Table Saw

From Idea Shop Wiki

Machine Details

Saw Stop

  • Still dangerous! If blade is touched, Saw Stop prevents your entire finger from being totally cut off - blade can still give you a nasty cut
  • If you set off the Saw Stop, there will be a $200 replacement fee

Approved Materials

  • Woods (MDF, plywood is okay)
    • If you are using reclaimed wood, it is your responsibility to remove any and all metal from the wood (staples, nails, screws, etc) before it is cut - metal WILL set off the saw stop!
    • WOOD MUST BE DRY - if you attempt to cut wet wood or wood that has just been glued, you will set off the saw stop!
  • Some plastics (polypropylene, acrylic)
    • Blade must be changed to accommodate material other than wood - ask a staff member!
  • Prototyping materials such as chip board, foam core, cardboard, insulation foam

Safety Instructions


  • Saw blade turns towards you - watch for kickback
    • Do not try to grab a piece of material as it is kicking back - let it hit you
      • If you are cutting properly, the only material that will be kicked back will be very light and will not hurt you
  • Keep steady pressure on material, no sudden movements
    • Slow and steady - prevents burn marks in wood and chipping in acrylic
      • If a material is thinner or less dense, it can be pushed through the saw more quickly - feel it and use best judgement
  • If the piece you are cutting is 3” wide or less, use a push stick when close to the blade
  • General rule for cutting: If your material is wider than it is long, a miter gauge or sled is needed to make cut
    • If being cut from a sheet, pieces like this can also be cut on a panel saw (unless the piece needs to be precisely measured)
  • Use the fence for cutting and measuring - fence cannot be used with miter gauge!! One or the other only (for employees this is okay, as long as you are holding tightly onto both ends)
  • When using a miter gauge or sled, firmly hold material against gauge/sled so that it doesn’t slip as it goes through the saw - clamping it down is okay too

Machine Proficiency

In order for an individual to advance in machine proficiency they must demonstrate ability to perform certain actions or tasks. All levels include abilities and concepts from lower levels.

This section is primarily for student workers.

Level 0

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Knowledge for Proper Use
  • Safe materials for use with the table saw
  • Basic safety precautions (sleeves, headphones, hair, body awareness)
  • Attire, do’s and dont’s, etc
  • Locking & unlocking, starting the machine

Individual understands the concepts:

Level 1

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Set blade height
  • Set fence distance
  • Straight cut (with and without push stick)
  • Crosscut with sled and with miter gauge
  • Cutting grooves

Individual understands the concepts:

Level 2

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Angle cuts
  • Changing a blade
  • SawStop override with key
  • Miter joints
  • Lap joints

Individual understands the concepts:

Level 3

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Machine Management
  • Managing error codes
  • Changing SawStop mechanism
  • Changing writhing knife

Individual understands the concepts: