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How To Cut Lap Joints - Lap joints are awesome, and in this guide we show you how to cut yours with your table saw.

How To Cut Lap Joints

Woodworking is a really great hobby and an even better professional. Wood looks nice in the home, it is fun to work with, and the possibilities are endless regarding what you can create.

That being said, there are many different things that you need to know before you start trying to build anything out of wood. One of those things that you need to know about before you start is wood joints, which is how pieces of wood are joined together. Today we are going to teach you everything there is to know about lap joints.

What Is A Half Lap Joint?

A lap joint is a way of quickly joining two pieces of wood together. It is characterized by halving the thickness of both pieces of wood at the joint and then fitting those cut halves together, hence why they are sometimes referred to as half lap joints.

These can then be attached to each other with glue or screws if necessary. Ideally, the joints should be long grain on long grain for the best quality and highest strength. This kind of joint is most often used in cabinetry and when making frames.

There are several different kinds of lap joints including the end lap joint, a corner lap, and a cross lap, a mitered half lap, and dovetail crossed lap, among a few others, some of which are more prevalent than others. Keep in mind, some of these, such as the mitered and dovetail lap are going to be a little stronger, but they are also harder to make. For the purposes of this article we will be focusing on some of the more basic half lap joints.


What You Will Need To Make A Lap Joint

This is a pretty basic tutorial so you are not going to need a whole lot of material here. There are only a few things required to make a basic lap joint.

  • Table saw
  • Dado blade set
  • 2 pieces of wood (preferable a 1 or 2 x 4)
  • Wood glue

Step By Step – How To Make An End Half Lap Joint

The first kind of half lap joint we are going to help you make is the classic half lap joint, also known as the end half lap joint. This is very easy to and can be done in a few short steps.

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  1. Choosing The Wood – Choose the pieces of wood that you want to use. Ideally, they should be of the same width and height.
  1. Measuring The Depth – On each piece of wood, measure, and mark half way down the depth. This will be the depth of your half lap joint.
  1. Measure The Tongue – On each piece of wood, measure how far you want the length of the half lap to extend into each piece of wood. Remember that this needs to be the same on both pieces.
  1. Adjusting The Dado – On your table saw, expand the dado blade set to be as wide as possible, which is generally around 13/16 of an inch (or install a wide set). This will make it much faster and easier when cutting away the wood to form the half lap.
  1. Height Of The Dado – Raise the dado blade set to the appropriate height. For instance, if you are cutting a half lap joint into a piece of wood 2 inches in height, your dado blade set needs to be raised up 1 inch off of the table.
  1. The Fence – Adjust the fence so that the end of the piece of wood is firmly against it, while the outside edge of the dado blade set does not extend past the length of the half lap joint you are cutting. This will prevent you from cutting too far into the wood along its length.
  1. A Test Run – You should test it out first with 2 scrap pieces of wood which are the same size as the wood you will be using for the finished product. When you have cut the scrap pieces, make sure they fit together so that the faces are flush with one another.

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  1. Making The Cut – Now you can use your table saw, with all settings in place, and the wood already measured and marked, in order to cut the half lap.

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  1. Attaching – You can now use some wood glue along with clamps in order to attach them to each other. If you want you can also follow that up with some screws or pegs for added joint integrity.


Step By Step – How To Make A Corner Half Lap Joint

The steps for making a corner lap joint are going to be about the same as for the end lap joint, with some minor adjustments. Follow these simple steps to get the job done in no time at all.


  1. Adjusting The Fence & Dado – Do the same thing with the fence and dado set as in the above example on how to make an end half lap joint. Simply set the fence so that the outside edge of the dado blade set does not protrude past the length of the joint you are looking to make. Also set the blades to the appropriate height, which is going to be half of the height of the pieces of wood in question. You are cutting half way into the wood, so a 3 inch piece will require a cutting depth of 1.5 inches.
  1. Make The Measurements – The important thing to keep in mind here is that it is a corner joint, not an end joint. With an end half lap joint you can technically cut as far into the lengths of the pieces as you want, which is not the case with the corner half lap. The length of the cut in each piece can only be as long as the width of the other piece of wood. For example, if you are using pieces of wood that are 4 inches wide, you need to make the length of the joint in each piece 4 inches. Any longer or shorter and your corner joint is not going to be much of a corner at all.

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  1. Cut, Clamp, & Glue – Make the cut, just as described in the steps for the end lap joint (you can once again use scrap pieces of the same dimensions as your project pieces to make sure that everything will go according to plan). Use clamps and glue to attach them and then follow up with pegs or screws if you require the extra integrity.

Half Lap Joints – Conclusion

When it comes to making half lap joints, they are probably the easiest of all to make. As long as you measure the depth and length of each tongue appropriately, you aren’t going to have any real problems. Also, unless it is an end half lap joint, such as a cross or corner joint, the length of the cut you make (the tongue) cannot be longer than the width of the corresponding piece. As long as you keep that in mind you should be just fine.



Table Saw Safety Features - Table saw's can be very dangerous, so here are the most common table saw safety features make sure you use them!

7 Table Saw Safety Features

A table saw really is a very amazing tool, one that every carpenter, wood worker, and home hobbyist should have. From creating wood joints and ripping planks to making fine cross cuts, the table saw can do it all. That being said, a table saw is also a fairly dangerous tool. After all, it involves a big old blade spinning at several thousand rounds per minute. Get your hands anywhere near that and you can be sure that you are going to be taking a little vacation at your local emergency room.

People get cuts, people lose fingers, and even whole extremities too, and in extreme cases a really bad table saw injury can potentially be fatal. There are tens of thousands of table saw injuries, serious ones, in the United States alone every single year. However, over the years, table saws have become a lot safer. This is thanks to various safety features which modern table saws now come with. So, what are the various safety features which any good table saw should have?

1. A Safety Sensor

One of the biggest, best, and most modern safety features that any good table saw needs to come with is a safety sensor. These safety sensor are perhaps your best line of defense against losing a finger or even worse. These sensors are built to shut off the table saw in a moments’ notice. They can actually stop the blade from spinning in just a fraction of a second in order to prevent all kinds of injuries. Sensors on table saws function through the miracle of conductive electricity.

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They are built to recognize when something that conducts electricity, like your skin and flesh, contacts the blade. You see, wood is not very conductive, so the sensor knows to let the blade keep spinning. However, your fingers are a very good conductor of electricity. So, when the say feels a conductive element coming in contact with the blade, it automatically shuts off in a few milliseconds. On a side note, many table saws are built to cut through metal, which is of course conductive. This means that you will have to disable this sensor when cutting metals and other conductive materials, which can be quite a problem.

Now, to be clear, injuries can happen very fast, so these sensors may not prevent all injuries. It takes more time for the sensor to shut down the saw than it does to sustain an injury. However, the point of these sensors is to cut off power to the blade as quickly as possible, thus turning a situation of lost fingers or hands into one of a simple little cut. You might still get injured if you slip and come into contact with the blade, but thanks to these sensors, your injuries will be much less severe than they otherwise would be. Here is a video of one of these sensors in action, where a guy actually touches his finger to a moving blade to demonstrate how fast and how well these sensors work.

2. The Blade Guard

What most people see as the first line of defense in terms of preventing severe table saw injuries is the blade guard. The blade guard is a device which covers the blade, both when in use and not in use. It consists of a (usually) plastic housing which goes down over each side of the blade, down to the table top. This is a great feature because it helps to create a barrier between your fingers and a table saw blade spinning upwards of 3,800 rounds per minute.


The blade guard can tilt up or down, with the point being to move upwards and expose the blade just enough to make the cut. The guard should move upwards just enough to fit the material under it, thus allowing you to feed the piece into the blade without exposing your fingers to certain injury.

The problem with blade guards is that they do limit your sight. It is hard to see markings and it is hard to see exactly where you are cutting when the blade guard is attached. This is why many people will remove the blade guard when trying to make precision cuts, which is obviously something that you should not do.

The blade guard may occasionally get in your way, but it is indeed a very important safety feature which can save fingers, hands, and even lives. However, many newer table saws are making their blade guards thinner and totally see-through, which allows you to make precision cuts, see what is going on, all while keeping the blade guard in place to protect your own safety.

3. Anti-Kickback Pawls & Splitters

Your next line of defense when it comes to table saw safety features is the anti-kickback pawl, which is usually combined with a splitter. If you did not know, kickback is one of the biggest causes of table saw injuries. Kickback occurs when the wood gets stuck or jammed in between the blade and the fence, followed by the wood getting caught on the back end (or back teeth) of the blade.

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This in turn causes the wood or other material you are attempting to cut to be ejected off the table, fly off of it at high speeds, and launch directly towards you. This can definitely cause serious injuries and has been known to take out eyes, cause concussions, break bones, and yes, cause death too. Having a big piece of wood or metal hit you in the head travelling at a high velocity is definitely not something that you want to experience at any point in your life.

This is where the splitter comes into play, which is a vertical blade, usually made of plastic or metal, and it keeps the kerf open in order to prevent the wood from getting snagged on the blade and being flung at your face. This is then combined with anti-kickback pawls. Anti-kickback pawls are little metal devices equipped with front facing teeth.

These teeth will catch a piece of wood and stop it in its tracks before it has the chance to fly off of the table. The anti-kickback pawls are kind of like the second line of defense in case the splitter fails to do its job. Anti-kickback pawls will generally be located on either side of the blade in order to hook onto the left and right side of the wood in the event that it begins to fly back at you.

4. A Kick Switch

Another crucial safety feature that many modern table saws come with is the kick switch. Usually when you turn a table saw on or off, you use a switch that is operated with your hands. The problem is that you can’t always use your hands to turn the saw off.

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In the event that something goes wrong in the middle of your cut, you can’t very well just let go of the wood in order to hit the off switch with your hands. That can end up causing serious injury in itself because you should never let go of a piece mid-cut while the blade is still running. That can cause it to be ejected towards you and cause serious injury.

This is where the oh so important kick switch comes into play. The kick switch is like an emergency off button that you can kick with your foot or hit with your knee, usually located on the underside or the front face of the saw, near the bottom. If you do need to turn the saw off mid-cut, simply kick the switch with your foot to instantly stop the blade from turning.

5. The Magnetic Switch

Another switch that many table saws nowadays come with is the magnetic switch, yet another very important safety feature. The magnetic switch is something which will hit the power switch and disable power to the saw blade in the event of a power outage. To explain this clearly, power outages can happen, which will of course cause your saw to turn off when in use.


The problem is that the power can potentially come back on in a moments’ notice, which means that the saw blade will start spinning again. This can be very dangerous if you have decided to start poking around with your fingers. The magnetic switch automatically puts the saw in the off position when a power outage happens, so that when the power does come back on, the saw will not automatically start back up without you knowing it.

6. The Riving Knife

The riving knife is actually a pretty similar safety feature to the splitter. It more or less does the same job, but many people find that riving knives are a little more convenient. The point of a riving knife is to make sure that wood stays separated and does not get caught on the blade once cut. When the blade cuts distorted wood, or if you are not pushing the wood through the blade in a straight manner, there is always a chance of the wood getting caught on the teeth, being kicked back, and launching straight at you.


The riving knife sits on the back end of the blade (or just behind it) and makes sure that the 2 cut pieces stay separated and don’t hit the back end of the blade, thus preventing dangerous kickback. The reason why many people prefer riving knives is because they are actually attached to the same mechanism which holds the blade in place.

A splitter is fixed into place, which makes performing dado cuts, cross cuts, and other cuts a real pain. A riving knife on the other hand is not fixed and can be moved out of place when it is not needed; the riving knife can move with the blade. On the other hand, the splitter needs time and effort to be disconnected when making certain cuts, with the big problem here being that many people simply forget to reattach the splitter after taking it off.

Most professionals also consider riving knives to be safer than splitter because the riving knife sits close to the back of the blade, thus making the gap between the blade and kerf even smaller, plus it also prevents the back of the blade from being too exposed to your fingers. The bottom line is that riving knives are great safety mechanisms for preventing kickback.

7. Push Sticks & Stop Blocks

Now, these things are not really safety features of a table saw, but they are both things which can make your woodworking experience much safer. Push sticks are pieces of wood or specialized plastic sticks which you can use to push short or thin stock through the blade. In essence, it makes sure that you can make precise cuts without getting your fingers too close to the blade.


The same can be said for a stop block, which is pretty much a push stick for making cross cuts. A stop block sits between the miter gauge and the piece of wood you are cross cutting, thus increasing the space between your fingers and that deadly blade.



At the end of the day, there have been many innovations in terms of table saw safety. If you are on the market for a new table saw, you should look for one that has as many of these safety features as possible. Table saws are great tools, but you need to be aware that they are dangerous and they certainly are not toys. The safety features discussed above can save fingers, hands, and even lives, so you definitely want them in your arsenal.



What Is Table Saw Kickback? A dangerous side effect of using a table saw, so read this guide on what it is and how to prevent it.

What Is Table Saw Kickback?

Table saws are obviously some very useful tools. After all, any carpenter or woodworker would probably be lost without one of them. They are used for making joints, crosscuts, ripping, and making all kinds of other cuts.

The thing is that a table saw is a high powered tool with a very sharp and very fast spinning blade. This means that there is obviously a certain amount of danger involved. One of these dangerous aspects is something called kickback. So, what is kickback and how can it be prevented?

What Is Kickback?

Kick back on a table saw occurs when a piece of wood or other material gets caught in the saw blade and gets launched backwards at you. This happens when the teeth of blade get caught in the wood, thus digging into it slightly and causing it to fly up off of the table and right at you.

Tablesaw kickback can occur due to a number of reasons. One thing that can cause kickback is if you are not using a push stick or holding the wood down properly. You need to have a firm grip on the wood and apply a decent amount of downward pressure to the work piece.

The saw blade can easily cut through wood, but there needs to be pressure applied. Kickback can also be caused by warped or bent wood. The warped wood won’t be straight after the cut, which can result in the wood closing behind the blade and pinching it, thus causing kickback.

Moreover, table saw kickback can also be caused by a dull or warped blade. This is because if the blade is not straight or sharp enough, it won’t have the smooth cutting power to make it through the piece. Instead of cutting a piece of wood, a dull or warped saw blade will get caught in it, thus launching it up off of the table. Also, a piece of hardwood with a really bad knot in it can also get caught on a slower moving saw blade, thus causing it to lift up off of the table top.

Kickback can also occur when the rip fence is not aligned perfectly parallel to the blade. The fence is what you rest one side of the work piece on while you feed it through the blade.

However, a crooked or misaligned fence will cause the wood to be fed through the blade crookedly instead of straight. When the teeth then hit the wood at an angle, it can cause kickback. As you can see, kickback can be caused by a variety of things. Luckily there are some easy fixes and preventative measures you can use to ensure that this does not happen.

Here we actually have a video of kickback in progress. As you can clearly see, it’s pretty dangerous!

How To Prevent Table Saw Kickback

Here are some good tips you can follow in order to help prevent table saw kickback. Remember, the difference between following these tips and ignoring them could very well mean a lost eye, a broken facial bone, or your fingers or hands being pulled into the blade.

  • Make sure that you have properly aligned the rip fence with the blade. The blade and rip fence absolutely need to be perfectly parallel in order to prevent kickback.
  • When cutting small pieces, make sure to use a push stick or stop block. This is so you can apply adequate pressure to the workpiece in order to keep it down on the table. Kickback often occurs when working on small pieces because people use their hands to hold the piece, but don’t want to apply much pressure or get their fingers too close to the blade, thus resulting in inadequate pressure, and thus kickback.

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  • Make sure to have either a riving knife or splitter combined with anti-kickback pawls. Most table saws will come with anti-kickback pawls. These are like little teeth which sit to the left and right of the blade. If wood does start to kick back for any reason, these teeth will dig into the wood as it starts to lift off of the table, thus forcing it to stay on the table instead of flying at your face. At the same time, your table saw should for all intents and purpose have either a riving knife or a splitter.

We aren’t going to go into too much detail here, but a riving knife and splitter are very similar thins which more or less have the same purpose. The riving knife or splitter is designed to keep the cut open once the blade has passed through it.

Kickback can be caused when the freshly cut piece of wood does not split properly, thus closing on the blade, getting caught on it, and ultimately causing kickback. The riving knife or splitter will ensure that the cut stays wide open and that the two resulting cut pieces don’t close on the blade. The splitter will also be able to take care of bent or warped wood which can close on the blade.


  • If you are making an angled or beveled cut, make sure that the blade is angled away from the rip fence as opposed to towards it. If something does happen, the board will most likely lift up and away from the blade instead of into the blade, which can cause kickback.

Here we actually have a little video on how to prevent table saw kickback!


Remember that kickback is not just a myth. It is something very real and it can be extremely dangerous. So, always use caution, make sure your table saw is set up properly, use the necessary tools, and always be safe. It only takes one slip or one stray piece of wood to turn a creative day into a trip to the hospital!

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Is it Time to Replace Your Table Saw Motor?

Is it Time to Replace Your Table Saw Motor?

The motor of your table saw is one of the most important components. Sure, the blade does the cutting, but without the motor nothing happens.

Table saw motors, just like any other piece of equipment, can get old and break down. Perhaps your table saw is producing some funny smells, making some odd noises, or maybe it working.

There are a few different things which may be causing problems with your table saw motor, some of which can be fixed and some which cannot. Let’s go over the different problems you may be experiencing and see if they warrant a quick fix or replacement.

Before we get started, the most important thing to keep in mind is that if it is easier to replace the motor or the whole table saw all together, rather than replacing various parts or maintaining it.

Some Basic Troubleshooting

One of the very first things that you need to check is the power supply. Yes, this is an obvious point to make, and yet it seems to be a problem that many people encounter. If the motor is not working, make sure that the table saw is plugged in, that the wiring is good, and that the outlet in question is supplying your table saw with electricity.

The problem could be as simple as having forgotten to plug the saw in. Maybe the circuit breaker is in the off position, or maybe a fuse has blown, in which case you need to trip the circuit or replace the fuse. If the wiring in the power cord has gone bad, you will need to replace the cord, something which is probably best done by a professional.

Something else you will want to check regarding the power supply is if the overload switch on your saw has been tripped. The overload switch will turn the motor on your table saw off if it has been struggling with a job, getting too hot, or receiving too much power from an overloaded outlet, all to stop the motor from burning up. The easy solution to this is to switch the overload switch back so the motor can receive power once again.

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Keep in mind that if your overload switch has been triggered, it is because the saw is struggling with a job. Your table saw motor may be struggling because you have been using it for too long, or maybe the material you are trying to cut is putting up a fight. Either way, turning the saw off to let it rest might be all that you need to do to get it running again.

If your table saw motor continues to struggle when you turn it back on, or with other jobs, especially easy jobs, then it might be due to other deeper issues, some of which may be fixed, and some of which may require the replacement of the motor.

If your motor is struggling because of something as simple as cutting a few pieces of wood for 10 minutes, then there is definitely a more serious problem which will not be fixed simply by letting the saw rest for a while. If your motor is still making a bunch of weird noises, producing odd smells, or just not turning the blade, you will need to refer to the next sections in this guide, and it may actually be time to replace it all together.

Read The User’s Manual

Using the model of your table saw as a guide, you can find the appropriate user manual for your specific make. If you don’t have a detailed owner’s manual for your table saw handy, you can always go to the manufacturer’s website.

The manual should give you a parts list with diagrams of each part, or it should even give you an exploded view of the whole motor and saw with all individual parts pointed out.

Is it Time to Replace Your Table Saw Motor?

You should absolutely know the ins and outs of your table saw and the motor, including ever single part, for you to be able to fix the motor yourself.

A Dirty Motor

One of the reasons as to why the motor on your table saw may be smelling funny, making weird noises, creating smoke may be due to a buildup of sawdust and other grit. This sawdust and grime can collect on the housing of the motor, on the air intake, on the gears, and other mechanisms.

This happens naturally because when you cut wood, it creates sawdust that floats around in the air. Not all of the sawdust that is created will be collected by your shop-vac or by the collection mechanism, and that excess sawdust can end up invading the various parts of your table saw motor. The solution to this problem is fairly simple.

Is It Time To Replace Your Table Saw Motor

First of all, take off the housing that surrounds the motor. When doing this make sure that the table saw is unplugged. Use a damp cloth or a stiff bristle brush to clean out any gunk and sawdust that has accumulated in the motor.

When you are doing this make sure that you get all grit off of the blade, in the blade arbor, around the motor, the fan, and the shaft. If you have seen sparks and smoke, make sure that you check all electrical wiring and junction boxes to make sure that you have cleaned all of the sawdust away from any electrical parts, as electricity plus sawdust will result in smoke, smell, and a potential fire. This should get rid of any smoke, funny smells, or sparks.

Also, a starter switch may be plugged by grit, which may be a reason for your table saw not working, in which case cleaning the grit out of the starter should do the trick.

Checking Electrical Components

Since you already have the table saw open and taken apart, it is a good opportunity to check that no wiring has melted or ripped. If the problem is that your table saw just won’t work, a broken or melted wire may be the cause.

Is It Time To Replace Your Table Saw Motor

If wires are not connected, the simplest solution is to make sure that they are connected properly. However, if the wires are damaged, if you know how to solder, wires are pretty easy to replace, but we would recommend having a professional do this.

On a side note, if the electrical components are severely damaged, it may warrant a complete overhaul or even the replacement of the motor.

Dented Or Broken Components

Another cause of motor troubles may be that there are loose components, broken parts, or loose screws. If your table saw motor makes a loud clunking or ticking noise, it could be due to a dented fan or a misaligned shaft. If the fan is dented, it can be replaced with a new fan.

If the shaft is misaligned, you can try to align it yourself or get professional help to get it aligned properly. The bottom line is that dented, torn, or simply broken components can cause your motor to not run properly.

Is It Time To Replace Your Table Saw Motor

The thing to remember here is that while it may be cost effective to replace one or two smaller parts, there are some parts that are going to be very expensive to replace. The bottom line is that it may be more cost-effective to get a new table saw or table saw motor than it is to pay for the labour and various replacement parts.

The Belt, Belt Drive, & Pulley – Belt Drive Motor

Technically this is not a problem with the motor itself, but the motor connects to the belt drive, which connects to the belt, which drives the pulley and ultimately turns the blade.

If the blade is not turning or making excessive noise, it could be due to a worn belt drive, a worn out or broken belt, a damaged pulley, or loose connections between any of those things. When you open up your saw, check that all of those parts are in working order, and if they aren’t you will need to replace them.

Is It Time To Replace Your Table Saw Motor


These parts are usually pretty cheap to replace, that is except for the belt drive. If the belt drive is worn, a part that is directly connected to the motor, you will probably need professional help to get it fixed or replaced.

In some cases, the belt drive is so intricately linked to the table saw motor that replacing or fixing it can be nearly impossible and therefore will require you to spring for a new motor all together.

The Brushes – Direct Drive Motor

Not all table saw motors use belts and these are called direct drive motors. In this case, you need to make sure that the brushes are not getting in the way of the motor. This is one of the most common things that can go wrongs with smaller hand held saws and table saws.

These brushes are fairly small, and their function is to pass on electrical current, but they can’t interfere with the motor, which they will do when they are worn out or broken. Some models will tell you when the brushes need to be replaced.

If the problem with your motor has to do with the brushes of the direct drive motor, you can replace them, or have them replaced fairly easily, which means that you don’t need to buy a new motor. Once again, just refer to your user’s manual for the exact type of brush that you need to get, and if you don’t know how to do it yourself, you can always get it done at a shop.

The Capacitor

If the capacitor is not working, your table saw will probably get really hot, start producing smoke. When the capacitor isn’t working, you will generally be able to tell right away thanks to the humming or choking noise it makes, along with the smoke and heat.

Is It Time To Replace Your Table Saw Motor


To make sure that the capacitor is indeed a problem you can use a volt-ohm meter to measure the electricity levels. Set the meter at RX100 to measure the connections in your motor. If there is a reading of 0, it means that there is a short circuit, and if the reading jumps right from 0 to really high numbers, or changes frequently, there is probably an open circuit.

In either case, this means that you will need to replace the capacitor. Referring to the user’s manual, identify where in the motor the capacitor is, identify the exact model, and go buy one. If you are having trouble swapping it out by yourself, simply seek professional assistance.


If you aren’t too up to speed with the inner workings of your table saw , or with electrical things in general, you can always have it looked at by a specialist.

Keep in mind that if parts are dented or broken, they can be replaced, if parts are clogged with grit and sawdust, they can be cleaned out, and if there is an electrical failure, you may be able to swap out variable parts to get the electricity flowing again.

The key rule to keep in mind here is that if some issues can’t be fixed or replaced, or replacing various parts of your motor comes in at a higher price than buying a new motor would cost, it’s probably better to buy a new motor. That goes on to say that if buying a new motor is more expensive than the whole table saw cost in the first place, you’re probably better off just buying a new table saw .

How To Operate Your Table Saw Safely - using a table saw is easy, but to use it safely needs a bit of know how, so here's the know how!

How To Operate Your Table Saw Safely

Using a table saw is not all that hard, but it does take some know-how, some experience, and some common sense too. It is not very hard to hurt yourself using a table saw of any kind. Things flying in your face, broken objects, and severed fingers are all risks that come along with using a table saw.

This is true even for the most experienced of table saw users. Things can go wrong in just a fraction of a second, and when things go wrong when a 4,000 RPM blade is involved, things go very wrong. Here we have a comprehensive list of safety tips that you absolutely need to follow if you plan on using any table saw and leaving the room unscathed.

Some Safety Equipment To Be Familiar With

A few things that you should always have on hand, even if you don’t necessarily need them at an exact moment, include these things;

  • Safety goggles.
  • Leather gloves (for blade inspection)
  • A face mask for dust.
  • Ear protection (saws can get loud and damage hearing)

1. The Manual

Perhaps the most important thing that you can do when it comes to using a table saw is to read the owner’s manual from front to back. You need to know all of the details of the table saw in question if you have any hope of using it safely. Things like safety mechanisms, on/off switches, kick off switches, and all of the other fine points of your table saw must be studies in detail. This way you will know what to do when a problem arises.

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2. Inspection Via The Manual

Once you have familiarized yourself with your specific table saw, you are going to want to inspect it from front to back before you begin using it. Keep in mind that every table saw is a little different, so you will want to consult the owner’s manual for your model.

Inspect all of the wiring to make sure that everything is properly connected. Faulty wiring can cause fires, explosions, and cause the table saw to malfunction during use. Another very important thing to inspect is the blade as well as the blade guard. Make sure to wear leather gloves whenever you inspect a blade; cuts can happen really fast.

Make sure that the blade guard is properly positioned and that it can easily move when you are cutting. A blade guard that can’t easily move up or down when wood is passing under it can pose a serious hazard. Also make sure that the blade is properly attached, secure, and does not wobble. It does not take much for a loose and wobbly blade to totally disconnect itself and launch off the table. Always remember to unplug your table saw before you do any inspecting. You don’t want it to turn on accidentally while you have your fingers around the blade.

Make sure that everything that needs to be connected is connected well. Bolts, screws, and any other connecters should not be loose. Finally, make sure that all splitters, guards, and anti-kickback devices are in working condition as these are your primary line of defense against injury.

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3. Your Apparel

Something that many people don’t seem to realize is that you absolutely need to dress a certain way when using a table saw. Anything loose can quickly get caught in the blade, and either be destroyed, or even worse, pull you into the blade, which can and will have disastrous consequences. You should never wear loose clothing.

Always make sure to be wearing clothes that hug your body quite tightly, especially on your torso, hands, and arms. Moreover, do not wear any jewelry such as chains that can fall down and get caught in the blade. You will also want to wear closed shoes so that your feet cannot get injured. Finally, if you have long hear, wrap it up, put an elastic around it, put it in a bun, or wear a hair net.

You do not want your hair getting caught in the blade because that makes for a quick road to decapitation. The shoes you wear should also be non-slip in nature so you don’t accidentally slip when using the table saw. Furthermore, if there is a lot of dust flying around, or if you don’t have a good dust collection system, always wear a facemask. Wood debris and other floating dust can be very harmful to your lungs.

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4. Safety Goggles

One of the most important rules when operating a table saw is to wear safety goggles. Pieces of wood or other materials, even small splinters, can fly up into your eyes and cause injuries and even permanent blindness.

There have been cases where pieces of wood of a substantial size have launched into people’s eyes and causing fatal injuries. Just any glasses or sunglasses will not do here. The glasses need to have a ANSI Standard Z87.1 rating, which means they are made out materials strong enough to withstand some serious impact.

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5. The Cords

Something else to keep in mind when using a table saw is that you need to be weary of all power cords. This is not such a big issue if you have the saw against a wall with the cord plugged in right behind it.

However, in many cases you are going to need an extension cord in order to plug it in. Always make sure that the extension cord is not in the way of your work area and that it does not pose a tripping hazard. It doesn’t take much for someone to trip over an extension cord, right into the 4000 RPM table saw.

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6. Your Workspace

Always make sure that you are operating in a clean and safe workspace before using any power tool such as a table saw. Make sure that there are no tripping hazards around, because you definitely do not want to trip and fall in the middle of making a cut. Also make sure that there are no loose objects on your table saw top or around it.

You don’t want random pieces of wood, metal, nails, screws and other objects getting in your way when making a cut. Even worse is a loose screw hitting the spinning blade, which can then turn into a shrapnel-like projectile. You also want to ensure that you have proper lighting whenever you are working with a table saw. There is nothing worse than not being able to see properly when working with a dangerous power tool.

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7. The Material To Be Cut

Always ensure that the table saw you are using is designed to cut that specific material. Some table saws can cut through metal, but you should never attempt to cut metal with one that is only intended for wood. Moreover, if your table saw is rated to cut materials up to 2 inches thick, don’t try cutting something that is 4 inches thick. It will not end well and can end up being very dangerous.

When cutting wood, you should make sure that the wood is generally dry, seasoned, and as flat as can be. Cutting warped, wet, and crooked wood can be very difficult and result in slipping very fast. Furthermore, always measure the thickness of your material before you begin cutting. You never want the blade to be more than 6 mm higher than the piece you are cutting. This is to avoid too much of the saw blade being exposed, something which can very well cause injuries.

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8. A Plan Of Action

Always prepare yourself for the specific cut that you are going to make. Seeing as there are so many different cuts which can be made with a table saw, you need to be familiar with each of them and know what you need to do to make them go as planned. Always know exactly what safety measures need to be taken. Always make sure to be using the proper blade height, blade angle, that you are using the fence properly, and so on and so forth.

It is very important to know what goes into making something like a cross cut using a miter sled, or any other type of cut with any other table saw accessory. Something that you should always include in your plan is concentration. Never watch TV, listen to music, or carry on a conversation when using a table saw. You want all of your attention to be focused on the task at hand.

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9. Gloves & Helpers

Something which you should never do when operating a table saw is to wear gloves. Gloves can get caught in a blade and very quickly pull in your fingers, hands, and even arms. Gloves will also reduce how much you can feel with your fingers, which is never good when using a high powered saw. Also, make sure to use safety tools when working with small pieces.

You always want to use a push stick or push block when trying to cut smaller pieces. Never try to feed wood into the blade when you know that your fingers are going to be way too close. Furthermore, when cross cutting short pieces, always use a stop block so that there is some extra material between your fingers and the blade.

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10. Turning On & Off

When making a cut, always turn the blade on before making contact with the wood. Trying to turn the blade on when the wood is already touching it can result in the wood being torn out of your hands and flying up into your face. On that same note, never withdraw a piece of wood from the spinning blade.

Always move the wood in one direction, towards the blade, and don’t stop cutting until the cut has been completed. Trying to pull back a piece of wood out of a spinning blade can be just as dangerous as starting the saw with wood already touching in. Related to this, always position your body facing away from kickbacks.

This is to ensure that if something does fly up off the table, at least it won’t be launched towards you. Also never position your body so it is in line with the blade. This will help to reduce the chances of something hitting you if it does fly up off the table.

Something else that is very important, always turn the saw off when you are done cutting. Never leave the blade spinning while not in use. Also, while the blade is still spinning, never reach behind the blade because it does not take much for you to make contact with it, thus causing serious injuries.

11. The Table Top & Guides

Always make sure that the table top of your table saw is in good condition. Ok, so some minor scratches are no big deal. However, big and deep scratches can cause wood to get snagged on the table, and that can be dangerous. You will want to have big and deep scratches repaired. Also, never keep anything except for the wood on the table top.

No drinks, no tools, and no debris should be present on the table top, either before or during use. Moreover, the table top should be smooth and polished in order to avoid having to use too much force to push the wood through the blade. Using too much force can result in your hands or feet slipping out of position, and can thus cause serious injuries. Also, ensure that the guides are placed properly. For example, the fence should always be positioned to assist you while cutting.

You also need to make sure that all guides are securely attached. You don’t want the miter gauge or fence coming out of place in the middle of making a cut. That can result in maiming and fatal injuries in just a split second. When using the rip fence, always make sure that it is perfectly parallel to the blade.

A rip fence that is not parallel to the blade can result in the blade snagging on the wood, ripping it out of position, and causing it to kickback or even pull your fingers into the spinning blade. Moreover, never use the rip fence and miter gauge at the same time as this can cause snagging problems as well. Finally, never try to make any kind of adjustments when the blade is still running.

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12. Support

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always use supports when needed. If you are working on really wide pieces, always ensure that you are using extension wings. On that same note, when working on really long pieces, make sure to use an Infeed and outfeed table.

You don’t want to have to support the extra-large workpiece by hand because that will take away from the accuracy and the safety of your cutting process. Also, never stack workpieces or try to cut more than one thing at once. The blade may react differently to the top piece than the bottom piece and there is a big risk of something flying up in your face when doing this.

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13. Post Use Inspection & Cleaning

You always want to inspect your table saw after you have used it. More or less, go through the same inspection process as you went through before you started using it, as described in the first and second steps on this list. Just make sure everything is connected tightly, that the wiring is solid, that your saw blade is not chipped, and anything else that is relevant to check.

Moreover, you always want to clean your table saw after you have used it. Sawdust and debris can build up in gears, in the motor, and in other moving parts. This sawdust can get hot, cause fires, and it can stop your table saw from working properly. At the end of the day, a sawdust buildup can be quite dangerous, so always make sure to clean away as much of it as you can. Finally, always store everything in its proper place and make sure that it is clean and dry. Dirty and wet saw pieces can end up degrading if left as such.

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How To Operate Your Table Saw Safely – Conclusion

Always remember, a table saw is a wood worker’s best friend, but if you mess around, it can also be your worst enemy. All too many people get hurt or even killed each year for simple little mistakes that could have been prevented. Always follow all of the safety rules we have discussed above in order to ensure your utmost safety. Table saws are fast moving, sharp, and very dangerous power tools so you never want to take any chances with them.


Table Saw Dust Collection

Table Saw Dust Collection: The 5 Most Effective Tips

While table saws and a lot of other power tools come with an integrated dust collection system, most of them don’t work that effectively. Along with a blade guard, the dust collector system with dust collection hose does its job to a certain degree but it’s not always enough. Even doing a little light woodworking in the dining room will soon result in it becoming sawdust city with wood dust and debris getting all over the dining chair cushions, the dining chairs, and the floor with the air flow becoming affected leaving a lot of vacuuming required afterward. And as any good carpenter knows, keeping the floors and machines in your workspace free from debris is essential for your safety. Not only will it help you see better and be safer as you work but getting the fine dust and particles out of the air is better for your long-term health. So, what are you to do when you want to prevent your workshop or job site from getting covered in sawdust? If you have a shop vac or duct system that just isn’t cutting it, here and five effective tips you can try:

1. Maximize Your Shop Vac Usage

A shop vac is one of the best ways to clean up a lot of wood chips and debris. In fact, a lot of table saws have built-in ports so you can attach a shop vac right to them. This lets you collect the chips as you’re working and, in theory, can save you from making a bigger mess.

As we’ve mentioned, though, these ports are not usually reliable. In fact, even among some of the most popular table saws, inadequate dust collection is one of the biggest complaints. That said, there are a few things you can try to make them more efficient. First of all, get a universal adapter to make sure the connection is secure and won’t leak. Alternatively, you may have to invest in a better shop vac filter to keep collected dust from recirculating.

2. Put Your Air Filtration Device in the Right Place

While an air filtration system won’t do much to collect the large pieces of wood chips that get thrown around, it’s a very effective way to eliminate any fine dust particles floating around in the air. This keeps your lungs safe from breathing in sawdust which could have major health impacts in the long run. An air filtration system will also protect your equipment from being constantly covered in a fine coating of dust, too.

While these devices work hard to eliminate the sawdust from the air, they aren’t quite strong enough to pull in particles from all the way across the room. That’s why the spot where you put your device is so important.

One great trick? Make sure you place it so the exhaust works as a fan, circulating air and allowing the particles to travel to the filtration device rather than counting on the filtration device to suck up all the particles. This is a really economical option because it lets you use something you already own in a new way.

You can also place fans strategically around the workshop to keep the air moving but make sure they’re blowing in the direction of the intake of the filtration system. Otherwise, you’re just blowing the dust around.

Keep in mind that your air filtration device is going to take a while to get its job done. Leave it running for awhile after you’ve finished working. If you have a large workshop or your dust problem continues, consider getting a second device to help clear the air.

3. Invest in a Central Collection System

If you have the means, installing a dust collection system complete with ductwork is one way to get major results. There are plenty of resources available online that demonstrate how to construct one on your own or you can have a specialist come in and help you set up a professional grade system. If you already have one and are still having problems or if you can’t afford to make such a big investment, you can always try to…

4. Rearrange Your Machines

Whether you have extensive duct work or you’ve built a hose system connecting all your tools to your shop vac, where you place your tools around the circuit makes a difference. Try putting your table saw closest to the source of the suction, be it the collector or the shop vac. This ensures that it will get the most powerful suction possible. Chips don’t have to go as far which means they’re more likely to be effectively collected.

After your table saw, prioritize your other tools as you connect them to the system. Anything you use a lot should be closer to the collection system itself why those tools you only use occasionally should be the farthest away. Remember, the shorter the distance the dust has to travel, the more likely it is to be effectively collected.

5. Improve Your Ductwork and/or Collector

If you have ductwork in place, check that everything is properly connected. Keep the length as short as you can because the shorter the distance the sawdust has to travel, the more effective collection will be. Not only will debris have less distance to travel, it will also be closer to the collector. Use rigid ductwork when you can because it has less air resistance and won’t kink.

As for the collector, there are a few things you can check to make sure it’s running optimally. First of all, clean the filter as often as you can. Next, avoid fabric collection bags when you can. They can allow more dust to escape back into the air than a canister filter.

Sometimes, there won’t be much you can do to tweak your collector. In this case, you may need to consider getting a more powerful one. It might be worth having a professional come in to make sure your ductwork is adequate. He could also recommend a collector that has the right capacity for your system.

Clearing the Air (and Everything Else)

If you have a problem with your table saw and dust collection in your workshop, rest assured: You are not alone. Dust collection ports on table saws and other large power tools are notoriously ineffective. By following these five effective tips, you should see a vast improvement in the way your work space looks at the end of the day. Work safer and breathe easier by making these effective changes and getting your table saw dust collection under control.

How To Build A Ramp For A Shed - Need a weekend project? Then check out this guide on building a ramp for your shed

How To Build A Ramp For A Shed

Building your own shed is going to take a fair amount of time and effort, so you definitely want to do it right. Once your shed is built you’ll want to be able to get into it easily. After all, the doorway to your shed is not going to be flush with the ground, so you are going to need a ramp for easy accessibility.

You obviously don’t want to have to lift anything with wheels up into the shed, and the perfect solution to this problem is an easy do it yourself shed ramp. Let’s get right to it and talk about how exactly you can build your own ramp for your shed. It’s going to save you time, and money no doubt, plus getting your tools in and out of your shed is made easier than ever before!

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Materials You Will Need To Build Your Shed Ramp

Before we get into the step by step guide on building the shed ramp, you are going to need to gather a few different tools and materials first. Keep in mind, you can build a ramp shed out of metal, but for the purposes of this piece, we are going to focus solely on using wood to create the perfect ramp for your shed.

Wood – The most important thing to remember here is that you need to get pressure treated wood. You need the wood to be able to resist moisture to keep it from rotting and disintegrating. You are going to need something like

  • one short 2 x 4 for the end board,
  • one short 2 x 4 for the ledger,
  • another 2 x 4 to make spacers,
  • four 2 x 6 or 2 x 4 boards for the ramp joists/stringers (the left and right side of the ramp, plus the middle),
  • and a sheet of plywood to form the surface of the ramp.

Measuring how long and wide the pieces need to be is up to you and will be determined by the height and width of the opening to your shed.

Concrete Blocks – This is an optional step for sure, but when dealing with something like a shed ramp, it is definitely a good idea to add some extra support from the bottom. This is especially true when dealing with soft and perpetually moist ground.

You will somewhere between 7 and 14 concrete blocks, which will be placed under the base of the ramp for added support. If you have lots of heavy equipment, this is something you want to consider doing. Keep in mind, if using concrete block, you will need a powder actuated nailer to drive the nails through the wood and into the concrete.

Connecters – The next few things that you will need to complete your new ramp for your shed include lag screws, anywhere between 5 and 12 of them, plus the same amount of washers to keep them in place. You will also require nails, along with a hammer or nail gun to drive the nails into place. Moreover, a powder actuated nailer will be necessary if you are using concrete blocks as a support base.

The Saw – The final thing you will need is something like a table saw, band saw, or a jigsaw at the least. This is of course so you can cut all of your wood pieces to their proper length and width.

Step By Step Guide For Building Your Shed Ramp

Now that we have figured out what materials are needed to build the ramp for your shed, let’s go over the step by step instructions that will turn your project from an idea into an actuality.

Step 1 – use your band saw or other table saw to cut the 2 x 4 ledger board to the exact length necessary. The length of the ledger board needs to be the same length as the width of the opening to your shed. This ledger board will offer added support because the ramp will be attached to it instead of the floor of the shed opening. The ledge board needs to be at least 2 inches thick to offer the proper support needed to keep the shed and the ramp in one piece once it is built.

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Step 2 – Use the lag screws and the washers, at least 5 of them, in order to securely attach the ledger board to the opening of your shed. Make sure that the top of the ledger board is perfectly flush with the bottom of the shed entrance, or else the top of your ramp will be higher than the floor of the shed.

Step 3 – Now it is time to take your concrete blocks which you have purchased and place them appropriately. You are going to want to use anywhere from 6 to 12 of these. Dig a hole where the bottom end of the shed ramp will be (where it comes to the ground). The concrete blocks need to be placed along the whole width of the bottom end of the ramp. This is to add more support and so that the ramp does not sink down into the ground when something heavy is on it. It may not be necessary to place these concrete blocks along the whole width of the bottom of the ramp, but they do need to be present under the ramp boards/stringers that will hold up the plywood (floor of the ramp).

Step 4 – Now you need to prepare the ramp boards, which are the boards that will support the floor of the ramp, just like ceiling rafters under a ceiling. Measure the boards, of which there should be 4, one on each side and two spaced out in the middle. Measure the boards to the appropriate length so one end can be attached to the ledger board and the other end comes to the center of the concrete blocks. Use your band saw, or table saw to cut the ramp boards to the proper length, while also cutting the ends at the angles appropriate for attaching to the ledger board.

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Step 5 – Using either lag screws and washers or nails, firmly secure the four ramp boards to the ledger at the appropriate angle. On the other side of the ramp boards, where they come to the ground, use something like a 2 x 4, cut into 3 smaller pieces, and use them as spacers. Place these spacers in between the ramp boards at the bottom end, so the ramp boards do not move around. Once again, use lag screws and washers or nails to attach these spacers to the ramp boards. Now you have the base frame completed.

Step 6 – Use the powder actuated nailer to firmly secure the spacer boards to the concrete blocks which you have laid as a foundation for the bottom end of the ramp base. This will make sure that the ramp stays firmly in place, and that it will not move vertically or laterally once you have completed it.

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Step 7 – Now it is time to cut the plywood sheet or sheets to size. Use your band saw, or table saw to cut the plywood to the appropriate length and width. You can choose to use 3 different pieces of smaller plywood (which will require more nails for attaching), or you can use one big one that will cover the whole length and width of the ramp. Using one bigger piece is easier, faster, and will require fewer screws or nails to attach to the ramp boards.

Step 8 – Use either screws, nails, or big wood staples to firmly attach the plywood to the ramp boards/stringers. You should use at least 12 to 24 nails or staples per ramp board/stringer to make sure that the floor of the ramp will not lift up or disconnect from the stringers once you are done.

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Step 9 – This final step is optional, but is definitely something to be considered if you want your shed ramp to last for as long as possible and if you want it to be easy to traverse. You can choose to cover the surface of the ramp in chicken wire for added grip and dexterity, in which case you simply cut the chicken wire to the appropriate length and width, and then securely staple it into place.

Moreover, it is also a good idea to use some outdoor wood finish in order to add more protection against the elements. Something like a rough non-slip paint is ideal to keep the wood from getting too slippery when wet.


Keep in mind to always take your time when doing a DIY project like this one. Rest assured, building your own ramp for your shed will take a few hours, but it ends up saving you money in the long run, plus you can be proud that you built something with your own two hands. Always remember to measure twice before you cut, add some concrete supports for durability, and finish off the wood to make it more weather resistant than ever before.

A shed ramp is really convenient for mobility, plus it adds a certain level of safety too!


how to deal with table saw vibration

How to Deal With Table Saw Vibration

Have you been experiencing problems with your table saw? Maybe it doesn’t cut straight, maybe it moves around, or maybe there is a whole lot of vibration. Well, today we’re here to help you solve the problem of a table saw that vibrates way too much, an issue that can end up causing crooked and unclean cuts.

Vibrations may be caused by several different things, and we’re going to walk you through each of those causes and how to solve them as well.

Unfortunately, these are tools that are built to be lightweight for portability, but that light build can cause a whole lot of movement. That may not be the only problem, so let’s get to it and talk about all of the different ways in which you may be able to reduce vibration.

Quick NavigationVarious Causes & Solutions To Table Saw VibrationBeing Too LightExcessive RunoutBeing Off BalanceThe Pulley & The BeltTable Saw Vibration: Conclusion

Various Causes & Solutions To Table Saw Vibration

Since table saw vibration can be caused by several different things, this is not going to be a straightforward one step tutorial on how to stop it. Getting rid of excessive vibration may require a bit of trial and error to figure out what is going on. Follow these simple tests and steps, and you should have no problem at all getting rid of that pesky vibration.

Being Too Light

One of the things that can cause your table saw to vibrate excessively is a lack of weight in the base. The lighter your table saw is, the more it is likely to vibrate. This problem is perhaps the easiest to fix because all you really need to do is to use a ballast to weigh down the frame.

One of the easiest things to do is to attach some plywood onto the frame to make it just a little heavier and sturdier too. Other options that you can go with to make the base a little heavier include using things like sandbags, concrete blocks, and paver stones.

If you want to have the maximum amount of control regarding how much weight you put onto the base, you can even cast your own concrete slabs which are the perfect weight and shape to weigh down the base of the table saw and stop all vibration.

There is, of course, another option that you can go with to weight down your table saw, which is building your own frame and base to attach to the saw. Remember that if you do build your own base, you need to make sure that the fasteners which hold the saw to the base are very tight because if the fasteners are not tight enough the saw will still vibrate.

As you can see in the image below, building a base can help stop vibration, plus it can help make your saw more portable too. If your table saw is heavy enough to avoid vibration you can move on to the next cause of the vibration.

Table saw vibration

Excessive Runout

Another thing that may cause your table saw to vibrate excessively while you use it is runout. If you aren’t sure what runout is, it is when your saw blade does not spin straight in a perfect circle. If your saw blade deviates up or down, or also left or right while it turns, something that can cause a whole lot of vibration, cause crooked cuts, and can end up being quite dangerous too.

You can test to see if there is excessive runout by placing a dial indicator on the arbor, something that can measure the runout. If the dial shows that there is a runout of over .0015, you have a problem.

Perhaps the easiest solution to this problem is to buy a new blade which is more adequate for the table saw which you have. If you don’t want to replace the blade you can always try following manufacturer instructions to align the blade properly.

Straightening out the blade should result in less vibration. Aligning the saw blade will most likely involve loosening a few bolts which attach the blade to the trunnions and to the saw. Loosen the bolts, tap the saw blade into its proper position, and then re-tighten them.

If the runout on your table saw is not the problem, it may be the balance which is causing the vibration issue. You can refer to the YouTube video below for exact instructions on how to check the runout of your table saw.

How to deal with table saw vibration

Being Off Balance

Yet another problem that may cause too much vibration in your table saw is if it is off balance. This is a problem that will most likely be caused by a crooked or off-center base. To correct this problem you can use a bubble or laser level to make sure that the base is straight. The base should be as straight as humanly possible to reduce vibration.

Moreover, when using a vertical table saw the upper mechanism which houses the blade needs to be perfectly vertical. Once again you can make sure that the mechanism which houses the blade is straight using a bubble or laser level. Making everything as straight and properly level as possible should help to stop vibrations. If your table saw is perfectly balanced and aligned, then it may be either the belt or the pulley which is causing the problem.

The Pulley & The Belt

Other things that may cause your table saw to vibrate too much include the pulley and the belt. The belt is what is attached to the motor, and it is attached to the pulley that makes the saw blade spin. First of all, the belt may be the cause of vibration, in which case it could be due to a belt that is not attached to the motor or the pulley properly, or a belt that is simply old and worn out past the point of all repair.

To solve this problem you can try making sure that the belt is properly attached on either side, or if the belt is worn out too much you may just need to replace it. Furthermore, if the belt is not the problem, then the only other real cause of the vibration problem would be the pulley.

You need to make sure that the pulley is firmly attached and that it is properly aligned, plus that the belt is well attached to the pulley. If the pulley is the problem, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to align the pulley on the specific table saw which you have.

Once again, if you have an older table saw, the pulley may be worn out or damaged, in which case it will need replacing. Generally speaking, the same goes for all of the parts of your table saw, meaning that if they can’t be properly aligned, they may be damaged and in need of replacement.

How to deal with table saw vibration

Table Saw Vibration: Conclusion

As you can see, excessive table saw vibration can be caused by a wide variety of factors, and the only way to determine which one it is, is to do some trial and error to test it out. By all means a table saw should not vibrate when you use it, at least not very much, because it can cause bad cuts, may damage the structure of your saw over time, and can actually be quite dangerous too.

To stop vibrations, you need to check all of the possible causes above and work your way down the list as you eliminate potential suspects. A vibration free table saw is one that will serve you well and help you get the job done without question.

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.

Quick NavigationThe Table Is Too LightVarious Pieces Are LooseOld BeltsA Loose BladeA Bad PulleyAn Old Motor Or Belt DriveDealing With Table Saw Noise: Conclusion

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.