Any woodworkers here?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by wayneh, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I just got a Craftsman table saw off a craigslist curb alert. It's worth $100-150, so getting it free is a nice score. It cleaned up nicely and runs fine.

    I'm properly afraid of the thing and have been reading about how to use a table saw safely. Rip with the fence, cross-cut with the miter gauge, keep your hands away from the blade by using a push stick, that sort of thing. Basic good form.

    My saw no longer had the stock blade guard attached so I went looking for advice on woodworking forums. One thing I've noticed is that virtually all users (that write in forums) remove all the safety guards for better visibility and ease of use. Some leave the riving knife or splitter in place for ripping. Any opinions on that?

    Some folks mention adding a knee-activated switch so it can be shut down without using a hand to hit the stock with. I'd like that for my router as well, so I'd like to find a good one for both applications. Preferences?
     
  2. wayneh

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    BTW, here's a photo of a recent project, a nightstand. By far the nicest piece I've done so far.

    IMG_0681.jpg
     
  3. nerdegutta

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    Dec 15, 2009
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    I have a table saw, and removed all the "junk" that was in my face. I also have a saw like this:
    [​IMG]
    Which I have mounted upside-down in a ply-wood arrangement. (I use this to cut my PCBs)

    When I use my saws, I'm always using ear protection, and glasses. If what I am cutting is small, I use a push stick. Before I start pushing the pieces towards the rotating blade, I take a deep breath, and focus.

    I've been cutting wood, plastic and aluminium like this since '92 or '93. For the last six or seven years, I've cut different types of PCBs too.

    I can still count to ten, without using other bodyparts, than my fingers. :)
     
  4. nerdegutta

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    What type of wood did you use? Oak?
     
  5. djsfantasi

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    Apr 11, 2010
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    Congratulations!
    IMG_1645.png
     
  6. wayneh

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    Yeeesh! I play a guitar (and pick my nose) more often than I saw, so that's pretty much what I would like to avoid.
     
  7. wayneh

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    Yup, stock red oak lumber straight from the Home Depot. I spend a fair amount of time choosing boards. It's probably one of my least favorite parts of the project.

    Those little accent pieces were pine I think, maybe poplar.
     
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  8. Kermit2

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    Grandpa taught me a trick to help prevent sticking and make long cuts on the table saw go smoothly.
    Get a bar of Ivory soap and apply it to both sides of the blade. I like to turn on the motor and the turn it off. Will the blade spins down I apply the bar of soap to a side of the blade. Repeat for the other side. Don't bother with the outer edge where the teeth are. It is the interior solid portion of the blade that will grab and drag as you move your wood past it.
    Off topic: for metal cutting blades like hack saws, use candle wax.
     
  9. MaxHeadRoom

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Solid oak is one of my favourites.
    I did some work at one place that had sheets of steel separated by 4x4 rough sawn oak, the guys used to saw it up for fire wood. I got my hands on a quantity and cleaned and planed it up, and it had some the most nicest Oak grain I have seen, including some quarter sawn.
    Max.
     
  10. wayneh

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    Where I live (northern Illinois), oak is by far the most economical hardwood and really the only thing available in the stores without dealing with a specialized shop. It's something like 2-3X over the cost of pine. It's a bargain when the cost of wood is such a small part of the overall project.
     
  11. wayneh

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    Nice tip.
    Now that you mention it, I remember my dad doing that once in a while. He also taught me to roll a wood screw against a bar of soap before driving it in. That's back when we still used hand screwdrivers. (I love my cordless screwdriver!)
     
  12. Lestraveled

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    May 19, 2014
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    I have had the same Craftman table saw for 35 years. Yes I took all the un-safe safety stuff off it. I have never used any kind of lubrication on the blade. My tips are:
    - Use high quality blades and keep them sharp.
    - Use soft pine for your push sticks. (Don't use oak.)
    - Hook your finger over the fence whenever possible.
    - Be ready to let a piece go. Never EVER try to save a piece of wood.
    - Develop a "table saw disciple" where you let the saw spin to a stop before you do anything.

    Using soap can mess up a glue joint.
     
  13. Lestraveled

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    May 19, 2014
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    Oh yea. Use a micrometer to check that the blade and the fence are parallel with one another and the table grooves. This is a very common problem with Craftman table saws. Never set correctly from the factory.

    Edit: If the blade is not parallel you would need soap on the blade. If everything is true, the wood will never touch anything but the teeth of the blade.

    Edit: I had to loosen my blade assembly to make it parallel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
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  14. wayneh

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    I'd like to build myself a riving knife but for my old saw it would be a custom fabrication of a complex 3D shape. Could be above my pay grade. I think it initially had a splitter but I can't see how it would've been attached either.
     
  15. markdem

    Member

    Jul 31, 2013
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    Agree with thet 100%. It is a old wife's tale regarding putting lubrication on the blade. I think it would come from someone seen someone use wax on a blade for aluminium or using lubrication on a cold saw. A wood saw (with a few exceptions) has a kerf that is about 1mm wider then the center of the blade. Measure the width of a cut and then the center of the blade to see what I mean. If you are rubbing the solid part something is very wrong with the fence or method you are using. Same goes for blades that have teflon coatings. The wood should never touch that part. Blades for cutting aluminium and most cold saw blades have very little, and sometimes 0, relief angle and therefor need some lube.

    The riving knife, or at least a separator, is a must. It does 2 things. It keeps the wood open on the back of the blade so the wood does not catch and fly up and , more importantly, it keeps the wood inline with the blade incase it does catch. Without it if the wood gets flung up above the saw and then lands back on the blade (instead on the blade going thought the cut slot) it can get very messy very fast. That's why when using dado blades extra care is needed to keep the wood down.
    When you make the knife, remember that the top of the knife must be slightly higher then the top of the blade.

    Re the e-stop, I prefer a foot switch. I just feel like I would be able to find it faster the a knee switch but I think it is just what you feel better with. If your gear is powered via a extension cord, just put a inline estop and then you can use it for both machines.
    I find the best safety feature I can have in my workshop is a second person who knows where the shop estop is :)

    I think my guard for my saw is still in the box, 7 years after I bought this saw..

    Mark
     
  16. Kermit2

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    It works for me but I mostly just use it for odd jobs. I know the safety rules. Wear the glasses and all that, and that is the one power tool that still makes my asshole pucker in fear everytime I turn it on.
     
  17. jgessling

    Active Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    I gave my table saw away several years ago. Great feeling not to worry about my fingers anymore. I did build a really nice bed frame with it and some cabinets. But I feel better without it. Similar to how I feel after selling my motorcycle and knowing I will die a different way.
     
  18. GopherT

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    Flying through a sweeping turn at 100 and low-siding into a guard rail or a cancer diagnosis and months of chemotherapy. There is something to think about as I lay me down to sleep.
     
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  19. boatsman

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    Jan 17, 2008
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    I used to have a radial arm saw. I preferred it to a table saw. I think it is much safer, but on the other hand it's limited in the width of cutting. When I used to cut aluminium I would use a stick of tallow as a lubricant. As a safety device you could use an earth leakage safety device with a push button switch in series. That will cut off the electricity supply immediately.
     
  20. joeyd999

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    I am in awe of those who find the time to pursue manly crafts as a hobby (as opposed to for income). Perhaps I am doing it wrong, but marriage 23 years ago, and running a business, pretty much stifled any opportunity to do the same. Heck, with all the estrogen in the house, I can't even watch NFL football anymore.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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