The Table Saw: When Was Your First Time?

Table sawDo you remember the first time you used a table saw? Was it in shop class? Did your father, or grandfather show you how? My first time was with my father at the age of 15. But it wasn’t in our garage or basement, it was in his custom furniture shop and it was because I was learning a trade. Nothing wrong with that, and my father’s first concern may have been my safety, but his close second was making my time on the table saw profitable.

So I learned, and I’ve learned a lot more since, to the point where I’m the one teaching these days. Not everyone gets to learn from an experienced teacher. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn on your own, but there are things that only experience can teach. What’s the best way to rip a 4′ x 8’ sheet of plywood by yourself? How thin can you rip a piece of oak and what’s the best way to do that?

I’m happy to let everyone know that we’ve started a video series with Doug Dale of Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Our Power Tool Essentials series starts with Doug sharing his knowledge of this awesome machine with you just as he has with thousands of folks at the school. I found myself nodding with agreement with everything that Doug was explaining, and I was happy to hear the “whys” of his instruction. I may have anticipated his explanation, but thinking about why it was the correct way was empowering.

Doug also takes the time to show the necessary upkeep and maintenance to ensure you’ll get the best performance from your table saw. Not obsessive, just what’s necessary. And I think that sums up the information as a whole: a no-nonsense look at what everyone needs to know to get the most from their table saw.

The Table Saw is the first video in the series, followed shortly by The Jointer & Planer and The Band Saw.

— David Thiel


Table-sawCheck out the first of the Power Tool Essentials series,
“The Table Saw” at shopwoodworking.com.