Table Saw Set-up
Table Saw Set-up
More than any other piece of woodworking equipment the careful set-up of the table saw will pay off with impressive results. Take your time do it right.
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Zero Clearance Table Saw Inserts If you’re having trouble with tear-out on the bottom edge of you table saw crosscuts, or you’ve experienced the sudden shock of a narrow piece of drop-off wedging in between the saw blade and the opening in your saw’s throat plate, someone may have already advised you to get a “zero clearance insert”. In case you’re not familiar with this handy accessory, here’s what it is and what it does: A zero clearance insert is a substitute for the throat plate that came with your table saw. The opening in the insert is cut on the table saw to the exact width of the saw blade’s kerf, thereby preventing thin slices of wood from jamming in between the blade and the throat plate during a cut, and reducing the amount of tear-out that can happen with a standard insert. Blade Height and Kickback
Kickback on the table saw can be caused by a number of factors, blade height being just one. Miss-alignment of the blade and/or fence to the miter slot, a dull blade, loss of control of the wood, removal of the splitter assembly, cutting small pieces and poor operator technique are common factors that may contribute to kickback.
Setting the height of your table saw blade is an every-day chore that, if not done accurately, can have a significant negative impact on how a project turns out. Even small errors in blade height can mean bad parts fit, incorrect overall dimensions or reduced joint strength.
Checking the alignment of your table saw is an important part of regular maintenance that will help insure good results, and safe operation. Whether you use our shop-made dial indicator jig or some other design, the procedures are generally the same.
I have a right tilt table saw. Where do you put the fence when you make a 45 cut? The truth is its not a dumb question at all. In fact, its a very good question that more folks should be asking themselves when they own a right tilt saw. The reality is that most people will cut their bevels with the fence on the right side of the blade.
This article began as simple guide to square miter gauges, crosscut sleds, or sliding tables to a table saw blade. However, it has grown to include the procedures for setting up and calibrating table saws--which you should probably do before squaring your crosscut device. For years I maintained and calibrated my table saws using a combination of machinist's squares, combination squares, drafting triangles, feeler gauges, and block of wood attached to a miter gauge with a brass screw as a contact.
For any table saw to perform at its best, it must be properly aligned when set up and then checked regularly thereafter. Even the sharpest, most well-designed blade cannot cut cleanly unless the blade, fence and miter gauge (also called a miter guide) are precisely aligned. An error in any of the saw systems will hamper performance and compromise operator safety.
I found an old Rockwell Beaver contractor style table saw at a yard sale, for $135. It had some dried paint stuck to the rusty table, a dull 7 1/4" blade mounted, and somewhat neglected looking, but with some potential. I bought the saw as a stopgap measure to keep me from spending $2000 on a proper cabinet maker's table saw.