People say the table saw has been in use for about 200 years. Several people have been credited with it inventing it.
Samuel Miller of England is said to have created a wind powered saw in 1777 . Then there are a couple of other contenders; one is Walter Taylor who was a shipbuilder in 1762, and the other was a Harvard Shaker woman who in 1813 installed a notched disc on a spinning wheel to cut shingles. The table saw as we know it today is a product of their ingenuity.
Table saws come in several types. The blade on the saw can be driven by a belt or can be direct driven where the motor mounts under the table and the blade mounts directly with no belt. There is usually a transmission or gear assembly between the motor and the blade arbor.
There are four classes of table saws:
- Benchtop table saws which tend to be smaller, light weight and lower powered
- Contractor table saws which often have portable wheeled bases and are larger than bench top types as well as being higher powered and heavier
- Cabinet table saws are intended for use in shops, built on a stationary cabinet, this type of saw is much heavier, larger, and have powerful 3 to 5 horsepower motors and the cabinets help with dust control
- Hybrid table saws combine some of the features of cabinet saws and contractor saws and are often larger, and higher powered than contractor saws but feature enclosed cabinets for better dust control.
Here are a few table saw tools you might also want to consider:
- Dado blades: a stacked blade that is adjustable which is used to cut grooves in wood and also to form tenons. Dado blades can cut slots up to 1 inch wide on a single pass they have two outer blades with chipper blades in between which allows them to cut a clean slot. If you plan on building shelves, a dado blade will be a handy addition to your saw.
- Taper jigs: A taper jig is used to cut angled rips on your table saw that can’t be done with your miter gauge. The stability provided by this type of jig gives a cleaner angled rip than you can get by using a circular saw. These jigs are cheap and easy to make yourself.
- Safety Glasses: these are a vital accessory because table saws can be a dangerous tool. Quality glasses will provide protection and the anti fog type will be a good bet.
- Hearing protection: more of a necessity than an accessory. They come in three basic styles: Disposable foam plugs purchased by the pack; Ear muffs which provide the most protection but can be cumbersome; and silicone stick type plugs which are more durable than the foam type
- Dust Collection: from a simple setup using a heavy duty vacuum cleaner hooked up to your tool one at a time when in use, to the more elaborate type of shop system that hooks up to all of your tools at once, dust collection is great help in keeping a clean shop.
- I-Socket: this accessory allows you to plug your saw into one electrical socket and a vacuum in the other and turns the vacuum on and off whenever the tool is used.
- Push sticks: included with most saws, this tool helps to keep your fingers away from the blade when cutting small pieces. Easy to make yourself and not expensive to buy, these accessories are vital to your safety.
- Feather boards: provide leverage to hold your lumber against the fence during cuts. Also great at keeping your hands away from the blade and out of the danger zone.
- Cross Cut Sled: easily bought or built these table saw tools allow you to cut larger pieces with ease and safety. There is a small advantage to buying them if they come with a large protractor which allows for quicker set ups.
- Roller Stands: promotes safety and ease of cutting because you are not running around the saw to catch the material on the other side.
- Zero Clearance Throat Plate: serves to eliminate the gaps that occur on the sides of the saw blade and keep smaller rips from kicking or dropping past the blade. You can buy them pre-sized and you can also buy them in the form of stock, then cut them to fit saw brand. They are also very helpful in case the original throat gets bent and needs to be replaced.
- Table Extensions: most saws have these available and they are a great help when cutting larger pieces.
- Digital Fence System: These high tech accessories are a great addition to your table saw.
Using these table saw tools and the many others available helps to make your table saw experience easier and more enjoyable.