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Heath and Safety Flag

I think it would be a good idea to add a new flag category: Health and Safety, to cover instructables whose use could cause bodily harm or have unintended consequences.

Many ideas pass through here, some are not as well thought out as others, and some are just dangerous and unsafe.

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wilgubeast4 years ago
Other users use the "inappropriate" flag to report potentially dangerous content. Whichever flag you choose, that project will be examined by a real, live human being.
Hi, Wade. This is quite true, and I've used the Inappropriate flag myself for content which is inescapably dangerous (like that stupid "submarine" which was essentially a trapped air pocket). The problem with the Inappropriate flag is that there is no interface to explain the flag (Did the author use offensive language? Put it in the wrong category? Post something that isn't instructive?). Relying on Staff to read minds puts an extra burden of both effort and time on them.
This might be the perfect occasion for adding a comment with the relevant information and immediately flagging it. "This project is lethal." Flag the project as inappropriate, flag your own comment as inappropriate, and the requisite information is there for staff to evaluate.

This is hacky as all get-out, but it does accomplish the goal of identifying health/safety issues with enough actionable information to at least eliminate the bathtub Tesla coils and cardboard potato cannons and submarine death traps.

Obviously dangerous projects should be identified by staff and unindexed. If that isn't happening, please escalate the matter to service@instructables.com.
ringai (author)  wilgubeast4 years ago
Being able to add a free-form comment to the inappropriate flag would be an acceptable option. My ire was raised by an author's apparent unconcern over co-opting of the word "featherboard."

Woodworkers the world over hear "featherboard" and instantly know that it is a device that both holds wood tightly to a reference surface and prevents said wood from being thrown back (i.e., a kickback) from the processing blade, whether that be a saw blade, router bit, or shaper blade.

The author created a hold down that merely pressed the wood against the reference surface without providing any protection from kickbacks. A kickback is quite capable of seriously injuring or killing, or causing serious property damage. Imagine a chunk of 2x4 flying out of a saw at several hundred miles per hour.

A seasoned woodworker can look at that project and know that it's unsafe and that despite the author's title, that the item is absolutely not a featherboard. However, a person with zero experience, having heard from veteran woodworkers that featherboards provide protection against "deadly" kickbacks, may look at that project and through inexperience actually use it as a featherboard simply because of the title. That action could have serious consequences.
On a 12" blade, running at 3000 RPM, the edge is moving at around 100mph, just out of interest.
ringai (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Yep, it's zinging right along. If you're unlucky enough to have it knock something back at your, it looks like something north of the speed of sound.

I remember watching David Thiel doing a TV segment and get a kickback that caught him somewhere south of the belt buckle, but not to far south. They cut the scene before the strike and he didn't sound any different in the next scene, so it wasn't too bad. But that's only because it was a really short piece of light wood. The consequences could have been much different if it'd been a couple feet of teak ;-)

I've had a couple kickbacks. I was unfortunate enough to witness a serious tablesaw accident about 30 years ago, so I'm a big believer in push sticks and standing on the other side of the fence. The first one broke my water heater. The second broke a leg on a wooden stool at my workbench.

I've passed along my big TS to my SIL. I have a dewalt jobsite saw that I use now and again. Mostly I turn wood now.
You guys aren't (or weren't) too hot on having riving knives on saws. Are they used now ?
ringai (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
I don't think it was a dislike so much as the expense of buying a saw that had one. Until recently, riving knives were a feature found only on high-end tablesaws. At least in North America.

There are some saws for which you can purchase a retrofit riving knife. Unfortunately, mine wasn't one of them. I relied on the integral splitter and anti-kickback pawls on my blade guard.

Many newer tablesaws have incorporated riving knives.
I know for many years it was illegal to import American tablesaws, because of the lack of the knives I think, as well as no blade brakes. I toyed with importing a nice Delta saw once. In the end I have a own-label sliding-bed Cast iron saw from a UK source which is absolutely rock solid, and a joy to use.
ringai (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Man, that must be sweet. I lusted after a sliding table for quite sometime, but space and money always win: I had neither! Now that the SIL has the tablesaw, I have so much more space in my shop. I filled it with a new lathe and a bit more storage. I'm still trying to squeeze out some storage space for drying bowls and not having a lot of luck doing so.
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