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power tool safety

Wanda200's picture

Hi,

How many people here have ever used a "chop saw" (miter saw) to chop up tree branches and trunks for firewood?

I noticed the neighbour nextdoor using his miter saw to chop up tree branches. Most likely pieces of maple that were cut down last fall. The pieces are at least 4-5" in diameter. 

Is he an accident waiting to happen?

Lifting the blade cover out of the way surely isn't very wise.

 

wanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanda (post #206117, reply #1 of 23)

Long time, no see.

 

And in the scheme of things, that's not bad.   Usually you show up right after disaster befalls your home.  Hope all is going better on that front.

 

You should just stop by on occasion for a social visit.

 

 

 

To the saw use-well, not usually done because well-I treat a couple of my "chop" saws as trim saws-they hardly ever see framing cuts.

 

I do have an old Rockwell mitresaw that does do general kindling cutting as well as rough cut to length work.

 

Most bigger mitresaws can cut 4x4's with ease-the size isn't the big thing on what you can safely cut (of course, that assumes the stock is within it's rated range.

We've all cut most of the way through, then flipped for the rest of the cut.

 

The big problem lies in the uneveness of a branch.  The full surface is not firmly seated on the table or fence, which can certainly cause the blade to bind, pulling the work or what's holding on to it into the cut area.  Pcs. fly out when it binds also.

 

So no, it's not safe, but with luck and the right precautions-not totally a goofy way to chop wood.  Whether its safer than cutting the branch on the ground with your foot holding it down and the chainsaw only inches away from said foot..................another question altogether.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


HI Calvin,   Yup, l (post #206117, reply #8 of 23)

HI Calvin,

 

Yup, l haven't posted in a long time.. Happy to say everything  on the home front is ok. No more home renovation disasters to report. 

Last week I had a minor problem with the plumbing but I took care of that myself. Went out an purchased a "stud wrench" and a few new parts (slip joint extension pipe, plastic nut and a couple of sink strainers)   I couldn't believe how corroded the metal tail pipe was beneath the sink. I ended up replacing both. The replacements are made of PVC so they should last en eternity.

 

As far as saws go I wouldn't subject my chopsaw to chopping up kindling. I'd be afraid of ruining a perfectly decent saw blade. I  mostly use  my chopsaw for  finish carpentry and my  circular saw for rough cutting construction grade lumber. One thing I'd never use and that's a chainsaw.  

 

what if the wood wasn't dried properly and you ended up with case hardening.. or the saw blade ran into some tough knots. tree branches can be pretty snarly.   Probably more of a concernt if you're using a table saw. My favourite saw is the mighty bandsaw. I don't have to worry about losing a limb. '

 

wanda

Wanda (post #206117, reply #9 of 23)

Bandsaw?

 

Ever been to a meat market?

That's their saw du jour, and it's entirely likely that someone's hamburg had a bit more than 100% beef.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


I have used my older beater (post #206117, reply #21 of 23)

I have used my older beater chopsaw for this on occasion. You have to understandthe saw and its capabilities, and keep the snag against the fence preoperly....

 

Welcome home

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

I had a chopsaw just for (post #206117, reply #2 of 23)

I had a chopsaw just for framing and it's cut up a few round objects and limbs - if someone is smart about it and careful how things are placed it's safe, and if they aren't, well, not so much.

Having said that, if I had to choose either a chainsaw or chopsaw for someone to use that I didn't know, I don't know which one would be safer - improperly used someone is more lifely to lose fingers or part of a hand with the chopsaw, but will cut feet and legs with the chainsaw, and if the tip kicks back hard enough maybe even a bit of scalp or shoulder.  I know of a lot of guys killed with chainsaws, but chopsaws only maim.  :)

 

Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

Yeah, if the saw was (post #206117, reply #3 of 23)

Yeah, if the saw was sufficiently large for the pieces involved (and assuming that the saw is flat on the ground or another suitable work surface) then I can't see that this is particularly dangerous.  The branch may grab, but that only draws it into the saw more -- not like the kickback you'd get from a table saw, or the totally unpredictable behavior of a chain saw.

The major danger would be if the saw were balanced on something, and when the "workpiece" split it sent the saw flying to one side or the other.  Other than that, if the far ends of the "workpiece" are not supported the cut ends could fly upward toward the operator when the cut goes through, but the ends would be blunt and moving at relatively low speed, so that's far less hazardous than many other scenarios with other saws.

All in all, it's only as dangerous as the operator makes it.  With a properly sized saw, on a solid work surface, with the workpiece properly supported, it should be as safe as cutting a 2x4 in the shop.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

OSHA would cite him if it was a job site (post #206117, reply #4 of 23)

OSHA will cite you for doing things that don't comply with the manufacturers safety instructions.  And, I am failry certain that the manufactuer's instructions say to cut only objects that fit tightly agianst the fence for the length of the fence and not to cut irregularly shaped objects.  OSHA will also cite you for not having the manual onsite with the power tool, so that they can check the manufacturers instructions. 

(I found it ineteresting that the enforcement on this started shortly after the million dollar law suit generated because a guy using a table saw with no guards maimed himself, and then he and the insurance company sued the manufatcurer for not having a flesh sensing safety device.)

I have a small electric chain saw that I bought for those kind of uses.  Used with a couple of saw bucks it is way safer. 

a little risky (post #206117, reply #5 of 23)

Besides not being very safe it is a good way to bend a blade or break saw frame parts.

When a workpiece that isn't straight is cut in two it will seek out new points of  support which can cause all manner of grief.

Don't ask me how I know this.

.

Funny you bring this up.  I (post #206117, reply #6 of 23)

Funny you bring this up.  I had a neighbor just cut down some trees, and now I'm in possesion of about a cord of wood - just days after I bought an outdoor fireplace!

Unfortunately the guys who were cutting out the stump and roots (all that were left when I got on the scene offering to take their "waste") left alot of pieces either too thick or too long.

I've been trying to think how to cut it without buying a splitter or chainsaw.

I'm thinking reciprocal saw at this point!

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

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Perfect job for your (post #206117, reply #11 of 23)

Perfect job for your Multimaster.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Oh how times have changed (post #206117, reply #7 of 23)

"Is it an accident waiting to happen?"

Could be. But that depends on the competency of the user. It's obviously not what the tool was designed for. But anyone with basic know how can safely cut a chunk of wood on a chop saw. And at the same time, anyone could lose a finger due to misuse or outright stupidity. Or just plain dumb luck. That's why we have emergency rooms. Just make sure you can dial 9-1-1 with your toes just in case you lose your hands.

In some ways, over the past 30 years we've marginalized free thinking and innovation. Everything these days is specialized. A certain tool for this. Another for that. Safety this and safety that.

Safety always has its place, and always needs consideration. Especially in an employer-employee relationship, and on jobsites. But in the privacy of the back yard? That's where to a certain extent, government rules check out and Darwin checks in.

I dunno. We had a houseful of guests over last weekend and folks were freaking over a cordwood saw like this one:

 

I've been using a saw similar to that since I was 12 or 13 years old. I respect the saw for what it is, and because of that, it's not a danger to me.  But would I let my 19 year old son use it? No way. He may be book smart, but he's not tool smart. He doesn't neccessarily understand how the sawblade and wood interact when the blade goes through wood.

My instinctive comment to someone using their miter saw to cut firewood wouldn't be "Don't do that you could hurt yourself!", it would be "Don't screw up the saw!"

Simply my opinion.


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who do not.


Now that's a saw!   (post #206117, reply #10 of 23)

Now that's a saw!  

 

Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

I have an old chopsaw that I (post #206117, reply #12 of 23)

I have an old chopsaw that I reserve for fire or junk wood. I use it to cut branches <3 inches or so, but only if I can hold them in a safe way. The most dangerous thing I ever tried to cut with it was a roll of (what I thought was) tightly rolled fiberglass insect screen; the screen was probably a 10-20 meter roll and I was cutting 8" sections to use in my rainscreen wall. I tried compressing the roll with clamps and went slowly, but it grabbed. I wasn't hurt, but it wasn't pretty.

 

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

Thats what we call "An (post #206117, reply #13 of 23)

Thats what we call "An Educational Moment"

 

I had one of those trying to rip 4" strip of maple on a tablesaw... and yes I did have to count fingers afterwards just to make sure.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

Thats what we call "An (post #206117, reply #19 of 23)

Thats what we call "An Educational Moment"

I know what you mean, but isn't it called a "teachable moment"?

In any event, you're right in principle; I keep that photo in mind against the chance I might ever try something stupid like that again--or to show other people who might think of doing it.

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

If you'd used an abrasive (post #206117, reply #14 of 23)

If you'd used an abrasive blade it probably would have worked.  Even a regular blade backwards would have had a chance.  But with a pointy blade the FG screen works like bulletproof weave and binds up around the blade tips.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

That's why I always I use a (post #206117, reply #15 of 23)

That's why I always I use a 2.03 megajoule infrared laser for cutting fiberglass screening.

Yeah, but don't you have (post #206117, reply #16 of 23)

Yeah, but don't you have trouble with the laser beam being refracted by the glass and burning holes in the walls?


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

That's why I always I use a (post #206117, reply #17 of 23)

That's why I always I use a 2.03 megajoule infrared laser for cutting fiberglass screening.

Yeah, with all the demand I can't understand why Makita hasn't made one yet! Actually, I ended up using a hacksaw to cut the roll. Not fun. After that, I decided to buy only 2-meter rolls, since I could cut them with a pair of scissors.

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

To DanH: I'm embarrassed to (post #206117, reply #18 of 23)

To DanH: I'm embarrassed to say I've heard about using a blade mounted backwards, but I've never tried it, and didn't think about it in this case.

Now that you mention it, tho, I'm tempted to go buy another long roll of bugscreen and try it, just for the heck of it. Admittedly, that'd be a bad waste of a roll of bug screen since I see no more rainscreen walls in my future.

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

Maybe a safer way is like (post #206117, reply #20 of 23)

Maybe a safer way is like grandpa and his contemporaries did it_?

Take the back wheel off the model A, drill a few xtra holes in an old 30 inch circular  saw blade, mount on one of the rear wheels with only one wheel jacke up.  Block the front and other back wheel.

Start the car and commence cutting.  The fender act as a good balde guard.

It is important to know the (post #206117, reply #22 of 23)

It is important to know the right tools for the job in order to avoid injury to oneself and damage to the materials. To this end, it is advisable to thoroughly read the instruction manuals provided with the equipment and get familiar with the recommended safety precautions.

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OneClick Tools is a spammer (post #206117, reply #23 of 23)

These guys are dishonorable, amoral individuals who use the property of others with out permission and in violation of the owners explicit written policies. 

Anyone who does business with them should be prepared for shoddy products, with little or no support, or recourse for faulty products. 

Deal with a thief, and you get what yo deserve.