Kickback on the Tablesaw and the Riving Knife

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Well after years it finally happened I got to feel the full force of kickback on my table saw. The reason is my riving knife. Rather the absence of a riving knife I took it off while preparing turning blanks.  The result was a lump of red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) about 300mm long and 75mm square. It hit me straight in the sternum and it hurt! Luckily I didnt break anything and only had a small reddened area with a minor cut to show for the indignation.

I have never given riving knives much thought. I took it off as the cuts were less than the height of the blade. In order to make a full cut the timber had to be flipped over. I had this idea fixed in my head that the riving knife should sit higher than the top of the blade which makes bling cuts impossible. What I mean by a blind cut is that the timber is thicker than the full height of the blade.

I have watched many YouTube (and I have forgotten who made the video) videos where a blind cut has been made and not thought about how this was achieved. This was until I watched a video where someone was talking about setting up a table saw, I nearly didn’t watch this as it seemed too basic. There is was set the height of the riving knife just below the height of the blade.

Now I can blind cut to my heart’s content and reduce the risk of another piece of timber flying off the table.

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