How to Use a Table Saw

Perhaps, you are one of these people who undermines the severity of using a table saw.

Where in reality, it takes a lot to make an appropriate cut without any trace of injury. Thus, you must decipher how to use a table saw.

Now, first thing first, many people misunderstand the instruction manual or the demonstration videos regarding a certain table saw application.

As a result, they often harm themselves or get improper cuts. Sad, but the truth is a brief guide might not be enough for the whole manifestation.

And that is the reason why this article exists in the first place! Here, I will be telling you the right way to use a table saw from scratch! Check it out.

Things to Know Before You Strike an Arc

A table saw is not just another toy to play around with but a dangerous one to be mindful of.

Well, that doesn’t also translate to fear or being anxious. The fact is simply that you have to be careful and take safety precautions before you start using it in a practical aspect.

Besides, there are few other things that you need to fathom.

For instance, the types of cuts, the diversity of a particular table saw, the nuanced differences of one tool, individual uses and applications, etc.

Meaning you have to interpret the tool you are using before you jump into the practice.

8 Safety Measures to Take Before You Use a Table Saw

Here, I have curated a special segment where you can be aware of the safety precautions and other important facts about a table saw. Let’s get started!

Wearing Eye Protecting Goggles

The first and foremost thing you must do before using a table saw is to wear ear protection goggles or safety goggles. The reason why your eyes need better defense is because of their sensitivity and tendency to get affected easily.

Now, if you don’t have any eye protector glass, you can wear a hard hat, including a visor, to save your eyes from getting hurt or damaged in any way. Most of the time, when you are feeding the wood, or a specific object through the table saw, the sawdust flares directly on your face and enters your eyes.

Thus, make sure you wear safety goggles before taking up any action.

Ear Defender

A table saw is indeed a loud machine that creates shrill noise and affects your ear. Not instantly, but gradually, it damages your listening power.

Mostly, if you are professionally engaged in a crafting project, and constant usage of a table saw is necessary, then the result can be more acute.

Hence, it’s advised to wear ear defenders to protect your eardrums. There is a wide range of affordable earplugs available in the market. You can simply buy cheap or disposable earplugs from any PPE shop or notion store.

Using a Feeding Stick

When you are cutting on narrow or short boards, always ensure using a feeding stick, a push shoe, or a splitter. When you feed the object across the blade, you require enough space to rest your palms for a secured grip.

But if you don’t have sufficient clearance in the required regions of your work surface, you need to use a feeding stick or push stick to direct your woods towards the blade as it gets cut. Guiding your wood in the right direction is necessary, and without proper clearance or a push shoe, it won’t happen expectedly.

Clearance Inserts

This one is optional as you suppose to use it if you are cutting thin boards. Here, when you are working on thinner batches, your fingers need to be protected from getting cut.

As you require to keep your fingers closer to the blade when making a detailed and thinner cut, it’s vital to use a clearance insert. Because it helps you to rest your fingers at a distance from the sensitive area and provides support at the same time.

This is basically a wood piece that easily fits within the side fence and table saw blade. As a result, it facilitates a buffer zone while chopping off thin batches of wood.

Mounting Blade Guard

Interestingly, most people believe that a blade guard is to protect your fingers from getting cut. Well, it’s somewhat true, but the prime reason for installing a blade guard is to prevent the wood kickback.

Deterring the debris from kicking back and saving your fingers both are gracefully optimized when you attach a blade guard with your table saw.

If the table saw manufacturer hasn’t already provided you a blade guard, then make sure you ask them to. Or you can buy them from any respective seller.

But the one that comes authentically with the table saw packaging is comparably more competent. To install this to your table saw blade, you just have to mount it on top of the blade and secure it with some screws. Tighten the screws or use plastic clamps, and you are good to go.

Avoid Using Warped Boards

It’s highly recommended to avoid working on a bent board or warped ones as they deliver relatively harsh cuts and are often inclined to kick-back. Hence, avoid using them in the first place.

Emergency Deactivating Lever

Generally, a large lever or button comes with the table saw for emergency shut down when any inconvenience or critical situation occurs. Happenings like sudden kickback can be defended if you press the emergency turn off button. It shuts down the machine instantly and saves you from an impending injury.

Relinquish Wearing Baggy Clothes

Lastly, avoid wearing baggy clothes that come with floppy sleeves. Also, make sure you don’t wear any hanging jewelry.

So that was all about safety measures apart from reading the instruction guide. Never forget to give a thorough read to the instruction manual that comes with your table saw.

Using a Table Saw- Explained!

When it comes to using a table saw, you gotta keep all the dumb talks aside! Therefore, I am keeping it simple and precise down there. Make sure you check all of them step by step!

Note: everything I outline underneath can be applied on any entry-level table saw. And remember that your table saw can make any cuts except curved ones; hence, don’t try them.

Step 1: Know the Parts of Your Machine

First of all, a table saw is a straightforward tool that is pretty much a more powerful, upside-down circular saw mounted to the table.

And here, instead of driving the saw through the wood, you move the wood through the saw. So, here, it works the other way around. And it certainly gives you more determined control and stability, let alone accuracy in precision.

Well, if you are a dummy and considering making your own table saw, then I would like to interrupt.

Mostly it takes a lot of hassle, labor, and safety precautions to undergo the whole table saw making process. Thus, it’s advised to avoid this troublesome and frustrating work.

Apart from these, there are few important parts as in the blade, the table saw stand (if needed), the shims, the power generating motor, the power source, fence, and other additional attachments which you need to assess before you progress making your first-ever cut.

Also, make sure you recheck the turn-off button multiple times to see if it works on time or not.

Step 2: Wear the PPE and Take the Safety Measures

As I have already mentioned about the safety measures precisely, I would just suggest you to wear the PPE and do as requested above before you start using the table saw.

Step 3: Inspect the Work Surface

See if the work surface is stable enough to support the object mounted on top of it. For testing, try to move it by your hand. If you notice it wobbling or trembling, consider using clamps, or a table saw stand.

Step 4: Making the First Cut

For making simple rip cuts follow these steps:

  • Make sure the blade is higher than the thickness of the object in order to repel kickbacks.
  • By using the blade adjusting lever, make sure you lower or raise the blade according to convenience.
  • Always try to keep the blade 0.25 inches higher than the wood thickness.
  • Use a measuring tape to calculate the distance between the table saw and the fence.
  • There must be a certain handle to move the rail right to left, which can be easily tightened and loosened accordingly.
  • Now, it’s time to keep the wood against the fence by directing your thumb and dominant hand behind the object. And it should be between the fence and the saw blade.
  • Position the wood steadily against the table saw and fence to deter possible kickback.
  • Here, you have to lower the blade guard that you have supposedly installed during safety measurements.
  • By lowering the plastic guard above the table saw blade, you can prevent debris.
  • Switch on the blade and be ready to make your first ever cut.
  • Start feeding the object or your workpiece through the blade at a slow and steady pace. Make sure you keep the board as firm as possible.
  • Ensure keeping the face aligned with the board while making a cut.
  • Lastly, when you get the desired cuts, you need to press the off button and finish your task successfully.

Note: The blade should be very sharp in order to prevent chipping and splintering. Also, while thrusting the board, keep your fingers as dissociated as possible.

Ta-da! You are done with making your first-ever cut using a table saw.

End Quote

So that was all about the application of a table saw. However, there are no boundaries when it comes to knowing the tools and using them.

 There are other ways to use this tool that you might find helpful and plausible. With that being said, there are numerous types of cuts as well. I kept the instruction easy and minimal for clarity, and you can apply it on any entry-level tool and heavy-duty ones with specific adjustments. I hope it was helpful.

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