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table saw tips

I'm kind of a beginning woodworker and don't have a lot of experience with table saws.  I'd like to know when and how to use a featherboard, should the blade guard always be used, etc.  I'm looking for advice on safety, tricks, what jigs to use and when to use them. Any information is appreciated. Thnaks!

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Posted 2012-10-21T01:08:00+0000  by hogan hogan

  table saw.jpg


Hey Hogan

I am glad you asked such a good question.  Hopefully all our community members and Pro's will drop a few suggestions to help on this one.


Three things immediately come to mind concerning your question:


First thing to remember is that the blade is to be respected above all else when using the machine.  Never stop being mindful of its potential to do serious harm to you.  So of course – always wear safety glasses, keep that blade guard on, and use extension tools to help keep your hands as far away as possible from the blade.  A feather board is one way to avoid any close encounters with the saw blade.


                                             feather board.jpg


Second important point is that pieces of wood can sometimes have a mind of their own - meaning that “kickbacks” are always possible.  A kickback is when the wood is suddenly forced back out of the blade and towards your body. One way to avoid injury is to not stand directly behind the wood as it is being cut. Using a push-stick is optimal.


push stick.jpg                 Push sticks can be made out of scrap wood as well.


Lastly, make sure the table saw is at a height that is conducive for your comfort and safety level.  Adjustable tables and supports are very good investments and will aid in productivity. 


Below are some terms that might help you out:


Bevel Capability: Most table saws allow you to tilt the blade to the left for angled cuts, though some right-tilt models are also available to accommodate personal preferences. Look for easy adjustment and positive stops at common angles, so you can make fast, accurate bevel cuts.


Miter Gauge: The miter gauge is a removable guide used for fast, accurate miter cuts and crosscuts. Look for one with positive stops at 45º and 90º. If a gauge isn't included with your saw or you need to upgrade, you can purchase one separately. Also, check the miter gauge slot on the saw table; it must be perfectly parallel to the blade, or your miter cuts won't be accurate.


High-Quality Controls: Look for smooth, precise adjustment and a durable design. All controls should be easy to access and comfortable to grip, particularly if you use your table saw frequently.


Rip Fence: A rip fence is a guide for cutting parallel to the edge of the workpiece. Longer fences offer better control. The fence should fit snuggly, slide freely, lock down solidly and be perfectly parallel with the blade at every setting. You can purchase rip fences separately for upgrade or replacement.


Splitter (Riving Knife): A splitter is an important anti-kickback feature that separates the wood after it has been cut to prevent binding. Look for a splitter with adjustable kerf to accommodate different blades and materials.


Anti-Kickback Pawls: These jagged teeth prevent the workpiece from kicking back at the operator, so they need to stay sharp and bite at the right angle.


Electric Brake: An electric brake stops the blade quickly after each cut, enhancing safety and helping you get ready for the next cut quickly.


Magnetic Switch: If a table saw with a magnetic switch is left on during a power outage, it won't start back up when the power is restored, preventing the workpiece from shooting back out of the saw. This could be particularly important for high-powered models that may potentially blow fuses.


Easy-Change Blade System: Some saws offer one-step blade changes, either with or without a tool. If you switch blades frequently, an easy-change system helps minimize downtime.


Dado Blades: If you need to make grooved cuts for inserting shelves or joining pieces of wood, look for a table saw that accepts dado blades. Many table saws accept dado blades with a maximum width of 13/16".


Dust Port: Table saws produce a lot of sawdust, but table saws with cabinets keep dust fairly well contained. On all types of table saws, look for a dust port if you want to connect to a dust collection system as you cut.

Posted 2012-10-21T17:13:26+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

I found a video you might like. FeatherBoards: Why you need them.


Posted 2012-10-24T00:50:56+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI
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