Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Table Saw - Should I be using these items? And mounting router

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1368 posts in 1521 days

#1 posted 02-27-2016 03:42 PM


If the saw is 3 hp or more, the only problems with a 1/8” kerf blade is the cost of the blade. If you have a table saw with less than a 3hp motor but cut lumber 1” or less than thick, a sharp full kerf blade will work. Cutting thick stock with a 1/8” kerf blade on a saw with less than 3hp would require a slower feed rate and heat could build on the blade, dulling or destroying the blade and burning the wood.

The thin kerf blade requires less power. If cutting thick stock, outfit the less than 3hp saw with a thin kerf riving knife. One option for getting a thin kerf riving knife, if you cannot find one that fits your saw, is to contract a machine shop to fabric it.

I keep the table saw guard in place whenever I can. I think it is just safer than a spinning exposed blade plus I like to keep the blade up as high as it will go to reduce heat on the blade – but bad idea without the guard in place. I use feather boards from time to time to hold the stock snugly against the fence and/or down to the table. The feather boards holding stock against the fence should be positioned in front of the blade; not even with the blade or behind the blade. When the end of the board gets near the feather board I use the push stick to finish the cut. I believe a push stick absolutely requires a riving knife to prevent kickback.

shipwright’s recommendation to use a push pad is a great idea for safety and convenience. A well-made push pad will allow control of the stock without need for a feather board and keep your hand out of harm’s way. Gripper is a push pad that a lot of folks seem to like, but you can build one yourself. Just do not use metal fasteners. There are also roller guides that mount to the fence and keep the stock tight to the fence and allow the stock only to advance. I have not used this system, so I cannot say how well it works or what problems it may pose.

A router table insert from which the router hangs must be stout. If not, the weight of the router and/or any downward pressure on the stock over the router table insert can cause deflection. This deflection would make setting depth of cut more difficult and could change by just enough to spoil a cut or require a lot of sanding. While I have no data, I suspect an aluminum insert would deflect less than other materials. But if you every needed to modify the router mounting plate, aluminum would be more of a challenge.

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