TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

Question In Regards To Tightening The Nut On Your Table Saw Blade

Circular SawA question was asked on a popular woodworking site. The question was in regards to the instructions on tightening the nut against the blade on the table saw arbor. The person asking the question was wondering if they should only tighten their table saw’s arbor nut with their bare hand? The reason was in the instructions it said it can be hand tight. I have read that before as well as seen videos where the woodworker or carpenter just tightened it by hand.

The answer to the above question is many manufacturers say it is safe but “I personally don’t do it that way.” I know they say in some instructions that is safe but in my opinion, I feel better tightening it up. Also, the bare hand that was mentioned above, allows you to hold the blade while you use the wrench with the other hand. Certain table saws allow you to tighten the blade without holding it with anything. They have a built in lock on the arbor. But many lower cost saws don’t have this feature. But many have done so – Jay Larson a friend and follower of mine on Facebook says that he has done it hand tight for 25+ years, and it tightens itself up. So apparently it is what you are going to feel comfortable with. I just don’t personally feel comfortable doing so myself.

You might think a bolt or nut is “good and tight,” but it actually might not be. When the arbor nut is tightened as much as it can be tightened, then you will be able to loosen it with your wrench. It isn’t supposed to be really easy to loosen the nut, but on the other hand, it shouldn’t require enough torque that puts your hand at risk for injury.

Also, remember that if you jam the blade with a stick and crank on the wrench too hard, then this is bad for the teeth. Not only that, but it is not good for the blade. You will want to tightened everything up the right way, as you will want to keep things running as smooth as possible.

Arbor nuts tighten in the opposite direction of the rotation of the blade, and it is easy to undo and redo the tightness of the nuts, when needed. Also, if you use stacked dado blades, then you can revert to the jamming stick and then tighten the nut. As a rule of thumb, moderation is key, so keep that in mind.


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Ted Leger –


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Updated: January 10, 2015 — 5:07 pm
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