Kreg Owners' Community

Hi everyone,   after feeling a bit more comfortable with power tools,  I finally ventured out and purchased a table saw.  I chose the Ridgid.  I have never used one so have been trying to learn as much as possible with books and videos at this point.  I have a family member that has told me that he does not want me to be intimidated by it but to learn to respect it.  He intends to pay a visit and give me some instruction on it's use which will be of huge value.  He does not live close by so I will need to cram a lot of info in a short amount of time.

I would love to hear how many here had their first experience with a tablesaw.  Did you learn at school?  Self taught?   Simply grew up around it's use?   Feel free to share any ideas and stories.  Keeping hands and fingers away from the blade goes without saying.   I think I am more worried that if I feed a board in the wrong manner, due to my lack of knowledge that I will set myself up for a dangerous kick back.  

Thanks in advance!

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Lorrie,   I wish I still had my Dad.  He would've been tickled to see some of the things I have accomplished.   Keep Dad involved and have a great time building memories that will last forever.   If you are like me, lack of strength with heavy 4x8 panels can be a problem.   I also purchased the Kreg rip cup and it is great on the circular saw.   When using someone else's power tools, you do not always have access to the manuals.   I have done the google search with success.   My ex had left many power tools behind.   That was great but when I started experimenting with different ones, I realized I didn't even know how to change the blade without a manual.  I'm off work for the next week.   I hope to be making some progress on something recognizable soon!

 Rita,

The only thing I  could say that made sure you are not distracted from the table saw while cutting. Always be watching what you are doing while sawing on the table saw. Keep your board against the fence. Always use the blade cover and kick back fingers on your saw. I always make sure that all my accessories that came with my saw are on. If the it has all the safety accessories still around. Always use caution with all power tools. Make sure your work area is clear of hazards such as cut offs, tools, etc. Always have your safety glasses on while you are sawing or anytime working with power tools. You never know what might hit you in the eye. These are the things my Dad taught me before I used any power tools. My Dad taught me how to use the table saw and he always told me to watch what you are doing and make sure your table saw is clear of hazards. He taught me never to leave your saw running until it has come to a complete stop because you never know if a piece of wood would come back and hit you. That is when you turn it off after sawing. I hope these things will help you, Rita.  Be safe. Welcome to the community.

Table saw ''RED ZONE" (danger zone area)

Paint the insert plate a ''BRIGHT RED'' color.

A bright red color will stand out from the surrounding area.

NEVER allow your fingers or hands to enter this area, while performing any cutting operations.

DO NOT wear gloves, while performing any cutting operations.

(If the glove material is snatched by the spinning saw blade, it'll pull your hand right into it).

One of the first projects I built for my small table saw was a nice, large crosscut sled.  I actually built it a little larger than the table top on my contractor-size saw to support workpieces that would be a little more nerve-racking to cut on just the bare saw.  The front fence that is perfectly square to the blade and it has nice handles that keep my hands nowhere near the blade.  It is deep enough to cut pieces up to 18" wide.  Because it is large, heavy, and keeps my hands away from the blade, it is a great confidence-builder for the table saw.  You can put the workpiece in, know exactly where the cut will be because of the kerf line on the sled, clamp it up, then run it through, all with your hands in safe places.  Lots of great plans out there for crosscut sleds -- check out Matthias Wandel's design, which can easily be expanded into a bigger sled:  http://youtu.be/m4ImoPkHaMc

Hi Rita,

Thanks for the kind words.  I try to keep my dad involved.  He had 4 surgeries last year (2 on his eye) and he is still recovering from them.  He just had mohs surgery on his face above his good eye last week.  My Poor Dad!  He hasn't been able to work with me in the garage yet.  He is used to me being his little helper and not the other way around.  He is definitely proud of me and what I have built so far.  I want to include him in my projects.  He wasn't familiar with the Kreg Jig and I was able to show him what it can do.  He was very impressed.  He didn't think the joint would be strong enough but I changed his mind about that.  I also purchased a Rockwell Versacut Saw.  I have a couple of circular saws but they are heavy and after making several cuts with them, my shoulder would bother me.  The Versacut Saw is small and I can handle it better.  It does have depth restrictions but I have used mine along with a straight edge for ripping plywood to size.  It works great!  Good luck on your projects.  I'm looking forward to seeing some photos! :)
 
Rita Baske said:

Lorrie,   I wish I still had my Dad.  He would've been tickled to see some of the things I have accomplished.   Keep Dad involved and have a great time building memories that will last forever.   If you are like me, lack of strength with heavy 4x8 panels can be a problem.   I also purchased the Kreg rip cup and it is great on the circular saw.   When using someone else's power tools, you do not always have access to the manuals.   I have done the google search with success.   My ex had left many power tools behind.   That was great but when I started experimenting with different ones, I realized I didn't even know how to change the blade without a manual.  I'm off work for the next week.   I hope to be making some progress on something recognizable soon!

Not sure if this has been said, but a sharp clean saw blade is good for safety.  An old dull blade, caked with resin from cutting pine, can contribute to friction and kickback.

Hi Rita,

I am not trying to be offensive; keeping hands away from the saw blade must be said over and over.  I am a retired ER physician, and have found that complacency and getting comfortable around power equipment can at worst be deadly, and at best cause terrible injuries.  More than hands, one should know at all times how they ( you) are positioned in relation to the blade.  Most of the injuries I have seen are on the arms and hands, but I have seen injuries to the chest, head, legs, abdomen, and feet (don't ask). 

 

You mention that you are about 5' tall, so I would suggest that you keep yourself well balanced at all times, especially while you are pushing the work through the blade.  Turn the saw off as soon as the work is pushed through.  I find that it helps me to always have a little fear of the saw (power tools) always in the back of my mind.  Even with everything that I have seen, I still at times, get a bit too comfortable around the saw.

 

I am mostly self thought.  There is a wealth of information on the internet which I took full advantage of.

A little of what I have learned:  1) SAFETY FIRST.  2) the table saw exists to cut straight, square and true. 3) Buy a inexpensive try square and make sure that the blade is square to the table and fence.  4) Spend some money on a good blade - I like the Freud Diablo.  5) This is important - raise or lower the blade so that very top of the blade protrudes about  1/8" above the work - this not only reduces tearout but the chance of injury.  5) Kickback is caused by the work binding between the blade and fence.  Stand on the opposite side of the blade and fence, i.e if the fence is to the right of the blade, stand on the left side of the blade.  I learned this the very hard way.

I hope all this helps you out.  I hope to see some of your work soon..

 

 

 

Thanks Mike and no offense taken.   I am a phlebotomist so you know how much I depend on my hands and fingers in my work environment.   I have a healthy respect for the power tools and try to implement all safety concerns with their use.  Already this forum is giving me helpful tips.   The other day I was using the saw a bit for some crosscuts.   As I was setting up for the cut and checking that I had things properly ready to go, I recalled a post here where Ken had mentioned to not use gloves.   I removed the gloves and adjusted the safety glasses before hitting that power switch.   A crosscut sled is on my to do list as well.   I am sure it will be a valued piece of equipment.

Thanks to all for the helpful tips.  They are much appreciated.   Keep them coming!

Hello Rita,

Forget push the sticks. Please check out this site and watch the related YouTube videos. The product is the GRR_Ripper System. Your fingers will thank you.

www.microjig.com

Be Well,

Nick

Hi Rita,

 It sounds like you purchased the R4512 tablesaw. I also own one. If you have not already done so, replace blade with something of better grade. Also purchase a zero clearence inset plate. 

I dunno guys.   I looked at the Gripper and I do see the advantages.   I have a concern about not being able to use the blade guards.   My concern would be once you pass the work piece through the blade, you are no longer protected.   Granted, you may save your fingers but it looks like a easy slip and your forearm could contact the blade fairly easily.   Am I missing something?  Many guys have the advantage of height and arm length that I fear would reduce my safety with the gripper.

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