Getting Started With The Table Saw

The Basics of the Workhorse of the Woodshop

If there truly is one tool around which most fine woodworking woodshops are built, it is the table saw. (Of course, there are exceptions, such as for those who focus primarily on wood turning, so their shop would be focused around a wood lathe.) The table saw can be used for cutting sheet goods such as plywood, ripping boards to narrower widths, making mitered cuts and a lot more. However, the table saw is statistically the most dangerous machine in the woodshop. Therefore, learning how to use...MORE your table saw properly and safely is vital for the woodworker. The following articles will help you learn the basics.

 

  • 01 of 07
    Making use of a table saw
    Stanton j Stephens/Getty Images

    The table saw is a lot more than just a circular saw blade mounted beneath a large metal table. A quality table saw should have a solid base, a large, flat (and preferably heavy) table with grooves for a miter gauge, a quality rip fence that can easily be moved along the table on either side of the blade, a removable insert for changing the blade (or installing a dado blade), plus a blade guard and other safety features.  In this article, learn about each of these vital features of the table...MORE saw.

     

  • 02 of 07
    Ripping with a Table Saw
    Ripping with a Table Saw. (c)2008 Chris Baylor

    When using a table saw, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Two of the most dangerous are getting your hands caught in the blade and having the board being cut kick back. Using some common sense safety tips, such as knowing where to stand when using a table saw or where to put your hands, you can significantly reduce the risk of injury from your table saw. In this article, find some good habits to develop as well as learn about the safety equipment on your table saw.

     

  • 03 of 07
    Ripping on a Table Saw
    Ripping on a Table Saw. (c)2011 Chris Baylor

    As mentioned earlier, a table saw can be used for a lot more than just ripping boards. For instance, if you don't have a jointer, you can build a jig that allows the table saw work like a jointer. How about using a table saw to make box joints for drawers and similar finger joints. In this article, learn these tips and mores, such as how to tune up your table saw or how to keep your saw's cast iron table rust free.

     

  • 04 of 07
    Tapering Jig on a Table Saw
    Tapering Jig on a Table Saw. (c)2009 Chris Baylor

    Once you have the basics down pat, here are a few tips and tricks for using your table saw in some other ways you may not have thought. For instance, here you'll learn how to build an adjustable jig for cutting tapered legs on your table saw. Or learn how to make raised panels cabinet doors, almost exclusively on a table saw (no router or expensive router bit required).

     

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Featherboard
    Featherboard. (c)2006 Chris Baylor

    To make using your table saw more versatile, there are a number of accessories you can purchase, or in some cases, make in your shop. In this article, learn about some of these accessories, such as a stacked dado blade for cutting dadoes and rabbets in stock of varying lengths, or making featherboards for keeping stock held firmly against the saw table or the fence.

     

  • 06 of 07
    Table Saw Miter Gauge
    Table Saw Miter Gauge. (c)2012 Chris Baylor

    While the compound miter saw is a popular option for making beveled, mitered or compound crosscuts on wood, the miter saw can also be used for making these cuts. By using a miter gauge, which can typically be rotated up to 45-degrees to the left or right, with your table saw's ability to tilt up to 45-degrees, you can make a wide variety of compound cuts. In this article, learn some tips for making miter cuts on your table saw.

     

  • 07 of 07
    BirdFeeder1800x1200.jpg
    Cedar Bird Feeder. (c) 2014 Chris Baylor

    Once you've learned how to use your table saw safely and properly, it's time to hone those skills on some woodworking projects. In this list, you'll find a number of free woodworking projects that all use the table saw, at least in part, for the construction of the project. Most have free downloadable measured drawings to help you cut all of the required parts.