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The tablesaw is one of the most useful tools in the shop, and one of the most dangerous.

Some tips for using the table saw safely:

  • Wear safety glasses and hearing protection.
  • If you're tired or distracted or otherwise not at 100%, leave your table saw use for another day.
  • Always been keenly aware of where your fingers and thumbs are when using the saw. It is easy to get inadvertently put your thumb over the spot on the wood where the blade is going to emerge.
  • Anything you're cutting on the tablesaw should be stable. The fence, sled or mitre gauge will help you keep your work stable.
  • Adjust the blade height to just a hair (~1/32“) over the height of what you're going to cut. This will minimize how badly you cut yourself if the worst happens.
  • Never use the fence to cut a piece that is wider than it is deep. Doing this will cause the piece to bind, kicking it back at you. Instead, use the crosscut sled or mitre gauge without the fence.
  • Try to position your body so it's not immediately behind the blade, so if the saw does kick back, it doesn't hit you. Try to hold the piece so that if it does kick back, it doesn't pull your hands through the blade.

For an informative video on best practices for table saw safety, watch this 8 min video

Some tips for the best possible cuts:

  • Use a small square to ensure the blade is 90 degrees
  • Choose a blade appropriate for the type of cut you're doing: more teeth usually give a cleaner crosscut (cutting across the grain), fewer teeth are typically used for ripping (cutting along the grain of the board)
  • Use/make a zero clearance insert. These make it so there is no gap around the cut, supporting the wood fibers and reducing tearout (splintery cuts)
  • For cutting multiple pieces to identical lengths, it's tempting to use the mitre gauge with the fence as a stop. This is incredibly dangerous, as it will result in kickback. Instead, use the crosscut sled and clamp a board to it to use as a stop.

This is a Rockwell Beaver and takes a 9” blade.

tablesaw.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/28 14:02 by teac