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How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

Table saws are of course one of the most frequently utilized tools when working with wood, because after all, there is a whole lot that they can do. They are great tools to have and very convenient too, but that is not to say that they don’t have their own problems. One of the biggest problems that you may be experiencing with your table saw is that of excessive noise.

You might be thinking that yeah, it’s a table saw, so it’s going to be loud, because yes it does involve a loud motor and a blade ripping through wood at high speeds, but there is an acceptable level of noise and there is an unacceptable amount.

Maybe you think that your table saw is making an excessive amount of noise, and that may very well be the case. Well, excessive table saw noise can be due to a number of reasons, and therefore there are a number of different solutions too. Keep reading to find out exactly how you can deal with table saw noise.

The Table Is Too Light

One of the reasons for excessive noise when using your table saw is because the table is too light. Your table saw table may just be too light in general, which can result in excessive vibration and movement, both of which translate into noise.

For this reason, it is a good idea to get a table that is fairly heavy. On the other hand, if you are building your own table for your saw, be sure to use fairly heavy materials so that the whole table is weighed down adequately.

If you already have your table and it is making a bunch of noise, you can try weighing it down yourself. The easiest way to do this is to attach a few extra pieces of wood to the legs of the table or the underside of the table (where it won’t be in the way of any moving parts or machinery).

If your table saw table has a floor base, you can also weight down the base by putting things like concrete blocks, bricks, or cinder blocks on the base. However when doing this, keep in mind that parts which are not firmly secured to the table saw may rattle around and cause their own noise, so make sure to firmly attach anything that you are using to weight the table down with.

On a side note, if there is excessive vibration and therefore excessive noise, you can also use some insulation to reduce the transfer of movement from one object to another, thus reducing the overall noise level. You can try using a rubber pad and place it under your table saw stand, which will help to absorb the vibration.

Another option is to use rubber feet on your table saw stand or table. Remember that rubber will be able to absorb quite a lot of vibration. You can also try using small pieces of rubber and place them around the bolts at all points of connection, thus reducing the transfer of vibration and noise from one piece of your table to another.

This actually brings us to our next point of rattling, vibration, and things not being attached securely.

How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

Various Pieces Are Loose

Another reason as to why your table saw may be making excessive noise is because of things being loose and not attached firmly. This goes for everything in your whole set up. First of all, make sure that all of the various pieces within the table saw itself are firmly attached.

If the blade is not attached firmly or the saw itself is not attached to the table well, they will vibrate and cause noise, not to mention that it also makes it harder to make straight cuts. Vibration and noise can also be produced if the various parts of your table are not firmly secured to each other.

This can even go so far as being caused by the whole table, if it vibrates when in use and makes noise due to rubbing against the floor. The easiest solution to this noise causing problem is to make sure that all bolts are tightly secured and that there is no movement in between various pieces of your table saw and the table.

If your table is too light you may even need to bolt it to the ground to minimize noise and vibration. The bottom line is that noise can be reduced by making sure that everything is secure and attached as tightly as possible.

How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

Old Belts

Another thing that could be causing your table saw to be excessively loud is an old, broken, or worn out belt. The belt is the piece in your table saw which is attached to the motor on one end and to the pulley of the saw on the other end, thus resulting in the movement of the saw blade. Belts are pretty fragile and they do wear out over time.

Therefore one cause of noise may simply be that your belt needs replacing. The part of the belt where one end has been connected to the other to form the loop is a place of contention. This point of connection is especially vulnerable to wearing out, and this happens in the form of a lump that forms at this point of junction. There is nothing that you can do to fix this, and thus you will need to replace the belt.

There may be another problem with the belt, which is that it may be loose and not attached properly to either end, those ends being the pulley or the motor. If this is the case, you can open up your table saw and make sure that the belt is firmly attached to the belt drive and the pulley respectively.

Keep in mind that a lack of attachment or alignment may also be caused due to the belt being worn out. If you align it properly and it starts making a lot of noise again shortly after you have done so, you may need to replace the belt. You can get special V-belts that are specially designed to reduce noise and vibration.

How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

A Loose Blade

Not only is a loose blade very dangerous because it may eventually come completely unattached and tear a slice right through you, or at the very least vibrate and cause bad cuts, but a loose blade will also cause the saw to make excessive noise. The solution to this is to make sure that everything which attaches the blade to the housing is firmly secured, thus minimizing vibration and noise.

This noise problem can also be caused by a blade, or the housing, when it has simply been used for too long, thus degrading the connection points. In this case you may have to replace the blade as well as the various parts which attach the blade to the housing.

On a side note, a dull blade can also cause excessive noise as it struggles to cut through wood. One easy solution to this problem is to sharpen the blade, or if the blade is worn down past all points of return, you will need to replace it.

How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

A Bad Pulley

The pulley in your saw is the piece which is attached to the belt. The belt causes the pulley to move up and down and the pulley makes the blade spin. Many newer models of table saws contain pulleys that are made out of light metals, thus automatically creating vibration and noise. These lighter pulleys are not always balanced or assembled properly, thus causing noise.

An easy solution to this problem is to open up your saw, take out the cheap pulley, and replace it with a pulley that is made out of solid steel. A good and heavy pulley will reduce vibration, wobbling, and therefore noise.

Another problem with the pulley may be that it is simply old and worn out, in which case the various moving pieced become loose, thus causing vibration, wobbling, and noise. One solution to this problem is to tighten all of the various moving parts so that they are properly aligned and only move the way they are supposed to use.

However the pulley in your table saw may be so worn out that tightening the pieces or fixing it is not an option, in which case you will need to replace it. Keep in mind that in order to replace a pulley, belt, or any other part of the saw, you will need quite an intimate knowledge of the table saw, or else risk doing something wrong which can end up causing more noise or even being dangerous.

How to Deal With Table Saw Noise

An Old Motor Or Belt Drive

The final reason as to why your table saw may be producing excessive noise is because of the motor. The motor of your table saw has many moving pieces, each of which can rattle or vibrate. The easiest solution to this problem is to make sure that all of the pieces in the motor are securely attached.

Moreover, the motor itself may be on its last legs, and when motors get old they start to struggle to produce the same amount of power which they once did, thus making more and more noise as they struggle to keep up. The only solution to this problem may be to replace the motor.

You will also want to make sure that the belt drive is firmly attached to the motor. Once again, either secure the belt drive better, or if it is too worn out you will need to replace it.

Dealing With Table Saw Noise: Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that table saws are going to make a fair amount of noise no matter what you do. It is a tool that has a motor, a spinning blade, and it shreds through wood at high speeds. That is just going to be noisy, plus they do create a fair amount of vibration. As you can see from the above sections, there is such thing as excessive table saw noise.

This excessive amount of noise can be caused by various things, and therefore also have various solutions. Keep in mind that these are fairly finicky tools, so if you don’t have an intimate knowledge of table saws and their inner workings, you may want to consult a professional for help.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Understanding the Use of Table Saw Joints

Woodworking and carpentry are a very rewarding, you get to see the results of your own hard work at the end of the day. For you to be happy with your project, and for the project to turn out successfully, you need to follow the right steps and the right techniques to use.

One of the most important aspects of building anything with wood is how you join various pieces together. This involves using various kinds of joints and knowing when to use which joints. We are here to discuss all of the different types of joints that you can make with table saws as well as what their individual uses are.

What Is A Joint

To put it in simple terms, a joint in a piece of wood is a kind of groove or cut that is used to attach one piece of wood to another. There are many different joints that can be made with a table saw.Let’s talk about all of the different types of joints that you can make with a table saw.

Dados & Rabbets

One of the most common types of joints that you can make with a table saw is a dado joint. A dado is a slot or joint that is cut into a piece of wood or other materials. When you look at a dado from the sides, it has 3 sides to the cut, the left, the right, and the bottom. The dado is one of the strongest joints that you can choose to go with.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Generally speaking, a dado cut is made against the grain of wood and perpendicular to the length of the wood. Therefore, when you make a dado, you need to use your miter gauge to make a cross cut. On a side note, dados that are made with the length of the wood, or parallel to the grain of the wood, are usually called grooves.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Dados can be a stopped or blind dado, which means that it stops part way through the wood, and they can also be through dados that go from one side of the wood to the other. When making a joint that involves dados, only one of the two pieces of wood has a dado cut, the other has a rabbet cut, which is a 90 degree square cut out of the end of a piece of wood.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

The piece of wood that has a rabbet in it is the piece that gets inserted into the piece of wood with a dado or groove in it. The dado and rabbet combination is most often used for cabinetry and shelf making, in doors and casement window jambs, and for shiplap planking.

In the case of cabinets, there is usually no securing method so that the shelves can be removed. In cases where the jointing is supposed to be permanent, either wood glue or screws can be used to firmly attach the two pieces of wood to each other.

The Butt Joint

A butt joint is by far the easiest to make, but then again it is also the weakest type of joint. The butt joint does not require any special cutting or shaping, nor does it generally use any type of reinforcement. A butt joint is made by simply cutting the two pieces of wood to the appropriate length and placing their ends together so that they form a 90 degree angle.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Since butt joints usually do not have much reinforcement, they are inherently weak and prone to coming apart.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

There are multiple ways of attaching these butt joints to each other including with screws, nails, wood glue, dowels, knock down fasteners, and biscuit reinforcing. Of the reinforcement methods, using dowels or biscuits are of the most reliable, especially when used in combination with glue.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

The most common butt joint use is for making square boxes. Butt joints can also be used when constructing square or rectangular cabinets, boxes, panels, tabletops, and drawers. Generally speaking, things that aren’t going to bear too much weight will utilise butt joints.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Mortise & Tenon Joints

The mortise and tenon joint is perhaps one of the oldest types of joints around that carpenters and woodworkers have been using for well over 1,000 years. This is a fairly easy type of joint to make and can be done by hand or by machine. A mortise and tenon joint is most often used for connecting two pieces of wood to each other at a 90 degree angle.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Every mortise and tenon joint consists of two main components, those being the mortise holes and the tenon prongs. Generally speaking, the mortise hole will be placed on the width of a piece of wood along its length, either at the end or somewhere in the middle. The tenon prong is then cut out of the end of a piece of wood, effectively reducing the width and height at one end.

There are many different types, shapes, and variations of the mortise and tenon joint, way too many to list here, each of which have their own specific uses.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

The Tenon prong is then inserted into the mortise hole to create a solid joint. The tenon prong will have shoulders which stop it from entering into the hole any further, but generally speaking ,the cut out for the mortise whole should be the exact same as the size of the prong to ensure a tight fit.

Both the mortise hole and the tenon prong are square in shape to stop any lateral or circular movement once they are put together. This type of joint can be strengthened with the use of glue, screws, or nails for some extra reinforcement. Ideally, the tenon prong should be one third of the thickness of the rail of the wood to be considered structurally sound.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

The mortise and tenon joint can be used for a variety of applications including building boxes, adjoining various pieces of cabinets and shelves, flooring, building walls, and much more. Mortise and tenon joints are fairly strong and are thus often used when building houses.

In fact, mortise and tenon joints can also be used for metals and stone too, thus also making it an ideal house building joint.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Dovetail Joints

Dovetail joints are usually considered to be some of the aesthetically pleasing types of joints, simply because they look fairly stylish. The dovetail joint is a fairly strong type of joint and is known for its tensile strength and their resistance to being pulled apart.

A dovetail joint involves cutting a series of pins, otherwise known as tendons, into one end of a board that are trapezoidal in shape, and cutting a series of tails that are trapezoidal in shape into another board.

The pins and tails can then be slid into each other from the side to create an interlocking joint that is very hard to pull apart. Often the dovetail joint is secured into place using wood glue.

People really like the dovetail joint as it does not require any mechanical fastening such as the use of nails, screws, biscuits, or any other type of reinforcement. This type of joint is a harder type of joint to make, requires a whole lot of measurement, and takes a lot of precision cutting. The dovetail joint can be cut manually, with a table saw, or with a router and dovetail jig.

There are various different types of dovetail joints, with one of the most common ones being the through dovetail joint. The through dovetail joint is where the end grain of both boards is exposed, and the pins and tails are cut all the way through from one end to another.

This is considered to be a very good looking joint and is therefore usually not concealed. This type of dovetail joint is often used for box and drawer construction.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Another type of dovetail joint is the half blind dovetail joint. This type of dovetail joint is used when the carpenter does not want the end grain of the wood to be visible from the front of the finished project. When it comes to half blind dovetail joints, the tails are encased in the sockets at the end of the board.

Unlike through dovetails, half blind dovetails involve cutting the tails into the height of the board instead of into the length, as is illustrated below. The half blind dovetail joint is most often used for things like fastening drawer fronts onto drawer sides and also for cabinet building.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Another type of dovetail joint is the sliding dovetail. This dovetail joint is used to join two pieces of wood perpendicularly to form a 90 degree angle. The sliding dovetail joint is most often used to cut attach the length of one piece of wood to the wider flat surface of another piece of wood.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

This type of dovetail, instead of using several pins and tails only used one pin and one tail that are both trapezoidal in shape and thus slide into each other.

The sliding dovetail joint is quite strong because once it is slid together, it has a very high tensile strength and is virtually impossible to pull apart. A sliding dovetail joint can be reinforced by using glue, nails, or even screws if so desired and if the wood is thick enough to accommodate screws or nails.

Often the rear end of the sliding socket will be slightly tighter than the front, which makes it easy to slide in, but becomes very tight once it is fully inserted and in place, thus harder to disassemble.

The sliding dovetail joint has a number of different uses including joining cabinets to shelves, joining cabinet bottoms to sides, joining horizontal partitions to shelves, joining drawer fronts and sides, joining expandable table frames, and even joining the necks to the bodies of some guitars and violins.

Pocket Hole Joints

The pocket hole joint is a fairly common type of joint to use. This method of joining wood is generally used to attach two pieces of wood perpendicular to each other, but it can also be used to attach the widths or heights of two pieces of wood.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Generally speaking, a pocket hole joint involves drilling one or several holes into a piece of wood at the end of one of its lengths at a 15 degree angle to penetrate through the middle of the grain of a piece of wood. This piece of wood is then put against another piece, and they are screwed together by inserting screws through the holes that have been drilled.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

This type of joint is easy to make, it doesn’t require any intense measuring or mathematical skill, and it does not take much work to make. These joints can be reinforced with some glue, but they are fairly weak.

The pocket hole joint is often used for creating things like picture frames, face frames, desk frames, small cabinets and drawers, and other items which do not have to bear much weight such as small boxes.

Miter Joints

Miter joints are fairly easy table saw joints to create and they really don’t take much time, but on the other hand, they are some of the weaker joints that you could go with. The miter joint needs to be joined together using glue wood glue, nails, or screws.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

You use the miter on your table saw to cut the ends of 2 pieces of wood at a 45 degree angle. This way, when you go to join the pieces of wood, both of the 45 degree angles meet up and fit together correspondingly. This type of joint is most often used in cornering, such as when making desk frames, table frames, cabinet frames, and other types of square frames, as well as in installing crown molding.


The secret to success to any kind of woodworking project is using the right tools, procedures, and methods, with one of the most important aspects being the type of joint that you use to attach one piece of wood to another. Using the right joint for the right job will go a long way in determining how well your project turns out.

Whether it is a dado joint, a miter joint, a pocket hole joint, or a dovetail joint, it is up to you to know which one is best in specific situations. As long as you use the right table saw joint for a certain wood connecting job, you should not have any problems with your woodworking project.

Table saw extension

Table Saw Extension

Have you ever been working with a table saw and realized that there was not enough room to work with? Or maybe, have you ever wanted to rip a wide plank, but the ripping capacity of your table saw was just too low? Well, whatever the case may be, we have the right solution for you, and that comes in the form of a table saw extension.

If you are a handyman who likes to do everything yourself, you might be interested in building your own table saw extension as opposed to buying one. That way you can make a table saw extension just the way you want it, plus you can feel satisfied in knowing that you have built something useful with your own hands. With these simple steps, you can build your own table saw extension that will serve you for years to come.

What Is A Table Saw Extension – The Benefits

A table saw extension is a piece that you can attach to either side of your table saw, or to the front and back too (in which case it is referred to as either an in feed or out feed table). A table saw extension can be either a simple supportive frame (such as the one we help you build below), or it can have a solid table top.

Either way, an extension is a valuable tool for increasing the amount of space you have to work with. It lets you work on wide or long pieces with ease thanks to the extra support that it gives any workpiece on your table saw.

With one of these things, you don’t have to hold up the workpiece where it would otherwise not be supported without an extension, thus increasing the ease, accuracy, and safety of any cutting project that you undertake.

Table saw extension

What You Will Need To Build Your Own Table Saw Extension

There are a few different materials that you will need for the construction of your very own table saw extension. You don’t actually need too many things, and none of them are all that expensive either. Here are the few things you will need to make your own table saw extension.

The Materials

  • 2 x 1-inch square tubes (steel).
  • 1 x ¾ inch square tube (steel).
  • 2 x ¾ inch angled pieces (steel).

The Tools

  • A tape Measure.
  • A ratchet.
  • A wrench.
  • A drill.
  • Various drill bits.
  • A hole saw.
  • A hack saw.
  • A file.
  • A caliper or micrometer.
  • Some nuts and bolts.

Steps To Building Your Table Saw Extension

Building your own table saw extension with the previously mentioned tools and materials is really not that hard. As long as you follow these simple steps, you will have no trouble at all.

Step 1: Measuring & Drilling

  • Take the 2 x angled steel pieces, which are the pieces that will form the length of the base of your extension rail on either side.
    • Make sure that the open edge of the angled pieces is facing outwards as this will make attaching it to your table saw much easier.
    • Drill 1 hole at the center of the width (at one end) of the angled pieces. This will be where you will later use nuts and bolts to attach it to the original saw table.
    • Drill 2 more holes in each of the angled pieces. One of these holes will be in the center of the angled pieces, and the other will be at the far end of the angled pieces. This will form the base of the extension with all of the drilled holes necessary to attach the other metal pieces.
Table saw extension
  • Take the 1 x ¾ inch steel tube. This will form the divider between the base (the angled pieces) and the actual top of your extension, and this is so that the finished extension top has the same height as your original saw table.
    • Cut the ¾ steel tube in half (1 for each rail).
    • Drill 2 holes in each of the ¾ inch steel tube pieces you have just cut in half. The holes need to be at either end of the pieces, and most important, they need to be the same distance apart as the center and outer holes of the angled pieces which you have drilled (as they will be bolted directly to the angled pieces when it’s time for assembly).
table saw extension
  • Take the 2 x 1-inch square steel tubes. These will form the top rails of your extension, or in other words, the surface where your work piece will rest while using the table saw.
    • You will drill 2 holes in each of these pieces, 1 at either end.
    • Measure the distance from the front bottom rail to the back bottom rail (the angled pieces that form the base rails of your extension), or in other words, the depth of your original table saw top. This is where you will drill the holes in the 1-inch steel tubes.
    • Use the pocket drill to make 1 – ¾ inch holes when doing this. This will allow you to use a ratchet to tighten the bolts within the holes (you don’t want the bolts to protrude past the top of the 1-inch tubes because that will create an extension that is not flat on top).
table saw extension
  • After you have drilled all of the holes, make sure to use a file to file away any rough edges and ridges created by the drilling process.
  • how to build table saw extension

Step 2: Assembling The Pieces

Now it is time to assemble all of the pieces into which we have just drilled the holes. This part is very easy because all you need to do is use a wrench or ratchet, and use the bolts and nuts to secure all of the pieces together. Just refer to the picture below if you are having trouble with assembly.

  • First, you need to attach the 2 pieces of ¾ inch steel tube to the far end of each of the 2 angled pieces that form the bottom rail. This will form the rail with the spacing bars on top.
instructions on how to build a table extension
  • Now that you have assembled the bottom rails with the spacers, you need to attach the 2 pieces which will form the top. Use simple nuts and bolts to attach the top pieces to face front to back along the bottom rails (which will protrude from the side of the table).
table saw extension step by step
table saw extension demostration

Step 3: Attaching The Extension To The Table Saw Top

Now that you have built the extension it is time to actually attach it to the table top. This is a very easy step. All you need to do is to use 2 bolts (or depending on your table saw model, screws) to attach the extension to the underside of your table saw. What size of screw or bolt you need to do this will depend on the pre-drilled holes that your table saw comes with. Keep in mind that the rails of the extension will always attach to the original table from the bottom.

table saw extension build guide
table saw extension

DIY Table Saw Extension: Conclusion

A table saw extension wing is a really convenient thing to have. It gives you a lot more room to work with and can greatly increase the ripping capacity of your table saw. You could go buy a ready made extension wing, but that is going to be a lot more expensive than one that you make your own, not to mention much less rewarding too. Keep in mind that the extension table we have helped you build is a very basic one. It will allow you to work on larger pieces, but it is not the most advanced version that you could build.

Click here if you want your own DIY extension that actually has a solid top and can support more weight, or click here for a different model of extension table that you might like more. For some more info on building your own extension wing, you can also check out this video. If you have any questions or concerns about a DIY extension table, feel free to ask us anything, and we will get back to you at the first possible opportunity.

Table Saw Buying Guide

Table saw buying guide

A table saw is a fantastic tool to have for any woodworker, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a contractor. There is a lot that goes into buying and maintaining a table saw, so you want to choose the right one, to begin with.

You may not know exactly what a table saw is, what it can do, what features they can have, what types there are, or how to maintain it. All of the queries are questions that we are going to help you answer. Let’s talk about everything there is to know about table saws so you can make the most out of your next purchase.

What Is A Table Saw?

A table saw is a versatile wood working tool that can be used to cut wood, metals, ceramics, tiles, and sometimes other materials too. It consists of a motor powered, usually belt drive, a circular blade that spins at high speeds to cut through anything that needs cutting. These things come in many different types, sizes, and have different features too.

Different Table Saw Uses

A table saw can be used to cut long materials or to rip longer boards down to size such as cutting a 2 x 4 in half. A table saw can be modified to work as a wood jointer for straightening crooked pieces and for evening out uneven ends.

They can be used for making crosscuts and angled crosscuts along pieces, and they can also be used to create various wood joints and specialty woodworking pieces too.

Having a good table saw is crucial for any handyman or DIY purposes because there are so many different things that a table saw can do. It is a very versatile tool that can cut through a variety of materials and can be used for a wide range of purposes.

Different Types Of Table Saws

There are four main table saw types for you to choose from, each of which has their own special features, their own uses, and their advantages and drawbacks too. Let’s go over what the different types of table saws are because if you want to get the right one for you, you will need to know the difference.

As you will quickly realize, each saw is meant for a slightly different purpose, and which saw you get will depend on the purpose you need it for.

Cabinet Table Saw

Table saw guide

Cabinet saws are by far the biggest, heaviest, and most powerful of all table saws. Just like their name implies, they’re often integrated into a full wooden cabinet. These things can weigh well over 500 or even 600 pounds with everything included, especially the cabinet itself. These saws are ideal for very big projects that require a lot of cutting space and power.

The cabinet that they come with can be as big as 15 by 8 feet, which means that they provide you with a lot of space to work on big projects, such as ripping big sheets of plywood. Due to their size and weight, the cabinet saw is a purely shop oriented saw that is very immobile and cannot be moved from one spot to another.

The cabinet saw has the most powerful motor of all table saws which produces between 3 and 5 horsepower. The motor is enclosed in the cabinet, which protects the motor from damage and sawdust intrusion. The cabinet itself is quite convenient because it usually comes with drawers to store all of your tools.

Cabinet table saws tend to have a machined cast iron table that is very heavy and very smooth. The weight of these saws may not be great for mobility, but it does reduce vibration and noise. Moreover, the trunnions and gears on cabinet saws are usually very big, thick, and are made for heavy duty use. Also, these things have a huge ripping capacity, a ton of features, and good dust collection capabilities as well.

Contractor Table Saw

All you need to know about Table saws

Pretty much the opposite of the cabinet saw, the contractor saw is a type of table saw ideal for contractors on the go, hence the name. These things are built to be lightweight and fairly small to make them portable and easy to move from one job site to another. A contractor saw can weigh anywhere from 200 to 300, making them pretty portable.

Unlike the cabinet saw where the table top is made of cast iron, the contractor saw has a table made of high-grade aluminum. The aluminum is still pretty durable, not quite as much as cast iron, but it is much lighter.

Due to its small size, the contractor saw has a motor that is usually mounted on the outside of the saw instead of the inside, making them a little less durable and resistant to sawdust due to the motor being more exposed than with the cabinet saw.

The motor on the contractor saw can usually produce anywhere from 1 to 1.75 horsepower, which is significantly less than the cabinet saw. Also, the trunnions on the contractor saw are usually lightweight and thin, and the blade is belt-driven.

These things usually come with their own fairly heavy duty stand, and may even have a cart with wheels to increase their portability even more.

The contractor saw is specifically designed for portability and on the go use, and thus it does sacrifice some workspace and power. The outboard motor also means that they need a longer belt, plus their lighter weight also increases the vibration and noise that they make.

These were originally designed as portable saws, however, with the emergence of both hybrid and bench top table saws, many people now use the contractor saw for stationary purposes.

Bench Top Table Saw

bench top table saw

The bench top table saw is by far the most portable and lightweight of all saws. These things are meant to be portable beyond anything else, and that is exactly what they focus on. The bench top saw can weight as little as 50 pounds and up to 150 or even 200 pounds for the really heavy ones. While these things are very portable, due to their light weight, they do sacrifice some power and abilities.

They have an outboard motor that has no covering, thus making it susceptible to the elements, plus because of the light belt drive motor as well as their light weight build, these saws tend to suffer from a lot of vibration, they can be pretty noisy too. Finding a bench top table saw with more than 1 horsepower is usually not viable, as the focus is on being lightweight, not powerful.

These are ideal for small jobs and working on small DIY projects, though some contractors may choose to use them for simple jobs. Their limited power does mean that they are only ideal for cutting through softer materials.

Moreover, they do not have very much ripping capacity, their features will be limited, and they usually don’t come with any dust collection abilities. What is convenient about these things is that the often come with a portable and foldable open leg stand, or may even come with a nifty cart to increase portability.

Hybrid Table Saw

hybrid table saw

The hybrid table saw is a combination of the previous table saw types and makes for a good middle ground. The hybrid table saw is pretty much a combination of the lighter contractor saw and the heavier cabinet saw.

More or less, you can expect a hybrid table saw to perform like a high-end cabinet saw, but be more portable like a contractor saw, or small smaller versions even have the portability of a bench top saw.

These usually have anywhere from 2 to 3 horsepower to turn the blade, making them ideal for cutting through a variety of materials. While they can’t handle the most durable of materials like a cabinet saw, they are still far more powerful than the average contractor saw.

Hybrid table saws usually have an inboard motor that is well encased, and thus protected from the elements and from sawdust, and they usually have a belt drive induction motor.

Regarding space, you are going to get an average amount, with the hybrid saw having a lot more space than a bench top or contractor saw, but also substantially less than a full-size cabinet saw. Some hybrid table saws have an enclosed stand included, but some also have open leg stands.

A hybrid table saw will also usually have a fair number of accessories and will feature dust collection capabilities too. Don’t get it wrong, while these are a good middle ground between the cabinet and contractor saw, they are still considered to be too bulky and heavy to be portable in any way.

The Features Of A Good Table Saw

Not only do you have to consider what type of table saw you want to get, but you still want to look at their individual features. While what we discussed above is usually true regarding each table saw, every saw is different and may deviate from the standard path.

Therefore, here are the different features which you want to consider before you purchase any table saw. Remember to always weigh your own needs against the features of a particular saw to come to the right choice. Buying a saw is like cutting with one, you want to measure twice and cut once because the other way around just doesn’t work.

Blade Elevation & Bevel

One of the things that is important to when buying a table saw is what the possible blade elevation and tilt/bevel is. How high you can elevate the blade above the table will determine how thick of materials you can cut through. A good table saw should be able to elevate the blade at least 3.25 inches to deal with big pieces.

blade elevation and tilt bevel

Keep in mind that bigger and more stationary saws such cabinet saws will usually be able to elevate the blade higher than smaller saws such as a bench top saw. On that same note, the blade tilt or blade bevel of a particular table saw is also important for making longer angled cuts.

A good table saw will have a blade bevel that ranges from vertical to -2 degrees to the right and 45 degrees to the left. Once again, this capability will depend on the size or type of table saw that you get. Just remember to think about your own needs when determining how much blade bevel and elevation you need your table saw to have.

A Good Table Top

Another important thing to keep your eye on is a good table too. Your table saw needs to have a smooth and flat table top no matter what. This will help facilitate a smooth glide of the wood through the blade, plus it will help ensure accuracy too.

a good table top

Keep in mind that bigger saws like cabinet saws will usually have precision machine manufactured cast iron table tops, which are generally very big, very heavy, but also very well made.

On the other hand, smaller saws such as bench top saws will usually have and aluminium table top which is lighter, but also a little less durable than cast iron. Try to avoid getting a table saw that has a plastic table top.

Safety Features

There are various safety features which you should look out for, all of which will make cutting much easier and of course much safer too.

  • Riving Knife - A riving knife is a pretty valuable thing to have. For one, they help to reduce kickback, and they stop the wood from pinching in between the blade and table when cutting, thus greatly increasing the safety.
  • Features Of The Best Table Saws

    A riving knife also helps to stop workpiece rotation in the middle of cutting, which helps to increase your ease of cutting and the accuracy too. Bigger models such as cabinet saws will usually always come with one of these, while smaller contractor or bench top saws may not, but most can accommodate an aftermarket add-on either way.

  • Blade Guard – Another important safety feature to have is a blade guard. A good blade guard keeps your fingers away from the blade for the duration of cutting. Moreover, a blade guard can be see through so that you can still see what you are doing while cutting.
  • sawstop blade guard

    Also, a blade guard can often be adjusted for height to suit various projects, and some even have dual wings which can be separately adjusted for even more versatility. A blade guard is something that virtually every table saw comes with.

  • Anti-Kickback Pawls – Anti-kickback pawls are like a little set of teeth that keep the wood moving in one forward direction. They help reduce kickback and stop the workpiece from flying up in your face while you cut.
  • kick back guard

    This is because the teeth face one direction, and if the wood starts to move back, they will dig into the piece slightly to stop it from moving back more. This is a feature that many modern saws come with, yet there is still, smaller table saws such as the bench top saw which may not have this feature.

  • Blade Brake System – This is a relatively advanced feature that not too many table saws come with. The ones that do have a blade braking system will usually be higher end models, and they will cost you a little more. That being said, this is a very valuable safety feature, especially if you value having all of your fingers.
  • best table saw guide

    A blade brake system usually works by the blade sensing contact with your skin through conductive electricity, and when it registers contact it stops the blade from spinning in a fraction of a second. This is a great new feature that has saved many people from permanent injury and maiming.


The portability feature is something that you definitely want to pay attention to, especially if you plan on moving the saw around a lot or want to take it from one jobsite to another. This will depend on your own needs because if you only need a table saw for at home shop use, the portability issue is not all that important. That being said, if you need a portable table saw, you will want to make sure that it is not too big or too heavy.

What this means is that a portable table saw is most likely going to be a bench top saw or a contractor saw, while cabinet and hybrid models are usually going to be too bulky to move anywhere.

Another thing that helps with portability is if the saw comes with some kind of rolling cart that lets you set it up into a stand, and allows you to fold it down, make a cart, and pull the saw around.

Cutting Capacity & The Fence

Yet another thing to pay attention to is how much cutting capacity the saw in question has. This does come down to how big the table of your saw is, as well as how big the whole thing is in general.

The bigger your table saw table, the higher cutting capacity it will have. Simply put, depending on your needs, you want to make sure that the table is big enough, and that the fence system is adequate to cut the size of workpiece that you are working with.

cutting capacity and fence

Once again, cabinet and hybrid saws are just bigger, so they are going to have more capacity than a smaller bench top, or contractor table saw. The size of the table top (and the possible extension you can get for it) is not the only deciding factor of cutting or ripping capacity. Another important aspect here is the fence itself.

A good fence will allow for somewhere around one foot or more of ripping capacity so you can rip long and wide boards. Keep in mind that larger saws such as a cabinet saw will automatically have more rip capacity than a smaller saw such as a bench top model.

Many newer table saws do come with a telescoping fence that can extend several feet to the right of the blade to increase rip capacity, a feature that even some smaller table saws have.

On a side note, the fence does need to have a secure clamping mechanism to stay in one exact place while you rip or cut, plus it should be placed on easy to move rails. Also, the fence should be easily adjusted and able to be perfectly paralleled to the blade within a matter of minutes.

The Miter Gauge

The next feature that makes a good table saw is a decent miter gauge. A miter gauge is something that you need to make cross cuts with complete accuracy and ease. A miter gauge will usually rest on a standard T-slot miter slot so it can easily move back and forth. Keep in mind that most miter gauges can be replaced with other sleds or accessories, but that is usually only the case if your particular table saw has a standard T-slot.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

Some table saws do not have standard slots which will make adding after-market add-ons quite difficult. A miter gauge should be able to rotate at least 45 degrees to the left and to the right to accommodate for various angled crosscuts.

Moreover, to adjust the miter gauge, the table saw should have a simple to turn spindle wheel. If you are planning on getting a table saw, this is a feature that virtually everyone needs.

The Stand & Mounting

Something else you should consider before making a purchase is what kind of stand the table saw in question has, or if it has a stand at all. A cabinet saw will come enclosed in a cabinet, so of course, it has its own stand. A hybrid table saw will also usually come with some kind of stand and may even have wheels.

A contractor may come with some kind of portable folding stand, and a bench top saw while being compatible with many stands, is usually designed to just sit on top of a work bench or normal table.

best table saw guide

It is up to you to weigh your own needs to figure out what kind of stand you need. Some table saws, such as larger cabinet saws or hybrid saws, will have a completely enclosed stand where the motor is concealed on the inside, thus protecting the motor, but also making the saw heavier and less portable.

Smaller models such as the contractor saw or bench top saw will usually have open legged stands. These are much lighter, more portable, and may fold down into a small package for convenience, but they also do not do as good a job at protecting the motor as an enclosed case and stand. If you do get a table saw that does not already have a stand included in the build, you can always get one so long as it is compatible with your model of saw.

Motor Power

This is something that we touched on before, but the point is that you will want to make sure that you get a table saw that is powerful enough to get through anything you need to cut. This will, of course, depend on your own needs and what you will be doing with the thing. A smaller table saw with a 1 or 2 horsepower motor will probably do for smaller at home and DIY jobs, and for cutting softer materials such as some woods.

However, if you are going to be using the table saw for big projects and tough materials such as hardwood, tiles, ceramics, and metals, you are going to want a bigger table saw that has between 3 and 5 horsepower. Like we said before the bigger hybrid and cabinet saw models are going to have more powerful motors than the smaller bench top and contractor saw models.

Dust Collection

The final feature you should look for in a good table saw is the ability to collect dust or at least one that has a dust port where you can hook up an aftermarket dust collection system. Once again, this capability will depend on the type of saw you get. Smaller bench top and contractor says will usually not come with a dust collection system included, nor do they usually have the ability to hook one up.

table saw dust extractor

On the other hand, hybrid table saws will usually come with the ability to hook up a dust collection unit, and cabinet saw will generally have a full blown dust collection system already included. If you don’t have a problem with sweeping up some sawdust, then this is a feature that you may not need to pay so much attention to.

Some Accessories You Can Get

When it comes to table saws, they always come with a range of features, but they can usually still do more. Doing more with a table saw usually means getting some extra accessories. Here are just a few accessories that you can consider getting to make your table saw cutting experience both easier and safer too.

Push Stick

A simple little accessory that you can buy to make cutting much safer is a push stick. A push stick is usually just a smaller piece of wood with a handle and a protruding edge which lets you hook it onto the piece of wood you are cutting and push it through. This allows you to keep your fingers at a safe distance for the blade so as to not risk cutting one of them off.

best table saw push stick

The other choice is an extension wing and these help to increase the width of your table which is convenient for wide pieces, especially for ripping things such as big planks of plywood. These extension wings can extend the width of your table saw on either side of the blade by several feet.

​Table Saw Stand

​If your table saw does not come already with its own stand, you can always choose to get one. Like we touched on before, a cabinet or hybrid saw always comes with a stand, but that is not the case with all contractor and bench top models. Getting a stand eliminates the need for a work bench or table and it makes setting up your table saw in various places quick and easy.

A stand can be a solid one-piece stand, some can fold down to size for easy transportation, and some even come in the form of a folding cart with wheels to make it even more portable than ever. One thing to keep in mind is that most table saw models are only compatible with particular stands, so be sure to get the right one for your particular saw.

​Various Jigs

There are many different table saw jigs or sleds out there which you can choose from. There are miter sled jigs which increase the miter gauge capacity of your table saw, there are small parts jigs which makes cutting very small pieces easy, and there are bowl jigs which are specifically designed for cutting circular bowls.

the best jigs for a table saw

There are also chair seat cutting jigs, jigs to make building a pyramid easy, and jigs to elevate your work piece as well. Plus there are also a wide range of jigs that make it easy to create wood joints such as miter joints, finger joints, box joints, dovetail joints, and much more.

Simply put, whatever the purpose may be, there is usually always a jig that you can get to make the job at hand much easier than it would otherwise be.

Dust Collection

The final accessory that you should consider getting, if your particular table saw does not already come with one, is a dust collection system. A good dust collection system will consist of some kind of vacuum as well as a bag to store the dust in.

This is an accessory that makes clean up time much easier. Keep in mind that some smaller saw options will not have the ability to connect a dust collection unit.

Some Brand Name Table Saw Options To Consider

Table saws are of course very useful tools, but as is the case with almost anything you buy, the brand name of the saw in question can go a pretty long way in determining the overall quality of the saw that you get. Here are some of the best, most reliable, and most trusted brand names that you should definitely keep an eye out for.

  • Bosch
  • DeWalt
  • Makita
  • SKIL
  • Shop Fox
  • SawStop
  • Ridgid
  • Craftsman
  • Porter Cable
  • Rockwell

Some Table Saw Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your table saw is a very important thing to do if you want to keep it in prime condition and top working order for as long as possible. No, a table saw will not last you until the end of time, because like all machines with moving parts, something is bound to break down after prolonged use, especially when you put it through a lot of stress.

However, a good maintenance schedule can make all the difference between a saw that only lasts for one year, and one that lasts for ten years.

Keep A Schedule

Perhaps the most important thing to note when it comes to table saw maintenance is to keep a steady and strict schedule as this is the best way to ensure that your table saw will always be in working condition. As a general rule of thumb, you should perform regular maintenance on your saw at least once per week if you use the thing for more than one hour per day on a daily basis.

Cleaning Sawdust

A very important thing to always do is to clean out all sawdust and debris. These unwanted intruders can cause your motor to give out, your blade to seize up, it can obstruct your vision when cutting, and they can cause unnecessary damage to many parts of your saw.

Simply open up all compartments and take apart the saw and clean it out with a soft brush or tamp cloth. One thing not to do is to use compressed air to get rid of sawdust as it can damage electrical components and can actually force sawdust deeper into the cracks instead of cleaning it out.


One quick piece of maintenance to perform on a regular basis is lubing. Simply put, you should always make sure that all of the moving parts of your saw are well lubricated. This will prevent excessive grinding, it will stop parts from seizing up, and it will make the saw run much smoother.

table saw lubrication

The Miter Gauge

The next important thing to do regarding maintenance is to keep the miter gauge in working order. You need to make sure that the miter gauge is tight enough to not wiggle when in use, but also loose enough to be able to move back and forth in the slot. To adjust the tightness, simply use an Allen wrench or another appropriate tool.

The other thing you need to do is to make sure that the blade and miter gauge are parallel to ensure accurate cross cuts. You can do this through time-tested manual adjustment and paralleling methods or you can also use a special paralleling tool too.

Check The Belt & Pulley

Yet another crucial thing to check every now and then is how the belt and pulley of your table saw is holding up. The belt is what drives the blade to move and is a very important component of the average table saw. If your belt shows any signs of wear and tear, has rips, or lumps, you will more than likely need to replace it.

table saw belt and pulley

The other thing that you need to do is to make sure that the belt is properly aligned with the pulley and the belt drive on their respective sides. You will have to read your owner’s manual to do this as it is a fairly difficult process. That being said, it is very important because a misaligned pulley and belt drive can cause your saw blade to not move at top speeds, to shake, and maybe even to seize up completely.

Fence Maintenance

The next thing to do in terms of maintenance is to make sure that the fence is parallel to the blade. You can do this by using a special paralleling tool or by using two blocks of wood that are the exact same length.

Simply measure the distance from the front of the blade to the fence and from the back of the blade to the fence, then make adjustments accordingly. This is important for ripping because a fence that is not parallel to the blade will result in uneven cuts.

The Blade

Something else to do during maintenance is to check the blade. First and foremost, if the blade has any cracks or broken teeth it will need to be replaced without a doubt. You should also make sure that everything holding the blade in place is in one piece and firmly attached. A broken or loosely attached blade can be very dangerous.

The Table Top

When it comes to maintaining the table top itself, always make sure to never leave anything sticky on the surface such as juice because that will make moving the wood back and forth quite difficult.

Also, the table needs to be as smooth as can be to facilitate a good glide, therefore if your table has any scratches you are going to want to polish or buff them out very lightly. Moreover, to prevent the table from rusting, you can treat it with special wax or an anti-rust formula. Rust is a very bad thing for any table saw top to have.

The Wiring

The final thing to be done regarding maintenance is to check the wiring. The wiring in your table saw is what carries the current and powers the blade, and without solid wiring you may as well not have a table saw, to begin with.

best table saw wiring

Simply take apart the housing on the motor and all other electrical components, use a wattage measuring tool to see if everything is in working order, and make sure that all wires are properly connected, plus make sure that the wires are not damaged in any way. If you have any of these problems, you may need to replace certain electrical components.

Table Saw Guide – Conclusion

As you can see, there is a whole lot of thought that needs to go into buying a new table saw. You need to consider all of the different types, what each of their uses are, what the features are that you need, what accessories you may want, what brand name to get, and a whole lot more. Plus, once you have your table saw you will need to perform regular maintenance on it.

As long as you keep in mind everything that we have talked about you should have no problem choosing the best saw for you and keeping it in prime condition for as long as humanly possible. Any questions or concerns you may have are always more than welcome.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

A table saw is a carpenter’s best friend if the saw is not well maintained, that table saw can quickly turn from being your best friend to your worst enemy.

A table saw, if not well maintained is not going to work too well, it’s going to make a lot of noise, it can create bad smells, and potentially smoke. The bottom line is that a table saw with parts that are not taken care of can end up being quite dangerous. Luckily for you, we are here to discuss how you can take care of the various parts of your table saw, so it will remain your best friend for years to come.

Keeping A Steady Maintenance Schedule

Before we get into the ins and outs of maintaining the various parts of your table saw, it is important to note how often you should be performing these maintenance checks.

The more you use the table saw, the more you will need to maintain it. If you use the saw for at least 1 hour on a daily basis, you should perform these quick maintenance checks every week, or every 2 weeks at most.

Some things, like making sure that the miter gauges and fences are aligned properly is something you may want to do every time you start up your table saw.

It is better to do too much maintenance than too little, and if you notice any problems occurring, never hesitate to do maintenance.

Cleaning Sawdust & Lubing

Sawdust can end up being fairly dangerous for your table saw, it can clog electrical circuits, clog the electric starter, it can obstruct moving parts such as your belt drive, the pulley, and various parts in the motor, and an excessive buildup of it may even cause smoke and fires. Therefore it is extremely important to clean away any and all sawdust that you can find.

On a side note, other debris such as chunks of wood, ceramic, metal, and anything else that you cut with your table saw may also invade the various nooks and crannies that make up your table saw.

Before you do anything, make sure that the table saw is unplugged and has no power flowing through it.

You want to take apart anything that sawdust may be able to get into. This includes things like the fence, the miter gauge, the sawdust collector vacuum and the collector tube, the housing on the saw, the various parts of the motor, and the saw guard.

An important thing to note is that an effective sawdust collection system will drastically reduce the amount of time that you need to spend cleaning away sawdust. When you do sawdust cleaning, don’t forget the collection system itself.

You should use a shop vacuum to suck up as much of the debris as you can, and then follow that up with a damp cloth to wipe up the rest of the sawdust.

On a side note, you should not use compressed air to blow away sawdust because the strong air may damage electrical components, it may even blow sawdust further into the cracks as opposed to removing it.

After you have removed sawdust from as many places as is humanly possible, you want to lubricate all of the moving parts of your table saw. A high-grade lubricant will ensure that things continue to run smoothly and will keep them from wearing down too quickly.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

Maintaining The Miter Gauge

The miter gauge is, of course, the tool that you use to make a cross cut with table saws and to keep making cross cuts accurately you will need to keep it in working condition. You need to check that the miter bar fits snugly against your table, but is also loose enough to slide back and forth properly.

If the bar is too snug, it won’t move right and will cause you problems when doing cross cuts. On the other hand, a bar that is too loose will move back and forth to quickly, and may also cause your wood to move in unwanted directions when making cuts.

To get this right, you can use a small Allen wrench to adjust the insert to the right snugness. Some miter bars may not have this feature, in which case you can always replace the original miter bar with a steel bar that does have this adjustment feature.

The second check that you need to do is making sure the miter gauge slots and the saw blade are parallel. If the two items are not parallel, you can cut as you will, and you will never get the accurate results that you are looking for.

The simplest way to check this aspect is by using a special table saw parallelism checking tool. This is a tool that fits into the miter slots and then gives you readings of the parallel against the saw blade. If the reading is different from the front of the slot to the back of the slot, your blade and miter slot are not parallel.

Another option regarding checking the blade and miter slot parallelism is to clamp a piece of square cut wood down over the slot, with the front touching the saw blade slightly. Now move the piece of wood from the front of the slot to the back, and thus from the front of the blade to the back.

If there are any differences in spacing in between the wood and blade from front to back, your miter slot and saw blade are not parallel to each other. On a side note, to make sure that any discrepancies in parallelism are not caused by a warped blade, turn the blade 180 degrees and take measurements again.

If the measurements are different when the blade has been turned, the miter slot and blade may actually be parallel, and the differences in measurement are actually due to a bent blade.If this testing shows you that there is more than a 0.003 inch discrepancy between the front and back of the blade when compared to the miter slot, you will want to realign the miter and the blade.

You can reset the parallel on your table saw by shifting the position of the table saw’s rear trunnion on the underside of the table saw. You can move the trunnion left or right to make the necessary adjustments.

Make sure to tighten the bolts of the trunnions securely once you have made adjustments. Once you have done this, redo the test to see if the blade and miter slot are now parallel to each other. Remember to add some lubricant to keep the miter gauge moving properly.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

Checking The Belt & Pulley

One very important part of your table saw is the belt, which is the item that connects the belt drive on the motor to the pulley on the saw blade. The belt is one of the parts that can wear away quickly.

If the belt shows any sign of wear and tear, you will probably want to replace it because it may snap after prolonged use.

The place where the belt is connected to form a loop is fairly susceptible to forming lumps, something which will make the belt not run smoothly and will make a lot of noise, it may even cause the belt to fall off the drive or pulley.

If your belt has lumps or dents, you will also want to replace it, as fixing it is nearly impossible and replacing it is not all that expensive.

Since the belt is connected to the drive on one side and the pulley on the other, you will also want to make sure that the two are well aligned. If the belt is crooked or bent when attached to both the motor’s belt drive and the pulley, you will need to do some realigning.

This can be a fairly difficult process, one which will require you to read the user’s manual on your table saw to figure out which tools you will need and what process you will need to follow to complete the realignment.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

Maintaining The Fence

Something that you really don’t want is a fence that is closer to the blade in the back than it is to the front because this may cause the wood or other material you are cutting to pinch against the blade, and that will cause inaccuracies when cutting and can also cause the wood to fly up into your face.

The easiest way to check if the fence is parallel to the blade is by putting two pieces of wood which have been squared and are identical in length at the miter slots closest to the fence, both at the front and back of the miter slots.

Now lock the fence down with the pieces of wood just a little bit away from it. Check the distance from each piece of wood to the fence to discover any discrepancies in distance. Ideally speaking, the back of the fence should be something like 0.001 inches further away from the wood piece than at the front of the fence, something that will allow you some clearance when making cuts.

You can use a plain old measuring stick, a measuring tape, or a feeler gauge to accurately measure the distance between the wood chunks and the fence. If the gaps aren’t ideal, you can loosen the fence by loosening the screws or bolts which hold the fence down, reposition the fence as needed, and re-tighten the bolts or screws.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

Maintaining The Blade

One thing that you should always check on your table saw is the blade. After all, without a good blade, you aren’t going to get accurate and smooth cuts. Make sure that it is sharp, and if it isn’t, your best bet is to bring it to a professional for sharpening.

If any teeth are chipped or even broken off, your table saw blade will definitely need replacement. When the teeth of your table saw are not in good condition it can cause kickback and rough cuts, things you definitely do not want.

You should also make sure that the various components, such as the nuts and bolts, which hold the blade in place are in one piece and firmly secured.

Loose nuts and bolts will cause your blade to wobble when you make cuts, which is, of course, something else that you don’t want. Just make sure that everything holding the blade in place is attached securely.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

Checking Wiring

Another important aspect of maintaining your table saw is to do with the various wires which pass the electrical current from the outlet to and through the motor. This may require you to look at the user’s manual, but checking the wiring is a pretty important thing to do.

You will want to take the housing off of the motor as well as the electrical box to ensure that all wires are firmly connected and that there are no rips, tears, or any kind of damage to the wires. Any type of damage to the wiring should be immediately fixed, probably with the help of a professional.

Keep in mind that wires aren’t too expensive, so if they are damaged, replacement is most likely your best option to go with. The thing about maintaining the wiring is that most people only do it when something goes wrong or the table saw won’t function anymore, but if you really want to stay on top of things you should check the wiring every few months at a minimum.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

The Out Feed & Table Top

Your table top and outfeed should be as smooth as can be. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to put anything on the table top that may scratch the surface, as this will make smoothly passing the wood through the blade a challenge.

If there are any scratches, you may want to gently polish them away, while also remembering not to compromise the overall quality and form of the table top. Also, use some warm water and a polishing agent to remove and residue or sticky debris which may be getting in your way.

Another problem that you may encounter with your table saw’s top is rust. If you notice any rust building up, you can use some wax, de-rusting agent, and a piece of fine sandpaper to remove it.

How to Care for Table Saw Parts

How To Take Care For Table Saw Parts: Conclusion

Maintaining your table saw is the best way to keep it operational for as long as can be, and maintenance should often be performed to keep more serious issues from arising.

All of the major components which we discussed above should be checked and maintained on a fairly regular basis to keep your table saw from turning from your best friend into your worst enemy.

how does a scroll saw work

How Does a Scroll Saw Work?

how does a scroll saw work

how does a scroll saw work

A scroll saw, which comes in a large variety with a multitude of speeds and throat capacities, is a compact but effective machine which works excellently with thin wood. Depending on their construction, scroll saws may be the C-arm or parallel arm types, and can be used to make name tags, clocks, small furniture etc., in a wide range of designs by working on thin wood. From decorative to utility items, a scroll saw can help create all kinds of woodcraft, using freehand cutting. Modern scroll saws, interestingly, don’t just help cut wood but also metal and some other materials.

Easy process

The process of using a scroll saw is quite easy, as long as you go step by step, following the sequence correctly. The is a good resource guide for this purpose. It takes you through the process of cutting intricate joints and curves with the fine blade of a scroll saw in a simple, easy-to-follow directions.

If you correctly follow the instructions, without deviating from them, there’s no reason for you to go wrong. Depending on whether you’re using an electric or a pedal-operated saw, you may find the pressure levels and strength required in doing the job varying. Either way, the end result will be to your satisfaction if you follow the steps provided.

Blade sharpness

As you can guess, the sharpness of the blade is a key factor in ensuring ease of cutting. Generally, the blade used is not a continuous loop type but is a reciprocating one. So you can actually remove the blade and put it through a pre-drilled starting hole.

This way, you can easily make interior cutouts without the need for an entry slot. Furthermore, the finer the blade, in terms of its teeth and width, the more intricate the curves it can create. In fact, a real fine blade will help create curves that are more intricate than the narrowest of band-saw blade gauge.

Scroll saw classification

As mentioned earlier, there’s large variety of scroll saws you can choose from. Classification generally relates to the size of the saw throat, or the distance between the blade and the rear frame.

The deeper the throat, the larger the wood piece you can cut with the saw. Generally speaking, a 12” throat is considered small while you can have throat size of 30” or so in commercial saws. Then there are some manually built industrial saws which can be used to make objects that are even larger—it’s done by hanging the top mechanical part of it from the ceiling. However, that’s not so common these days in this age of computer automation.

Cost is another factor that determines the type of saw—the more expensive ones are designed for higher accuracy and more ease of use, mainly because of the minimal vibration they trigger.

How the curves are made

Moving on the pivot table is what gives the scroll saw the ability to make intricate curves in wood and metal craft. Nowadays, tables are equipped with a tilting feature which allows you to cut at angles, as required, with minimum effort. Then of course there’s the variable speed attribute, which you can use to ensure greater control while accurately and quickly cutting intricate patterns and designs. Scroll saws are now commonly used with modern intarsia, along with jigsaws and band saws.

Safety first

Like all devices of its kind, a scroll saw is also high on safety, with its design features carrying built-in protection for the user. You’ll find most of these saws having sufficient light on its flexible arm to illuminate the work station. Also, a dust blower nozzle usually helps keep the work space clean.

However, caution is urged in the use of a scroll saw, which means you need to be really careful while cutting with one. If you end up getting your finger in contact with the blade, even inadvertently, it may result in serious injury. Hence, be sure to follow all the guidelines for the use of a scroll saw with total care, and don’t allow it to fall into the hands of kids.


It’s evident that, if used correctly and sequentially, a scroll saw can do wonders in terms of creating intricate wood, and even metal, designs. While the process of its use is simple and clear enough, it’s really all about practice and more practice, and you can make your creations more innovative with a few easy tips and tricks; check out

To better illuminate the work area, you can use additional lighting with your saw. Then, since the blade is what makes all the difference to the cutting quality, you need to ensure it has the right amount of tension so that it doesn’t break—you should ideally set the tension at a point where plucking the blade triggers a ping sound.

Retrieval of the blades in order to minimize wastage is another useful thing to learn while using a scroll saw. If you’re using plywood, you may want to ensure that it doesn’t get warped, for which you should store it on a dry and flat surface, with a heavy wood piece on top of it.

These simple tips will go a long way towards enhancing your experience with a scroll saw, and the resultant creations will reflect the improved excellence.

A Guide for Buying the Best Affordable Table Saw

A Guide for Buying the Best Affordable Table Saw

It has been said many times that a table saw is the heart of any workshop. Buying a table saw is a major purchase, but it will be well worth it. However, depending on what type of table saw you buy, it can be quite expensive to get one. Fortunately, nowadays you can get the best affordable table saw without breaking the bank. To do that, there are some things you definitely have to consider.

Categories of Table Saws

Before putting down an investment on a table saw, it is important that you know and determine the type of table saw that will be best for you. There are essentially three types or categories of table saws available on the market today.

Cabinet Table Saw

This type of table saw is designed to be sturdy, durable and high-performing. They are often the choice of most professional woodworkers. Table saws often have tough cast iron parts, a huge table top, a strong fence and a full cabinet. However, a drawback is that they are quite heavy, weighing 400 to 600 pounds.

Contractor Table Saw

This type of table saw is designed to be more portable than a cabinet table saw. It is lighter in weight and can be moved from one workspace to the next without much difficulty. It often has a 3 to 4 horsepower motor that can cut 3 inch thick wood pieces. Because it is lightweight, do not expect it to have the features that a cabinet table saw has.

Hybrid Table Saw

Like the name suggests, the hybrid table saw is a “hybrid” between the cabinet and the contractor table saw. It has the durability and performance of the cabinet saw but the portability and mobility of a contractor table saw. Most home wood workers have found this to be the best affordable table saw for them. It has the same motor power as a contractor and has a partial cabinet wherein the motor is contained.

Workshop Space

Now that you have been honest enough to know that you are not yet a master wood maker, look at the space in your workshop. Remember that the type of table saw you purchase will depend on how big of a work space you have.

Your workspace will limit the kind of table saw you can get and almost instantly take some table saws out of the running. There are several table saws that can fit well in limited workspaces so a little bit of research will let you know which one would be a good option.

Knowing What You Need vs. What You Want

If you have the funds then the question between need vs. want is non-existent. However, if you are looking for something a little more affordable without going broke then you would have to weigh up what you want and what you actually need when it comes to a table saw.

Create a list of things you want in your table saw and start from there. Be honest about how you plan to use your table saw. You may want to create more complex wood projects but do you have the appropriate skill or is that something you want to learn? If so, something with few bells and whistles will do for now. Be realistic and think how often you will use the table saw and what you plan to build using it.

Safety Features

Safety first is an old adage in workshops that must not be put aside. When looking for a table saw, try to consider ones that have built-in safety features like sensors, a riving knife and splitters and anti-kickback pawls. Fortunately, these features are now standard in most table saws, including those that are in the low-priced end of the spectrum.

With this simple guide, you can find a table saw that will best suit your needs without you having to spend hundreds of dollars. Take the time to shop around and do your research and you will get to bring one home at a good price.

How to use your Table Saw Properly

How to Use Your Table Saw Properly

How to use your Table Saw Properly

Now that you have bought your table saw, whether it’s a simple bench-top or a hybrid one, you need to know how to actually use it. It is important to know the dos and don’ts of using it. It is also important to remember that you cannot fight against the power of a saw and you may lose your fingers if you are not careful. Luckily, you can avoid this if you learn how to handle it properly.

Here is a list of the things that you need to keep in mind while handling your table saw.

Do not be complacent

According to some surveys, it is discovered that veteran woodworkers and contractors can still be vulnerable to injuries while using table saws. It was found that they are even more prone to get injured as compared to new users of such equipment.

These injured woodworkers admit that they had become complacent in their capability to prevent injuries and practiced incorrect methods of using saws. It is important to understand the safety features of your table saw and learn the basic skills necessary to operate it in a safe way.

Do not put your fingers close to the danger zone

Every table saw has a danger zone where there is a high possibility of getting injured if you put your hands close to it. Make sure you always keep your fingers away from the danger zone. Danger zones do not actually have a specific dimension so it is important that you use caution and prevent yourself from getting injured if you need to be close to the danger zone for making some specific cuts.

Do not immediately remove the blade guard and splitters

Sometimes, woodworkers tend to remove the blade guard so they could feel and admire their woodwork. However, these blade guards and splitters actually help in ensuring that you do not get into accidents while cutting wood using your table saw.

Use push devices

Push devices ensure that your hand is not too close to the blade and put something in between your hand and blade. Some find using these push devices annoying, but they have saved hundreds of lives in the past. You can use push devices that look like rubber-soled push block,s as this would allow you to move more efficiently and keep your fingers safe.

Keep your saw’s blade height on its safety angles

Blade manufacturers often say that it is safer to put a blade just high enough to allow you to see the gullets at the bottom. You can also put it at an angle that allows you to cut your wood properly without causing too much sawdust and ensures that air can immediately cool your newly cut wood. However, if you are making a stopped cut, raise the blade slightly to reduce the angle where the cut stops.

Maintain a precise feed rate

While using a table saw for any type of cut, you need to feel the speed of cutting and understand the speed that is safe to make high quality cuts in the wood. Furthermore, if you misalign your table saw for any reason, it may cause some irregularities in your cuts. Make sure that you put enough pressure on the wood so that it gets cut smoothly by the blade and does not resist being cut.

Use featherboards to stabilize your wood

When using a table saw, it becomes difficult to keep your wood stable because it gets cut at a fast pace. Using featherboards allows you to make consistent groove cuts. Put your featherboards before the blade.

Use the correct type of blades when cutting wood for specific purposes

If you need to cut at a specific angle, make sure your blade is right for the job. Do not use wobble-type dado blades because it would make your cuts uneven. You can also use rip fences or miter gauges to guide your blade properly while making specific cuts.

Table Saw Top Maintenance

Table Saw Top Maintenance

Table Saw Top Maintenance

Keeping your table saw well-tuned is just as important as its durability and performance. Maintenance is critical to safety. With the amount of work your table saw does, it can get a lot of wear and tear. If not maintained properly, this can cause some serious damage.

One of the most basic things you have to keep maintained is the table saw top. During normal use, the surface can develop buildups of pitch, sap and other residue from the wood pieces you work with.

These buildups can make it more difficult to slide wood across the surface. The state of your table saw top can definitely have a huge effect on the ease and efficiency with which you are able to use it.

Keeping it in top-notch condition is not difficult at all. With a little bit of regular maintenance, inspection, and cleaning, you can keep that top smooth and well-maintained.

Here are some basic tips on how to keep your table saw top surface in tip-top condition:

Never put food and drinks on the tabletop

This is probably a no-brainer but if not followed can cause much headache. The residue from any food and drink can make the surface sticky and therefore dangerous to use.

Food residue can also stain and possibly ruin any projects you may have. You do not want that extra work of having to scrub a stain because of something so simple.

Drinks, whether hot or cold, can contribute to the creation of rust, and keeping your tabletop rust-free is one of the most important things you need to do to maintain the surface of your table saw.

If you have a cast iron table saw top then it can easily rust from the condensation created by cold drinks. Residue is also an invitation for pests and insects to get into your table saw.

Keep it rust-free

Keeping the surface of your tabletop rust-free is one of the most important maintenance tips that you need to know. Depending on your climate, rust can accumulate quickly on your tabletop. A piece of fine sand paper and a wood block is all you need to remove any rust. Wipe off the surface with a clean cloth afterwards.

It will take a little bit more elbow grease if there is a large amount of rust so make sure that you wax your top often. If necessary, repeat the process until there is no rust left.

There are also a few products available on the market today that can keep your table rust-free and smooth. There are table saw sealers that you can use. If you have a cast-iron table saw top this can be prone to rusting.

One thing to keep in mind is to never use silicone-based products on your tabletop as they can leave residue behind which can interfere with some finishes on some woods.

Wax your tabletop frequently

When it comes to your table saw top, it is a must to keep it waxed and smooth. Waxing your table saw top prevents rust build up that can easily affect your table saw’s performance. It also keeps your surface smooth and slick for better performance. It also protects your tabletop.

Waxing your tabletop allows your material to slide easier across the surface. When you are cutting wood pieces, you’ll want your board to glide as easily as possible; otherwise it can cause potential dangers.

You can use pretty much use any regular wax for your table saw top. Some people even use standard car wax without much trouble. It is advisable to wax and clean your surface once a month.


Just like with any tools or equipment in your shop, it is important to keep your tabletop well-maintained and well-tuned. Regular maintenance is essential in keeping it operating at its best. Slacking off on this could result in some very serious and dangerous situations.

Different Designs of Table Saw Outfeed Table

Different Designs of Table Saw Outfeed Table

Different Designs of Table Saw Outfeed Table

No matter how large of a space your workshop has, it seems that there can never be enough space for your tools, your accessories or even to just move around in. Being able to move around comfortably and have your jigs and accessories within reach while working is the perfect work set-up.

Not only does it make things easy for you while you work but it also increases productivity and efficiency ten-fold.

Because of this, the need for a table saw outfeed table that can do more than just provide a workspace for assembly and finishing has increased. Gone are the days when an outfeed table was just an ordinary extension of your table saw. There are now several designs of table saw outfeed table in the market today that you can choose from.

Mobile workstation

Nothing says ease like being able to move your workstation anywhere you want it. With having the table saw and all your gear on an outfeed table, the weight of it can be pretty heavy, limiting your workspace to where you have set your table.

A mobile outfeed table allows you to move your workstation anywhere within your shop or outdoors without having to move around all your jigs and accessories piece by piece. Being able to move your outfeed table also allows you to create better space for when you are working on projects that require a larger space than what you have.

When you need more open space around the table saw, you can just push it out of the way. One of the main challenges you may have with a mobile outfeed table is keeping the table height low enough but still up on its casters.

Wide Outfeed Table

Now, if you have ample space in your workshop, a wider table saw outfeed table would be perfect. This allows you more work space. With a wider outfeed table, you can use wider wood pieces or materials without having to jiggle and shimmy your way around the table saw.

It has a huge capacity for better work. This also allows you to have so much more storage for all your tools, jigs and accessories. You can pretty much store just about anything on this type of outfeed table. You can also add cabinets for some space-saving storage. Organization is also a breeze with a wider outfeed table.

Storage Outfeed Table

If you are one of those who are a little bit anal when it comes to organizing your tools then a storage outfeed table will fit just well with you. This type of outfeed table often makes use of its width and depth efficiently. It makes efficient use of space for storage with drawers and cabinets throughout.

Much like the wide outfeed table, you can store almost all of your jigs and accessories in this table, making for more efficient work. This type of table saw outfeed table may not be the best option for those with very limited work space but the storage capacity of this table more than makes up for it.

Compact Outfeed Table

A table saw outfeed table can pretty much take up more than half of your workspace if you have a small space. With a compact table, you have the extra space you need without having your workshop looking like it is stuffed to the gills.

Folding Outfeed Table

This might be a more popular design of an outfeed table because you can flip it up when you need to have extra space and fold it down when you do not. It gives sufficient room to keep long rip cuts.

A folding outfeed table is also a great space-saver when it comes to limited space. This allows you to properly use a space in your workshop when you are doing woodwork and gives that space back when you are not.

In choosing the right outfeed table design for you, the amount of space for you to work in is something to definitely consider along with storage and efficiency.