You are planning to do a bit of carpentry. But what hampers you is the fear of using the table saw, especially when it comes to cutting angles.
You need to go through the steps mentioned below and learn to be careful while operating it. Once you overcome this fear of operating, you are free to cut angles and carve a masterpiece of your creativity.
A table saw is a simple tool for cutting wood in different shapes, sizes, and angles. It is an essential tool of carpentry. It can do lots of functions. They include cutting, cross-cutting, rip, give shape to the wood edges, etc.
It would help if you had the following supplies.
- Wooden planks
- Table saw
- Miter gauge
- A ruler for precise measurements
- A drafting triangle or a framing square can also help mark the accurate angles.
- Safety gear includes safety glasses, dust masks, and earplugs.
- Pencils, sharpeners, and erasers.
Prerequisites for cutting angles
You have to follow some basic preparations before proceeding to your angle cutting.
- Clean both the surfaces on which we have to operate. They are table and saw. There should not be any grease marks, any other sticky or dust particles that can hamper your precision and accuracy.
- After cleaning the wooden surface properly, your second step is marking the outlines on the wood. You can mark it with some wooden markers or pencils.
- You should adjust the saw blade to a height appropriate for you to operate on the wooden plank.
Steps for cutting
You can follow the following steps for the best results.
After carefully marking the angles and measurements, join the points to get an outline. You can draw a straight line to get the points in alignment.
Secondly, you have to adjust the height of the saw blade with an adjustment crank. It can raise the blade scales up and down. Ideally, you can mark ¼ of an inch with measuring tape on cardboard. Now position the marked cardboard straight near the center and then crank open the blades up to this mark.
You can use either drafting triangle or framing square. Both combinations of tools have flat surfaces and assist in cutting desired shapes and angles.
A miter gauge helps mark the angles along the flat surface of the drafting triangle or framing square.
If you are making a cut perpendicular or at 90 degrees, you have to gauge at one end. On the other end, place one edge of the drafting triangle. This is simple and easy to manage.
If you are cutting the length, they are called rip cuts. Whereas bevel cuts are angled cuts designed on the board edge. They both require the use of a taper jig. Opposite to the surface where you want to cut, you adjust this taper jig. It usually has clamps for fixing it on the wood. This gives two-fold safety, and your fingers are free from holding it. Secondly, your hands are safe from the blades of the table saw.
Test run before final finishing: Take a couple of scrap wood pieces. Mark the same angle as you want on your central plank with the help of a miter gauge. Both the gauge and saw should be following the required angle. Now you can do the test run with the table saw.
In cases of 45-degree angle; In this case, cut two scraps at 45 degrees and then join these two pieces. If they align, it’s good enough. If not, then set your miter gauge again.
Since bevel cuts are longitudinal. So, they are done conveniently along the board sides. It is better to use a miter saw for better results.
Once the test run is done. Now you are ready to go. Adjust the main wood piece and height of the table saw blades. Hold the end opposite to the one you want to operate upon. Control the wood with the dominant hand for better control and grip.
Once the saw blades are finally to the end of your desired cutting. You can now switch off the plugs and remove your desired pieces.
Check the edges and ends. They should be smooth and perfect for your fittings.
If there is some error, you can re-measure, mark, and cut it.
Take the following precautions to avoid injury and any damage to your body. A careless attitude can result in hurting your fingers, wasting the wood, inaccurate angles, etc.
Always keep your saw unplugged when you are not using it. This is a precautionary measure that will save you from mishaps.
Miter gauges are a bit touchy. So, you have to move them to fix them to your required angle or mark.
You should have the safety gear and tools before using the table saw. This includes safety glasses, dust masks, and earplugs. They prevent the sawdust from getting into your eyes, mouth, and ears.
Preferably the room should be well ventilated. Keep open all the doors and windows. Good ventilation helps the adverse effects of sawdust.
As a safety measure, do not let kids enter the room unless you have unplugged the table saw.
Another thing to be aware of is kickback. It is a sudden projection back of the wood piece on your face. Since you have to move back all at once, so it is advisable that to avoid it, you should stand on your side, and there shouldn’t be anything at your back. It can hurt you as a result of your reaction to avoid kickback.
Always use a fence piece or wooden piece to finish the ends as protection. While operating continually, make sure that your hands are away from the blade line. Always turn off the machines or better to unplug them when not in use.
It is a bit technical to cut angles on a table saw. You have to be good at marking, measuring angles, and cutting the edges smoothly.
Once you are through this, you can enjoy the smooth edges and assemble the pieces to get your desired results. Be very careful in operating the saw table. It can prove to be fatal if operated carelessly.