There are lots of smaller adaptations that can make table saws easier, quicker and safer to use this is just a small number of suggestions and ideas that some may be able to put to good use on their table saw.
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The most frequent accessory I use on my table saw is ...
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The Tape Measure Holder
And the reason for that is that I am constantly changing blades and I use three different a thicknesses of blades which means that the scale on the rails of my table saw are only good for one size of blade, and I have no other way of measuring for other thicknesses except to use a tape measure ... and I have been using a tape measure on my table saw for so long now, it's just something I do automatically now. I keep one tape measure at my table saw at all time and in the past, it could be anywhere on or near the saw ... or maybe not, but now ... with the magnet under the clip, I can get the tape measure off my top of my table saw and in a place where it is out of the way until I needed next time ...
These are a common accessory on table saws and are used for cutting rabbets and other cuts where the blade may be too close to the fence that it might strike the fence. We don't want to do that as it dulls the blade and damages the fence, so instead, we use something that will act as a side fence. Most woodworkers will use clamps and a piece of spare wood to do this, and for many things it works fine ... until you need to cut rabbets that are higher than the fence and now the clamps that are holding the auxiliary fence on are in the way ... not to mention that time wasted in trying to find a temporary sacrificial fence that is the right length, not warped, and long and high enough to work. I can't believe how much time I have wasted in the past trying to find a scrap piece of wood to do this, so now I have a piece of plastic material and a couple of special clamps that I can now put my sacrificial fence on in seconds rather than trying to find, cut and adapt an off-cut that may or may not work ... another huge time saver for me.
Lost Arbor Nuts
OK, I admit ... I have often dropped the arbor nut when trying to re-thread the nut onto the arbor. In my old saw, it wasn't so bad, but I still had to dig around in the sawdust under the saw to find it ... my now saw is horrible. I have to get a screwdriver to undo the 2-inch clamp that goes to the 4-inch adapter hose, then try to wiggle the bolt out, and hopefully, the hose isn't clogged. To solve this problem, I decided to try inserting 3 magnets into the bottom of my sawdust guide underneath the saw. This is a rounded area that helps guide sawdust from the blade into the 2 inch dust collection tube. The idea was that the magnets would trap the arbor nut before it got into the 2-inch hose. WoW ... what a time saver this turned out to be, I still drop that nut from time to time but now the magnets stop it and hold it for quick and easy retrieval .... every time!
Saw Blade Installs
One of the problems I have witnessed first hand is that from time to time some people have problems installing blades in their table saws. Some of the contractor saws that are open in the bottom, this can be a problem because the blade can (and does) often drop right through and if there is a concrete floor underneath the saw, which there often is ... the carbide in the blade will most often crack off at the impact area. This blade is now a safety hazard as nobody nos the integrity of the rest of the carbide on that blade, and NOBODY wants to have a piece of flying carbide come off and hit them in the face at some ?? 300 MPH or whatever that speed is. I have talked with 2 people who have been hit in the face with flying carbide and one still bears the scar.
To solve this problem of blade installation, there are 2 things that can be done. First, you can purchase "Magnetized Hooks" from a variety of reputable dealers like Lee Valley. These are excellent hooks and will easily grab the steal of the saw to allow you to hold the saw blade more firmly as you install it.
The second option is to make a small blade installation jig such as this. This was a prototype I made for a friend who was having trouble gripping the blades as he was installing them, this jig made it easy and safer for him to install saw blades.
Copyright Colin Knecht