Table Saw Introduction

From CoMakingSpace Wiki

This is the content required for an introduction to our table saw - reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a tutor! It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)

If you need this introduction, please reach out to the following tutors: Lukas, Luzian, Martin, Keno

Let's begin! First off, make sure you have read the machine's manual.


Personal protection: Protection - goggles.svg Protection - hearing.svg

A dust mask may also be necessary depending on the material you are cutting!

  • gloves: make an informed decision
    • some sources say you should wear them to protect yourself against splinters which could surprise you and make your hand flinch in a dangerous position
    • others prohibit the use of gloves, fearing your entire hand could be dragged into the blade if one gets caught
Dangers Precautions
sharp and rotating exposed blade, with chances of flesh wounds and missing limbs
  • will keep spinning for a bit after turning the power off!
  • your hands need to stay well clear (at least a hand's width) of the blade at all times
    • use a push stick if you have something small to cut!
  • do not use the table saw when you are alone in the Space, you might need another Maker to call help in case of an accident
  • height of the blade: make an informed decision
    • high blade: cuts "down", not pushing against you - makes the saw easier to use and leads to less of a difference between cut distances on top and bottom BUT it exposes a lot of the dangerous blade
    • low blade: lower risk of serious injury (could cut into your finger, not as easily trough it) but you have to push the workpiece harder
  • use the top blade guard whenever it is not hindering your cut - it should be fixed so its bottom edge is horizontal and at least 10 mm above the workpiece
kickback - if the workpiece is pressed against the blade's side, it can be thrown towards the operator!
DO NOT use both fences at once!
  • never use both fences at once (option: fence + stop block which ends before the blade begins)
  • never remove the riving knife ("splitter") and check its alignment before every use of the saw
    • needs to be exactly in line with the saw blade
    • distance to the teeth should be about 5 mm along the entire edge
  • make sure the parallel fence is in fact parallel
  • do not cut several pieces on top of each other!
  • use a shorter parallel fence when cutting solid wood (Massivholz) - that way, there is room for tensions to be released after the cut (second half of the blade should stand "free") [1]
  • stand on the side of the machine's front where you can support the main part of your workpiece (usually the left)
  • give the saw time to start up before touching the blade with your workpiece!
sawdust and small splinters can fly towards the operator
  • wear goggles
  • use the dust extractor and - whenever possible - the top blade guard (sucks up dust as well!)
  • wear a dust mask depending on the material you are cutting

Practical Demonstration

  • how to set up parallel fence, miter fence or crosscut sled
  • safety switch - accessible by knee so you don't need to let go of your workpiece
  • practice cut(s)
  • how to adjust blade height and angle (if angle is changed: return to exactly 90° by means of a square or inclinometer!)
  • show & explain the nearest amputate bag

Waiting List

This introduction takes longer than many others and usually can't be done spontaneously during regular opening times. If you would like to receive it, please add yourself to >> this list << and we will find a good time once a few members are on it!