If you do woodworking for a hobby, you can hardly go about without needing a table saw. It should be part of your woodworking kit and you can’t miss it when you enter wood shops. The unique tool helps in cutting wood, sawing bevels, and joinery. There are so many things you will need it for especially when working on a project.
In this article, we will show you how you can easily use your table saw to get the right cuts. This will help you understand especially if you are learning to do woodworking by yourself. The table saw is a productive tool and here are 5 ways to get the most out of it.
1. Use a Stable Plywood Base
You will find plywood useful when using your table saw to cut. It provides a wider area for you to work and the surface is stable, so you can find it convenient to saw. When using a plywood base, you can easily screw it to benchtops, sawhorses, or any place you plan on placing your saw. It is very important you have this plywood base especially if you won’t be using a leg stand. It is also recommended if you are using a portable saw.
The measurement of the plywood base should be about 3/4″ and it should have a hole in the middle where you can insert a screw to clamp the machine to your sawhorse. The plywood base provides stability and helps you to raise the device higher above the ground surface so you can work at a comfortable height. The hole in the middle of the plywood base also serves as a place to let the sawdust fall to the ground and it will allow your saw to remain cool. Another thing you can do is put some additional holes on one side of the plywood base where you can hang it on a hook on the wall. This makes it easy to store when not in use.
You can make this plywood base yourself instead of buying one. You will need to cut the plywood base to be at least some inches longer and wider than the base of your saw. The next step will be to cut a hole at the exact center of the plywood base.
2. Use The Right Blade
When buying your table saw one thing you need to understand is how to get the right table saw. Now, if you’re on a budget and you want a table saw that costs less than a thousand bucks, you can read more about the available ones in the market.
Going back, you will find two types of models which are the crosscut blades and the rip blades. The crosscut blades come with 60 to 80 teeth while the rip blades have just 30 teeth.
Also, apart from these two types, manufacturers make different variations of these blades. Some are designed to cut through tough material and there are those with other applications. For instance, if you work on mostly plywood or melamine, you will need a saw that is designed to handle that material. You can’t use just any type of table saw for your woodwork. If you want to save costs, it would be preferable to invest in a table saw that is versatile. There are good quality blades sold with about 40 to 50 teeth which can be used on a variety of materials.
3. Provide Outfeed Support
If you are a beginner in woodwork, you may find it difficult to make cuts on longboards as well as sheet goods. If the material you are cutting does not have enough support, it will keep shifting while you try to cut. Ignoring this problem will only end up in you making the wrong cuts. You can avoid this problem when you have good outfeed support.
You will need to install an outfeed extension which will hold your material in place while you cut. It helps you achieve clean and safe cuts. You should get the type of outfeed extension that you can store conveniently. The best ones are the outfeed support that you can easily fold down or lift-off when you want to store it.
You can also use a roller stand to give your material support as a substitute for outfeed support. Some stands are built with a roller that keeps your wood material stable and helps it move over the surface smoothly. It is also collapsible which makes it easy to store. However, roller supports are quite expensive which makes the outfeed support a better option.
4. Get a New Miter gauge
If you are working on larger boards, you will need a new miter gauge. It is better to get one that comes with a quality extension and is long enough to support the material. The majority of miter gauges sold today come with a narrow width and they provide the support you when crosscutting. If you want the miter gauge to give better support, it would be best to screw it with a wooden fence. You need to check that the miter gauge is accurate before you start making any cuts.
You can get digital angel gauges like the ones built with a magnetic base which will make your work ease. Digital gauges are more accurate and very easy to use. It also saves the time you would use making adjustments in a manual gauge.
5. Use a Featherboard
You will find a featherboard useful in times when it’s difficult to hold the wood in place with a fence. The featherboard allows you to make clean straight cuts. The device comes with different fingers that hold the board tightly against the fence.
The good thing about these fingers is that they are flexible and you can put them at precise angles. It gives you sufficient pressure to make cutting smooth and will prevent the board from shifting position or kicking back. It is good to have a featherboard to do your cuts because it prevents you from sustaining any injuries while using your table saw. It also increases the accuracy at which you make your cuts. You can get the magnetic types that will cling firmly to your cast iron table.
These are just a few tips to help you use your table saw. You can learn much more about the different techniques to help you utilize your woodworking tool online. These tips make it easier to work and to get the most accurate cuts.