As table saws have evolved, so have the ways of using them and the attachments and accessories are long and innovative, but so now are the simple things we can do to make table saws safer and more convenient to use.
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... But before I get into the hacks, first of all, to all those new woodworkers out there, a mini-lesson on blade storage. As many of you know I store all my table saw blade in an angled rack that I made many years ago, and this works nicely for me because all the blades are separated from one another and are easy to get out ....
Table Saw Blade Storage and Carbide Treatment
But some people don't have the room and want to store their blades one behind the other, or one on top of one another, and this is fine for storing saw blades but it is important that there be some sort of a buffer between the blades, like cardboard, thick paper or ever some scrap plywood is fine. The reason for this is so that the carbide tips of the blades cannot bump against one another because when this happens it can chip or crack the carbide teeth. If the carbide teeth on any blade are chipped, that blade should NEVER be used again because there could also be other cracks in the carbide you can't see and at high speed and in contact with a wood surface those carbide chips can come off and have struck some people in the face and in some case I have been told about have even embedded themselves in the skin. So treat your saw blades very carefully and make sure the carbide teeth are never bumped or crashed together in a way that could chip or crack the carbide teeth.
Hand Screw Clamps for Stop Cuts
Making "stop" cuts on the table saw is a common task and it means that you need to set up a start and stop along your fence where you want the blade to start and stop cutting, and to prevent the blade from grabbing your wood in the process. I found a quick way of doing this is to use a pair of hand screw clamps over the fence, fasten them in position and they are a quick and easy way of setting stops and start locations on your table saw fence.
Magnets Hangers and Attachments
I love all the earth magnets that are available and many of them even have some other attachment to them like the ones with little hooks on them. I find these things very useful and recently when I was once again looking for a place to hang my little whisk broom, I found one of these earth magnet hooks on the edge of my steel table saw top is a perfect place to hang my whisk ... and in the same location, again using raw earth magnets, but this time with a couple of layer of blue masking tape on them, were a perfect place to hang one of my small squares that I often use for making wood before I cut it on my table saw. The blue tape helps take away some of the holding power of the magnets so the square comes off easily every time and I don't have to worry about them coming off on the square each time. A great solution for both items.
Velcro / Hook and Loop
Where magnets won't work ... often Velcro or Hook and Loop material will work nicely. Such was the case when someone asked me what ideas I had for a place to hold their remote switch for their dust collector near their table saw. In my case I hang the remove above my table saw near where I stand, it gets it off and away from the table saw and works because I can suspend it from my T-bar ceiling ... but a nice alternative is to use hook and loop on the back of the remote and another on at a place that is convenient on the table saw and presto, an instant solution.
The hook and look come in many different sizes and the ones that I prefer are even self-adhesive, so they are quick and easy to use, AND you could even put them in a few locations around the shop at different workstations for even more convenient places to store remotes or other items ... lots of different alternatives.
Copyright Colin Knecht