Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
To truly master carpentry or woodworking, you’d be expected to understand many aspects of table saw cutting.
In the article below, we’ll discuss table saw cove cutting, along with a helpful cove cutting calculator.
What is Cove Cutting on a Table Saw
A cove on your workpiece can simply be described as having a deep inlet or indentation made on the wood and used as decoration.
The workpiece must pass over the saw multiple times in order to create a deep enough indentation.
How to Cut a Cove on a Table Saw
Cutting a cove on a workpiece with your table saw is relatively straightforward and won’t require too much preparation. Below, we’ll explain how and what you’ll need to correctly cut a cove using a table saw.
What Tools Will I Need?
There are only a few things that you’ll need for the entire cove cutting process; see below:
Safety Precautions To Follow
Below are a few safety precautions to take into account when working with a table saw.
- Try to keep as much distance between your hands and the blade as possible; this can be done using push blocks.
- Don’t turn the power on until all adjustments have been made and safety equipment is on.
- Ensure you have an effective dust collection system as research has proven that dust inhalation directly links lung/breathing issues later on in life.
The Cutting Process
The cutting process can seem like an intricate design task but in fact, it can be done with minimal effort or preparation. Below, you’ll see a step by step guide on how to cut a cove.
- Prepare your table saw by removing the blade guard assembly.
- Go ahead and use the cove calculator above to find the correct measurements; you’ll implement details such as the blade diameter, cove depth, cove length. Once you place all your measurements into the calculator, it’ll reveal your fence angle.
- Take your two planks of wood and your adjustable protractor and angle them at the mentioned fence angle. The wood acts as fencing to keep your workpiece on the right path. We’ll use an example angle of 61-degrees.
- Place one edge of the protractor at the end of the table saw's table, you then want to raise the saw blade to 1 ½ -inch. If you’d also like the blade to start cutting 1 ½ -inch from the edge of the workpiece, measure this distance from the blade and protractor.
- Clamp one wooden fence in place, place your workpiece next to it, and then clamp the other wooden fence on the other side of the workpiece.
- Start the table saw and slowly slide the workpiece across the blade.
- For your second pass, raise your blade by 1/16-inch and pass slowly over the blade again.
If you’d like to see a visual guide on how to cut a cove using a table saw, please take a look at this YouTube video:
Cove cutting is a great skill to master as it makes any piece of wood that little bit more special. Everything above should be all you need to create a cove on your workpiece correctly.