Important Accessories for Table Saws

When using table saws, there are useful accessories that make your job easier and safer. Take for example an infeed. This table saw accessory is used in assisting sheets of plywood or long boards.

Before, roller stands seemed to be the only option, but at present, there are several infeed units available commercially, proving to be easier and more efficient to use.

Using an outfeed is also useful. Since table saws are being used for ripping sheets of plywood or long boards, this accessory makes tasks easier and safer. Although most are built-in shops, there are those available commercially.

It is common for table saws to have fence guides that run from the table’s front portion up to the rear. This is actually parallel to the blade’s cutting plane.

The fence, as well as the blade’s distance, is adjustable, determining where the cut can be made on the work piece.

These fence guides are more referred to as rip fences, which pertain to its purpose as a guiding tool for the work piece during the rip cut process.

Although it is common for table saws to come with a rip fence, there are now high-end saws sold without any fence. This means the user can select the type of fence he may find suitable for the task.

Also useful are the hold down accessories. These are the vertical versions of feather boards. If a table saw’s circular saw blade is not held down, it can pick-up pieces of wood. It is attached onto a fence by either clamps or magnets.

There is another type that uses wheels placed onto a spring-loaded mechanism, pushing down the workpiece as being guided way past the blades.

Meanwhile, to keep some wood against a rip fence, feather boards do the trick. They are either a set of springs or only one spring is used. These are then held onto the miter slot by clamps, expansion bars or magnets of high strength.

A sub fence is a wood piece clamped onto the rip fence, allowing dado set to cut right into it. Then, the rabbet gets cut by the dado blade.

Crosscut sleds are basically used for holding the work piece onto the blade via a 90 degree fixed angle. This will enable repeated precise cuts at an angle commonly used.

The runner then slides inside the miter slot, guided by the sled. Although this device can be purchased, it is usually customized in a shop. A table normally has either 1 or 2 slots that would run from the front up to the back, parallel to the blade’s cutting plane.

Miter grooves or slots are used to guide and position either the crosscut fence, crosscut sled or miter gauge. This is then set at about 90o onto the cut of the blade’s plane, resulting to right angle cuts onto the work piece.

You can also adjust this miter gauge for cuts that are at an accurately controlled angle.

Tenon jigs are devices that vertically hold the work piece. This enables cuts that would come across up to the end. It also forms tenons. Although this can be purchased, it is normally shop made. A fence or miter slot is responsible in guiding tenon jigs.

Most table saws possess changeable inserts within the table where the blade would project. Inserts that can be purchased are generally made from metal.

However, zero-clearance inserts are made from sawable material like wood or plastic. Once this Zero-Clearance insert is inserted initially, the blade rises within the insert and a slot is created. This ensures that the slots do not have gaps surrounding the blade.

It is these Zero-Clearance inserts that prevents tear-out by offering some support for the wood fibers located adjacent to the blade, promoting very clean cuts. There are other inserts which can be created or bought like the dado insert.

Table saws manufactured for the United States market are basically compatible with stacked dado blade sets. This type of kit has 2 outer blades as well as several interior chip cutters used for cutting dados of whichever width.

These sets of stacked dados are available at either 8-inch or 6-inch diameters. For saws having 1 ½ HP or lesser HP, 8-inch sets of stacked dados are not recommendable.

Splitters or riving knives are vertical projections situated at a saw blade’s rear portion. It can either be a fin or pin. It is also has a narrower width compared to the blade.

However, it is situated inline directly with the mentioned blade. It is the splitter that hinders the rotation of the workpiece being cut, preventing kickback.

Hence, pawls can be incorporated by splitters. Pawls are mechanisms having teeth that are designed for biting into the wood, and thus, preventing kickback.

Although many deem splitters unnecessary, most injuries are caused by the usage of saws in the absence of a splitter. It is a safety device when using table saws, particularly for the less experienced users.

Thus, regardless of the experience, accidents from its absence lead to very serious injuries or even death.

There are various forms of splitters that would include its part as a blade guard for the saw. It can also be a vertical fin or pin attached to an insert. Splitters can be purchased or made from metal, wood, or plastic material.

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