Table Saw Safety:
Do You Need A Stand For Your Table Saw?
The most common question asked by people when they are looking at a table saw is whether or not it would be necessary to buy a stand for their table saw. There are many different types of stands available today. Some of them are cheap and some of them are expensive.
So which one will suit your needs better?
A good rule of thumb is to pick the cheapest stand that you can afford. If you have a budget of $100 then go ahead and get a cheap stand. But if you have a much larger budget, then choose the expensive model because it’s going to give you more stability while using your table saw.
There are several factors that determine how stable your workpiece will stay while being cut with your table saw. One of these factors is the size of the table saw blade.
Table Saw Blade Size – How Stable Is My Work Piece?
The bigger the blade, the easier it is to keep your work piece from moving around during cutting. However, there are two problems with having a big blade: firstly, it takes up more room in your shop; secondly, it makes it harder to control your work piece when you’re working on smaller pieces. One of the main reasons why you might want to invest in a stand is so that you don’t have to move around while cutting.
Another reason could be that you’re working with wood that isn’t perfectly level. With a low-quality stand, even though it may look like your work piece is level, its actually not.
In order for your work piece to remain flat during use, there are certain things you’ll need to consider before buying a table saw stand.
That’s where a good stand can help. You can have a big blade and have it be as stable as you need it to be. That is, if you have the right stand.
But a word to the wise: don’t try to save money by buying an unstable or a cheap stand. You’ll just be doing yourself a disservice in the long run.
What Should I Look For In A Table Saw Stand?
The first thing you want to do is measure the height and length of your work pieces. If you’re working with small pieces then you’ll want to look for a stand that has a small base. The smaller the base, the less room it will take up in your shop.
If you’re working with larger pieces, having a large stand that won’t budge will probably be more ideal for you.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is the ability to lock your saw into place. You don’t want it to move around while your cutting wood. So make sure that whatever stand you get has the ability to keep your table saw locked in place.
The last thing you’ll want to consider is the ability to adjust your blade height and angle. Some stands come with this feature, while others require you to build something on your own if you need these features.
How Do You Maintain A Table Saw?
Maintaining your table saw is a lot easier than you might think. All it takes is a little bit of preventative maintenance and your saw will last you for years to come.
Every month or so, you’ll want to go ahead and clean your saw. This will keep the dust and dirt from building up on the internal parts of your saw.
The first thing you want to do is turn the saw off. Disconnect the power and wait a few minutes for the blade to stop spinning.
Next, you’ll want to pick up a pack of painter’s masking tape. You’ll need about 1″ to 2″ of tape: enough to completely cover the teeth of the blade.
Now place the tape over the top of the blade, sticky side out. Press it firmly to the blade so there are no gaps between the tape and the blade.
With the teeth of the blade covered, turn the saw back on. Keeping your hands behind the blade (and clear of other moving parts), slowly run your fingers along the edge of the tape. If you feel any of the teeth slightly catching on the tape, gently press on the area until the blade releases and resets itself again.
Once you’ve gone completely around the blade (front to back) and you feel no teeth catching on the tape, turn the saw off and disconnect the saw from the power supply.
The next step is optional, but highly recommended. Using a rag or a brush, coat the tape with wax to reduce the friction of the tape against the blade. This will help prevent it from wearing out too soon.
Finally, take a look at your table. If you see any cuts or burns in the table, you’ll want to sand it down and touch it up with paint.
Now your maintenance is complete and your saw should be good to go for the next few months!
Sources & references used in this article:
- The economic impact of electric saw injuries to the hand (SC Hoxie, JA Capo, DG Dennison, AY Shin – The Journal of hand surgery, 2009 – Elsevier)
- The Design Development of the Sliding Table Saw Towards Improving Its Dynamic Properties (KA Orlowski, P Dudek, D Chuchala, W Blacharski… – Applied Sciences, 2020 – mdpi.com)
- A motorized blade adjustment for a table saw (B Stollmaier – 2014 – drc.uc.edu)