Safety Procedures All Beginners Should Know Before Using a Table Saw

A table saw is one of the most important pieces of equipment that a woodworker can use. However, it is important to keep some safety instructions in mind before using it. Remember the old saying, ‘Freddy four fingers used to have five before he took woodworking’. Don’t attempt to have the same fate as Freddy four fingers. Here are some safety procedures that you must follow:

Never set up the saw while it’s plugged in

You don’t want to imagine the horrors of a table saw that starts up on its own. Yet several woodworkers love to take the chance. For your safety as well to avoid spoiling your work, it will be better to unplug the saw before setting it up. First, unplug the saw. Then set it at the width you desire and ensure that it is kept straight so that it doesn’t pinch the stock while cutting. Now, set the height of the blade. A rule of thumb is to keep the height 2x of the stock. It helps in avoiding contact with the stock. Moreover, it helps in a smoother cut and as you get more space to push down on the stock.

For extra safety, you should ensure that you don’t expose too much of the blade. Keep a blade guard in place. This will help in reducing the exposure of the blade. Once everything is done and you are sure that no changes will be required, plug the equipment in. Next, make sure that you are standing slightly away from the saw. Never keep your body in straight line of the saw. Keep the stock firm and start cutting the board the way you like.

Do not wear gloves

You may feel that wearing gloves is essential for your safety while operating the equipment. The truth is that these gloves make you lose tactile sense. Moreover, your grip on the saw doesn’t remain as solid. Because of this, you will not be able to hold your saw in place for too long. In case of a mishap, a glove won’t be able to save your fingers anyway. If the gloves do not fit well, the rotating blade could even grab this item. Be smart, avoid gloves and maintain a firmer grip on your woodwork equipment.

Wear eye and hearing protection

Noise is just one of the problems that this equipment brings. The other is sawdust. To avoid both hurting you, ensure that you are wearing adequate eye and hearing protection. Small projectiles can work like smaller shredded glass and it can hurt your eyes.

Keep the area in front of the saw clean

Make sure that the area in front of the equipment is completely clean. Sometimes, these smaller shards can create an obstacle in the way, because of which your blade could be damaged. In a worst-case scenario, you could even slip and bang your head against the stock or the board. This could cause severe injuries too.

Wear comfortable but fitted clothes

The last thing you want to wear are clothes that are too lose and don’t fit snug to your body. If you wear t-shirts or shirts, ensure that they are short sleeves. No ties or dangling jewelry is allowed. In fact, don’t even wear any rings in your hand. Some items may easily get yanked into the blade.

We suggest our readers to avoid free-handing a cut. Using a meter gauge or a fence to mark the stock is always a better idea. It helps in guiding your hand well and ensures that that the end result is perfect. However, never use both together.

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