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Thread: Miter Saw Mishap

  1. Top | #61
    Yank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoderman View Post
    I'd still like to see a "re-enactment" without the saw running. Yank asked if he did something wrong. I've launched and banged parts in my miter saw due to taking chances. You know, like when that little piece you cut off gets flipped into the blade while it's spinning. It happens.
    Could you take a picture of a similar piece of trim, the same angle setting and maybe a description like holding material with right hand, saw trigger being operated with left hand, or however it went. I don't follow the north-south description - what does that mean?
    Thanks, and I hope you're healing well Yank!
    It is the standard 2 ¾ inch trim for ceilings at Lowe’s. Looks like it’s made out of some type of white wood or soft pine. I had the trim up against the fence, not laid down flat. That was my both south reference. Saw was mitered to my left at 45 degrees. Right hand holding the trim, left pulling the trigger.
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  3. Top | #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj1 View Post
    Chris, I believe you are spot on.. I have seen moldings move while cutting at a 45 angle with certain types of wood. You can feel it when holding a piece of wood that close to the blade and that blade can warp that far if "pushed" by a saw turning at those revolutions when sucked in between the back fence pieces.. You have to be very careful and I also believe the sap as coaltrain mentioned could have played a role in this. I had 34 stitches in my left hand and arm from sap with an all of a sudden kick back from a circular saw while doing a plunge cut in KD northern white pine.. These things happen so fast you can't blink your eye fast enough... He's a lucky man to have his finger still attached. He's also lucky that blade didnt explode on impact with the saw and the sudden stop.

    I have to wonder What species of wood he was cutting?
    It is some type of whitewood or pine. Very soft. Whatever Lowe’s makes their typical ceiling trim out of.
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  4. Top | #63

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    The trim wasn't finger-jointed was it? That stuff will come apart way too easily.
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  6. Top | #64
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    It seems like there is an unintended pun in the post before mine.
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    Yeah, sorry. No pun intended. Back on subject I don't use finger jointed wood at all. Even that sawdust and glue composite crap is better than finger joint material.
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  8. Top | #66
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    There's nothing to apologize for. I just found it an interesting coincidence about finger jointed wood causing Yank's finger injury.
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    Several things come to mind

    Firstly, yes, thankfully you still have a finger and a hand for that matter because those big saw teeth can grip the tendons and rip them right out of your hand and wrist! 8^0

    Then there's the 5 P's.
    Safe working space is a must. Jamming your equipment in a tight place is not good prep.

    You indicated you were ripping the workpiece. This requires even more attention to detail as ripping is THE most hazardous cut you can make with an electric saw.

    Locking the work piece so it can't move is an important working skill and really common sense.
    Then there's the possibility the nut and flange that holds the blade in place came loose.

    But like another respondent mentioned above, it was probably the work piece, or a waste piece that jammed into the blade cover causing instant stoppage.

    When ripping, the waste can easily fracture along the grain causing small sections to fly out the back (or front for that matter).

    Those blades revolve at massive speed so they must be completely respected and fully understood.
    In the case of drop saws or circular saws, there's very good reason for the safety requirements and operational instructions.

    Better luck in future!
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  11. Top | #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdforever View Post
    Yank,

    Did you have the piece of trim locked down? If not, my theory would be that when cutting at an angle without the wood locked down, the blade grabbed the wood pulling it and your hand toward the blade. This has happened to me before, so whenever possible, I always use the lock down and ease the blade into the piece slowly. Maybe LGM will see this and chime in with his thoughts, as he has a lot of experienced with miter saws.

    Another possibility would be that the trim piece at some point during the cut did not remain tight against the upright support. Again Just my best guess from experience.

    Anyways, I can see the blade twisting and warping under the above circumstances. No matter what, thankfully you still have your finger and hopefully Dewalt will replace your saw.
    I think you guys covered a lot of things I thought of. I’ve got about 4 of those saws and haven’t had that happen. Hitachi saws, cheap saw, Hardy blades, metal blades, etc.

    Saying it isn’t the saws fault I would guess the trim being warped/bowed upwards. The OP holding down real hard so after cutting halfway through the wood came together pinching the blade.
    OP what’s the saw on? Was the wood held down flat on the saw or do you have something to the left and right of the saw that could hold the trim slightly above the saws flat table part. Which could result in the blade pinching also.

    Anytime you cut with a saw the wood needs to be able to stay flat or fall down away from the blade. So it don’t pinch the blade. Not sure if I’m explaining it right. If you were cutting an 8’ board in half you could have something holding the board up 1” to the left and right of the blade so that once the wood is cut it would fall at the very ends of the board 4’ away from the blade. If something was only holding the wood at the very ends of the blade the center of the wood would fall pinching the blade. That’s when everything could explode like you are saying.

    Also with an 80 tooth blade you need to cut slower and not force it. I use an 80 more for my cabinet crown where I want more precise cuts. I use a 60 tooth blade more often than not. You still don’t want to force the blade. Lots of people just like to CHOP with a chop saw.


    Glad you are ok. That’s always a scary feeling when something like that happens.
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  13. Top | #69
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    Having spent almost 40 years using these saws and having worn out a few (still own six by a variety of manufacturers) I will offer the following.

    1) "For what it's worth, because of the way the blades are secured, it it possible for the tension washer to be out of alignment and seem tight until the blade spins up and makes contact" Possible but not likely to make numerous previous cuts and then fail.

    2) Any one with time on a circular saw be it miter, table, or hand held circular has had the material explode and frequently it will jamb between blade and guard with sometime resulting in a blade jamb.

    3) Thin kerf blades $UCK in my opinion and I avoid them whenever possible. They are to wimpy and would be much more prone to distort and cause the kind of damage shown.

    4) Similar issues, different names. I bought a Hitachi 12" new ( about $480) and spent an additional $100+ on a DML 96 tooth blade from the rack at the same dealer. The arbor bearings on the Hitachi failed completely in less than three months of moderate nothing but trim work use.(In my opinion miter saws are for trim and finish not framing). The dealer took the saw back but Hitachi would do nothing "the blade was too heavy and the rotational inertia/stress caused the failure. Never bought a Hitachi saw again (own plenty of their nail guns).

    5) Having had my share of mishaps I developed several rules of "Thumb"over the years and am still a member of the ten and ten club.Every time you pull the trigger say to yourself there is a great potential to do extreme damage to yourself. You must be TOTALLY focused on what you are doing. If you are thinking about the fight you had with your wife or the fishing trip you are going on when you get out of work, go find something else to do. You WILL have that accident. Always think things through, there is always a way to do something smarter and safer. The one thing you are not in control of is the internal grain of the wood, some pieces are still angry they are not still in the ground, plan for it.

    6) My vote is exploding wood, thin kerf blade, wood chunk forced the damage wether it stayed around or not and one lucky guy. Be safe out there.
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  15. Top | #70

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    A couple of things.

    Sooo.... I read through all the comments and the only thing I can think that everybody didn't cover is the off cut. I've actually had something similar happen to me before but if the off cut got push back into the saw, and then jammed up into the blade cover, it would force the blade out of alignment. Based on the things you said and my experience that all happens so fast you couldn't have seen it even if you where looking for it. So you wouldn't really have anything to report other than "it make big boom". You also said the wood exploded. I've never had a blade explode wood, but I have had the wood explode when the blade has forced it into something that isn't meant to cut... like the blade guard/housing. Miter saws don't have zero clearance inserts below or behind the blade so there is always a possibility that your off cut is going to get wedged, and a zero clearance setup can help prevent it, but if you don't set it up right it actually can create another spot for the blade to hit. Like I said I've had something similar happen to me before ... twice actually and both times it bent the blade enough where I could see that the blade was warped so I replace it. I now check my blade frequently for wobble because both times I had to change my pants. It sounds like a shot gun going off and it is scary AF. The first time it happened I had to remove the off cut from the blade guard/housing and it was jammed in there very tightly and black from the friction burns.

    How to prevent this in the future... my only suggestion is to use the little clamp arm that comes with these new saws and get your soft meaty bits out of the way. Look into a zero clearance setup cautionsly. Especially when your cut offs are small, plunge slowly and keep the blade all the way down until you let up on the trigger AND THE BLADE STOPS SPINNING. Keep the saw down don't let it lift up. That's the one that got me the second time it happened. I was in a hurry I chopped down and let go. The off cut was about 1 inch or less of oak that was a 45 triangle shape. When I let go ( I assume because it happened too fast to see) the teeth grabbed the off cut forcing it back to the stop but it was a triangle so it wedged and was forced more into the blade which then shot it up into the blade guard/housing. BOOM.

    These are commonly called chop saws. Don't think of them like a karate chop or even a kitchen knife chop they are far to dangerous for that. Picture a slow graceful plunge cut that remains down until there is no spinning or force left to throw anything like a bullet.

    I'm actually surprised that I'm the only one that has had something similar to this happen to me. The picture of the saw actually didn't surprise me at all. It's actually what I thought happened both times. Another small note I just thought of is that the Dewalt has a considerably more powerful motor than mine. This could in theory explain why your failure was more dramatic than mine. You had "More POWER" as Tim the tool man would say.
    Last edited by MrMiz; 07-26-2019 at 09:12 AM.
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