The use of the table saw involves more than just a ‘setup and go’ approach! Considering how useful this woodworking tool is, it’s ironic that more injuries are arising from the use of the table saw compared to several other tools in your average woodshop.
Allay your fears as the table saw can be used safely, albeit by adhering to certain ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts.’
Here are safety tips which should guide your use of the table saw:
- 1 Don appropriate safety wears
- 2 Posture matters!
- 3 Cleanliness goes beyond godliness
- 4 Change blade after disconnecting the table saw from the power source
- 5 Appropriate Inserts are important
- 6 Avail yourself of the benefit of a push stick
- 7 Confirm the safety status of the table saw
- 8 Stop the blade before making an adjustment
- 9 Free-handing a cut is a no-no
- 10 Outfeed tables could help
- 11 Don’t rush it!
Don appropriate safety wears
Never get carried away in a woodwork exercise that you end up forgetting to put on proper safety equipment. You’d be doing this at the detriment of your health. Safety equipment here includes goggles, earmuffs, and overalls. A dust mask might also be necessary, depending on the kind of task involved. While it’s so easy to dabble into woodwork immediately with loose clothing and fashion accessories, don’t do it. It’s a risk you should endeavor to avoid.
The use of the table saw requires you keep a position which doesn’t put your safety in jeopardy. A perfectly balanced stand that is asymmetrical to the blade mount is recommended.
When you align your body with the blade, you are going to be a target for whatsoever exits the stock during a woodwork exercise, and some of these missiles might be significant enough to bring you pain regardless of the safety fixture you have on. There’s also the effect of a kickback to consider when placing your body in the wrong stance.
Cleanliness goes beyond godliness
For the efficient use of the table saw, keeping the table clean is non-negotiable. The proper removal of debris and wood chunks should prove helpful in delivering a perfect cut without putting your wellbeing on the line. Remember that those bits lying around can become a projectile while working on the table saw.
Change blade after disconnecting the table saw from the power source
The table saw, unlike a few other woodwork tools, uses electric power to achieve cuts. Since a blunt blade doesn’t help in any form, changing such is crucial, but you need to detach the table saw’s power cord from the outlet. Considering the table saw can be easily turned on by a flipping a switch, you don’t want that triggered when changing its encased blade.
Appropriate Inserts are important
Blade inserts are common with the table saw to prevent bits of wood from venturing into the blade area and transforming into a safety risk. While it’s easy to go with just about any insert available, you are much safer sticking a compatible one. The risk of a dysfunctional blade insert outweighs whatsoever gains you are looking at achieving.
Avail yourself of the benefit of a push stick
Putting your body at risk by feeding a smaller stock into the blade of a table saw is something you should never do. Every time your fingers are brought within inches of the blade, you stand a risk of getting cut. To minimize such risk, try using a push stick to ensure the cutting of stocks with a smaller width. A do-it-yourself approach is possible if you don’t intend buying the stick.
Confirm the safety status of the table saw
One of the mistakes many woodworkers make is to jump into a task without assessing the condition of the table saw and its safety fixtures. There are different safety fittings on this woodwork tool incorporated to ensure your safe use of the table saw. From the anti-kickback setting to the blade guard, your table saw is equipped to guarantee you’re not harmed when using the equipment. Just endeavor to set the table saw fixtures right.
Stop the blade before making an adjustment
One thing you must try to avoid is attempting to change something on the table saw with the blade in motion. Accidents can happen, and it’s only going to worsen when you try reaching over a blade in motion to alter a fixture on the table saw. Limit the risk by shutting down the blade before making that alteration.
Free-handing a cut is a no-no
As tempting as it is to feed the stock towards the blade, don’t try it. Regardless of your expertise in woodworks, there’s always the possibility of a safety mishap occurring, so don’t take the risk. Fortunately, the miter gauge can be quite handy in this area. If the miter gauge isn’t available, the fence could serve.
Outfeed tables could help
With a stock of a massive size is involved, consider deploying an outfeed table to make things easier. The table saw alone would produce uneven cuts regardless of your expertise. Fortunately, you can avoid this by bringing the outfeed table into the picture.
Don’t rush it!
While you are zealous about completing that woodwork quickly, let the blade get to full speed before feeding the stock. When you turn on the table saw, you have to be patient enough to allow the blade hit the maximum speed. Not doing so might result in a kickback, and you don’t want that.
Was this piece helpful? The table saw is a great woodwork tool, but you need to be safe with it, and that has informed the safety tips in this article.
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