Preventing Tablesaw Kickback
Many have experienced it, but few know why it happens
Synopsis: Before he lets students near a tablesaw, Lon Schleining shows them how dangerous kickback can be. A split-second series of photos shows Schleining’s demonstration. He explains how letting a piece rotate away from the rip fence results in kickback, and how other cuts are prone to it, too — a square piece being trimmed, such as drawer bottoms, or other small parts. With a splitter and blade guard in place, it’s much harder to lose control of your workpiece. Kelly Mehler’s accompanying article on building a shopmade splitter will help you avoid kickback.
On the first day of class I ask my woodworking students if they’ve had a kickback on the tablesaw. I always get a fair number of hands in the air, but few of the students can tell me what happened. And often those who have had the unsettling experience of carving a nice, deep…