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Newbie Question about table saw skills

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Forum topic by crunchy posted 08-26-2008 04:53 PM 1450 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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crunchy

7 posts in 3601 days


08-26-2008 04:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: newbie tablesaw

GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY!!

I am a newbie (obviously). About a year ago, a friend of mine replaced his portable table saw and gave me the old one. He seemed to use it just fine. Every time I tried to use it (prior to his giving it to me), I wound up warping the blade due to not holding the stock steady.

My question: what projects can I do to help get over the fear of warping the blade or cutting something off?

Thanks!!

-- Crunchy Geek, South Carolina


13 replies so far

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kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 3496 days


#1 posted 08-26-2008 05:12 PM

Warping the blade? I would wonder if the saw isn’t under powered to cut what you are cutting. Saw operation is simple. Hold the stock up against the fence and slowly feed it through. Start with shorter material. Maybe you are walking longer material into the cut and can’t seem to hold it against the fence. Use other tools to shorten your material. You can use a straight edge and a skill saw for sheet goods and a miter saw for boards.
I’ve worked with a lot of people that couldn’t hold the stock steady while feeding it to the saw. I’ve given them advice on how to stand and for some reason they just can’t seem to get it right. My suggestion is to stand at the side of your work. Your feet should be parallel to the material not to the saw. (the saw should be to your left and you should be facing whatever would be to the right if you were looking at the saw if that makes sense) One hand should be on the very end of the board and one hand should be on the edge. As you move the piece into the saw it is more of a sliding motion rather then walking. Your hand that is on the side of the board is the hand holding it up against the fence. You should be looking at the fence and not the blade until you get close enough for that to matter. I don’t know what I’m saying, it just seems like a good rant. LOL
Good luck. And practice, practice, practice.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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lew

11943 posts in 3662 days


#2 posted 08-26-2008 05:14 PM

You didn’t mention if you were trying to rip (cut length wise) or cross cut (cutting the end off of a board). If you were ripping, maybe the fence was not aligned properly- parallel with the blade. If you were cross cutting, you need to use the miter gauge or similar device (cross cut sled) to hold the work.

When making the rip cut, always use a push stick and the addition of feather boards will help hold the stock in place as it passes thru the blade. For cross cutting, adding a piece of sticky backed sand paper to the miter gauge surface will help prevent the stock from slipping.

Never use the miter gauge and the rip fence at the same time- except for a few specialized operations.

Hope this helps.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 3496 days


#3 posted 08-26-2008 05:39 PM

Good advice lew. I didn’t even think about cross cutting. The dangers of crosscutting is greater then having a kickback in my opinion. You should NEVER cross cut anything that is less in width then it’s length without some sort of cross cutting device like a miter guage or slider. The blade will pick up the end of the board that is up against the fence and throw it at you. That is why you can’t use the fence with a miter gauge as well. An example: You can’t crosscut a piece that is 8” wide by 24” long, using the fence. You must use a miter guage, slider, or sled.
If you are unfamilier with the term crosscut, you are cutting the piece to length not width. So, cut width first, then length.
You shouldn’t raise the blade more then 1/4” above your work
Never stand directly behind the blade. I recommend standing to the side you can face the fence on
ALWAYS use push sticks when ripping thin width material. 2” or less
If the blade is binding or burning it is dull. You may be able to reduce burning by changing your feed rate.
I’m not to keen on factory edges. I rip my material 1/4” wider in width then rotate it and cut it to final width. When cutting length I do the same. The width has to be parallel in order to have the lenth cut to a 90 degree and make the piece square. Use your tape measure corner to corner to check square.
The fence on the saw may need adjusted. If the material is getting ripped twice (blade is cutting when material is first hitting it, then hits the back of the blade more then the front) the fence needs adjusted out in the back. If there is a space between the material and the back of the blade then adjust the fence in. Blade should be parallel to the fence in other words. You don’t want the back of the blade taking off more then the front because this creates more of a kickback threat.
Make sure the fence is tightened and cannot “slip” while cutting.
wear safety goggles
have fun
again, I’m just rambling and am not an educator

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4031 days


#4 posted 08-26-2008 06:22 PM

For various reasons I don’t have a table saw, but the one thing I’ve learned in my two years or so of woodworking is that if you have skill involved in feeding the stock through the cutter (except maybe for feed rate) then you’re not using the right set of jigs. Any opportunity for the stock to bend or twist relative to the blade means you need something else in place to guide it. If you’re ripping, as others have mentioned, this probably means feather boards. If you’re cross-cutting, sounds like you need to make a cross-cut sled. If your fingers are within half a foot of the blade at any time, you need to make yourself some push sticks or push paddles, or your cross-cut sled needs an integral clamp.

Every once in a while I think to myself “I can get through this cut without an edge guide” or “with just friction holding that in place” or something similar, and every time I end up with dangerous projectiles, or taking a gouge out of something I didn’t plan on gouging.

kolwdwrkr’s got good suggestions about checking blade alignment and making sure your blade is sharp.

And a good portion of the reason that I use a circular saw on a rail rather than a table saw, even though this makes ripping more difficult, is that my Dad’s got a few short fingers and doesn’t type all that well any more. No matter what you do, be careful and don’t take chances.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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sIKE

1271 posts in 3660 days


#5 posted 08-26-2008 09:17 PM

I have no clue as to why your blade would be warping. It is on a Universal motor, and you should bind the blade way before you ever warp it. BTW binding the blade will result in a kickback, and since you said nothing about any kickback issues, I a unsure as to what is causing the problem.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

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marcb

768 posts in 3580 days


#6 posted 08-27-2008 09:05 PM

I’m just guessing but are you thinking the blade is warping because the cut kind of curves away from the initial cut point?

I had some issues like that at first using a stock miter gauge. Screw a piece of wood onto it and put some 220 grit sanding paper on it (some places sell it as a self adhesive roll). This keeps the wood in place while cutting.

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SCOTSMAN

5845 posts in 3491 days


#7 posted 08-27-2008 09:19 PM

What do you mean warping ?Does the blade turn without vibration when allowing it simply to turn over? Maybe you’ve got an incorrectly fitted blade, or fence, or riving knife, all this has to be checked .what effect does the warping you talk of ? Also when your cutting is the bare spindle running true many ? things to check out Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 3496 days


#8 posted 08-28-2008 03:34 AM

maybe the arbor is bent?

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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crunchy

7 posts in 3601 days


#9 posted 08-28-2008 06:04 PM

WOW!! So much to learn! As I said, I’m a newbie, especially with a tablesaw. Thanks for all the info, guys!!

I’m pretty sure I know what the miter guage is. I don’t have one for this saw, but I do have one for the circular saw. The saw does have the fence. I’m not sure what the “riving knife” is.

Dan, could you post a pic of your circular saw on a rail, please? I have to say I am more comfortable with a circular saw than a tablesaw at this point.

Is a cross-cut sled something I can build? Would it be worth the time? This is a portable/tabletop tablesaw, afterall.

By warping, I/we (the guy who was helping me and who owned the saw at that time) smelled smoke, and when we were done with the cut, the blade wobbled as the saw spun. We were cutting 4×8 plywood in the 8’ dimension. I was supporting the far end of the 8’ dimension and he was feeding through the saw. It was my first time using a table saw. Guess me and the saw feed rate were out of sync.

Once again, thanks for the info, gentlemen. I do appreciate it!

-- Crunchy Geek, South Carolina

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marcb

768 posts in 3580 days


#10 posted 08-28-2008 06:12 PM

Sounds like you where pinching the blade feeding the plywood. Where you using a fence or free handing the feed?

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crunchy

7 posts in 3601 days


#11 posted 08-28-2008 06:15 PM

We were free-handing.

-- Crunchy Geek, South Carolina

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crunchy

7 posts in 3601 days


#12 posted 08-28-2008 06:27 PM

Here is a link to a pic of a very-closely-related saw.

http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CatalogSearchResultView?D=940519&Ntt=940519&catalogId=&langId=-15&storeId=10051&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntx=mode+matchall&recN=113113%204294966866&N=0&Ntk=P_PartNumber

I’m not sure if it’s the same saw. I’ll have to look at the model # when I get home. Looking at that pic I’m definitely missing some pieces!

-- Crunchy Geek, South Carolina

View kjwoodworking's profile

kjwoodworking

266 posts in 3793 days


#13 posted 08-28-2008 07:05 PM

Be careful and check this table saw video out that was posted by Lee A. Jesberger.

-- Kirk H. -- http://www.kjwoodworking.com

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