In this video we begin our series on videos for beginners, with basic instructions on how to use a table saw safely. With the help of a little bit of trick photography for the title page, we go on to show proper table saw setup and usage.
To start of with, you need to make sure the saw is set up properly. ALWAYS, unplug the saw to disable power to the motor before doing any of the fine tuning and adjustments that might need to be done. Table saws can come out of alignment with all the use and vibration, so they need to be checked from time to time, and if you have never done this, now is a good time to start. First, check to make sure the blades is running parallel to the mitre slot, next the fence also needs to be exactly parallel to the mitre slot.

 If you have a Riving Knife or Splitter with blade guard, you need to make sure that these are in perfect alignment with the saw blade. If they are not, you may need to purchase or manufacture shims to adjust the positioning. I use brass sheets from the metal store, they are not expensive and last for ever, but any thin metal will work, you may need a few of different thicknesses to accommodate different blades.

Once you are satisfied the table saw is properly set up, the next thing to check is the wood you are going to cutting. The wood needs to be flat on one face and true and straight, and usually at 90 degrees on one of the edges. If a board is warped, and or not true on one edge it IS dangerous to try and push this through a table saw because there is a high risk the board will catch somewhere and want to kick the wood back.

Only when the wood is flat on one face and straight against the fence is it ready to be cut. To use the table saw correctly the blade needs to be about 1/2 tooth above the material being cut or about about 1/8 to 1/4 inches (6 to 12mm). We do NOT crank the table saw blade all the way up an leave it there, it is dangerous to operate a saw like this and the wood cuts will not be as good. The blade height should be checked and re-set with every board that is cut.

Following basic set up and safety rules is the best way to help avoid any mishaps and at the same time, ensure you are getting the best use and best cuts from your saw.  In the next video we will discuss Table Saw Blades, the most important part of the table saw. An excellent blade on a poor saw can give good results, but a poor blade on an excellent saw, will still only give poor results, so click here for that video.

Copyright - Colin Knecht


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