Choosing a Table Saw
First of all, get a table
saw that is going to be
adequate for the intended use. If you are only looking
for a saw that will rip short 2 foot long stock you certainly
don't want to buy a $1200 saw designed for a cabinet maker.
Overall the saw should be sturdy and made from metal,
plastic table saw aren't worth the money. The saw needs
be heavy enough to resist the forces that are applied to it
when pushing stock through the blade. The size of the motor
is also important since it is what drives the blade. The larger
the blade diameter the more power it takes to turn so consider
this when choosing a table saw.
Standard table saws have
a 10" diameter blade with at least a 2-1/2 HP motor. Having a 220v power source is preferred
for powering a larger motor like this but isn't required. However
if you are cutting a lot of hardwood a 110v service might now
have enough "juice" to perform properly.
Enhancing your Table Saw
The versatility of
the table saw can be greatly increased by adding
to it. Adding
an out feed table will allow you to safely cut full sheets
of plywood and rip long pieces
of lumber. This is really important for safety especially when
working alone. Without an out feed table there is nothing to
support the wood after it is cut and extra downward force is
required to keep the piece of wood flat on the table.
A side extension table works much the same as an out feed
table except it is located to the right of the operator. This
allow your table saw to cut wider stock by providing support
and a guide for the rip fence. With a side extension table
a table saw can cut much greater widths then the stock was
Miter gauges are a must with any table saw. A miter gauge
rides in the slots (miter slots) on the saw table and are necessary
for performing crosscuts. Any Cross cutting angle can be cut
since a miter gauge is adjustable. Cross cutting tables can
be used when cutting larger panels. Both of these accessories
work free of the standard rip fence and support the piece of
wood at 90 degrees to the blade rather than parallel as with
the rip fence. The are many
table saws jigs available to improve the capabilities of your
Table Saw Blades
Table Saw Safety Tips
- Keep blades sharp. This results in saw using less power to make a cut. This reduces heat and wearing of the blades and burning of the wood.
- Always keep at least one hand on the piece of wood at all times. Use a push stick to push it through the blade.
- Make sure the wood is always against the rip fence or miter gauge.
- Use the safety equipment that comes with your table saw. These accessories are designed to help you operate you saw safer.
- Always unplug your table saw before changing a blade.
This list is by no means complete. For a complete guide to operating your table saw read your owners manual.
A table saw will only
cut a true and as accurate as the blade that is performing
the cut. If you use a cheap blade there
is a greater chance that the blade will "chatter" and
leave a poor quality cut. Blades are truly designed for specific
purposes and should be used accordingly.
There are a number of shapes, tooth count and tooth spacing
that perform quite differently from each other. For most cutting
a standard combination blade will work well. One with a thin
kerf is preferred since it removes less wood and therefore
doesn't need to work as hard.
Carbide has become a standard alloy for most cutting surfaces
and saw blades aren't any different. A saw blade with a carbide
tipped teeth will hold an edge better and perform better for
Dado blades have become quite popular in the past decade
and for good reason. They are made of several different components
and will cut a clean flat bottomed groove in the center of
a piece of stock or along the edge as a rabbet joint.
Better quality dado blades are made up by finer tooth blades
that cuts the side of the dado with a series of chipper blades
that cleans out the material in the center of the dado. More
chipper blades can be added to make a wider dado. Shims are
added between the chipper blades to fine tune the width of
A table saw is one of the standard tools needed for most wood
workers. With the versatility and adaptability of this tool
far more can be done with this single wood working tool then