All hobbyists and professionals that we interviewed have told us one thing unanimously, and that is that they find cutting wood and crafting extremely therapeutic. Making something right from scratch excites them all. We know, it is their love for woodworking that draws them each day to their workshops. And they gladly have shared their secrets on how to use a table saw with us!
How To Use A Table Saw?
Any woodworker worth his workshop will swear by his table saw. A table saw is quite a versatile power tool that is not just easy to use but saves a lot of time and effort while cutting wood. So, you can use a table saw as a planer. A table saw is usually used for cutting across boards. They can make long vertical cuts that can rip wood apart in one pass or make short angled cuts which are also otherwise called crosscuts.
A table saw can be used to cut any wood, whether dry hardwood, wet lumber, frozen or treated provided of course that these three conditions are fulfilled:
- Usage of the right technique to cut across the wood
- Putting safety ahead of anything else
- Setting up a table saw correctly to be able to cut efficiently and quickly.
What Do You Use A Table Saw For
A table saw is often referred to as the ‘woodworker’s favorite tool.’ Because all modern woodworking is centered on this power tool. A table likely saw is the most expensive purchase for a woodworker. It is suggested that a woodworker must spend on a table saw as much as he can afford to. It is bound to give him enough returns.
The best table saw, and the best saw horses have been dealt with in detail in separate blogs. A used table saw is also worth the investment if it is not too old and worn out. Before purchasing a pre-owned and much-loved table saw, it is essential that all parameters, especially safety parameters, are double-checked to avoid disappointments later on.
This one in all power equipment is capable of so many functions. Table saw uses are
- Rip cut through the board, wooden plant, sheet or MDF hardboard;
- crosscut in an angle
- Miter-cut especially for joints in a door or a frame
- And also add shapes to edges of wooden blocks.
Table Saw Safety First
A table saw is a powerful tool, and it can be that along with unforgiving. It is crucial to follow the safety instruction not grievously to hurt yourself or worse.
Here is a list of table saw tips for safety:
According to the safety commission, every nine minutes, one accident is documented on a woodworking tool, mostly table saws. The ratio of woodworkers that lose a limb and have to be amputated is on the rise. In the wake of such horrifying statistics, it is but correct that a woodworker uses extreme care and caution while using his table saw.
- Before beginning to miter or ripping cut, a woodworker must make it a point to wear safety gear. Goggles, ear muffs because the blade noise can be screeching high and protective footwear to save skin from splinters entering his skin.
- A woodworker MUST read the manual that comes with the machine back to back. One cannot enough reiterate this point.
- He must make sure that he knows where the emergency off switch is.
- No using warped or bent board to cut because these will kickback injuring him on the face or worse in the eye.
- All fences, especially the table saw rip fence must be in place.
- Push stick or wood pieces must be used to push the wood to be cut if there are less than six inches of space between the blade and the hand.
- Never put your hand on the table near the blade and push the wood with your bare hands. Never do it!
- Use blade guards when the blade is not in use.
- Unclutter the work table and always clear sawdust after you ensuring that dust chute is not overfull.
- Switch off the machine before you are done for the day because you don’t want anyone to come inside unannounced and hurt themselves.
Types Of Cuts On A Table Saw
A table saw is capable of doing a lot more than only ripping boards. Let us explain in brief what three main types of cuts are.
1. CrossCut On A Table Saw
A lot of woodworkers do not prefer making crosscuts on a table saw. They find a miter saw or a chop saw much more convenient. A crosscut is cutting the wood across the main grain or its axis. A table saw can effectively crosscut. A woodworker may need a bit of practice to master the art though.
2. Ripping Cut
Some people have this misconception that a table saw can only be used for ripping across large pieces or sheets of wood. Nothing can be farthest from the truth. While a table saw is ideally used to rip wood into pieces, other cuts such as angled, beveled, miter, dado and rabbet cuts can also be effectively made.
3. Dado Cut Table Saw
A dado cut is a grooved cut that is usually made by furniture makers who need to join two pieces of wood. The dado cut is usually used for joining two pieces of furniture in place or filling up space in the furniture to create a complete piece.
Setting The Blade Height
There are two schools of woodworkers who believe how high a blade must be set in a table saw. While one group of carpenters believe that the blade should not be placed more than one eighth above the cutting surface, another school of thought believes that the blade should rise to the gorge bottom or space between two teeth of the blade.
Acute care should be taken while passing the wood over the table saw if the blade is jutting out more than one-eighth of the height on the table. If a wood kickback happens, there is a high risk of injury to the worker’s finger or hand.
In all cases, protective gear is an indispensable condition; a woodworker must not begin working without it. Negligence and carelessness can cause irreparable damage and a lot of trauma.
Angled cuts are a form of curved cuts that are generally used in earlier stages of making joints in wooden furniture. Curved shaped wood is used for decorative purposes on most occasions. A miter is an angled cut that is the most popular one. A table saw miter gauge is used to cut the wood at 45 degrees angle and then join two wood pieces at 90 degrees. This cut is used for joining wood pieces in a frame or a door or window framework.
Cutting angles on the table saw is more complicated than it looks. Even a slight movement of the wood or the cutting blade can throw off the measurements rendering the piece of wood useless. The best way to avoid throwing it all off the gear is to use a table saw fence alignment to keep the wood in place and to hold the wood firmly with a pusher before bringing it in contact with the blade.
Setting Of The Fence Adjustment
Remember, a table saw fence must be completely aligned with the miter slot and blade to make sure that you accurately cut your wood. It is important because if it is not aligned, it can spoil the wood to be cut, result in pinching and binding of the woodwork piece. Sometimes, if the fence adjustment is not made correctly, it can result in dangerous kickback of the wood and even result in injury to the woodworker.
Fence alignment has to be done daily because the realignment can be affected due to Usage. The easiest way to adjust the fence is to run a finger along the miter slot to determine if it is aligned well with the blade. The manual of the table saw will also carry detailed instructions on how to adjust and align it.
How To Make A Rip-Cut On A Table Saw
Ripping of wood is cutting the wood along its grain. It is best cut using a table saw. Most table saws are equipped to rip apart wood in one pass alone.
- Measure the wooden board to be ripped and adjust the fence alignment.
- Lower the blade to about 1/8th of the height of the wood surface to be ripped
- Cover the blade with a guard
- Switch on the table saw and glide the wooden plank through the blade.
How To Cross Cut On A Table Saw
Before you set out to cut anything on the table saw, make sure that the blade is aligned straight. You could use a set straight from hardware shops to push the blade and check. Before you cross cut, you must determine the angle at which you must cut. It is a good idea to mark the place where the blade must run. Using a push-block or a stick, slide the wood on the side that is waste. Measure to see if the crosscut is accurate. Repeat if there is a need to make similar pieces.