The table saw. This tool is central to any woodworking hobby and woodshop. Unless you plan on using a circular saw to make every cut for your projects (and some do), then you will be ripping on this machine over and over. Even if you are an advanced woodworker, you may not have known 1 or more of these great tips.
1. Create A Plywood Base For Benchtop Saws
Something that I found is extremely helpful and practical if you have a benchtop table saw that doesn’t have a leg set is to attach a 3/4 inch plywood base to the machine, with a large hold cut in the center. Though simple, this base will allow you to either screw or clamp the saw to sawhorses or a table. Thus, there will be a wide foundation giving additional stability.
Not only does this raise the saw off the ground to a height that is comfortable to work with, it also will be safer if there is any kickback. This due to the fact that the saw won’t move as much if this event were to take place.
The hole that is in the bottom will keep it running cool, and it will give it a spot for the sawdust to fall through. A bucket or bag underneath will help with cleanup too. By drilling a few 1/2 inch holes on the side you will have a place to fasten a few hooks to the base in order to hang the machine up on the wall – keeping it out of the way and helping to keep a small shop neat and well organized.
Purchase A Saw That Fits YOUR Needs
As simple as this sounds, the saw you need is going to be determined by what you are using it for and how often.
For example, a cabinet saw with a full dust collection system is awesome, but if you work in the shop once every two weeks – odds are you won’t have to spend that kind of bread on a table saw of this power. If you work in the shop just when you can, then looking into a portable or contractor saw may be for you.
Don’t Choose A Brand – Choose A Model
It’s a given that some brands are well known for their great quality. Don’t just write a brand off just because you haven’t heard of them though. Before Hitachi was popular among woodworkers you didn’t see it in many shops. Any tools with that name were expensive so this didn’t help.
But once they dropped the price down to a more reasonable rate, these became popular and I ended up buying a Hitachi drill. After seeing how well made the drill was, I ended up purchasing more and more tools and eventually it became my brand of choice. When I was finally ready for a new table saw, I went with Hitachi and it has been my favorite since.
The point is – don’t dismiss a brand because of it not being popular. Just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthy of your woodworking shop.
Try A Saw Before Purchase
If you are new to woodworking and haven’t used a table saw previously, then don’t choose one without trying it out. Ask a friend with a table saw to use theirs. You may have to get creative to be able to find someone with one of these tools, but measuring them up will make a difference as to whether you will be happy with the purchase or not. Also, check out reviews online. There are plenty of them on Amazon, eBay, and other internet stores.
What Should I Look For In A Table Saw?
When it comes to this machine, there are tons of features that can come with a new saw. They are great to have, but definitely be sure these options are on the tool before purchasing it:
– Quality Fence
– At Least A 10 Inch Blade Or Larger
– Good Weight To The Machine
– Extension Wings
– Safety Devices
The video below is another great one by Izzy Swan. He gives 5 great tips for beginners to use before making this main purchase for their woodshop. Once you add it to your arsenal, you will be happy that you did.