Location:G10
Ownership:Hackspace
Induction:Required - Online

Induction Required

This equipment requires an induction prior to use. For your own safety and to avoid damage to the equipment do not attempt to use it until you have passed the online induction

Table Saw Induction

This is part 1 of the table saw self-induction. Once you have read, watched, and understood the information here, follow the link at the bottom of the page to Part 2. This comprises a short online quiz that, if passed, will give you the current padlock code.

This is our table saw. Note the blade guard, riving knife, and fence attached. The cross-cut sledge is to the left of the machine, and the extractor is to the right.

  • THE TABLE SAW IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TOOL IN OUR WOODSHOP! It may look straightforward to use, but any deviation from correct procedure is very likely to result in an extremely nasty accident.
  • THE TABLE SAW IS NOT A GENERAL PURPOSE SAW! It must only be used for the types of cuts it is designed for. In particular:
    • “Rip Cuts” - cuts along the length of a piece of dimensional seasoned timber or sheet material - This is the designed purpose of a table saw.
    • “Cross Cuts” - cuts across the width a piece of dimensional seasoned timber or sheet material - This is only possible because we have a Cross-Cut Sledge.
    • Never use the table saw for other types of cut, especially free-hand cuts, or for cutting irregular pieces of wood that cannot be held flat against the bed and fence (or sledge).
  • Check if we have a more suitable tool before using the table saw. The table saw should always be your last option for making a cut.
  • Wear PPE! The table saw can damage your hearing, your eyes, and your respiratory system.

The table saw is only for seasoned timber with at least one straight edge, or timber-based sheet materials.

Do not use it for:

  • Other materials, such as plastic or metal.
  • Irregular pieces of timber, such as when cutting down lathe blanks. Use the bandsaw for this!
  • Fresh-cut or unseasoned timber.
  • Timber that doesn't fit the saw.

This section outlines out to set up and make a rip cut, the main intended use for a table saw. Ripping is when you cut along the length of a piece of wood (usually following the grain).

Rip cuts must always be made with the riving knife, blade guard, and fence fitted. NEVER try and rip cut without these in place.

Before making a rip cut with the table saw, you must:

  • Inspect the machine.
  • Ensure the work area is clear of trip-hazards and obstacles.
  • Ensure the material exit area is clear of obstructions.
  • Ensure the riving knife, blade guard, and fence are fitted.
  • Adjust the blade height to ensure the gullets are just above the surface of your material. (See this video (60s))
  • Check your material contains no nails or other hardware.
  • Attaching the big green extractor to the port on the side of the saw, and switch on the overhead extractor.
  • Ensure you have push sticks or push blocks to hand. There should be one of each hanging from the saw's table.
  • Put on your PPE (Eye and Ear protection are required. Respiratory protection is advised).
  • Tie back hair and remove loose items (jewelry baggy sleeves, hoody tassles, etc.)
  • Tell other people in the room that you are using the saw, and invite them to wear hearing protection.
Blade height set so the gullets are just above the top of the material.
Table saw nearly ready for ripping. The blade guard, riving knife, fence, and dust extractor are all correctly set up, but look at the mess on the outfeed table - that could cause an accident.

When making a rip cut, you must:

  • Hold your material firmly against the table and the fence throughout the cut. If your wood doesn't fit between the blade and the fence, you are using the wrong saw. Do not remove the fence to make it fit!
  • Feed your material slowly through the blade. If you have to force it, or if you smell burning, stop and investigate.
  • Use push sticks or push blocks wherever possible. Many gruesome table saw accidents would have been prevented by using these.
  • Never allow your hands to come close to the blade, or inline with the blade.
  • Never reach across the saw while it is running.
  • Never walk away from the saw while it is running.
  • Always shut down the machine before retrieving your material or offcuts.

After making a rip cut, you must:

  • Switch off the saw.
  • Wait for the blade to come to a complete halt before leaving the area, or collecting your materials.
  • Clean up the area.
  • Put the padlock back on the machine.

Kickback is an incredibly dangerous phenomenon. This is when the saw spits the material back towards the operator at very high speed. The operator's hand is often drawn into the blade at the same time. Watch this video through to understand the dangers of kickback (note: the video is in a simulated environment hence there is no gore):

To avoid kickback when rip cutting you must always:

  • Have the riving knife, blade guard, and fence fitted.
  • Hold your material firmly against the table and fence throughout the cut.

This section outlines out to set up and make a cross cut. This is were you cut across the width of a piece of wood, usually against the grain. It is not the designed use of a table saw, but we can do it safely because we have a cross-cut sledge.

To set up for making a cross cut, you must:

  • Inspect the machine.
  • Ensure the work area is clear of trip-hazards and obstacles.
  • Ensure the material exit area is clear of obstructions.
  • Ensure the riving knife, blade guard, and fence are removed. Removing a single bolt and wingnut to the rear of the machine will achieve this.
  • Fit the cross-cut sledge into the rails on the table.
  • Adjust the blade height to ensure the gullets are just above the surface of your material. (See this video (60s))
  • Check your material contains no nails or other hardware.
  • Attaching the big green extractor to the port on the side of the saw, and switch on the overhead extractor.
  • Ensure you have push sticks or push blocks to hand. There should be one of each hanging from the saw's table.
  • Put on your PPE (Eye and Ear protection are required. Respiratory protection is advised).
  • Tell other people in the room that you are using the saw, and invite them to wear hearing protection.

Note - This is the only cut you should ever make without the fence, knife, and guard fitted.

Table Saw with cross cut sledge fitted
Always check if there is a more suitable tool before using the table saw…

When making a cross cut, you must:

  • Hold your material firmly against the base and back edge of the sledge. If your wood doesn't fit in the sledge, you are using the wrong saw.
  • Feed the sledge and your material slowly through the blade. If you have to force it, or if you smell burning, stop and investigate.
  • Never allow your hands to come close to the blade, or inline with the blade.
  • Never reach across the saw while it is running.
  • Never walk away from the saw while it is running.
  • Always shut down the machine before retrieving your material or offcuts.

After making a cross cut, you must:

  • Switch off the saw.
  • Wait for the blade to come to a complete halt before leaving the area, or collecting your materials.
  • Clean up the area.
  • Remove the sledge, and replace the riving knife, blade guard, and fence. Never leave the machine without these refitted.
  • Put the padlock back on the machine.

We strongly recommend that you also watch these videos before using the saw:

Setting the Blade height:

Once you have read and understood the information on this place, click the link to visit the quiz, and gain access to the saw: Quiz

  • equipment/table-saw
  • Last modified: 4 months ago
  • by mattg