Guards must cover as much of the blade as possible and cross-cut saws should now either be fitted with a brake or a device to pull back the cutting head, locating the blade within a safe protected area. This can be spring loaded or a pulley system with weights.
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There should also be a “no-go” area for hands - 300mm either side of the blade - to prevent the blade being pulled over thumb or fingers accidentally. In addition, the cut must end at least 50mm before the table edge to prevent the blade coming into contact with the stomach.
A cross-cut saw is an acceptable machine to point stakes on provided there is a properly designed and constructed jig and adequate support has been provided for the jig and post. This allows posts of up to eight feet in length to be pointed. This technique is suitable for low-volume production. For higher volume production, proprietary stake pointing machines are available.Stake pointing produces small sharp pointed off-cuts. If these are allowed to build up around the saw they can jam the blade or be ejected back towards the operator. Regular removal of the off-cuts is therefore important by either using a push-stick or first stopping the machine.
A riving knife must be fitted if the saw is used for ripping. Circular saws can also be used for cutting a slot with a dado head - this is a set of two saw blades with chippers in between or cutting irons (trenching – across grain, ploughing with grain).