Getting Started With the Table Saw

Introduction: Getting Started With the Table Saw

About: Autodesk Technology Center San Francisco is a hub for research, development, and demonstration of new manufacturing technologies and workflows relating to configurable microfactories.

Step 1: Approved Materials for the Table Saw

Allowed Materials

  • Wood
  • Most plastics

Banned Materials

  • Metal
  • PVC
  • Pressure treated wood
  • Carbon fiber and composites

If at Pier 9, see Shop Staff first before using these materials:

  • All other materials
  • Electrically conductive materials

If you are working from another studio or workshop, refer to the tool's instruction manual to see if your desired material is suitable for tool use.

Step 2: Safety

Our most important safety callouts are highlighted in yellow throughout this course.

Step 3: Safety Features of the Table Saw

The SawStop at Pier 9 has a safety feature that stops the blade in 3 to 5 milliseconds if the blade contacts an electrically conductive object, like a finger.

Some common materials will cause the system to trigger.

If in doubt, ask Shop Staff for assistance.

Materials that require a SawStop override

  1. Mirrored acrylic
  2. Wet wood (not kiln dried)
  3. Some plastics
  4. Carbon filled materials
  5. Metallic or foil covered materials

Step 4: Kickback

Kickback is what happens when the workpiece is violently thrown from the saw. Causes include material trapped between the blade and fence, or a misaligned fence.

The riving knife (splitter) (1) and anti-kickback pawls (2) work together to help reduce kickback. Always use a splitter except when dadoing. Use anti-kickback pawls whenever possible.

See Shop Staff for cuts that require their removal.

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