Woodworking Essentials: Taming the Table Saw

wwessentialsThere’s no need to fear the most versatile machine in the modern shop.

by Robert W. Lang
pages 58-61

There are good reasons that the table saw is at the center of many shops. This machine revolutionized the way we make things. And in recent years, it has become the center of controversy on two fronts: safety and accuracy. There is a lot of money to be made scaring woodworkers about table saws, both in manufacturing and in the media.

There has long been a disconnect between the way table saws are used in real life, and the equipment that comes with saws to keep us safe. Also, there is a lot of confusion about techniques for safe operation. Understanding and managing risks is vastly different than operating out of fear.

The first thing to understand about the table saw is that it is indeed capable of inflicting a life-changing injury in the blink of an eye. (There are many other things in our daily lives with equal or greater potential for disaster.) The key is understanding what happens when you flip the switch and push a piece of wood into the spinning blade. It isn’t magic; it’s physics. Even though wood as a material varies from piece to piece, what happens is predictable. If you understand and control the physics, you can work accurately and safely.

Read: Free online articles about using  a table saw for many operations.
Article: Read from a series of articles by Marc Adams on safe table saw operation.
To buy: “The Ultimate Table Saw Guide” provides all the table saw information you need on a single DVD.

From February 2014, issue #209

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