I love surprises. Ask anyone and they’ll say, yep, that A.J. is one surprise-lovin’ guy. But I didn’t much like the surprise I found yesterday inside a piece of birch plywood.
The plywood in question was 1/2" thick 7-ply birch, and I honestly don’t remember where I got it. I bought a 4x8 sheet of it some time ago, and the piece I cut yesterday was a remnant of that. It may have been Big Box plywood, but I don’t think so. In any event, I’m merrily sawing away when I hear an odd, rapid ting-ting-ting-ting-ting sound from the saw. It wasn’t loud; in fact it was just barely loud enough to be noticeable. I finished the cut just fine, but when I pulled the two pieces from the saw here’s what I found.
Yeah, that’s a rock, right in between the third and fourth plies. Keep in mind, too, the kerf – that rock was about 1/8” thicker before my saw blade cut through it. Close examination of my blade didn’t reveal anything I could see, no visible nicks or damaged teeth, but I’m sure that blade’s not quite as good as it was two minutes before making that cut. For all I know it could have sustained non-visible damage, perhaps adversely affecting the balance or some other critical factor. To be on the safe side, I immediately retired the blade. Fortunately, it was an older one probably past its retirement date anyway, so no great loss there.
You have to wonder what might have happened if that rock had been larger. Or if it had been a nail. Or something bigger and harder. Still, nothing bad occurred short of perhaps ruining an old blade.
But it does make one reflect a bit, doesn’t it?