Some of you are naturally safe and I have always admired those people who think straight and sober when it comes to dangerous power tools. I didn't DEVELOP that respect until I had had too many close calls. These pictures depicts one of the close calls I am talking about:
I say it is a close call because I was one of the fortunate ones whereby I kept my fingers in spite of the accident. I run various saws for a living and one false move or lack of concentration or getting in a big hurry can end my source of income and other things I like to do.
After having far too many close calls and subsequent trips to the ER and since I want to continue playing the guitar I would have to become safety conscious and slow down. Let's face it, every day someone has a major accident with power tools. Band saws are one of the best and most dangerous tools to use. Any time you are pushing into the blade it merits extreme caution and full attention. There are those who learn from others mistakes and there are those who have to learn the hard way. I seem to be in the latter category. Something had to change or my abilities would be cut off (no pun intended). People have told me beforehand to use push sticks, two if necessary, but in my brain I though "awkward and non-productive".
It was not until the twenty-six stitches in two fingers did I rethink the non- productive part and no playing my guitar ever again. So I set my mind on safety which went against my normal thought processes. Here is what I discovered and recommend. Think no more close calls as this video will help you stay safe. Safety is not simple if you don't recognize danger in the first place and ignoring safety instructions.
Here are a few pointers:
Get, buy, or cut some 12" push sticks. Cheap at several dollars if purchased.
My last ER visit cost $1300 for these stitches and a few days of no work. Simple math, a few bucks vs. thousands and the possibility of permanent disability.
Before operating any saw sober your mind and never lose thought. A healthy respect comes over me before I start up any saw. It is not a fear but respect.
Keep blades sharp at all times. (the dull blade requires more pushing force towards the blade)
Use your blade guard and crank it down to just over the wood for more accurate cuts and less exposed blade. The smaller the work piece requires as much attention as the larger ones.
Keep your deck conditioned with wax so the wood glides more easily. Sticky decks and dull blades are accidents waiting to happen.
Never reach across the front of your blade. Always remember the front side of the blade bites and easily grab loose clothing. If you have to grab the wood grab it from the back side.
Ware ear and eye protection and keep the area around the saw clear of debre.