For most woodworkers, the table saw is easily the workhorse of the wood shop. It is such a versatile and powerful machine, we ask it do do many thing and with a few more accessores and a tiny bit of innovation we can make the table saw do even more, and make it quicker and more accurate in the mean time.

The first hack is a simple one but it really helps make a good job when you are cutting thinner plywoods that tend to want to droop under the table saw fence. A simple matter of clamping short borad under the fence so part of it sticks out the inboard side, and now you have a quick, easyily made holder for those extra wide boards that won't hold them selves up against the fence when you want to cut them

Table Saw Fence Extension

The second hack has to do with alignment, and this one I have used for years, and it was especially helpful before I purchased my sliding mitre saw. I still use my table saw for cross cutting wood. It gives me accurate results and will do much wider boards than the sliding mitre saw. The accessory I use for this, most of the time is the Mitre Gauge. Unfortunately mine is very heavy and poorly balanced ... and one day a few weeks ago it fell to the floor and of course snapped off the tighten / main holding handle which was plastic. It also bent the little needle that indicates degree of angle. I don't trust those pointers anyway so using something else to accurately set the mitre gauge is critical, and what I use is the a large carpenters square. I have checked to make sure the square is accurate and by butting it up against the edge of the opposite mitre slot I can use it to perfectly and quickly align my mitre gauge. Remember ... everything on a table saw is aligned to the mitre slots. The bade should be parallel to the mitre slots and the fence should be parallel to the mitre slots.

Table saw miter alignment

And making a 45 degree angle is just as easy by aligning a couple of inside square numbers, the square now sits diagonally along the mitre slot and instantly you have a perfect 45 degree angle.

 Number 3 is the quick slot / dado maker. I sometimes use it for making dado, but often it is more used for a quick slot, which, as I mentioned in the video is still technically probably still a dado, but I always think of dados as long recesses, anyway this little jig works great. It's just a simple piece or scrap wood that has a cutaway on one side that allows for 2 different cuts, and when you clean out the wood between the cuts, you end up with a mini dado or a short slot ... which takes no time to make, and probably less time to make a slot or 2 that tales less time than it does to install the dado blades you need in the saw. Another quick and easy hack.

Table saw dado tip

The 4th hack for the table saw is cutting boards that have an uneven edge or a bowed or otherwise rough edge. These boards are had to dangerous to cut on a table saw unless you have one side of the board that is even and straight, and even running boards like this through a jointer can be tedious just trying to get a straight, flat edge. This simple hack is for people who seldom have to do this because most of the lumber they purchase is already planed, straight and flat ... but once in a while, one of those boards can develop a bow or warp and this jig is a quick and easy way of straightening out those boards.

uneven edge table saw tip

Number 5 is another safety hack, and that is simply using an old Work-Mate, or similar floor standing tool holder as an out-feed table. I have one of the older ones and it's a big heavy unit and perfect for holding wood for planing, sanding and cutting, and in this case it's perfect for holding a "T" shaped accessory that is made from scrap wood and aligned at a bit of an angle so that when positioned at the back of the saw, it will easily hold wood as it comes off the saw, or in some cases I use it beside the saw when I have boards or plywood that is too wide for the table, Either way, it gives the Workmate another role in the shop and when not using it, the Workmates fold up quickly and easily into a fairly small package.

Table saw extension

And those are 4 quick hacks that will help to make your table saw safer, easier to use and more accurate ...

Copyright Colin Knecht


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