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EXPERT INSIGHTS: TABLE SAW TIPS AND TRICKS FROM PROFESSIONALS

The table saw is an essential piece of workshop equipment for any tradesperson or DIY enthusiast. Table saws offer unmatched precision and versatility, making it an indispensable tool for a variety of jobs. To make the most of a table saw's capabilities, however, it helps to learn a few tips and tricks. In this blog, we’ll glean insights from professionals who have mastered the art of table saw operation.

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NEVER TAKE SAFETY FOR GRANTED

Above all, safety must be paramount when operating a table saw. Always use the safety equipment provided with the tool ­– this typically includes a blade guard, riving knife, and push sticks. Professionals always stress the importance of ensuring the safety features are in place and engaged. Along with safety features, it is imperative to wear safety glasses and hearing protection to guard against sawdust and loud noise.

SET UP A SAFE AND EFFICIENT WORKSHOP

Another aspect of safety is how a workshop is set up. A safe workshop is well-lit and clutter-free with enough room to cut large pieces of wood. A slip-resistant floor and an efficient dust extractor will also improve the safety of a workshop. With a safe workshop setup, further adjustments can be made for the sake of efficiency by positioning essential tools within arm’s reach.

Setting up the table sawSetting up the table saw
Setting up the table saw

TOOL MAINTENANCE

Regular maintenance is the key to the longevity and performance of a table saw. Experts advise cleaning a table saw after each use and ensuring that the blade is sharp and free of rust. Lubricate the moving parts periodically and check for loose nuts or bolts. Take note of the performance of the table saw, if it becomes less efficient over time, it may need a routine service. 

CHECK THE SETTINGS AND MEASURE CAREFULLY

To achieve professional grade work, precision is critical. Before beginning any project, double-check settings such as blade height and angle. Professional tradies recommend setting the blade height so that it is only slightly higher than the thickness of the wood. In addition, it is also essential to measure the material and mark out cut lines carefully. When making mitre cuts, take time to set the adjustable angle stop to the precise angle and lock it in place to replicate cuts.


PRACTICE NEW CUTS ON SCRAP MATERIAL

After mastering rip cuts and crosscuts, it’s exciting to learn and practice new techniques such as those seen in joinery. To avoid wastage and potentially expensive mistakes, use scrap material to practice these techniques and cuts. It takes time and practice to learn any new technique, but doing so will greatly improve the quality of the final piece.

 

INVEST IN QUALITY TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES

Beyond investing in a Festool table saw, professionals recommend using good quality accessories which are compatible with it in order to enhance the quality of the work and productivity. While the Festool table saws come with some accessories, there are other accessories which can be purchased separately. Amongst the most important accessories are sharp blades, a rip fence, a splinter guard, and an adjustable angle stop. It may be tempting to use scraps of wood as a makeshift rip fence but that wood can warp over time which may result in less precise cuts.

Mastering the table saw is dependent on more than learning to make slow and steady cuts, it involves adhering to safety precautions, maintaining an organised workspace, taking care of your tools, and more. Remember these table saw tips and tricks from the professionals next time you switch on that table saw.

 

Practice new cuts and techniques on scrap first.Practice new cuts and techniques on scrap first.
Practice new cuts and techniques on scrap first.

Some useful videos on Festool Table Saws


A selection of Festool Table Saws