Table saw is a powerful tool that enables woodworkers to make accurate and versatile cuts is varied positions. Like all other tools, table saws also need proper maintenance in order to produce same quality of work for years. Dedication and professional care should be taken in order to get good functionality and to remain safe while using a table saw. General safety measures must be taken while using this wonderful tool.
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Basic Maintenance Rules
In this section we have highlighted some basic important rules that must be followed for good maintenance, operation and use of a table saw.
Set and follow a schedule:
Since the day you purchase a table saw, set a proper schedule for maintenance which should include oiling, greasing and changing of parts as and when required. You will find this information enlisted by manufacturer with your table saw manual. Maintenance schedule may vary depending upon your usage of this equipment. In general, table saw belts need to be changed each year. If you are using table saw for hours each day, clean up and lubricate parts (moving ones) after around 10 hours of usage. Check for adjustments, tightening or for any wear and tear of any part during cleaning and lubrication.
Exhaust dust away:
For an enclosed base saw, it is important to get rid of dust through a dust collection system. You can either opt for a dust collector or can grab a simple shop vacuum for exhaustion of dust from all the movable parts and motor of the saw.
Check alignment and adjustments:
Parts of a table saw are screwed and bolted with each other and when vibration happens during use of table saw, it may cause these parts to loosen up from their place. Regular checking is required for alignment and adjustment or all the movable parts of the saw. Neglecting the alignment is a common problem in table sawsthat cause inaccuracies in performance. Some steps to follow for alignment include:
- Table should be completely flat for proper working of table saw.
- Check parallel relation between rip fence, miter gage and blade.
- Rip fence and miter gage should be 90 degrees to table.
- Throat plate must be flush with the top of the table.
- Check splitter alignment.
Blade must be sharp:
For effective cutting performance, blade of the saw must be maintained sharp. If the blade is dull, the table saw won’t cut effectively. A dull blade can be dangerous and may cause some misalignment. For sharpening of blade, you must contact a professional person who could sharp with proper equipment. Blades must also be cleaned with fine steel wool along with a thinner. Once the blade has been cleaned and sharpened, make sure it is completely dried before use. Blade may get damaged if not placed in a safe place or dropped or banged. Special care must be taken while replacing blade of a table saw.
Check assembly of arbor:
Different types of saw operate differently. Some may have an arrangement of motor pulley to arbor pulley while others may have a direct drive motor arbor assembly. For pulley type drive, check the alignment of pulley and make adjustments where needed. Pulleys must be true and this is important in order to avoid any unnecessary burden on motor or bearings of arbor. If bearings are worn, you must replace them. You may be witnessing a bad clicking noise from a bearing that signifies that bearings have turned bad and need replacement.
All replacements must be made according to instructions given by manufacturer in manual. You must avoid using the saw until the replacements are made. Assembly of arbor includes a threaded shaft along with fixed flange, a nut and washer. In case of fixed flange being untrue, you would need to replace the arbor.
Blade must be observed for proper functioning. Stop the machine and check if the blade wobbles then there may be a problem with blade. Check with another blade and if it runs well, then the problem lies with the first blade and it should be removed. The washer must also be flat and it should not have any bumps.
Clean and Wax
When you are done with checking all the adjustments and alignment of the table saw according to the schedule of maintenance, then the tool must be cleaned and waxed. For this purpose, it is best to use a light oil lubrication liquid along with fine steel wool for cleaning of the top of the table. When you are done with wiping the tool, apply wax to the faces of rip fence and miter gauge. Apply it evenly throughout the surface and buff off. Doing this would enable work pieces to glide through the surface and would prevent the possibility of chattering and burning. Your tool surface will also be protected from rusting with waxing and it would appear as good as new high quality table saw.
This cleaning and maintenance would allow cutting material to be placed in proper equation. Some materials such as wet lumber have great possibility of getting bind and can give serious kickbacks. It may also damage the tool by rusting its parts lying below the table top. Moreover wood that is twisted and wrapped may also result in inaccurate cuts and kickbacks. Table saws are really durable machines but they need proper care and maintenance otherwise you may be witnessing burned wood, kickbacks, bogging down, saw marks and other similar issues with precision and performance. Proper maintenance and care can enable you to analyze and solve minor issues and prevent them from becoming major problems. Follow these advices and make the most out of this impressive resource. These are the best and simple ways of keeping your saw running.