Ok, you have a (new) table saw in your workshop, and you want to get the most out of your investment.
Well, to achieve that, I have 5 handy table saw tips for you that I am sure will inspire you.
Shortly, those table saw tips are:
- Tip 1: Make the table saw ready for use properly
- Tip 2: Make an out feed table
- Tip 3: Work safely
- Tip 4: Keep it clean
- Tip 5: Make table saw jigs to do more
I will go more in-depth to each of these table saw tips in this article, so you can get the most out of your table saw.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that a table saw is indispensable in a workshop.
Even better, I keep saying that the table saw is “the heart” of my workshop.
I’ll give you 2 good reasons:
Firstly, 99% of my projects use a table saw.
Secondly, for that first reason, I have my table saw set up centrally in my workshop.
The table saw is for these reasons, and of course many other reasons, one of the most important tools in the workshop.
Unfortunately, a table saw is also one of the more expensive investments in the workshop.
That’s why it’s a good idea to do some research before buying one.
You don’t spend that amount of money every day.
You need to find the best table saw that fits your needs, and you need to learn how to get the most out of your table saw.
Not only in terms of processing, but also in terms of lifespan.
By doing good research, your investment will be worth the money.
With the 5 table saw tips in this article, I want to inspire you on how to get the most out of your table saw.
Whether you just bought a new table saw or have a table saw in your workshop for a while.
Read these 5 table saw tips carefully.
Even if there is only 1 tip from this list of table saw tips that can help you, it is always one step closer to using your table saw more efficiently.
The 5 table saw tips in this article will not only make your table saw last longer, in the end, these table saw tips can save you some money.
- How do you use a table saw for beginners?
- How do I get the most out of my table saw? 5 helpful table saw tips.
How do you use a table saw for beginners?
If you are brand new to working with a table saw, or you just got that new power tool out of the box, read these table saw tips first.
More experienced table saw users can skip this part and move on to the next chapter with the 5 helpful table saw tips (or read this part anyway and maybe discover something new after all).
Read the manual
I know that many new owners prefer to skip the manual and get started right away, but it’s an excellent idea to take the time to read through the manual anyway.
By doing that, you get to know your tools in a short time, and you immediately know what can and cannot be done.
It can avoid you many problems in the future.
So next time, instead of getting started right away, read the manual first!
Get to know the parts of a table saw
If you want to know what is being talked about, it is a good idea to get to know the parts of your most used tool.
To help you with that, below, I will go over the most important parts of the table saw.
- Saw blade: This is a circular saw that is mounted centrally in the table saw.
- Blade plate or insert plate: This is the area around the slot where the saw blade extends above the table.
- Blade Cover: This cover fits over the saw blade and protects the operator when cutting.
- Anti-kickback: This ensures that if you don’t secure a piece of wood properly, or the wood has not been fed in the correct way, the workpiece cannot swing out towards the user.
- The fence: The rip fence runs parallel to the blade and can be adjusted left and right.
It is used to guide pieces when making rip cuts.
- Miter gauge: To run workpieces through the saw blade at certain angles, you can use a miter gauge.
It can be set at an angle of 0 – 90 degrees.
- Bevel Gauge: The bevel gauge rotates the saw blade to the desired angle from 0 to 90 degrees, with the controls usually located at the front of the table saw.
- Blade Height Adjustment: This adjustment allows the saw blade to be raised or lowered to allow for cutting material at different heights.
This may sound obvious, but with a table saw, you have a powerful, and at the same time, a dangerous tool in your workshop.
Always work with your table saw with full attention!
Before you get started, also with any other tool, analyze what the possible dangers are for your workplace and take preventive action.
To give you some examples to start with: don’t wear loose clothing and if you have long hair, tie it in a ponytail or tuck your hair into your clothes.
The table saw is a fantastic tool to have in the workshop, but use it with caution!
I think of all the helpful table saw tips in this article, this tip is worth more than anything.
How do I get the most out of my table saw? 5 helpful table saw tips.
With the table saw tips that you can find below, you will certainly succeed in doing more with your table saw and using it optimally.
Discover all these table saw tips and adapt them to your workplace.
The 5 most helpful table saw tips anyone can implement in a workshop are:
- Tip 1: Make it ready for use properly
- Tip 2: Make an out feed table
- Tip 3: work safely
- Tip 4: Keep it clean
- Tip 5: make table saw jigs to do more
I will discuss these 5 helpful table saw tips more in-depth below.
Table saw tips #1 Make it ready for use/check regularly
Whether you have a new table saw or you’ve had it for years, tune your table saw.
There are a few things that you should check regularly if you want to get the most out of your table saw.
- Check that the fence is straight, as well as the alignment of the saw blade.
If not, you can always make your own fence.
Get some inspiration on this blog post, to make your homemade fence.
- There is a throat plate mounted around the saw blade that you can remove in case you want to replace the saw blade.
Make sure that this throat plate is always flush with the surface of your table saw.
For my table saw, I made a DIY zero clearance insert plate.
If you also want to avoid tear-out, then I can recommend watching the video, where you can see how I made mine.
I’m sure the built-in magnets will inspire you to apply this system to your zero clearance insert plate.
- Check regularly whether your riving knife is exactly in line with the blade.
1. Give it some space.
If you want to work easily, even when you want to cut large sheets of plywood, it is better not to place your table saw in a corner or along a wall.
Make sure that you have enough space around the table saw.
I myself have a small workshop and I have placed my table saw in the middle of the workshop.
That way, I have as much space as possible around the table saw. However, I still occasionally find myself running out of space when cutting large pieces of wood.
So, find the best spot for your table saw in your workshop.
The more space you have around this power tool, the easier and safer you can work.
2. Use the right saw blade.
Do you want perfect cuts?
Just a table saw is not enough to guarantee you perfect cuts.
To achieve perfect cuts, you will have to adapt the saw blade to the material you want to saw.
Because there is a lot to talk about this topic, you can read more about it in my article, Understanding table saw blades | always find the perfect one.
There you will learn everything about saw blades and always use the right saw blade for the best results.
There is also a lot to say about dado blades, another type of saw blade other than the regular saw blade. There is a lot of controversy around the dado blade, and I did some research to inform you as well as possible about dado blades. In my article, — can I use a dado blade on my table saw? — you can see in which countries it is illegal to use dado blades, how and when to use dado blades.
Do not miss this article and get informed before you buy this type of saw blade.
3. Connect your table saw to the dust collection.
I probably shouldn’t tell you that dust is enemy number 1 in a woodworking shop.
So avoid dust floating around in your workshop as much as possible, and connect a dust extractor to your table saw.
Every particle of dust that is removed is one less that has a chance to end up in your lungs.
Recommended: check this article if you want to know more about how to deal with dust in your workshop.
Table saw tips #2 Make an outfeed table
When cutting long pieces, chances are that that piece will tip over when it hangs over the edge of the table saw.
If you don’t want that, you’ll need an out-feed table.
An out-feed table can be something small like a simple out feed support or if you have a little more space, a complete table.
For my workshop, I have my workbench as an out-feed table.
The surface of my workbench is the same height as the surface of my table saw.
Having an out-feed table not only makes your job easier, but it also ensures that you can cut perfectly longer pieces of wood, and above all that you can do this safely.
Table saw tips #3 Safety
I have already mentioned safety a few times in this table saw tips article. You can’t handle a powerful machine like a table saw safely enough.
To increase safety in my workshop when using this power tool, I made some simple but effective homemade tools.
You can make them too, they are easy and fun projects to make.
Click on the links underneath the homemade tools.
They will bring you to the video or blog post where you can see how to make them.
1. Push stick.
A push stick ensures that your hands remain at a safe distance from the saw blade.
Thanks to the push stick, you can still push the wood against the saw blade with sufficient force, and this as close to the saw blade as possible.
2. Hold down stick.
However, if you need to hold a piece of wood in place while cutting it with a miter saw or on the crosscut sled, for example, you can do this safely thanks to a hold-down stick.
Due to the downward force that you can put on the workpiece via the hold-down stick, it will not slip.
3. Feather board.
A feather board is a handy tool when you want to saw wood along the fence.
This jig can be used horizontally on the surface of the table saw, but also vertically on the fence to produce a downward force on the workpiece.
A feather board will take over from your hands by holding the wood in place, and because of that, protecting your fingers from the dangerously spinning table saw blade.
If you want, you can use these feather boards on a router table as well.
A feather board should also reduce the risk of kickback because the feather board makes it quite difficult to pull back the workpiece.
Table saw tips #4 Keep it clean
Do you want your table saw to last longer?
Then take care of it regularly!
The first point of care is the tabletop.
Usually, usually the manufacturer makes the table-top out of cast iron or aluminum, which is resistant to corrosion.
What you can do to properly maintain your tabletop is to lubricate it with wax.
Do this at least once a month.
Warning: Never use silicon-made grease, as it is harmful to the tabletop.
The second point of care is the remaining dust.
Remove this as much as possible.
The faster you remove sawdust after using the table saw, the less sawdust can get into the motor or all moving parts.
As a result, there will be less friction and the table saw will last longer.
What you can also do is regularly clean the saw blade with an appropriate cleaning agent.
Do this at least once a month.
The cleaner your saw blade is, the better it will cut.
Another advantage of a clean saw blade is that the table saw needs less power to make cuts.
A table saw that is well maintained will last longer, and you can always rely on it.
Table saw tips #5 Make jigs to do more
As the last in this list of table saw tips, I want to show you that a table saw can do more than just make straight cuts.
With the right jig, you can expand the possibilities considerably.
In addition, making jigs, whether for a table saw or any other jig, will allow you to grow your workshop.
Jigs will always help you make things more accurate.
So when you make jigs, you can use them to make new ones and get better over time.
In the past, I have made quite a few jigs, including some that can be used in combination with the table saw.
Be sure to check out my other blogs about building a workshop or the playlist on my YouTube channel to get inspired.
Keep following me, because I do have a few fun projects planned in the future that will expand the possibilities even further.
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I hope these table saw tips were helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.
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I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration