For anyone who is serious about woodworking, a table saw is one of the most important and must-have equipment. The main aim of the table is to support the material that you need to cut.
A table saw can come in handy if you want quick and precise cutting tasks. But what is the best way to use a table saw and avoid injuries? If you are looking for the best answer to this question, then we have got you covered.
In this article, we are going to give you a step by step guide on how to use a table saw to make the cuts correctly and safely.
What You Need for This Task?
Before starting with the task, ensure that you have all the necessary tools in place. This will help save time, and of course the frustrations.
- Table saw
- Cordless drill
- Safety glasses
- Heating protection
As usual, try to avoid the last-minute shopping trips by ensuring that all the necessary materials are ready. This list should include:
- 1x3 or 1x4 lumber
- Screen door handle
- 2x4 lumber
- 1/4-in. plywood
- Feather boards
When using a table saw, the most important tip to remember is that table saws are dangerous power pieces of equipment. If handled carelessly, they can cause severe bodily damage to the user. Always ensure that you have safety glasses when working and pay close attention to your work. This does not mean that you should be afraid to use the tool; it is also good to note that mishandling the equipment may cost you. To reduce the risks involved:
- Never start the saw when the wood material is touching the blade
- Always use the rip fence to make ‘rip’ cuts
- Always use the miter gauge for cross cuts (the rip fence does not provide enough support)
- Ensure that the material is against the table when cutting
- Take time to read safety provision from the manufacturer
- Always wear ear protection and goggles when using the table saw
- Always unplug the saw before adjusting or aligning
How To Use a Table Saw - Step-by-step Instructions:
- Step 1: Preparing the blade
Unplug the table saw and fit a rip blade into the blade arbor. The rip blade should be suitable for the cut material. Adjust the height of the blade, ensuring that the top of the blade does not rise to more than ¼ inches above the wood material. You can do this with the use of an arbor nut wrench (which comes with the arbor nut) to loosen the arbor nut. The use of the arbor nut is to hold the blade in place. Position the rip blade, making sure that the teeth face the front of the table saw. Then tighten the arbor nut.
- Step 2: Position the rip fence
Release the locking lever on the front of the fence to position the rip fence. Slide the rip fence for the inner edge to match the desired width of the cut. Usually, the table saw comes with a ruler that can be used to position the fence, but do not always rely on the ruler to measure your cut. A precision tape measure can also be used to measure the distance from the fence to the closest edge of the saw blade tooth. Measuring the closest blade helps in accounting for the size of wood that the blade will cut (referred to as the keft)
- Step 3: Position your material
After that, plug back in the table saw and place your material on the table. The material should be aligned with the rip fence. You should however not allow the material to touch the blade until the saw is turned on and the blades are at full speed.
- Step 4: Cut the material
Slowly guide the material along the rip fence using either one or both hands to control it. The material should be flat on the tabletop and aligned with the fence. If your material is too long, use a table extension for support or have someone to help as you cut. The material should always be flat and do not let go since the material might lift off the table and increase the risk of kickback.
- Step 5: How safe are your fingers?
You can keep your fingers safe from the moving blade using a push stick. The push stick can guide the material during narrow rips which put your fingers closer to the blade.
That is it. I am pretty sure that you know now how to use the powerful tool and do your job safely and accurately. Do not forget to perform frequent maintenance on the table saw and always make sure that you wear safety equipment when working. By following these guidelines, your woodworking sessions will always be a productive and enjoyable experience.