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Any experienced carpenter or woodworker will tell you that you build up a bank of tips and tricks over years of experience.
But, who’s got time for that?
In the article below, we’ll show you some important safety tips to follow when operating a table saw.
Tool Tango's Table Saw Safety Tips
The following list is of useful safety tips that’ll most likely save you a few scrapes and fingers over the years.
- Use a Push Stick or Featherboard
- Do Not Wear Gloves or Loose Clothes
- Wear Proper Safety Equipment
- Use a Stop Block for Short Cross-Cuts
- Always Remove Power Before Maintenance
- Do Not Make Free Hand Cuts
- Keep Your Workstation Clear
- Use an Outfeed Jig for Longer Boards
- Use a Half Fence for Complex Grains
- Dado Blades Make Rabbets Easy
Push Sticks and Featherboards Keep You Safe
A push stick allows the user to put the wood through the table saw blade without risking their fingers being too close to the blade. The featherboard can be used alongside the push stick as they apply pressure to the wood in order for it to be cut straight and steadily.
Any Loose Clothing Can Become Tangled In The Machine
Any loose clothing like ties, untucked shirts, baggy gloves can all increase your chances of becoming tangled in the machine, which can then result in serious injury or death. Ensure that all loose clothing is tucked in or taken off.
Wear The Correct Safety Gear
Safety equipment is there for a reason, and you should never overlook the wearing of safety gear. Dust masks protect you from dangerous particles that, if inhaled, will hinder your respiratory system.
The same goes for eyewear, as splinters can easily irritate or damage your eye if they come in contact. Earplugs protect your hearing from constant loud noises that your table saw makes.
Use Specialized Jigs To Hold Things In Place
A good example of this would be a stop block; these jigs allow you to maintain a certain distance from the blade to make continuous cuts of different workpieces easier and quicker. This helps you control the distance and accuracy without having your hands get too close to the blade during precision cuts.
Ensure Power Is OFF During Service
The last thing you want is for you to be reaching over the table saw and switching it on by accident. Therefore, it’s important to keep the table saw powered off by the main power source when you’re not using it or carrying out maintenance.
Free Hand Is Too Risky
Understandably freehand cutting is popular because it can be done quickly when you’re in a rush. But, rushing is when you encounter accidents more.
If you can’t use a jig or accessory to make the cut, then the cut probably doesn’t require the use of a table saw. You can make most cuts by using push sticks, miter gauges, rip fences, feather boards or push blocks.
Clear Workstation Means Less Chance of Accidents
Keeping everything clean and tidy is a key safety tip for any workplace. If you’ve got wood poking out of random spots, laying on your designated path, or wires tangled around your feet, you’re 100% going to get hurt.
Every tool and material should have a safe allocated space, and your pathway should be clearly marked with bright tape to ensure nothing hinders it.
Keep Your Boards Straight With An Outfeed Jig
If you’re cutting a long, narrow board with your table saw, chances are it’ll start to dip as you feed it through more and more. This dip is due to uneven weight distribution and the board splitting in two. The outfeed jig sits at the height of the table saw and keeps the board, now two boards at a stable height.
A Short Fence Helps With Safety And Stability
A half fence, otherwise known as a short fence, helps improve safety by allowing the user to push through wood without the risk of kickback once it’s been cut. A short fence also helps improve stability and a straight cut.
Rabbet Joints Are Simple To Make Using A Dado Blade
You can adjust the thickness of the blade if you use a stacked dado blade. This allows you to make rabbet joints much easier than a single dado blade or another blade type. The thick dado stack will remove material much quicker.
By following what we’ve described above, you’ll be able to work with your table saw much safer than before. Always remember to never discredit or overlook basic safety tips as accidents can happen to any of us if we don’t follow the advice of professionals.