If you bought a table saw, you are probably looking for some information to help you tame this pretty nice tool and get the best out of it. An essential tool for your woodwork, the table saw, an electric circular saw, is nonetheless dangerous for unsuspecting users.
Here are just a few tips that focus on how to use a table saw safely and effectively:
Some safety tips
Like they always say, safety comes first! There are a few things to know and put in place before beginning work as a DIY enthusiast/hobbyist cum professional:
1. Don’t forget the essentials: safety glasses, protective masks…
You can never be told enough: with electric DIY tools, it is essential to protect your physical integrity. Many do-it-yourselfers overlook the usefulness of protective clothing. It is however strongly recommended to be completely equipped while working with the circular saw.
The items below must be part of your protective accessories:
- Safety boots protecting the feet from falling objects;
- pants to protect the legs from flying chips;
- safety glasses;
- noise protection because the noise level of a table saw is approx. 110 dB;
- a breathing mask;
- clothing close to the body that cannot be caught by the saw.
Additional notes: Long hair should always be tied and fitted. Safety glasses will help you avoid dust splashing in your eyes. When working with abrasive wood, remember to wear a dust mask so as not to breathe the particles that are coming off during your work.
2. Do not wear gloves!
In general, DIY enthusiasts are advised to wear special gloves to reduce the risk of an accident.
However, to work with a circular saw, some do recommend the opposite: don’t wear gloves! Why? Because gloves are often too large, especially on the wrists. And they can, therefore, be caught by the teeth of the blade. Within a few seconds, the operator’s hand could be seriously injured.
If you want to wear gloves, make sure they are designed for table saw works. You will find on the market cut-resistant steel mesh gloves, tightened with fingers and wrists. If the rotating blade still snatches a piece of fabric, it will be immediately blocked by the steel mesh.
3. Pay attention to the cables!
Cables are the worst enemies of clumsy DIYers. Always keep the power cable away from the work area so as not to get your hands tangled or, worse, cut the wires and risk electric shock. The ideal, for the use of a table saw, is to pass the wire over the work area. Also, remember to unplug the device during transport, or when you are no longer using it.
You are now what you can call an experienced user. Treat yourself to a power saw, and you can take action!
4. Choosing your blade and mounting the table saw
Before starting a sawing operation, it is essential to check that your material is ready for use. Dust all of its components (engine air intake, soleplate, housing, etc.) before mounting.
Now, choose your blade according to the work envisaged, as well as the material to be sawn (type, thickness, etc.). Here’s a video guide on selecting your table saw for each project.
Some usage tips
Once all these precautions have been taken, you can start cutting. For this, there are a couple of tips and techniques to master:
5. Learn some cut techniques
With a table saw, versatility is a real plus.
- You can cut rebates, but be careful, because the blade is not protected during cutting. Thanks to the guide, you can cut several pieces of the same length. It is possible to cut without necessarily using the guides, but by focusing on your mark.
- Beveled cuts are also possible if your tool allows an inclination up to 60 degrees for example.
Asides from the two types of cuts mentioned, you can also try out:
- thee cross-cut,
- rip cuts
- miter cut,
- a dado cut, or
- a rabbet.
6. How to use a table saw to make a clean cut
You now know the different cuts, but you may still have not mastered this tool and the cutting techniques. The first step is to turn on your table saw, checking that the blade is well protected by the cover.
You can then adjust the different guides, but you are not obliged to use them. They still allow you to have a clean and straight cut, which is not the case if you follow only a marked line on your board.
This accuracy is essential, especially if you want to cut the boards to the same size. There should not be a single millimeter difference when building a piece of furniture or a frame. The guide is, therefore, ideal.
7. How to change the blade of the table saw
Unlike a conventional tool, the blade is embedded in the table. So you have to read the manual precisely to know how to remove it. In all cases, you must stop your tool and especially unplug it from the mains socket until you are certain that the safety conditions are maximum.
- First, remove the blade guard
- You have two fixing screws under the plate. Just loosen them.
- With a special wrench, turn in the opposite direction to quickly dislodge this saw.
- Then replace the blade according to your use.
- Just perform the reverse steps to secure the blade.
- Do not hesitate to tighten the screws very hard so that the blade cannot be dislodged during use. This manipulation is also effective if you want to correct the alignment of your blade.
If you want a visual guide, here is a tutorial on how to change the table saw blade.
You now have all the information you need on how to you use a table saw in the best possible conditions without hurting yourself. But never let your guard down! There are lots of safety precautions to consider. Asides these are the various sawing techniques, mounting procedure, blade selection, among others.
We hope you found this guide useful. If you have questions, observations or further addition, kindly do make use of the comment section below.