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36 votes

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

Riving knife! That's the best method. I've heard it said that it's impossible to have kickback with a riving knife. (Image Source) Other things to consider: Having a fence parallel to the blade. ...
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33 votes
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Is it safe to resaw on a table saw?

Is this considered safe? It can be done safely. A tall fence, featherboards, and good push stick make a big difference. Not everyone takes the time to set all that up, though, so it's worth pointing ...
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29 votes
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When, if ever, is it safe to use gloves with power tools?

Anything tool that rotates is generally something to avoid using gloves with. Tools to definitely avoid glove use for incude: Lathes Circular saws (including table saws, miter saws, and radial arm ...
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  • 4,328
29 votes
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How can I safely move complete 4 ft x 8 ft sheets of plywood alone?

I use a Stanley Panel Carry (Model 93-300). It is about $7.00 on Amazon or at Home Depot. For cutting panels, the best way is to get a sheet of foam insulation, and lay it on the ground and put the ...
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  • 8,026
27 votes

How can I safely move complete 4 ft x 8 ft sheets of plywood alone?

There are commercial handles that are supposed to make carrying plywood easier, but they're not inexpensive. The simplest way I've carried sheet goods is with a loop of rope caught on the corners. ...
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  • 4,382
26 votes
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Is working with MDF going to kill me?

Is working MDF bad for your health? Yes but only if you are ignorant of your tools and materials. It certainly can be. However the answer of "Yes" is misleading as the concerns surrounding ...
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  • 20.1k
23 votes

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

Kickback can occur when the back of the blade gets pinched in the kerf, when a piece of wood is pinched between the blade and fence, or when a piece of wood is lifted off the table. Anti-kickback ...
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  • 18.6k
23 votes

Is a climbing cut on a table-saw ever justified?

A "climb cut" is called such because the workpiece wants to "climb" over the blade--or, if the workpiece is fixed, the blade wants to "climb" over the workpiece. Where do you think Galoob got the ...
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  • 18.6k
22 votes
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What kind of fire extinguisher should I have in the shop?

There are certainly oils and other flammable liquids, plus possible electrical malfunction, so I would indeed suggest an ABC, preferably a larger one. Remember that you always aim an extinguisher at ...
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  • 9,121
21 votes
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Is PVC pipe safe to use for a dust collection system?

PVC is commonly used in dust collection systems. Typically for longer runs you should use 6" or larger pipe, regardless of the material. If you're using PVC, the larger, less expensive pipe is ...
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20 votes
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What is the recommended height of the blade on a table saw while operating?

If you call up Freud and ask, they'll tell you that you want one full tooth to clear the top of the wood, but no more. There are a couple of reasons for that recommendation- first is safety. A tooth ...
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19 votes
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What is the minimum length I can thickness plane?

It varies by model, check the manual online for the model you're looking at. Generally the shortest recommended length is also the distance between the center of the rollers. Basically, you never ...
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  • 4,382
17 votes

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

As a secondary safety measure to @dfife's excellent riving knife suggestion, anti-kickback pawls are another option. Generally they install on the riving knife itself, and are spring loaded to stay ...
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  • 4,328
17 votes

What is the minimum length I can thickness plane?

Technically there's no minimum length you can send through a thickness planer if you 'cheat'. There are various tricks that allow planing of material both too thin and too short and they can work well....
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16 votes
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How can I determine the load capacity of a simple bench?

The 4x4 posts used for the legs support virtually "infinite" weight longitudinally. Now, of course, given a naive design, each leg would only transmit force onto one 4x2 beam (which are then maybe ...
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16 votes
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Can I make a dado blade set out of multiple regular blades?

There's another factor you're not considering: torque requirements. There's a reason the majority of dado sets are 6" or 8" in diameter. Most table saws won't have the power to run a 10" set. A 10" ...
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  • 4,328
16 votes
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Why and when should I wear a dust mask?

Short answer: always wear a properly-fitted, high-efficiency respirator so you can reduce your chances of developing respiratory problems or certain types of cancer of the respiratory system later in ...
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  • 18.6k
15 votes
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How to sharpen a circular saw or mitre saw blade

A 12" miter saw blade of the ilk normally found on a miter saw or cut-off saw looks like this: The teeth on the saw blade are carbide material that is very hard. You will not want to take a file to ...
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15 votes
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What kind of wood dust is toxic/dangerous and requires usage of dust mask?

I've a dust mask but I wonder if it worth wearing it when working on pine wood. I do wear it when working a piece oak or beech. First off, let's be clear: a disposable paper dust mask may be ...
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  • 18.6k
15 votes

How can I properly dispose of rags used with Boiled Linseed Oil

Under what condition, if any, can I reuse the rags? I just throw my finishing rags away after using them; I can't think of any case in which you'd want to reuse them. It would probably cost more to ...
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  • 18.6k
14 votes

How can I determine the load capacity of a simple bench?

When determining the load bearing capacity of any structure, you'll need to take into account several different factors: Acceptable deflection Maximum allowable bending stress Column compressive and ...
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  • 4,328
14 votes
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Are there any alternatives to a SawStop?

No, SawStop is the only table saw currently available for purchase (as of Apr 2015) which features a flesh-triggered active safety device. However, on March 16, 2015, Bosch announced a jobsite table ...
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  • 18.6k
14 votes
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How do I properly dispose of a solvent like mineral turpentine?

Local regulations about how to dispose of small quantities of solvent vary widely, so expect that Answers may be only guides to how you might be able to do it where you live. Don't throw it out if ...
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  • 59k
13 votes
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Is this table saw lathe jig safe?

I think the word 'safe' here might be relative. Just like modern cars are safe, when driven on the road, and obeying traffic laws. I think in this case the answer is a profound NO. Table saws are '...
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  • 1,772
13 votes
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What do I need to know when looking at pallets for wood?

These can usually be easy to come by. Plenty of businesses view them as scrap and are glad for you taking them away. Pallets are a favorite among up-cyclers as a (usually) free source of material and ...
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  • 20.1k
13 votes
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What is the difference between a riving knife and a splitter on a table saw?

A riving knife goes up and down with the blade, so it's always the same distance from the back of the blade. One person on the Fine Woodworking forums made a nice illustration: (image source) A ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes

How can I safely move complete 4 ft x 8 ft sheets of plywood alone?

There are panel carriers which range from inexpensive at less than $10 to rather pricey at around $50. You can also use the rope loop method as suggested by TX Turner. Personally, I try to avoid ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes

What is the hook angle on a saw blade?

The hook angle refers to the angle at which the teeth will engage the material being cut. A high or positive hook angle means the outermost tip of each tooth will engage very aggressively, whereas a ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes
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How can you safely operate a router table without a fence?

The bit they are using in that picture has a bearing on the top part that is sticking out of the table (which is actually the bottom of the bit, because routers are inverted in a router table). Bits ...
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  • 2,762
12 votes

Optimum amount of hearing protection?

OSHA defines what noise levels warrant hearing protection to assure safe working conditions. Excessive noise is generally defined as exposure to 85 or more decibels of sound over an 8 hour period. But ...
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