How to use the table saw to cut plywood and lumber

The use of table saws has been making woodworking easier for do-it-yourselfers and professionals alike. This guide is meant for users of all skill levels who need a refresher or for those who are new to table saws so you’ll know what to expect.



  • Safety FIRST!


Table saws are not little machines you can put your guard down to. They can be very dangerous to the untrained eyes and hands. Before anything else, always make sure to put on safety goggles. Stay focused on your task and never abuse this machine for it can cause a lot of trouble if you’re careless.



  • The Basic Cuts


           The first basic cuts that you can learn to do are the dado cut, the coss cut, and the ripping cut. Dado cuts are suitable to jointery for its wide cut. Cross cuts is a universal type of cut made on the grain of the wood. The ripping cut is a cut made downward the whole length of the wood.



  • Proper setting of the blade


          This is where the cuts made and the safety of your fingers will also depend. There are actually two ways to set the blade and any of the two can work for you. Setting the blade a little bit higher up to ⅛ “ is usually one practice that still makes cuts even if it’s just above the wood to be cut. This, however, can up the risk of kickbacks because the blade is meeting the board at a horizontal angle rather than an upright angle.

The second method would be to place the blade at the top of the board to lessen the chance of fraying and wreak havoc at the bottom but this is more hazardous. A bit of accidental slippage can cause more damage because of how much of the blase is exposed. It’s imperative to follow the best procedure for this method.



  • Types of angled cuts


           Angled cuts are tricky unless you follow a specific technique on how to use a table saw to cut angles  There are two types of angled cuts. One angled cut is influenced by the miter gauge when it is set to a preferred angle following a crosscut. This cut refers to the blade’s plane. Another type of an angled cut has to do with the table’s plane that can be created by shifting the blade. You can change the angle of the blade through the wheel at one side of the machine. At the front of the machine just at the back of the wheel for the height adjustment is where you can find the wheel. To get higher precision, you can always opt to adjust the miter gauge just in front of the machine.



  • Adjusting the fence


           The table saw’s fence is used when the material has to be cut lengthwise. You can adjust the fence and make it slide from left to right by moving the lever. Lift the blade a little to make measurements. There are times when the fence doesn’t seem aligned to the blade. Carefully take measurements of the back and front of the blade to the fence to see if they are the same. Just knock the front or the back of the fence then check the measurements again to see if it yielded your preferred width. Turn the lever down while your hand holds the fence’s top to steady it in place.



  • How to change the blades


           When you find it necessary to change the blade of a table saw, simply life the blade and take the insert off it. Hold the blade’s teeth against a scrap block of wood to keep it steady then start rotating the arbor nut towards your side. Carefully unhinge both the nut and the blade and set aside then put on the new blade and tighten the nut carefully without having to overdo it. The blade itself will be tightened using its own momentum once the saw is turned on for the first time. Don’t forget to replace the cover.



  • Make the first cut


           Test the table saw by making a crosscut by measuring and marking the material using the right tool. Avoid using the sled and the miter gauge to prevent dangerous binding. When cutting by length, always use a measuring tool then mark it. Adjust the height of the blade and give one side of the blade a marking. Steady the material to the sled or miter gauge and turn the table saw ON. Maneuver the material through the blade as smooth as you can. Turn the machine off.