Getting the Blade Height on a table saw
Photo: Bevan Walker
Getting the Blade Height

Using a Table Saw

Getting the Blade Height
• Make sure the switch key is out or the saw is unplugged.
• Lift the blade guard and hold the workpiece against the side of the saw blade.
• Raise the saw blade so the gullets between the teeth just clear the top of the wood.
• Make sure the blade guard and splitter are in place and working correctly before sawing.
Norm Abram ripping a wide board with a table saw
Photo: Bevan Walker
Ripping a Wide Board
Ripping a Wide Board
• Line up your cut mark with the blade and adjust the rip fence until it is tight against the piece. Make sure that the line is barely on the fence side of the blade so that the kerf made by the blade is on the waste side of the line.
• Position yourself to one side of the blade. Never stand directly in line with the blade or you risk getting injured by kickback.
• Start the machine and use your right hand to press the workpiece down on the table and against the fence. Brace your left hand on the table and use it as a guide while you propel the piece smoothly forward with your right hand.
• As the tail of the board approaches the blade guard, you might need to use a push stick to complete the cut. When the cut is done, shut off the saw so you can reach safely over the blade to remove the wood.

Norm's slick tip
One easy way to improve a saw's performance and protect it from corrosion is to coat the table surface. Rub regular paste wax into the table, or try a proprietary machine-table lubricant such as Slipit. Avoid anything containing silicone, which will contaminate the wood you're cutting and interfere with most finishes.
Ripping a Narrow Piece with a table saw
Photo: Bevan Walker
Ripping a Narrow Piece
Ripping a Narrow Piece
• Mark the wood and set the rip fence so the wider piece is between it and the blade. Make sure the blade guard and splitter are not hung up on the rip fence. If the closely set rip fence interferes with the saw guard, don't make the cut. Rip the piece you need off a wider board instead.
• Stand to the left of the blade and have a push stick ready. Only use a push stick designed for a table saw (check your manual for a template or buy one at a hardware store). If the push stick won't fit between the blade guard and the rip fence, don't make the cut. Rip the piece you need from a wider board instead.
• Arrange your hands as explained in "Ripping a Wide Board," above. Push the piece forward with your right hand until the tail end approaches the table.
• With your left hand bracing the board against the fence, pause and pick up a push stick. Use the stick to move the workpiece forward and past the blade, always pushing down and against the fence.
Nprm Abram crosscutting with a table saw
Photo: Bevan Walker
Crosscutting
Crosscutting
• You can extend the miter gauge by screwing a 2-foot piece of 1x3 to it, then pushing the extension through the saw to cut it to length.
• When crosscutting, line up your cut mark with the sawn end of the extension. (If you don't extend the miter gauge, lock the power switch and hold the workpiece against the gauge while you line up the cut mark with the blade.)
• Move the rip fence away from the workpiece. Never use the rip fence and the miter gauge together.
• Switch on the saw, hold the workpiece tight against the miter gauge, then push the gauge so the wood slides under the guard and past the blade. Move the piece away from the blade and shut the motor off before you return the gauge.
• To cut a miter, remove the extension and set the miter gauge to the angle you want. Make test cuts in scrap before cutting your workpiece.

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