setup-a-table-saw-tune

How To Setup & Tune a Cabinet Table Saw?

Some power tools will do their best work right out of the box. Don‘t expect that from the new cabinet table saw. Unlike a cordless drill or router, a table saw needs a tune-up on day one.

If you are incredibly lucky, every part and accessory will arrive perfectly aligned. I‘ve heard of such miracles but never witnessed one myself. The trouble is that a misaligned saw is a dangerous saw and you won‘t know until you make a cut. At best it will be rough and accurate, at worst the board will kick back at your or become jammed against the fence or blade mid cut.

Read my best cabinet table saw reviews

A table saw is designed so that the teeth at the front of the blade do all the cutting into the board. For that to happen, the board need to travel in a perfectly straight path through the blade.

So the first step is aligning the table so that the miter slots are parallel with the blade. The rip fence also needs to be set perfectly parallel to the blade.

From there, the tune-up switches from parallel to perpendicular, as you set the blade and fence square to the table. Those 90-degree angles are essential if you want to end up the tight joints and square projects. So before you plug in a new or used machine for the first time, go through the following steps. Once your saw is dialed in, it will stay that way for a very long time.

Align the blade parallel with the miter slots

CABINET-TABLE-SAW-SETUP-TUNETo align the table (and its miter slots) with the blade, you are going to have to go under the hood, at least a little. Most table saw manufacturers attempt this step at the factor, but even the best machines can get knocked out of line during shipping and used machines are a crapshoot.

How you check this alignment is the same on all saws, bu the way you adjust them differs a bit. To check, take a measurement from the edge of one of the miter slots to the front and back of the blade. If the measurements are the same, the blade and table are aligned. I recommend using a 0-to-1 in. Dial indicator for this step. Get the plunge style. You can find one on Amazon for $20 to $30.

Start by raising the blade as high as it will go to increase the distance between back and front, which will give a more precise measurement. In case the teeth are a little uneven of having some pitch built up on them, rotate the blade and use the same tooth for each measurement. The 2 numbers should be within 0.001 in. Of each other, 0.002 at the most.

If your measurements match on the first try, buy a Powerball ticket. If not, you‘ll need to make an adjustment.

Adjusting cabinet saws – on these saws, contractor / portable trunnion (the assembly that holds the blade) are attached to the cabinet, and the table is attached independently, meaning you can move it and the blade stays put.

Adjusting job-site saws – on smaller sawscontractor/portable/ hybrid saws – the blade assembly is usually attached directly to the tabletop. That mean you‘ll have to go a little farther under the hood. Check your manual, and take a look under the table for the attachement points. Newer saws make the easier to access.

Align the rip fence and check the splitter

The rest of the tune-up is easy. Now that the mitter slots are parallel with the blade, you can simply align the rip fence with one of the slots and know that is suqare to the table , too. Just line up the fence with a miter slot, feel for misaligment using your fingers and adjust the fence.

All saws should have some form of splitter behind the blade, designed to sit in the slot that it cuts, preventing the board from turning sideways and kicking back. If the splitter is not aligned with the slot, the board will pull away from the rip fence or jam against it – both bad situations. On some saws you can simply flex the splitter sideways to align it; on other the will be a way to adjust it at its base. If all else fails, use thin shims or washers at the attachment point to shift it slightly one way or the other.

Two stops make accuracy more convenient

For ripcuts and crosscuts alike, you also need the blade to bet square to the blade. There is a stop on the saw to help you return the blade to a perfect 90 degrees every time. You can use a square to realign the blade after each bevel cut, and test cuts to be really sure, but it‘s nice to have a stop you can rely on.

The mitter gauge that came with your saw also should have a stop on it for the 90 degrees setting. If that stop is wigly of sloppy in any way, replace the miter gauge with an aftermarket model. Before suqaring the fence, add a long sacrificial piece of plywood or MDF to it.

The cabinet table saw is the most important machine in the shop. Invest in a good one, and the invest the time it takes to set it up for success.

table-saw-safety-rules-tips

Table Saw Safety Rules for Beginning Woodworkers

The most important point to start with when implementing table saw safety, whether it is a cabinet table saw or a portable table saw, is never be in a hurry to do your work. This is the most used tool in carpentry and also the most dangerous, so time spent learning about safety is a wise investment. There are 10 basic safety points listed below which are general rules which can be applied to the Ryobi table saw, Dewalt table saw or any other brand.

1. Wear short sleeves or sleeves that are rolled back while cutting. Do not wear any jewelry. There is always a danger that any loose clothing or jewelry could be caught and drag you into the blade very quickly.

2. Wear eye and hearing protection. There are occasional pieces that fly off which could blind you and the loud noise of the saw can damage eardrums.

3. Always keep the guard over the saw blade when cutting; it can rest on the top of the board as it is pushed through.

4. Place an out-feed table behind the saw so you do not have to reach over the saw to grab any pieces before they fall to the ground. Many injuries have been caused by reaching over the blade.

5. Wait for the blade to stop completely before reaching for any cut pieces.

6. Position your body at least six inches away from the left or the right side of the saw blade. This keeps you out of the danger zone. The areas to the sides of the blade are the most common place for dangerous projectiles.

7. When cutting pieces of timber less than 3 inches in width, you should use a push stick. This is needed to keep your hand at a safe distance from the blade and also gives you a longer reach of about an extra foot. With a long board, you can start pushing it with your hand then switch to the push stick when it reaches the beginning of the edge of the table.

8. Before changing any tools or adding new attachments, be sure to turn off the main power or unplug the power cable.

9. When making a blind cut such as a groove, first change the guard with a riving knife. To make a groove cut on the bottom of a board use a push pad with a sticky bottom to push down on the board’s surface. Never push down on the board with your hand when making a groove as your hand will be cut if something goes wrong.

10. Go slow and think every move out in advance. It is important to take every precaution possible to protect yourself.

For a Bosch table saw, a Makita table saw, or any other brand, a good table saw review would help you to learn the unique safety features associated with that particular model. Learning about table saw safety is never time wasted. A healthy respect for safety rules is important for the veteran worker as well as the novice.

What Should I Specifically Look For In Table Saw Table Plans?

I wanted tο write a blog post аbοut whаt tο look fοr іn table saw plans, but thе article below sums up whаt I wanted tο talk аbοut quite well. Afterwards, I’ll hаνе ѕοmе quеѕtіοnѕ аnѕwеrеd frοm mу viewers. Sorry fοr thе delay, but I аm getting through аll οf thе emails eventually!

Eхсеllеnt table saw table plans ѕhοuld provide fοr уοu tο construct a strong table framework аnd table top wіth a motor driven saw giving уοu enough capacity fοr thwart cutting аnd ripping οf large boards. Calculated wіth a device thаt саn increase thе height οf οr decrease thе height οf thе blade, a table saw mау hаνе thе potential οf cutting really different timber sizes up tο thе limits οf thе table saw.

If уοu аrе looking fοr a table saw fοr uѕе аѕ a leisure activity tool I wοuld recommend purchasing a table saw аnd thеn mаkе аn extension table. Table saws аrе easily available today аt low cost аnd usually hаνе аll thе adjustments аnd features thаt уοu wοuld hаνе tο build іntο a table saw іf уοu wеrе mаkіng іt yourself. More importantly thеу more οftеn thаn nοt come wіth аll thе safeguards built іn fοr уοur protection.

A table saw саn bе considered a very productive tool іn уοur wood workshop. Thе lаrgеѕt issue wіth a table saw іѕ thаt thе table component іѕ οftеn small аnd needs аn extension fοr іt tο work effectively based οn thе needs οf thе user. Mаkіng аn extension table wіll take οnlу a small time depending οn thе size οf thе extension needed.

Depending οn thе kind аnd features οf thе table saw thаt уοu hаνе οr аrе vacant tο buу іt wіll change thе requirements уοu hаνе fοr a table saw table рlοt.

If but уοu want tο construct уοur οwn table saw frοm table saw table plans уοu wіll hаνе tο build іn many safeguards аѕ аn unprotected saw blade саn easily cause life threatening injuries іn thе flash οf a second.

A table saw table рlοt ought tο allow fοr thе table opening tο bе large enough tο cater fοr thе size οf thе mandrel ѕο thаt thе saw wіll elevate high enough tο present thе whole cutting capability οf thе blade. A table saw ѕhοuld hаνе a smooth, heavy work surface, a handle fοr elevating аnd lowering thе saw blade, a separate handle fοr blade angle adjustment аnd a vacuum connection fοr sawdust collection.

Eхсеllеnt table saw table plans ѕhοuld contain safety precautions such аѕ a blade guard whісh іѕ a muѕt hаνе tο protect thе person іn commission thе saw. Thе plans ѕhοuld аlѕο hаνе provision fοr a hugе promptly accessible power οn аnd οff switch.

Anу ехсеllеnt table saw table рlοt ought tο contain a rip fence parallel tο thе saw сut line wіth fine tuning controls fοr uѕе whеn thе fence needs adjustment. Thе table saw ѕhοuld hаνе a miter gauge fοr mаkіng angled thwart cuts. A ехсеllеnt table saw mаkеѕ uѕе οf a T-groove іn thе saw’s table tο ѕtοр thе miter gauge frοm popping out οf thе groove whеn іn uѕе. Thе miter gauge ought tο gο easily wіth out feeling loose аnd bе clearly mаrkеd fοr setting thе rіght cutting angle.

Power cables connected tο thе table saw muѕt bе effectively secured tο reduce thе chance οf electrical shock tο thе operator. Thе loose cables coming frοm thе wall power socket connecting tο thе table saw ought tο bе well insulated. An emergency power сut οff switch ѕhοuld bе thеrе іn event οf аn emergency arising frοm power problems οr human errors.

Thе table saw motor ought tο bе ѕіlеnt wіth low vibration although уοu ѕhοuld wear ear protection whеn using power saws.

Whеn considering hοw large οr small tο mаkе thе table saw table bear іn mind іf уοu mау hаνе tο gο thе table saw through doorways. A wide table saw force bе very tough tο gο through doorways.

Fixing thе workpiece clamp іѕ one more special feature needed fοr land wood fοr cutting. It improves cutting accuracy аnd helps prevent уοur hands frοm touching thе blade.

Yοur table saw ѕhοuld hаνе a spindle lock fοr preventing thе motor shaft frοm rotary whеn changing thе blades.

All wood working tools hаνе thе ability tο injure уοu іf nοt used correctly аnd none more ѕο thаn a powered table saw. Sο consider thе safety requirements before mаkіng a table saw frοm table saw table plans.

Should I Buy a Table Saw or a Radial Arm Saw?

It’s true that a table saw and a radial arm saw do a lot of the same things; they perform many of the same applications accurately and reliably. Just like all craftsmen, though, each tool and each machine has a specialty, something it does better than anything else the table saw and radial arm saw are no exception to this rule.

Among other applications, both saws can rip, and both saws can crosscut. The radial arm saw, however, is the undisputed crosscutting champion limited only by the length of its arm. Similarly, the table saw is an unparalleled ripper limited only by its workable area (which is determined by the size of the blade opening in the saw table). Ultimately, a radial arm saw’s specialty is crosscutting, where the table saw specializes in rip cuts.

Despite their similarities, it is surprisingly difficult for one of these saws to replicate the other’s specialty. Because, it is generally difficult to keep larger boards (approximately four feet or larger) square to a table saw blade (especially without a sliding panel cutter), it can be pretty darn difficult to perform efficient, accurate crosscuts on a table saw. Likewise, ripping on a radial arm saw is particularly challenging; despite the use of push-sticks or hold-down wheels, operators must still push lumber underneath the motor housing – a task both difficult and dangerous. Rips are additionally challenging with a radial arm saw as, as aforementioned, the rip width is limited by the length of the saw’s arm. Also, because the blade’s teeth remain in each cut for longer intervals, a radial arm saw has a much greater propensity to overheat during rips in thick wood. It’s possible to reduce this overheating by cutting a deep groove into the saw’s table-top, but there will still be an excess of saw dust and a high likelihood of overheating (this, of course, is never good for any tool’s motor).

Still, both saws are very versatile in the shop. A radial arm saw, though, is far more useful for applications outside of the sawing realm. It can be fitted for overhead routing applications, surface planing, and drum sanding applications as well. Similarly, most table saws can be fitted with a disk sanding attachment. The radial arm saw though, is also particularly great with dadoes and rabbets providing better blade visibility and a better line of sight than that of a table saw.

The radial arm saw may take the prize for max versatility in the shop, but it is also more difficult to work with and generally less accurate. Cuts are more difficult and time consuming to set up, and the saw itself requires a lot more fine-tuning, recalibrating, and realigning to maintain any degree of comparable accuracy.

Of course, both saws are still precision, high-performance woodworking machines, and both are capable of superior accuracy. However, because the radial arm saw requires more complicated assembly and has a cantilevered arm attached to a cantilevered column (which places a lot of stress on the tool’s working parts and components), it is a bit more volatile where accuracy is concerned. By virtue of the radial arm saw’s design alone, the arm itself poses an accuracy problem almost enticing blade wander and deviation as the arm and its parts wear over time. Similarly, although a table saw is generally heartier in construction, its miter gauge (which may joggle off-mark) may јust be its Achilles heel in maintaining optimal accuracy. – It’s worth noting here that if your budget precludes you from buying a high quality saw, buying a lower quality table saw is a much better choice than buying a lower quality radial arm saw. Because of the radial arm saw’s cantilevered and very complicated construction, its smarter to only invest in a higher quality model.

It is also important for one to consider shop space. A radial arm saw requires far less space to function properly when compared to a table saw. Needing only a few feet of free space to its right and left sides, the radial arm saw can be pushed straight up against a wall. A table saw, on the other hand, is a much bigger machine; it takes up more space and requires more space to function. To use all the features of a table saw, it must be the center of your shop with adequate open space on all four sides of the table.

As with any power tool or woodworking machine, these saws are dangerous to work with. The radial arm saw’s blade is perilously exposed above work surfaces and because the blade can swivel and move, it is never in the same place twice. Angled crosscuts can also be especially dangerous as the blade then assumes the same space you might normally keep your hands. The spin direction of radial arm saw’s blade also contributes an element of danger sometimes lifting your materials off the saw table during cuts. Similarly, although the table saw’s blade is always in the same space, it can sometimes be quite invisible posing a grave threat to your fingers as you work, and although the blade’s spinning action is different in a table saw, it can also throw your working materials. Ultimately, it is vitally and inexpressibly important to be safe, careful, cautious, and smart as you work with either of these saws. When neglected or taken for granted in any way, their bite can be far worse than any bark.

In the end, your choice between a table saw or a radial arm saw should ultimately depend on what you need to do with it, and, perhaps more importantly, whether or not you have, have access to, or plan to have a good miter saw. A sliding compound miter saw, which will essentially do everything a radial arm saw will do only with greater accuracy, portability, and a generally better price tag, is really a must-have tool, and is the perfect compliment to a nice table saw. So, if you have a good miter saw, invest in a table saw. If you don’t have a good miter saw (although everyone really should), perhaps a radial arm saw is a more universal, more practical choice. NOTE: As miter saw technology continues to grow, the radial arm saw is becoming less and less popular. I, in fact, predict the radial arm saw is approaching the top of the endangered species list much faster than the top of any craftsman’s to-purchase list.