Woodworking Tool Tips: The Table Saw

When you think of wood working tools, one of the first tools that probably comes to mind is the table saw. Many people think of a table saw first because it is often thought of as the work horse of the wood shop. The table saw is used in almost every woodworking project because is so versatile and serves such a basic purpose.

The table saw is the most useful tool in the wood shop for most people, both professional wood workers as well as hobbyist wood workers. The main purpose for a table saw is that it is used to size wood. That is, to cut it down to size. If you have a large sheet of plywood, a table saw is the most effective tool to cut it down to a manageable size. Table saws are also frequently used for ripping wood. Ripping wood is the term that is given when you take a large board and cut it into two or more other boards in order to work with them.

Table saws are an extremely useful tool when you become a bit more advanced in the wood shop and begin to construct jigs in order to complete your projects. When you create a jig, you can easily use the table saw to cut wood to a particular size for a project, make repetitive cuts, and to create grooves and slots in wood.

There are two main types of table saws. The bench top table saw is for light users who may not use their tool very often, or for people who need a portable tool. Because this table saw only ways around sixty or sixty-five pounds, it is considerably more portable than other types. However, because it is smaller, a bench top table saw will not cut wood that is thicker than 3” and may not be the best tool for the job for larger projects.

A contractor saw is a heavier duty table saw that utilizes a larger table. Because there is a larger motor, it is able to handle different thicknesses of wood and will likely be the best choice for people who are serious about wood working. These saws are approximately 280 pounds on average.

When you are working with a table saw it is important to keep safety in mind at all times. Because there is a greater amount of blade exposed, there is a greater risk of injury to the user if they are not careful.

Be sure to always keep the floor around the table saw clean and free from debris and dust. Do not wear gloves when you are operating the table saw because they could easily catch on the blade and they will not allow you the proper tactility that you will need. Be sure to wear ear and eye protection, and if it feels awkward while you are doing it, do not do it, it is likely a dangerous movement.