Table Saw Class

Introduction: Getting Started With the Table Saw

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.


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

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


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.