Woodworking Tools

How to use Blade Stabilizers

 For years many of the table saw blade manufacturers have been preaching that we should be using blade stabilizers on our table saw blades in order to get precision cuts. But what about the costs, the draw backs, and do we really need these?? Read on for the answer, you could be very surprised at what you will find ...

First of all, blade stabilizers are not particularly cheap. If you get a good pair that has been balanced and trued, expect to pay in the vicinity of $20. True, they do cut down on blade vibration on some blades but what has caused that blade vibration in the first place? Is this a result of an inferior saw blade, OR, have you inadvertently jammed some wood between the blade and the fence and bent the blade yourself? In either case, you have a blade that is off true, for situations like this blade stabilizers may be helpful.

But what about depth of the cut you can make, don't they restrict depth of cut? The answer is yes, they do, which is one of their major draw backs. Another major draw back is the extra weight they are putting on your equipment like motors, bearings and belts. The extra weight in some cases may in fact cause early wear out of motors or bearing.
So ... lets stop for a moment and re-visit wobbly saw blades. Back to the original question, why is the saw blade off true. You would think in this day and age we could make table saw blades that were true ... and we can. Table saw blades just like anything else you purchase reflect the quality price differential. If you are purchasing inexpensive blades you can bet that less time and effort has gone into making them. And what about the manufacturing of the blades, most blades are "stamped" out of steel, don't you think that might just be a cause of making them un-true. Freud is one of the only manufactures that not only laser cuts the steel, but also performs "tensioning" on each blade, which make each one exactly true. The reason they do this is because the steel they use for their blades is a harder steel that what you can use on a "stamped" blade. The result of Freud laser cutting the blades, and cutting in things like heat expansion slots and anti vibration slots in most of their blades is what makes them very stable. Freud blades do not need blade stabilizers.

Another cause of blades runing un-true is the arbor in the saw, is it running true and is the bearing in good shape or is this the cause of your blade-wobble.

Copyright Colin Knecht

Table Saw Alignment using a Table Saw Gauge

 One of the most used and valued tools in any workshop is the table saw. Of all the tools that most woodworkers own the table saw is usually the first major tool they purchase (closely followed by the band saw) and the one that is the most invaluable in the shop. Unfortunately, most table saws are out of alignment, evne brand new out-of-the-box. How do I know this, well the first clue is that wood that is run through these saws are often "burned", which can be an indicator, also you can hear ringing sound or a zing at the end of a cut, and often a bit of a ragged edge. All of these are indicators that a table saw is out alignment.

Accessories for your Drill Press

 Wouldn't you just hate to be a drill press. Can you imagine a more un-exciting tool? It seems to have only ever have one use, drilling holes, which of course it does very nicley, which is why everyone who doesn't have one wants one, and everyone who does have one wants a better one. When you look around a bit, you find that there are indeed other things that a drill press can do ... no, none of them are particularly exciting but they can save you time and in the workshop, saving time often means doing a better job and getting things done quicker so you can spend time doing the projects you like.

Are Your Squares Accurate? ... You Might be Surprised

 There is no magic in making quality woodwork projects, it only takes patience and accurate measurements. The patience I am working on, the accurate measurements I rely on others to make quality tools that I purchase and use. Turns out, relying on others to make quality tools is a bit hit and miss. I have three small fixed squares, two inexpensive plastic versions and one steel, brass wood combination (my favorite) I paid over $25 for, and expected that I was purchasing a fine measuring tool ... note that I said "expected" ... click below to see what I really got.

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