Following Evelien's comment to my previous blog, the two of us had an off-line email conversation about what might cause saw blade kickback. I ended up contacting Micromark to see what suggestions they might have about how to prevent this.
They recommended using a featherboard to hold the wood against the blade and fence. Of course, they sell such an item. However, it's a great add-on tool for the table saw, and one which I've written about before. I'd recommend it to anyone who needs to cut a number of pieces of wood that are the same width. It's a bit of a pain to have to keep resetting it each time you rip a board, but if safety is your number issue, then it's worth the time.
The folks at Micromark also shared a link to an excellent article, and I thought I'd share that same link with each of you: http://www.waterfront-woods.com/Articles/Tablesaw/tablesaw.htm
So, here's to safe and happy ripping on your miniature (or full-size) table saw.
By the way, for those of you who want a full-size, table saw that is extremely safe, I saw one demonstrated last week. It was invented by a lawyer. The number one tool for causing injuries in workshops is table saws - probably because it's one of the most common saws found in workshops. Anyway, the blade in this saw carries a slight electrical charge. As soon as human flesh comes into contact with the blade, it shorts out the saw, the blade instantly stops and snaps down below the table top. The demonstrator placed a hot-dog on top of the board he was cutting. As soon as the wiener touched the blade - BANG! And the casing of the hot-dog wasn't even cut! Now, the saw isn't cheap. Even a contractor version of this saw costs about $1700. But if fear of getting hurt on a table saw has kept you away from getting one, well, there is now a VERY safe one out there!