Introduction: Woodworking How to Use 4 Basic Saws
In this instructable you will learn the basics of 4 woodworking saws and how to use them. The four saws: 1) The table saw 2) The circular saw. 3) The Mitre saw. 4) The jigsaw.
Step 1: Woodworking How to Use a Jigsaw
When it comes to versatility among saws, nothing can beat the jigsaw and for good reasons, too. It is widely considered by woodworkers as the grand master of cutting a wide range of intricate shapes including compound and bevel cuts on wood,ceramic tile and even stainless steel sheet metal, among other materials, simply by changing the blade used.
This sawhasits limitations, however, of which the most notable is its unsuitability for making fast, long and straight cuts; woodworkers use a circular saw instead for the purpose. The blade on the saw should also be changed based on the material being cut so reading the user’s manual before actual operation is a must.
• Select the correct blade for the jigsaw. Although all the blades are made from hardened steel, high-speed steel, and bimetal composite metals, their designs are different to fit the material being cut.
Tip: Between 3 and 5 teeth should engage the material being cut at all times so that a ¼-inch material should be paired with a 12-16 TPI (teeth per inch) blade. Use a narrow scrolling blade for turning tight corners while a wider blade will be suitable for cutting relatively straight lines.
• Prepare the workpiece/material being cut by measuring and marking the cut lines on it. Following the lines of the project on which the cut material will be placed on(i.e., sink) or creating a template are excellent ideas for this purpose because maneuvering the material on the jigsaw will be easier with the cut lines.
• Place the material on a saw horse, a workbench, or on a vice with clamps depending on your purpose. The idea is to keep both of your hands free to guide the saw over the material, thus, increasing the likelihood for precision cuts.
• Position the blade as close to the material’s edge as possible. Slowly squeeze on the trigger until its desired speed is reached, push the jigsaw forward into the material, and guide its path by twisting its back in the opposite direction of the blade’s desired route. Keep the blade aligned with the cut line for best results.
When sawdust interferes with the blade’s path, stop the saw, clear the debris, and then restart the saw. Tip: Slightly back up on the cut line before re-sawing where you left off.
Step 2: How to Use a Circular Saw
The circular saw usually has a toothed metal cutting blade or disc used for cutting wood and making narrow slots known as dados. Although most of this type of sawis designed for wood cutting purposes, many are also equipped with blades able to cut through plastic, metal and masonry – truly, a tool as versatile as the jigsaw. But it must obviously be used with great care even by experienced woodworkers because of the ultra-sharp blade.
• Measure and mark the material to be cut. This way, the blade can be easily guided over the cut line for precision cuts.
• Place the material on a saw table or a sawhorse for best results. Check the surrounding area so that the blade will not react with any obstruction while the circular saw does its job.
• Select the proper setting particularly for the appropriate depth of cut. Tip: Avoid having more of the blade showing than the required depth for the job. For example, set the blade depth between 45 and 50 millimeters when the material has a 40-millimeter thickness.
• Line up the blade with the pencil mark of the cut line. Look down the blade’s face on the right-hand side for this purpose.
• Line up the appropriate guide notch to the pencil mark as well. Look at the front of the circular saw for the two guide notches – the right-hand guide is used for cutting when the blade is set at normal position while the left-hand guide is for cutting at a 45-degree angle.
• Keeping your eyes on the appropriate guide and the saw base at all times, start cutting into the material. Tip: Firmly push the saw into the material so that the blade will keep cutting. Avoid pushing too hard that the motor speed appears to decrease or that the binding happens on the blade itself.
With the jigsaw and the circular saw, cutting wood, metal and tiles are as easy as pie but be sure to adopt the appropriate safety measures.
Step 3: Woodworking How to Use a Table Saw
The table saw, which is also known as the saw bench, consists of a circular saw blade mounted on an arbor and powered by an electric motor. The motor itself can be driven either directly or by the use of belts or gears. The saw blade itself protrudes through the table’s surface that, in turn, provides support for the material being cut.
Using a sawbench requires certain safety measures and effective techniques that even expert woodworkers adopt at all times. Keep these tips in mind:
• Maintain a solid stance so as to keep a stable balance when working with the sawbench. Never stand directly in front of the saw’s blade for safety reasons (i.e., kickbacks can result in stock kicking back into the body otherwise). Avoid wearing loose clothes, jewelry and other personal accessories that can be grabbed by the blade while also wearing the appropriate safety gear.
• Check the table saw for its proper blade inserts as well as to check for loos nuts, bolts and screws. Ensure that the blade and fence are square, so to speak, before cutting and use either the miter gauge or the fence to guide the stock through the saw.
• Keep a reasonably low blade height while also aiming for the desired depth on the cut. The general rule is that the lower the blade, the less dangerous because of the less risks for kickbacks on the stock.
• Look for nails, staples and knots on the wood and remove these before cutting the stock on the table saw.
• Start the saw, let it reach its maximum revolutions per minute (RPM), and then begin cutting the stock. Be sure to stand to the side of the saw and be sure to check for sufficient support for the stock on the other side.
Tips: Never over-reach for the stock. Avoid pushing the stock into the blade but feed it into the blade using slight pressure. Keep the stock firmly against the guide fence while making the cut. Let the blade of the table saw come to a full stop before removing the stock for safety reasons.
As with all saws used for woodworking projects, being safe always takes priority over being fast so always be careful when using a sawbench.
Step 4: How to Use a Miter Saw
A miter saw, also spelled as a mitre saw, is used for a specific purpose – to make accurate crosscuts and mitres in a workpiece. It is useful in cutting tight-fitting joints for moldingsincluding crowns, baseboards, and trims on doors and windows and, thus, ensuring a perfect fit.
Beginners using the mitre saw are usually startled by the sudden jerks and whines generated by the blade as it speeds up to the desired speed. Wait and listen for the blade to reach its top speed before lowering it to the board and then cutting the workpiece; use a slow and steady motion.
Continue holding down the saw carriage in this position, release the switch, and then allow the blade to completely stop before raising it again. Always maintain a firm grip on the stock and a good distance away from the blade – experts suggest a 6-inch distance - until after the blade of the miter saw stops spinning.
A few tips:
• Align the blade with the cutting mark. Be sure to cut a little beyond the cutting line, which will leave an extra length on the stock for later adjustments, when necessary. Test the fit, adjust the mitre saw angle, and slice off the stock until the perfect fit has been achieved. For best results in terms of accuracy, clamp the workpiece.
• Wear the appropriate safety gear including safety glasses, gloves and ear buds when using the miter saw.
• Never reach under the blade while it is still spinning.
• Cutting smaller pieces on the miter saw requires special techniques. For example, when cutting miters on a workpiece less the 8 inches in length, cut the miters from a longer piece so that your fingers are a good distance away from the blade. The idea here is to keep your fingers within the blade’s safe zone by working with relatively lengthy workpieces.
Both the table saw and the miter saw are musts in a woodworking shop. Just make sure to use these saws safely for your own good.
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