A table saw is one of the most vital tools in a woodshop. Woodworkers attest that most of their activities rely on a table saw. However, this machine has been reported to cause most of the injuries that woodworkers usually experience. Therefore, most people ask, how can a table saw be used safely?
For example, it is safe to use your table saw if you pay attention to the work you are doing, as you should not have divided attention when working with your handsaw. As well, here are some other important tips on how to use your table saw safely.
Have the Right Attire
A table saw is a powerful tool, so it is vital to wear protective clothing. This includes safety glasses, an apron, and hearing protection. You should avoid loose clothes, jewelry, and neckties. This tip is crucial because it will save you from encountering accidents and injuries.
It is also essential because it prevents wood particles from getting into your eye. Therefore, if you are an employer, then make sure your woodworkers have the right attire.
Use the Tool Appropriately
Another tip is understanding how to use the tool appropriately. For example, you should not put your hands over or in line with the blade that you are using. Also, you should not use the miter gauge and fence at the same time as this might cause the board to jump or kickback.
When changing the blades, you should first raise the blade height. Also, you should have enough knowledge about making different types of cuts. You should also take certain measures after finishing such as retracting into the table. This will help prevent accidents if someone unknowingly catches the table saw. This tip is important because if you know how to use your table saw, you will be safe.
Disconnect the Power when Changing the Blade
Some woodworkers are in a hurry that they want to change the blade fast without disconnecting the main power source. This is extremely dangerous because the motor can be mistakenly turned on. Therefore, it is important to disconnect the power when working with the table saw.
Stand at a Safe Position
When using your table saw, you should find a safe position and maintain it. Also, avoid standing directly in front of the blade because you can be hit with the stock during a kickback. Therefore, you should be slightly beside the blade. You should maintain a stable posture to achieve accurate cuts. Additionally, have a good balance when standing to avoid tripping.
Use the Appropriate Inserts
As mentioned, you should have enough knowledge on how to appropriately use your table saw, and this includes inserts. You should be well-informed on the different types of inserts and when to use them. For example, you should ensure that you have zero-clearance blade inserts every time you use your table saw, and always use a blade insert. If you don’t use it, a piece of stock might fall on the saw cabinet and become a projectile.
Don’t Touch a Blade that is Moving
You can lose your finger by reaching to a blade that is still moving. You should not make any adjustments on the fence or blade when the blade is in motion. Wait for it to come to a stop, and then you can make the adjustments. Exercise patience when using a table saw.
Remove any Metal from your Material
Most woodworkers use recycled wood for their work, meaning that there is a high chance that a nail or staple is on the wood. A table saw does not operate well with these foreign objects because the metal objects become projectiles when they loosen and come in contact with a spinning blade.
You should have a metal detector when working with recycled material. This will help you remove all these metals before subjecting your material to the power tool.
Use a Push Stick and not Your Finger
When working with a material that has less than six inches width of stock away from the blade, you will need a push stick. The stick helps you push the material through the blade. Therefore, you will not need to use your finger, which might be injured in the process.
You can get a push stick from any woodshop. Ensure that you have enough push sticks in your working area.
Clean Your Work Area
While it may sound standard to do so, some people do not clean their working area, which is dangerous. Too much sawdust, cutoffs, and stocks can prevent you from seeing everything going on with your machine. You should work in a place where you can follow up with every activity of the table saw. Any of these dirt particles can become a projectile when they come in contact with a moving blade. Also, a dirty working area prevents you from making clean and accurate cuts.
Start with a Free Spinning Blade
When you are about to start working on your table saw, you should ensure that the blade is not engaged in the stock. When you turn the motor on, the blade should spin freely to full speed before you begin cutting. This is an essential tip that will help you avoid accidents and improve the quality of your cuts.
Do not Freehand a Cut
You should never freehand a cut if you want to ensure safety when using your table saw, so use the miter or fence to guide the wood. However, remember to not use the miter gauge and fence at the same time. A freehand cut can make you lose your finger, and it also causes inaccurate cuts.
Your table saw is a vital tool in your workshop because of the many services that it provides. You can make the best out of that tool by using the tips mentioned above. These tips guarantee your safety, so you should not be worried about accidents when using a table saw.