A table saw is a woodworking tool whose blade is mounted on an arbor that is run by an electric motor. There is a table present for support and the blade protrudes through this table. A table saw is used for many purposes and there are many table saw tips. Furthermore, how to use table saw is also a matter that needs clarification.
It is a tool used for multi-purposes. And because of this versatile characteristic that a table saw carries, it easily finds a place in the worker’s mind. Although it can be a machine of great use, the sad reality is that if not used with caution and right guides, it can turn into a machine of pain. So, in this article, we are going to see some useful tips that can help us get the most out of this “user-friendly” machine.
Many table saws are made for beginners and you can pick the best table saw within your suit budget if you are a new user.
- 1 Here Are 10 Steps of How to Use Table Saw…
- 1.1 Tip#1 Basics First
- 1.2 Tip#2 The Gut
- 1.3 Tip#3 Care for the tool
- 1.4 Tip#4 More Plywood Stuff
- 1.5 Tip#5 Grabber
- 1.6 Tip#6 Push Sticks
- 1.7 Tip#7 Blade Selection
- 1.8 Tip#8 Feather Board
- 1.9 Tip#9 Blade Height, Miter Gauge, Riving knives
- 1.10 Tip#10 Outfeed Jig
- 2 What is Table Saw Used for?
- 3 How to use a table saw properly
- 4 An Extra Tip
Here Are 10 Steps of How to Use Table Saw…
Tip#1 Basics First
A table saw is not a toy, it is a tool that has made people tell horrifying stories of losing fingers, and made a name of being the machine of KICKBACKS! You need to remember some basics before using the table saw. Here are a few.
~ Check and make sure that the blade has no chips or leftover wood stuck between its teeth.
~ Sweep off the sawdust (if any) from the tabletop before using the machine.
~ Make sure that the blade is tightly screwed.
If you leave chips between the teeth then you might get unnecessary kickbacks, and you do not want that, do you? So, make sure you check properly for the chips and also sawdust.
Of course, the blade moves at a very high speed. As a result, it is dangerous. That is why screwing the blade tight is an important table saw tips you need to remember.
Keep these in mind and you will be having a safer day at the workhouse while using the table saw J
Tip#2 The Gut
Sometimes you just know that something is wrong. If this ever happens to you when using the table saw, then that is a signal telling you to STOP! I have to remind you again that this particular tool can be very unforgiving. So, if you think that something you are doing is a bit fishy, you know “THAT GUT FEELING” we have, then stop the work right away.
If your hand positioning is not suitable and your gut says that you cannot go all the way with the cut. Someone stands behind you and you are not sure how further away they are. All this is good signs for you to turn the machine off.
Tip#3 Care for the tool
A handy machine like the table saw needs your attention and care. The table surfaces in most table saws are of cast iron. For this reason, rust is an enemy of the table saw that you need to fight. The easiest and most effective way to make your table rust free is waxing the surface. This will prevent rust and also make the surface smooth. Moreover, the material will run smoothly saving you from potential kickbacks.
Working with a table saw can be exhausting. You might want a break to drink some coffee. But, this puts your table saw in a vulnerable state as drops from your cup can fall on the table. You can easily prevent this by covering the table with plywood on top. You can screw it with the table and guess what you have now? An extra bench to keep your coffee cup down. That is a suitable way to use a table saw, isn’t it?
Tip#4 More Plywood Stuff
Your table must be a non-living being! What I mean is that your table MUST NOT move when you are cutting a piece of wood. Although table saws might be stable in their own way, it is better for you to add more stability.
So, how to use a table saw with more added stability? One way to add more stability to your tool is by using a plywood base. You can use the plywood to screw or clamp your table saw to sawhorses or other things you use.[Note: This one is not for leg set users]
Table saw tip number five is with regards to the grabber. Now, you need to apply pressure to the material you are cutting. If enough pressure is not applied, then you might be in for a kickback! This is where the handy tool i.e. the grabber comes in. Grabber makes work a lot easier for you. It has a wider surface and generally comes with a handle. Furthermore, it allows your hand to stay further from the blade. And the chances for kickbacks are also reduced. Table saw should be used for better outcomes and safer works.
Tip#6 Push Sticks
Nope, I did not forget about the sticks. The push sticks are more like the grabber. They help keep the material more stable. Moreover, they allow you to keep your fingers at a safer distance from the blade.
You can use one stick or two. But two is better. Because using two sticks will give you more control over the material and reduce any chance of potential kickbacks. Although the push sticks are cheaper than the grabber, I suggest losing a bit of money and buying the grabber for your own safety. But that doesn’t mean that the sticks won’t get the job done.
Tip#7 Blade Selection
A table saw comes with many different blades. You need to know which blade is required for which cut. If you have the wrong blade in, then it could be devastating. So, know your blades!
Now, if you have used a table saw then you should know that there are plenty of blades to choose from. And since this is table saw tips, we will mention five most common blades to use a table saw with.
This is the kind of blade you can use for making different types of cuts. That is why it is also called a general-purpose blade. It is not that handy, but it can get the job done. It is a good collection for those people who use their saw occasionally.
With the combination blade, you can make crosscuts. But, the result will not be so pleasant as you will get a lot of tear outs. For this reason, you should use a cross-cut blade.
Ask any DIY worker. They will tell you how often they have to make crosscuts. Crosscut is the cut made across the grain of the material. For a better, cleaner, smoother, and safer cross cuts, use table saw with the crosscut blade.
A rip cut is a cut made along the grain of the material or parallel to the grain. Just like cross-cut, rip cut are pretty useful cut that many DIY workers tend to make. It is best done with the rip-cut blade. There is no reason to use any other blade for making rip cuts if you have got a rip-cut blade.
It is better to use this blade on the harder and thicker materials.
What is table saw used for? If the answer should be in only two words then crosscut and rip cuts. That is how often table saw is used to make these two important cuts.
What is a dado cut? It is a cut made in such a way that it creates a slot into the surface of the piece of material. Your table saw can make really good dado cuts if you insert the right blade.
The L-shaped groove that is made on the edge of the material, called rabbets, is made with a dado blade. So, this is how to use your table saw with a dado blade.
Flat-Tooth Ripping Blade
The advantage of flat-tooth blades on your table saw is that they have teeth with no angles whatsoever. Unlike other blades, they are completely flat on the ends. That is why they leave a pretty smooth surface on the visible edges of joinery.
Yes, my friend. If you want to cut joinery then this blade is perfect for the job.
Make your cuts cleaner, straighter, smoother, and safer by using the right kind of blade for the right cuts.
Tip#8 Feather Board
Wondering what is a feather-board? A feather-board could be of wood or plastic. It is a flat piece of material with many flexible fingers formed in one side.
You can position the flexible fingers to apply pressure to your workpiece as it passes against the blade. This ensures a smoother cut. The feather-board is best to use for rip cuts.
Tip#9 Blade Height, Miter Gauge, Riving knives
The wheel is used to adjust the height of the blade. What is the right height will depend on what type of cut you are making.
Working with the table saw, you will not always be making straight cuts. You will also have to make angle cuts. To help get the correct angle cuts, you will have to use the miter gauge.
But even the miter gauge might not be exactly accurate. Rather think of it as approximate. In addition to the miter gauge, you can get a setup tool for further accuracy.
Use the riving knives. It lessens the chance of kickbacks. As your workpiece slides past the rolling blade, the riving knives do not let it hurl back at you.
Adjust the distance of the fence from the blade. This is a big reason for kickbacks. If the distance is not right then your workpiece gets stuck between the blade and the fence. This makes your workpiece twist and come at you with unimaginable speed. So, make sure the fence is not misplaced. And have enough space for your workpiece to glide away.
Tip#10 Outfeed Jig
When you are working with lengthy wood, your workpiece might need some extra tool to fall on. And if it falls on the ground, this could harm your machine a great deal. You can have an outfeed jig to prevent such trouble. Your lengthy workpiece will now not fall into the ground but will continue to pass over the outfeed as you continue cutting.
One more thing to remember when using the outfeed jig. Make the jig in such a way that the height becomes even with the height of your table saw.
What is Table Saw Used for?
The table saw is such a versatile machine that there is always room for making innovative cuts. There are plenty of reasons the table saw is used for. Here are some given below.
The work or project that could take a lot of time can be done in only a fraction of that time with a table saw. That is why it is so useful. In addition to its versatility, it can get the job done at a quick pace too.
This is one of the top reasons to use a table saw. It is not just fast, but it is so very accurate and precise with its cuts. And you will not find any DIY worker who doesn’t like a tool with this sort of accuracy. Moreover, table saws are able to make your cuts cleaner too.
I really don’t think that anyone can truly be a proper woodworker without having the table saw at their disposal. You just can’t ask for a better machine in woodworking than the table saw. Table saw is used for woodworking because it is highly productive. And also for the fact that woodworking demands a lot of precision and cleanliness which the table saw offers.
Variation in Cuts
The table saw offers a wide range of different types of cuts. That is why it is so important to have in your collection.
You know, I remember when I was little. I used to buy computer CD of games. And there was this one type of CDs that would have more than one game. So, it was like an all in one CD.
Similarly, the table is an all in one power saw. Crosscut, rip cut, dado cut, angled cut, you name it and the table saw can perform it. You can use your table saw to make these different types of cuts.
Ability to cut different materials
It is so helpful to have a machine that can do a variety of jobs. Being a DIY worker, you might need to cut different materials in different projects. And to have one saw that is capable of cutting different materials is a huge bonus. The table saw is one of the masters at this kind of work. It can cut wood, metal, plastic, etc. Furthermore, it can cut steel with a metal cut off disc.
When you start using the saw, you will find more ways that the table saw is used for. Therefore, keep practicing and innovating new ways to use your precious saw.
How to use a table saw properly
Using the table saw is not so easy to be honest. But, if you know the right steps and tricks then you will have tons of fun using the saw. Moreover, you are going to avoid kickbacks from troubling you.
Avoid bent boards
Once in a while, there might be a wood piece that may be bent or warped. It is not right to cut such boards when you use the table saw. This is because of the bent shape of the workpiece which makes rough cuts and causes kickback. In addition to warped wood, you should also avoid cutting water damaged wood with your table saw.
But, there is a way to cut bent boards with your table saw. How is that? All you have to do is straighten the warped wood first. After that, you can cut the straightened wood with ease.
Avoid loose clothing
When you are using this saw, wearing proper safety gear is a must! Apart from safety clothing, you should also keep an eye on the clothes that can cause trouble. For example, there should not be any loose clothing that you wear. This is because it can easily get caught in the blade which is very dangerous for you. Moreover, try not to wear any jewelry either during the use.
Adjust the blade
Before you start cutting anything with the saw, it is important that you make the right adjustments. Adjusting the right height of the blade before rip cutting. This will let avoid any potential kickbacks. The ideal height while ripping is the thickness of the workpiece you are cutting.
Also, it is important that you set the fence guard as well as lock it before beginning the cut.
Setting the blade either too low or high can cause kickbacks. That is why the blade should be set in a way that the teeth remains just above the table.
There will be a lot of different types of workpiece you will work with. And not all will be suitable to throw into and feed your table saw. As a result, you have to prepare the material before putting it on your saw.
For example, some wood might be too long. You can shorten them with a chainsaw or something similar and then feed the smaller pieces to your table saw. If the workpiece is too long then the table will not keep it on top all the way. So, the workpiece will fall on the ground and that is dangerous for you and the saw too.
You can, of course, create an extra table. The extra table will make sure that it doesn’t fall on the ground and so you’ll be able to avoid disaster. Moreover, your saw is going to be safe.
Make sure that you even the extra table with the height of the saw table.
Take the proper position
This is a crucial thing you need to remember when you are to use a table saw. The blade of the saw swings towards you. That is why you cannot position yourself in the line of the blade. Rather it will be better if you stand a little right or left of the blade. It is safer and also a better position to work with the table saw.
Take this proper position after starting the saw and before putting the workpiece down on the table.
Furthermore, keep your body closer to the table as you will need to guide the material all the way and through the spinning blade.
Check the safety protocols
Whenever you are using this saw, always double-check the safety features before you start cutting. Here are some safety features that you should check before beginning.
~ Make sure that the blade guard is in position. I know some people find it easier to work without the guard on. If you are a newbie then don’t try that!
~ Keep the riving knives for further safety from any potential kickbacks.
~ Use sensors and magnetic switch if your table saw has these features.
Your safety should be your first priority really. Especially when you are to use a table saw.
Guide your workpiece
The saw is designed in such a way that allows you to guide the material yourself. After turning on the saw, the blade will automatically start spinning. Then you have the job of getting the workpiece all the way through.
Firstly, you need to apply sufficient pressure so that the material does not move much. And as we have already discussed as a table saw tips, you can use push sticks or grabber to apply the needed pressure.
Additionally, the grabber or push sticks allow the task to be a lot easier. But, it does not mean that you cannot guide the material with bare hand. Consequently, you need to take a safer route when using the table saw just because it is too dangerous.
With the proper method of guiding the material, you can complete any task using your precious table saw.
An Extra Tip
Learn to respect the table saw. It is useful just as it is dangerous. Many men have lost fingers, got hit by big piece of wood in the face. But, now that you know how to use a table saw and what is table saw used for. Follow these table saw tips and you will be having a dance with this machine. And finally, good luck kicking the kickbacks!!!
If you want to know more about the table saw and which one you should consider buying then I have another article on table saw guide which may help you.