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How to Use a Table Saw: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you are a professional woodworker or an amateur, you may have tried your hands on a Circular saw, or an Electric chain saw.

But let me ask you a simple question:

Have you ever used a table saw? No? Say thanks to your lucky stars as we are going to highlight important factors you must need to know that will guide you how to use a table saw.

5 Quick Tips to Use a Table Saw Like A professional

Because, a table saw is one of the best tools you can add to your tool kit; therefore, to master the art of using a table saw without any hassle, read our guide till the end.

Tip 1: Your Safety Comes First

While using a table saw, there are three things you should keep in mind – safety, safety, and safety. Yes, you heard it right!

A table might be a great tool to possess, but on the other hand, it is one of the dangerous tools as well. If not properly handled, it can kick back, resulting in injuring you and ruining your work piece as well. Therefore, to avoid having such situations down below are some of the precautions you should follow no matter what

  • Do not forget to wear safety guards.
  • Make sure to disconnect the power before changing or adjusting the blades.
  • Never try to make a free-hand cut; use a rip fence or miter gauge to accomplish the task.
  • Keep the working area clean and clutter-free.

What’s the bottom line?

Besides these safety precautions, always wear your gloves, safety goggles, ear protection, anti-slip shoes, and try to fully focus on your work to make clean and precise cuts without any mishap.

Tip 2: Maintenance of the Table Saw

Maintenance matters a lot because if your saw is not in good shape, you will not accomplish your tasks with great precision and accuracy. If you follow some steps to maintain your saw, your saw can last longer than you expect.

  • Keep It Clean And Dust-Free –

    Make sure to clean your workplace, and the saw regularly. Vacuum the parts properly, and for the hard-to-reach areas, use a blower.

  • Clean And Replace Old Blades–

    Before starting you’re the cutting session, check your saw’s blades. If it’s dirty clean it cleaning kit; if it is not working properly, try sharpening it. And if it still doesn’t work, replace it with a new one as mentioned above.

  • Align The Saw –

    Adopt a habit of aligning the saw almost regularly as it will result in better performance and better safety. If your saw is not aligned accurately, it can cause burning of the wood piece and jerks.

  • Polish The Tabletop –

    Having a well-polished, smooth, and clean tabletop contributes a lot to getting precise and accurate cuts. Therefore, try to get your tabletop polished every now and then.

A Step-by-step Guide To Making Your First Table Saw Cuts Easily: Watch video till End 

Tip 3: Optimal Blade Height

Adjusting the blade at a proper height is essential to prevent kickbacks and risks of injury. According to most of the woodworkers, there are two heights on which table saw should be adjusted.

Some suggest that the blade height should not be more than 1/8 inch to protect you from any injury. In contrast, others say that the blade should be kept at a height higher than the cutting material to prevent the wood pieces from ripping.

Tip 4: Adjust the Fence Properly

Some saws like an electric log splitters do not require a fence; that’s why the cuts made from them are not as accurate as that of a table saw.

Isn’t this amazing that you can get the most accurate cuts with a table saw, and that all because of the fence? 

You should be careful while adjusting the fence; otherwise, it would result in burning your work piece or even cause kickbacks. All you have to do is adjust the fence parallel to the blade. Next, lift the lever to align and slide the fence, side to side. Then, lift the blade to measure it, and you are all done.

Listen:

Sometimes the fence may become unsquare to the blade but you don’t need to be panic. This problem can be solved by simply lowering the lever a little bit and adjusting the fence in the desired direction.

Tip 5: The Game of Changing Blades and Inserts

Changing blades and inserts work hand in hand. But, before getting to know how to change blades, you have to know the types of inserts which are as follows.

  • Standard Inserts:

    For the cuts that require a low angle, standard inserts are the best option. They can be used for both rip cuts and crosscuts, but the condition is that the wood’s cut-off parts should be large enough to not fall into the gaps.

  • Zero Clearance Inserts:

    For vertical cross cuts or rip cuts, there is no better option than a zero clearance insert. It works best when the waste material is thin and the blade angle does not change.

  • Wide Gap Inserts:

    This insert is ideal for making trench cuts using dado blades. While using dado blades, adjust the height not too high as these blades are large and can hit the inserts.

How to Change Blades?

Well, now that you are aware of the basic insert types, so it would be easy for you to understand how to change blades. For this purpose, raise the blade’s height and remove the inserts effortlessly. Then take a piece of residual wood and hold it adjacent to the blade’s teeth. The teeth should hold the residual wood properly to prevent the blade from spinning. Take a spanner and twist the arbor nut to detach it.

Now, take out the nut and blade carefully. Put down the new blade and nut in the arbor and tighten the nut properly. Lastly, put back the insert and you are good to go.

Types of Cuts a Table Saw Can Make

Table saw is all about making cuts which a jigsaw or miter saw cannot do. There are three types of cuts that woodworkers can make from a table saw.

  • Rip cut:

    The most common and simplest cut a table saw can make is a rip cut. To have accurate rip cuts, you need a fence that can act as a guide while cutting the material.

  • Crosscut:

    This is a cut perpendicular to the grain. Unlike a rip cut, it requires a miter gauge as a guide.

  • Dadoes:

    Dado cut is a trench cut into the wood and requires special blades for achieving the target.

What other Cuts a Table Saw Can Make?

Table saws also capable of making angled cuts, and believe me; there is no rocket science. They offer two types of angled cuts- one is parallel to the plane of the blade, and the other is parallel to the plane of the table.

The first is made by setting the required angle on the miter gauge, while the other is obtained by slanting the blade over.

Remember:

In case you need more precise angles, use a sliding T bevel or protractor to get the desired precise angle.

Techniques for Making Cuts

There are certain steps that you must do while making cuts from a table saw. Have a look at them.

  • Make Rip Cuts

To make rip cuts, first of all, adjust the height of the blade not more than 1/8 inch. Now, position the fence as explained above and match it to the desired width. Then, align the material to be cut with the fence. But make sure not to let the material touch the blade before turning on the saw; otherwise, it would cause the saw to kickback.

After switching on the saw, start slowly and smoothly yet steadily. For small softwoods, you can use one hand to operate the saw, but when it comes to large hardwoods, you should surely use both of your woods to avoid ruining the work piece.

In addition to this, if you are making narrow rips, use a push stick to guide the material instead of bruising your fingers.

After getting the desired rip cuts, carefully turn off the saw and remove the residue.

  • Make Cross-Cuts

As told above, for crosscuts, a miter gauge is used; moreover, a fence and miter gauge cannot be used simultaneously as this can result in binding and kickbacks.

Start by adjusting the miter gauge’s protractor according to the desired length of the cut. Then adjust the height of the blade. Now, by using clamps, place the material to the front of the miter gauge. Do not allow the material to touch the material, just like told in making rip cuts.

Now, turn on the saw and smoothly and carefully cut the wood. Once you are down, turn off the saw and remove the shavings of the wood.

Wrap-Up

Well, that’s all from our side. We hope our guide was fruitful for you and you got to learn a lot from it. Having a table saw is one of the best tools one can own. Use it correctly and keep it with care – you will be able to add magic to your work. Make your cutting sessions full of fun and ease with a Best Table saw!

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