beveling safely on a table saw

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Forum topic by Wiley posted 04-15-2010 11:54 PM 1054 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Wiley's profile


71 posts in 2450 days

04-15-2010 11:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

My table saw is a very dinky little benchtop Craftsman, and as a new woodworker I have to admit to being a little scared of it. I do practically all of my woodworking with a bandsaw and a router table, but I’m working on a project that requires a 45-degree bevel on a number of pieces and I’m reluctantly concluding that the tablesaw is probably the right tool for that particular job. What are the most important things I need to know to cut those bevels without cutting off fingers or causing kickback? And how do you set up a fence when you’re doing an angled cut?

-- "When you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think straight" - Inherit the Wind

5 replies so far

View cstrang's profile


1829 posts in 2587 days

#1 posted 04-16-2010 12:28 AM

Set up the fence like you normally would but make sure that the fence is on the side of the blade that is angling downward so that the blade is essentially trying to push the work piece against the fence rather than pull the piece away from it. Use a push stick if the piece is small enough but make sure not to use one if the piece is too large (roughly larger than 6” or so). Always push the piece down and toward the fence. And last but not least, if you don’t feel 100% about it, think twice before doing the task. It isn’t good to work on machines you are afraid of, give the machine the respect it deserves, don’t be scared but be a little cautious and everything should go smoothly. Best of luck with the project.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2526 days

#2 posted 04-16-2010 06:20 PM

I agree with cstrang. But I very seldom cut a 45 on my saw for the same reason you are aking this question. I prefer a 45 degree bit in my router table. I just feel more at ease this way.
If you do use the saw, besure it is screwed down and can’t move on the bench. Good luck Rand

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2619 days

#3 posted 04-16-2010 10:36 PM

Build yourself a sacrificial push block from a 2 X 4 about 10 inches long, hardboard and a little hardwood. Cut a opening on about a 30 degree angle into the back third of the 2 X 4 with the angle facing forward big enough to accommodate a piece of hardwood. The hardwood should be big enough to fit comfortably in your hand. I attach mine with 1 1/2 inch wood screws. On the back of the 2 X 4, attach a piece of hardboard that extends about a 1/4 inch below the
2 X 4 and is the width of the 2 X 4 with a couple of screws. Now you can setup like cstrang described and this push block works well, holding down your work piece, keeping your hands away and by hooking your work piece and dragging it into the blade.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2899 days

#4 posted 04-17-2010 03:37 AM

I think everyone has given some good advice. I think the main thing is, if you can, be sure the fence is on the opposite side that the blade is tilted towards. This way, the cut-off piece cant get trapped underneath the blade and against the fence causing a kick-back.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 2732 days

#5 posted 04-20-2010 09:44 PM

If this is something you are going to do often – and depending on the size of the workpiece.
you might want to make yourself an auxiliary fence.
A trick I am glad I learned for making raised panel doors.
They can be simple or complex.
You can probably find plans somehere on this very site.
Essentially its a ‘box’ that fits securely over your existing fence with a tall face on inside.
You can then clamp the workpiece to the tall face—
You then push the piece along the fence with your hand BEHIND the face out of harms way.
This also keeps the workpiece steady and secure reducing risk of miscut or kickback.
Also—if you are new to the craft—you might find making the jig a pleasant proect in its own right.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

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