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The Projectile Potential of Kickback From a Tablesaw

March 06, 2017

The tablesaw is probably the most dangerous tool in your shop because the blade spins toward you

Andy Rawls is having a big Saturday night—converting his tablesaw into a kickback cannon.


"You're pushing a work piece into the blade... the danger lies in if the piece binds on the blade, the blade grabs it and it fires it back at you."

Riving knives and anti-kickback pawls can help.

Andy's friend, who owns a door-making shop, told him that a workpiece in his shop kicked back so hard that it shot through the wall of his building.


Andy decided to devise a jig to see how powerful kickback can be. Shooting a 1x2 at a solid core door, he sees that it is, indeed, very powerful. The initial firing sends the 1x2 through the back door, into the backyard, and almost to the fence about 30 feet away.

The next logical thing to do is set up a target, such a solid core door


The 1x2 will not penetrate the door, however, unless...

...he sharpens the point with a drawknife.

So that is what he did.

"...this tablesaw is now a weapon."

The first shots do not penetrate the door, so he rips the 1x2 down to about 1x1 inch. And it shoots through the door. The point sticks out the other side two or three inches.

"...and that just shows you how powerful and dangerous this machine is."

The fact that the projectile went out the back door in the initial firing round is by design. When he worked alone, the saw was oriented 90 degrees to its current setup.

When Andy added an employee, he realized that the new work station was in direct line of fire from the kickback cannon.


So he rotated the machine to aim out the back door, and then he dialed it in for target practice.

Andy Rawls​ is a Woodworker and YouTuber in Boerne, Texas

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