How to Set Up Table Saw for Perfect Cuts

Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by James

If you are someone who rigorously works with wood in their workshop or loves being preoccupied with DIY, then this blog is the right stop for you. If you have a hybrid table saw and thought “let’s get started with it!” was the way to go, we will give you a concise guide to start with it in the right way.

We will tune you up in the correct way on how to set up your table saw for making those perfect cuts so that the process of using a table saw does not look like an endangered task for you. Let’s get down to the basics:

1. Blade

Almost all kinds of table saws come with an in-built blade and the user manual will even guide you on how to align it with the mitre slot. Even though it is a lot upon your personal preference, you have to check the quality of the product. It could also be that the blade might be already attached to the slot. So double check on the alignment before you make the purchase.

Concord Blades WCB1000T080HP 10-Inch 80 Teeth TCT General Purpose Hard & Soft Wood Saw

The foremost thing you need to keep in mind is to be sure that the blade is square to the table. You can do this by raising the blade to the highest level and then tilt it to 90 degrees. Hereafter, get a 90 degrees square and place it against the blade to ensure that it is at 90 degrees. If it is not on 90 degrees, manually adjust it to get it in the said position.

2. Riving Knife

Once the blade is placed in the correct position, now is the time to check if the riving knife is accurately placed. Here is a rule of thumb that the riving knife should not be anything more than 8mm away from the blade. If you want to customise the position you can do it by simply removing the kerf plate. You can use the pencil technique to place the riving knife in the accurate distance from the blade.

Most of the pencils are not more than 8mm thick so if your pencil can fit in the space between the riving knife and blade, then the distance is far. So this way you can check if you have set the riving knife correctly.

3. Fence

A table saw is all about ripping so it is important that you set the rip fence correctly and it is as important as the blade. Here are two things you need to do before setting up the rip fence:

  • Fence square to the table: Just as the blade has to be square to the table, in a similar manner use the 90-degree square and place it against the rip fence. If it is not square, then the rip fence can be adjusted to place it in the position you want to.
  • Fence parallel to blade: The fence needs to be set parallel to the blade so that there is no pinch point at the back of the blade. One way to do this is by using the sub fence in a vertical position and then you line up the sub fence to the blade so that it is parallel to it.

4. Sliding Table

If you have a table saw that comes with a sliding table in its set then you have no choice but to fit it in. But a lot of the fitting of the sliding table depends also on the size of the table saw. A thing to remember here is that the sliding table needs to be a little above the main table. This is required so that you can prevent dragging the sliding table on the main table when you push a wood piece through it while cutting.

Table Saw Maintenance Tips And Changing Of Blade

Once you know that the table saw is set up correctly and safely and is ready to be used, you need to maintain it and make sure that it is working in proper condition. Here are a few tips to ensure that your table saw is maintained well and the blade is working well as well.

  • The miter gauge needs to be squared by loosening the head and then turning the gauge upside down and put the bar in the slot, in such a way that the head is pushed against the rip fence rail.
  • Always make sure that the board you use is narrower and that the height of the board is less than the blade of the table saw.
  • The fence needs to be in its accurate position but make sure that the cursor is loosened in a way that the cursor matches the width of the board which you will rip.
  • The jointed edges of the board you will rip needs to be on the table saw in such a way that you can slide it into two. If you see the gap between them while cutting, it means that you have not made perfect square cuts.

Maintenance Tips For Table Saw

If you want to use your table saw to its fullest potential then it is crucial that you know how to maintain it properly.

  • Always clean the sharp blades with good quality resin.
  • Make sure that you use adequate extraction so that you can keep the internal mechanism of the table saw clean and also keep your work clear of dust and shavings.
  • Keep checking your blades after heavy use for any kind of ware or damage.
  • Keep lubricating the slides, threads and gears.
  • Check the drive belt of the table saw away from any damage.
  • The fence needs to be aligned with the blade when you are using it.

Now that you know how to set up a table saw for perfect cuts, using it is just a step away. So always ensure that you set up the table saw well in order for it to work properly. In case of any kind of misalignment, it could cause major mishap in the long run for you.