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Posts Tagged ‘table saw’

Woodworking 101: What You Need to Know About Table Saws

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Yep, that’s Norm Abram. You’re going to want to watch this.

No doubt about it, with a table saw and a router, a modern day woodworker is an unstoppable force. But the table saw is the most ubiquitous woodworking tool of our age. Indeed, it’s what separates woodworkers from, well, their neighbors-who-need-a-favor. If you already have a shop in your garage or elsewhere, you know. It goes like this: “Hey Bob, could you cut this for me?  It’ll take just a minute, it’s really simple . . .”  Or worse, but let’s move on. The table saw is the tool with which most of us step up from a circular saw, jig saw, or a chop saw to start building bigger-and-better projects or, God willing, heirloom furniture.

Yet, there’s a lot to know about choosing, owning, and operating a table saw. It’ll sever a finger as fast as it’ll cut down a 4×8 sheet of plywood. Fortunately, Norm and The New Yankee Workshop dedicated episodes to the topic of table saws. And those episodes landed on the internet! I thought I’d post one here for you.

If you’re looking at buying a table saw, or even if you own a table saw already, watch this 25-minute video. You will be well armed to own and operate a table saw – considering it’s free, man, you can’t beat it. Norm will walk you through the essentials, such as:

  • The saw: know the differences between bench top, contractor, hybrid, and cabinet table saws.
  • Blades: when to choose an 80-tooth crosscut blade over a 40-tooth combo blade
  • Fences: why are some aluminum and other steel?
  • Throat plates: why your safety and your results depend on them
  • Safety: using push sticks
  • Sheet goods: techniques for how to cut them down by yourself
  • Outfeed tables: why they’re good, and how to make one

You’ll get a lot out of this 25-minute tutorial. After that, check out Part 2 for more advanced table saw usage and techniques:

How to Extend Your Tablesaw’s Crosscut Capacity

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Miter extension on a  table saw improves capacity and safety when cross cutting wide stock

Doesn’t it always just seem like when you go to cross cut a wide panel that your tablesaw is just an inch or two too short to make the job safe? It’s not a smart move to start a cut using the miter gauge with it not fully supported by the miter slot. Surely, though, we’ve all risked it when the work piece is so large that it forces the gauge  to hang off the table by just a bit.

But now there’s an effective solution you can whip together with some plywood cutoffs.

We just saw this solution to the problem in the September/October issue of Fine Woodworking, by a fella named Dan Sweeny. We liked it so much that we had to give it a try. The extension is built out of Baltic birch plywood. Take a close look. It straddles the tablesaw fence rail with two fixed cleats sized to hug the rail, and uses Rockler’s universal fence clamps to keep it in place. The plywood platform has a perfect dado sized to match the miter slot in the tablesaw, 3/4″x3/8″.

We can’t give you plans for this because the exact sizes depend on your tablesaw. But you can figure it out. Build yours to suit:

  • Extension top should be perfectly level with your tablesaw top
  • Cleats should hug your fence rail snugly
  • Standard miter gauge slot is 3/4″ wide and 3/8″ deep. Verify on your own saw first.

With this miter gauge extension in place, you can now safely use the miter gauge or a sled when your work piece is larger than the  space of the table in front of the blade.

 

Extension table built by Danny Lopez, Woodworkers Source Tucson store

Use Rockler’s Universal Fence Clamps on this miter gauge extension.

A Tradition of Excellence: Powermatic 66 Table Saw Retires

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Beauty and Braun: The Powermatic Model 66 is not only a gorgeous saw but it performed at the top

Beauty and Braun: The Powermatic Model 66 is not only a gorgeous saw but it performed at the top

Back in 1966, Powermatic made huge leaps in table saw design with their Model 66 saw, and since then it’s become an iconic benchmark for all other cabinet style table saws.

This Made-In-The-USA saw ran smoother than any other table saw and would do so for decades without a hitch. Powermatic set the bar high with the no-nonsense cast iron and steel construction, exclusive 3VX belt drive system, an extra wide stable trunnion, and the tilting arbor on butter smooth worm gears driven by heavy cast iron wheels.  The mighty Model 66 was the heaviest saw in its class, which meant vibration free operation.  In turn, the saw became renowned for unmatched accuracy and dependability for over 40 years.

And it was also just a beautiful machine.  Woodworkers would invite their neighbors over for a barley pop while they stood around in the shop just admiring the size of this thing.  And the perfect gold painted cabinet.  They’d take turns looking at their reflection in the polished table top.  The real fanatics would turn it on and just watch it run for a minute, humming along without a single vibration. read more