegance. It takes only a few minutes to make one, can't see why anyone would use anything else unless they didn't know about the design. Try one you will like it!


    Mr Naegle,
    Those trim o saws are quite neat really and so accurate. They are very small though but quite a cool tool to have, I used one many years ago. Your flip up outfeed table is a good idea. If you build yourself a sled you will really like using it as they are very good for cross cuts and the mitre gauge gets very dusty.

    Michael

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    The Hammond gliders are wonderful little machines, I love mine. You can fit an 8" blade on it if you remove a little cast iron from the frame. I also rebuilt the spindle to have a 5/8" diameter arbor so I wasn't tied to the graphic arts style blades. And changed pulleys to speed it up a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    The Hammond gliders are wonderful little machines, I love mine. You can fit an 8" blade on it if you remove a little cast iron from the frame. I also rebuilt the spindle to have a 5/8" diameter arbor so I wasn't tied to the graphic arts style blades. And changed pulleys to speed it up a bit.
    Yes the proprietary blade is a pain. Whenever we need new blades, we'll get a few set up on the mill and add the mounting holes, but it would be a lot simpler to just modify the saw as you did.

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    It's been well worth the effort for me, became one of my favorite tools. I can do stuff on it I wouldn't consider trying on my big table saw. I use CA to glue down fixtures to the siding tables, very accurate, dead true and smooth cuts. I had intended to make a grid of dowel & threaded holes on the slider for fixturing, never got around to it. Gotta do it all the first time around!

    For the spindle upgrade I removed the pot metal end and shrank on a piece of 4140PH, then turned that to get the arbor and flange. Indicating on bearing seats gave me less than a tenth runout on both - great cut and no vibration. Not sure that kind of precision is necessary, but it's not a lot more effort...

    CrazyPete, a PM member, swapped out his pica lead screw on the x-cut fence for an inch acme so he can dial in by thousandths.

    For those not familiar with the Hammonds, they were used to trim lead and wood type blocks in the printing industry. apparantly there were rows and rows of them in a big plant, like B'ports back in the day. With new technology, they were all scrapped, except for a few rescued by woodworkers and such.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Moore View Post
    Henrya,
    You make some good points but your push stick advice is really not the best. I posted photos of a really good design. A stick with a notch in the end light enough so it won't become a dangerous projectile is less than ideal. The push stick I use has never even been close to becoming a projectile and it never will due to its simple elegance. It takes only a few minutes to make one, can't see why anyone would use anything else unless they didn't know about the design. Try one you will like it!


    Mr Naegle,
    Those trim o saws are quite neat really and so accurate. They are very small though but quite a cool tool to have, I used one many years ago. Your flip up outfeed table is a good idea. If you build yourself a sled you will really like using it as they are very good for cross cuts and the mitre gauge gets very dusty.

    Michael
    Michael,

    I guess I kinda think the same about your push blocks. Not ideal because of their mass and the part where at some point of the cut your hand is moving over the blade while pushing down. I have some similar blocks I use on my jointer and they do well there but they have big feet on them and are super stable. I do like the tapered feature of yours that would have the block moving away from contact with your hand in a kick back.

    I also especially like your idea of up-armoring when doing anything the least tricky on the table saw. A face shield and heavy apron is good stuff for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    It's been well worth the effort for me, became one of my favorite tools. I can do stuff on it I wouldn't consider trying on my big table saw. I use CA to glue down fixtures to the siding tables, very accurate, dead true and smooth cuts. I had intended to make a grid of dowel & threaded holes on the slider for fixturing, never got around to it. Gotta do it all the first time around!

    For the spindle upgrade I removed the pot metal end and shrank on a piece of 4140PH, then turned that to get the arbor and flange. Indicating on bearing seats gave me less than a tenth runout on both - great cut and no vibration. Not sure that kind of precision is necessary, but it's not a lot more effort...

    CrazyPete, a PM member, swapped out his pica lead screw on the x-cut fence for an inch acme so he can dial in by thousandths.

    For those not familiar with the Hammonds, they were used to trim lead and wood type blocks in the printing industry. apparantly there were rows and rows of them in a big plant, like B'ports back in the day. With new technology, they were all scrapped, except for a few rescued by woodworkers and such.
    What?
    Can’t work in 1/72s of an inch?


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  13. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    What?
    Can’t work in 1/72s of an inch?

    Sure, just think of it as about .014".

    But you know the medical definition of pica....?

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    Not disagreeing with most of the above, but

    I will say, that well after working on metalworking machines for several decades, I bought a Unisaw. A Unisaw has the power to do what it intends to do, and the rigidity to keep doing it.

    Many years I have sat in my office and done QC with my ears.
    I can hear when something is not right.

    When you have a not rigid underpowered saw you cannot hear when something is not right, because something is always not right.

    If the blade on your Unisaw slows down or the workpiece pushes back at you, you have screwed up.
    This is not the case with a lesser saw, it always slows down, it always pushes back or sideways or up.

    We all know this from metalworking, a lesser machine will not get the job done right.

    I just last week ripped 3 9+ foot lengths of finned extrusion into thirds on my shop unisaw, with a pair of folding roller stands as infeed/outfeed.

    Smooth as silk, not a bite, not a chatter not a grab.

    The only 'rule' I will partially disagree with is that if you are otherwise safe and paying very, very close attention, having the saw blade pushing straight down against the table[IOW, well above the surface of the piece] minimizes pushback. The active part of the blade is not trying to push the part back at you, and the blade stays engaged in the work even when the work moves vertically. When you keep the blade minimally engaged, and it leaves the surface of the table, there is no friction and all the force is back at you.

    Also a Unifence allows you to slide the fence back and thus use the fence as a cross cut stop, a pretty cool little feature. Obviously a 1 inch block as mentioned is just as effective. However mistakes often happen when one it just doing something quick and just once.

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    I got hit twice over the years with kickbacks- both sheet goods, both hit me in the gut and thankfully only knocked me down and both when I was in a rush to get a job done.

    I did have to pick up a bunch of fingers from under a saw on a late night rush job trimming out a restaurant.
    Old job site Delta with the cast tables- the guy was ripping a 12' yellow pine 2x4 with a 45 degree cut with NO outfeed table...
    Blade full up and unbelievably he was heeling down with his hand keep the board down at the end of the cut and went right through the bade.

    I usually tell people who are new to woodworking that there are stages we all go through as woodworks in regards to safety.
    The first is when we are just starting out and don't know what is unsafe.
    The second is the bulk of our careers where we are fast and keen to the work and safe- we know our business and get it done.
    The third is where I am at now- I start to see minor misses where I wasn't as safe as I should be and start to think about beefing up guarding or the like, or buying a Sawstop.

    Sometimes we are just dumb and take setups that we shouldn't have.
    I just did one which still makes me wince-

    I was tired of parting off a short stick of 4" gummy nylon on the lathe so had the bright ideal I would take it over to the wood bandsaw setup with a 3 TPI carbide blade running fast.
    Bright me figures I can control the grab and spin we all know will happen so I take the heavy guard down to about 3/4 of stock diameter, I place a stick of steel rod through the center bore in the stock and figure I can control the roll by holding the rod with both hands and thumbing the stock as I ease it in to the blade.
    Wham- the damn stock accelerates like a wheel (how did I ever think it wouldn't), am I am lucky to get off the blade before it spun off the stock and chopped off one of my fingers on the hands holding the axle on each side.

    What an idiot- I know I was trying to make a profoundly unsafe operation safe but ended up just making it worse and was lucky to get out of it without injury.
    Another rush job and it makes me cringe how close I got.

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    I used to sell hardwood lumber,I saw a lot of newbys. My advise to them was forget the table saw and the radial arm saw and get a bandsaw and a jointer, much safer. One customer showed up with most of his fingers missing from his right hand. When asked what happened. he replied that he was using a skillsaw, he sat it on a stool, he saw it start to fall. He grabbed for it. On hand hit the trigger, the other grabbed the blade. Off went his fingers. Why he wanted to buy more wood is beyond me.

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    20210722_172948.jpg
    20210722_173006.jpg

    Here it is! The fabled original guard for this saw. It's actually IMO a big improvement over the newer generation guard. The newer one only mounts in the back, while the older one has a fork that fits down under a screw behind the blade, so it stays parallel much better and is overall more rigid. The newer one is meant to flip back out of the way, while the old one locates with a snug fitting pin in the back and can simply lift off entirely out of the way. The old one is much more compact while still fully covering the blade. I'm going to see about making a few replacement acrylic tops, but it doesn't block much of the view IMO. Both can flex side to side and glance against the blade if you push on them, but the newer one is much more flimsy. Both have serrated pieces to dig into a board going the wrong direction.

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    You’re gonna hurt yourself.

    Please take that shit off the saw while your hands still work. Then fix the fence to blade relationship and put a smooth slick face on the fence. The fence as it is now is dangerous. Really.

    I am glad you are paying attention to safety, but that guard is not the answer. Anything that interferes with your work being fed through properly is not helping you be safe. A properly adjusted table saw used with correct technique is a very safe tool, but completely unforgiving. of foolishness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    Michael,

    I guess I kinda think the same about your push blocks. Not ideal because of their mass and the part where at some point of the cut your hand is moving over the blade while pushing down. I have some similar blocks I use on my jointer and they do well there but they have big feet on them and are super stable. I do like the tapered feature of yours that would have the block moving away from contact with your hand in a kick back.

    Henrya,

    I have never had a kickback using one of those push sticks, that is the point of using a properly designed push stick. I would never use a stick with a notch in the end as you are just asking for a kickback with that method. I feel very safe having a hefty piece of 4" baltic birch plywood between my hand and the blade, what exactly do you think is going to happen? The real beauty of this design is that it is always in the right spot, I put it down on the fence after use and pick up when needed without even looking, it feels right in your hand and is always in the perfect position for the workpiece.

    The ultimate situation for any tool and for the workshop in general is to make it invisible. That means that when you want to accomplish a task you don't have to think about the tool, dust collection, workpiece clearance, blowing the breaker, moving the machine into position or the plug etc etc, the act of making becomes like breathing, it just happens. This push stick design is the epitome of invisible in that it just works perfectly every time and I don't have to think about it at all.

    My workshop is as close to invisible as I can make it which means the work is easier, faster and more satisfying. The subject of invisibility is very rarely discussed however sometimes the ideas are mentioned without naming the result and or goal of invisibility. The amount of time spent creating invisibility in my shop has paid back over and over again, hard to quantify the amount of payback but it has been significant.

    I really hope you and others will make one of these push sticks and try it out, you may find you never go back to the old one.

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    Something that hasn't been mentioned here is getting off the TS for work which is out of standard by stint of being too short or too narrow etc.
    I have BS with a good fence right beside the table saw and as often as not I am on the band saw for irregular work.

    Another safety approach for my shop is lots of grooving a plowing work I might have been temped to do on the table saw is done on the mill in perfect safety.

    I just pulled a pattern makers mill into the shop to further this effort as the work envelope on my mill has proven to be too small for as often as I would like to use it to get stock off the table saw.

    My the work in my shop is a bid non standard though- while I see lots of bog standard panel sizing and ripping boards I more often than not am shaping irregular pieces.

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    I personally know Myles (MB) and he is a very cleaver and smart man. He lives and works in a community similar to modern day Amish. He has a family and those of you who assume he is not to smart are sadly mistaken!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20190223_091829_resized.jpg  

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    Nothing I have written should be taken as personally critical of Myles. Just trying to help him be safe.

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    When ever I make a mistake in the shop I usually mutter to meself- "you big dummy".
    When one of my acquaintances makes a mistake or suffers an injury I say it out loud- "YOU BIG DUMMY" (After the blood is cleaned up and they are sorted of course...).

    No one is calling anyone dumb, for myself its helpful to know when I have done some bonehead move and call it for what it is..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    I personally know Myles (MB) and he is a very cleaver and smart man. He lives and works in a community similar to modern day Amish. He has a family and those of you who assume he is not to smart are sadly mistaken!
    Thanks for the kind words Richard, but I don't live in an Amish community. I've a knack for old stuff but that's about as close as I come.


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