You should handle every power tool with care and that includes a table saw, no matter how tool-savvy you are. A table saw is one of the most versatile and widely used power tool and statistically the most dangerous woodworking power tool.
Nonetheless, it does not mean you stay away from it. You just have to learn to use it properly and that means safely.
Here are some guides and tips on how to use a table saw safely.
Always Wear Safety Gears
This is mandatory. Otherwise, you will be risking a lot with the table saw. As a woodworker always, wear safety glasses, the appropriate kind of tight-fitting comfortable clothes, hearing protection and gloves. Avoid jewelry, neckties and any loose comfortable clothes.
Keep Your Working Area Clean
You can maximize safety by always keeping the table saw and working area very clean, free of debris, sawdust, cutoffs, and stock. This is because anything that gets in your way could become a projectile if it gets in contact with a moving saw blade.
Besides, any debris or leftover wood can impair your ability to make clean, precise cuts.
Double-Check on the Safety Features
Before you start your woodwork project, ensure that all the safety features on the table saw are properly set and functioning. You can adjust them if need be, before turning the power ON. Some of the common table saw safety features are the riving knife, saw blade guard and anti-kickback pawls.
Use Stands or Outfeed Tables When Applicable
You can use an outfeed table or a stand to support the stock you are cutting, especially if it a large piece. This will help stabilize the sheets of plywood being cut, reducing accidents. It also makes the cuts easier to complete, no hitches.
Disconnect Power before Changing Blades
Always disconnect the power to the saw, when making any internal adjustments or changing the blades. This prevents the saw from accidentally being turned on, while the table saw is in use.
Never Start the Saw with the Blade Engaged
Before you start to make your cuts, ensure that the saw blade is spinning with ease and not engaged in a stock. Moreover, once you turn on the motor, allow the blade to reach full speed before starting to make the cuts. This allows for quick, precise and easy cuts.
Maintain Good Positioning
Always maintain a solid stance with a wider base to keep a perfect balance, while working on a table saw. Moreover, never stand directly or behind the saw but rather on its side, to minimize the rate of hazards to your body in case of a kickback.
Do Not Reach Towards a Moving Saw Blade
In case, you want to make any adjustments on the blade or make a fence wait for the saw blade to come to a stop. Any changes or movements while the saw is still moving can only endanger your life further, making you lose control of everything you are working on.
Always Use Proper Inserts
You should always use the proper type of zero-clearance blade inserts while using a table saw to make cuts. Likewise, when you are using a stacked dado blade, use proper inserts too.
Otherwise, the piece of stock might fall into the saw cabinet as you are still working on the tables saw. Thus, making it a projectile, which can cause damages to the table saw and risk major saw accidents in your workshop.
Never Try to Free-hand a Cut
You should never attempt any free-hand cut on a table saw. Instead, use a miter gauge or a fence to guide the stock as you make the cuts.
However, take note that these two features, the miter gauge, and the fence can never be in use at the same time together, as the end grain of the piece of stock can bind against the fence.
In conclusion, you should always exercise safety while using any power machinery or tool. If you do not know the ins and outs of operating it safely, just ask for some help from the experts.
In relation, take time to acquaint with every aspect of the table saw from safety to functional features and potential hot spots for hazards, and then you will be good to go…