So, you’ve added a table saw to your power tools arsenal. Great!
Table Saw is one of the most useful tools for DIY or anyone serious about making quick, precise work of repetitive woodworking tasks. You can do rip, cross, bevel, miter, compounds cut and much more with this amazing tool. But for getting the better cutting results from your table saw, it’s important to know how to use it properly.
This article on how to use a table saw will help get you started. Read, learn and make cuts correctly and safely.
Table Saw Basics You Should Know
Before going ahead, we like to add here some basic things that you should know about a table saw.
- Different parts of a table saw that you should learn
- Different Types of cut that you can perform with a table saw
- Safety warning
Different Parts of A Table Saw
If you’re a new user, having an idea of the various common parts of the table saw will help you a lot to use the tool seamlessly. Although there you may find slight variation based on manufacturer and model, in most cases table saws feature almost the similar parts.
It’s a self-explanatory part. Table saws usually arrive mounted on a table or stand. However, a table extension on the right of the saw allows for the manipulation of the bigger workpiece.
It’s the central part of a table saw that does the cutting job. It spins at a certain speed.
Blade Insert/ Throat Plate
It’s a thin piece of metal (or wood) mounted around the blade. It’s leveled with the surface of the table. It prevents the small workpieces from falling inside the arbor.
It’s a moving part that you can adjust both vertically and horizontally. It keeps the workpiece at a distance from the spinning blade. It makes a rip cut precise, easy and hassle-free.
It’s a guiding part that allows you to make a square cross-cut by setting the miter gauge zero or 90- degree or any angled cut between 45 to –45 degree.
Elevation And Tilt Wheels
It lets you control the height of the blade that ultimately controls the depth of the cut.
Usually located at the front of the unit, the power button allows for easy access when the situation calls for it. In general, these are push-pull buttons. Some cabinet saws feature magnetic switch.
Different Types of Cut
Using a table saw, you can perform the following three types of cuts.
It refers to the cut that goes down the length of the workpiece. You can do this by using a fence as a guide to the width you want to achieve.
It refers to any cut across the narrower width of the workpiece. You can do this with the use of sled or miter gauge.
It refers to a trench or wide-cut that can be achieved by using a fence or miter gauge. It’s mostly used in joinery.
Before start using a table saw, learn the table saw safety. Be sure to always take the necessary safety measures. Wear safety glasses and earplugs. Also, pay attention to your work. Check the unit and all the safety features before using.
How To Use A Table Saw- Step By Step Guidelines
Before start sawing consider some points given below:
- Choose a blade depending on the material you want to cut (wood, plastic).
- If you want a precise cut, take a blade with many teeth. For faster, ruder work, choose a blade with fewer teeth.
- Check if the blade is still sharp.
So, are you ready now to learn the cutting procedure with a table saw? Let’s go.
How To Make A Ripping Cut
Step 1: Adjust the blade height
The ripping cut requires a blade with fewer teeth than crosscuts. So, if you need to change the blade with different teeth, unplug the unit first and replace a rip blade into the blade arbor. Adjust the blade height to fit your workpiece by using the blade adjusting handle on the bottom of the unit. To avoid the risk of kickback, make sure that the blades are as high as the thickness of the workpiece. The blade position should be ¼- inch higher than the thickness of the workpiece.
Step 2: Adjust the fence
To adjust the width of your cut release the fence lock. Slide the fence side to side to get the desired width of the cut with the rip fence. When achieved your desired width, measure and mark the cut line.
Step 3: Prepare the table saw for cutting
Once you’ve adjusted the fence and blade height, lower the blade guard over the blade to protect you from debris. Then plug on the unit and turn it on. Wait until the blade achieves the full cutting speed. Get ready to cut.
Step 4: Making the cut
Place your marked material flat against the table and line it up with the fence. It’s useful to use an outfeed table for large pieces and long rips. Place your hand carefully behind the wood piece between the blade and the fence. Hold the workpiece firmly against the table and the side fence and guide it along the rip fence slowly and smoothly. Use the necessary force to keep the workpiece against the fence. Don’t exert an excessive force towards the fence as it can be dangerous and cause an inaccurate cut. If there is not at least 6 inches between the blade and your hand use a push stick to keep your fingers away from the blade.
When the job is done, shut off the unit, and wait for it to stop before you attempt to remove any cut pieces. Safely remove the scrap wood.
Nice To Know
There are two different approaches when it comes to adjusting the blade height.
First, you can set the blade a little bit higher (about ¼- inch) that the top of the workpiece. This setting is safe. If you slip, it won’t cause a deep cut, and thus it saves your finger. But, this set up may cause more tear on the work piece’s bottom. Moreover, it enhances the possibility of kickback.
Second, you can set the blade well above the board’s top part you intend to cut. Although this set up reduces the fraying and tear out, it’s more dangerous. If accidental slipping occurs, it can lead to lethal consequences.
How To Make A Cross Cut
Step 1: Set the blade height
If your saw is plugged on, unplug it and remove the rip fence and blade guard. Place a blade suitable for cross cut into the arbor. Adjust the blade height to fit your workpiece by using the blade adjusting handle on the bottom of the unit. The blade position should be ¼- inch higher than the thickness of the workpiece. Too high blade setting may shatter your workpiece while the too low setting may cause it not to cut all the way through.
Step 2: Prepare the table saw for cutting
Measure and mark your cut using a ruler and pencil. Adjust the protractor guide. For achieving a straight cut, set the guide to zero. And for achieving angled cut, set the guide to your desired angle measurement. Align the workpiece along the front edge of the miter gauge/ sled. Using the miter gauge and the fence at the same time may create a dangerous binding. So, avoid using both at the same time.
Plug on and turn the unit on. Wait until the blade achieves the full cutting speed. Get ready to cut.
Step 3: Making the cut
Hold the workpiece against the miter gauge fence. Pull the miter gauge handle by your right hand. Firmly hold the workpiece against the edge of the miter gauge.
Slowly and smoothly push the workpiece through the blade with your right hand. And at the same time keep a firm grip on the workpiece with your left hand. Push the miter gauge fence forward.
For crosscutting, you won’t require to use a push stick. When the job is done, shut off the unit, and carefully remove the scrap wood.
Nice To Know
Two different types of angled cuts are possible with most models of the table saw.
The first type of angled cut is relative to the blade’s plane. You can achieve one type of angled cut by using a miter gauge. You need to set the desired angle by miter gauge and then proceed with the regular cutting. On the other hand, the second type of angled cut is relative to the table’s plane. You can achieve it by tilting over the blade.
Forgetting a very precise angle cut, you can use a bevel gauge and a protractor.
Hope these guidelines on how to use a table saw have helped you a lot to learn the right way to make to most common cuts- rip cuts and crosscuts. It’s good to become confident and comfortable while using your table saw, but know that it won’t show mercy if you end up making a mistake.
For achieving an easy and smooth cut don’t forget to tune your table saw regularly.