Table saw Help I have fears.

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Forum topic by AstroEd posted 11-21-2019 05:29 PM 2805 views 0 times favorited 67 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 1831 days

11-21-2019 05:29 PM

I am new to wood working and trying to slowly learn how to use the $7,000 worth of tools I bought 2 years ago.
I was given a used Dewalt DW744 type 2 contractors saw and have yet to set it up to try and use it. I have no clue how much it was used , what it was used for or how old/used the blade is.

I can not get it out of my head that it is unsafe and won’t be accurate (aren’t contractor saws just for fast rough rip cutting?)

I am not a precision craftsman but I am OCD about learning accuracy. I wasted 4 hours trying to learn to use CorelDraw trying to make a Pickleball (tennis) court clip at with 4 rectangles but because at x16,000 magnification things did not line up perfectly I started over, and over, and….

But my main issue is a general fear of the tool and no clue why, unless it was the kickback YouTube videos I watched.

-- I measured twice now where is my Saw?

67 replies so far

View pottz's profile


25749 posts in 2440 days

#1 posted 11-21-2019 06:13 PM

i hate to say it ed but you may have picked the wrong hobby to get should never use any power tool if your that afraid of it.maybe try to find someone that can teach you how to use these tools safely,or maybe take up painting!

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


3214 posts in 1003 days

#2 posted 11-21-2019 06:18 PM

My advice, find a basic woodworking course or two where you can learn the basics of shoptools and safety. You might volunteer at some local cabinet shop to sweep floors and sand parts in return for shop education.

If you dont know if the blade is sharp, buy a new one, and buy a quality one.

You can do just about anything with hand tools that powertools can do!

-- WWBBJ: the first to compare a woman´s cheek to a rose was a poet. The second, an idiot. Dali

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 2365 days

#3 posted 11-21-2019 06:18 PM

Not trying to compound your fears, but you may want to investigate this:

DEWALT Recalls Table Saws Due to Laceration Hazard

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View yesIcan's profile


12 posts in 4143 days

#4 posted 11-21-2019 06:20 PM

Fear is a good thing until it builds a wall between us and enjoying the things we can do safely. A minority have been hurt by our power tools, but the vast, vast majority of us enjoy using our tools to pursue the hobby safely. I’m no pro, but I’ve been building and remodeling for nearly fifty years without mishap, save a tiny cut or scrape here and there. I also use a Dewalt DW744 contrators saw. It may be a Chevy compared to the Ferrari table saws that are available, but it works best for my small shop, and it’s easily transportable when I go to work on rental properties that I own. May I suggest starting with a few easy projects, like this birdhouse (, or one of these ( Also, you’ll find “The Table Saw Book,” by R.J. DeCristoforo very helpful. It’s an oldie—published thirty years ago—but to me it remains the best guide for beginners. It spells out in easy-to-understand language how to use the tool safely. Thanks for reaching out to the community. There are many of us who, like you, did not grow up in a house where dad had a workshop, and we had to learn on our own. You’ll get there. Just start slow and simple, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your skills develop. Good luck.

View LesB's profile


3466 posts in 4899 days

#5 posted 11-21-2019 06:53 PM

There was a caution and/or a recall notice on your model of saw. It seems to be a small problem but worth being aware of.

With careful set up that saw should be quite accurate but it’s small table size limits the capacity to cut large pieces of lumber. For a small 10” saw it looks good. If is has a carbide blade that is dull most can be re-sharpened otherwise buy a good quality combination blade (I like Frued’s 50 tooth thin kerf combination…about $53 on Amazon) Main safety items are keeping body parts clear of the blade, use push sticks when you can, and being aware of kick backs….don’t stand in front of pieces of wood that are between the blade and the fence.

It is a good idea to get a mentor to help you learn the tools uses and hazards.

-- Les B, Oregon

View hkmiller's profile


247 posts in 1538 days

#6 posted 11-21-2019 07:58 PM

Go find a shop class it may be a vocational facility

-- always something

View nickbatz's profile


904 posts in 1536 days

#7 posted 11-21-2019 08:04 PM

As someone’s grandmother said, you want to respect the table saw but not be afraid of it. :)

If it were difficult, millions of people wouldn’t be able to use them. Everyone who knows how to use one did it the first time. My first time was a couple of years ago, and if I can do it then anyone can.

You do want to observe the basic safety issues – starting with planning the whole cut before you start so that you don’t get stuck in the middle. Also, stand to the side rather than directly behind the wood.

There are lots of YouTube videos about how to use a table saw. I like Steve Ramsey’s a lot:

View clin's profile


1128 posts in 2452 days

#8 posted 11-21-2019 08:17 PM

Certainly a table saw demands respect and caution. Every tool is really in that category. Some just have greater consequences than others.

Fear is usually overcome with experience. Most people initially have fear of things that they know or believe to be dangerous. I think this is a good starting point. But most of the time that fear goes away with experience.

Also, using a table saw isn’t one of those things where hesitation is dangerous. Some things require a full commitment to workout. Worst thing you might do with a table saw, by being hesitant, is burning the wood a bit pushing it too slowly.

I would suggest you take a woodworking class if possible. Or at least get some help from someone with experience. And I think the internet is a great place to find info on safe practices.

And put your OCD to good use. Create a mental checklist of safety procedures and run through that every time. You will make safety mistakes, we all do. But most of the time nothing happens. You just realize after the fact that you did something dumb. Learn from those mistakes.

Often times the loudness of power tools causes a sort of lizard brain response to get away from the loud scary thing. That’s a pretty reasonable and common reaction. So try some good ear muffs to cut the noise down. I think you’ll find it won’t seem as scary that way.

I agree with others, buy yourself a new combination blade for the saw. Get a medium quality, carbide blade. No sense working with a dull tool. A good sharp blade will cut easier and be more safe.

-- Clin

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2272 days

#9 posted 11-21-2019 08:32 PM

Just for the sake of accuracy, your saw is not a contractor saw. It is a portable “jobsite” saw. Contractor saws are more substantial and are not designed for easy movement from job to job.

View JayT's profile


6455 posts in 3667 days

#10 posted 11-21-2019 08:49 PM

Read your bio. First off, thank you for serving.

With that in mind, think of the table saw as the woodworking version of the rifle you had to qualify with in the military. Used correctly, they do the work you want them to do. Used carelessly, the consequences can be disastrous.

The key, as others have said, is training. Learn how to use a table saw safely and correctly, following proper procedures and you will be just fine.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View therealSteveN's profile


9985 posts in 2030 days

#11 posted 11-22-2019 01:30 AM

First order of business is follow the link above that Ripper left you. If the saw is a problem?

Next I am not sure of the geography of Missouri, but here are woodworking clubs across the country.. They are soup to nuts, most probably have some classes/training to grow the club.

I’d check at Grizzly and see if they had courses/classes there. Most things in woodworking apply to all machines. Fine tuning for yours can be done with the power off once you have an understanding of safe use basics.

Working with tools could be injury prone, but with basic knowledge, and a safe approach to the tools, Millions of people use table saws daily without injury/mishap.

-- Think safe, be safe

View bandit571's profile


31872 posts in 4139 days

#12 posted 11-22-2019 03:32 AM

How far away is Ft Leonard Wood from you? Maybe arrange a weekend trip to the base….since it is home of the Combat Engineers….maybe arrange a little time in one of the woodshops on base….VA might even arrange it for you…

There is another woodworking site for you to check out…The Patriot Woodworker….as a lot of what they do is helping vets….tell them I sent you.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Carol's profile


181 posts in 1969 days

#13 posted 11-22-2019 04:03 AM

totally agree with others; find a woodworking course and learn to use your tools properly. power tools require your respect, but not your fear. and don’t be put off by folks who say you’ve picked the wrong hobby :)

i can’t stress enough, and this from a former sailor: RTFM, DEVELOP A PLAN, AND FULFILL YOUR TRAINING REQUIREMENTS. there must be woodworking courses, vo-tech, stores that offer training (woodcraft), or groups of woodworkers in your area. just like rifle quals, you can’t just watch then do. you need some hands on with an instructor guiding you.

woodworking can be such a great stress reliever, and you can take great pride in your skills as you progress. i wouldn’t even worry about checking your table saw until you’ve had some training. (kickback occurs when the user is careless or doesn’t follow basic safety rules, so don’t be careless and follow basic safety rules. it’s that simple.)

we fear what we don’t know. take your time. develop your skill. if you’re not totally sure, ask. you can do this!

-- Carol

View onoitsmatt's profile


461 posts in 2632 days

#14 posted 11-22-2019 05:31 AM

Depending on what you plan to make out of wood, a saw like that may not be a necessity. I got rid of my table saw because I never used it and it took up too much space. A decent band saw is safer, though not without risk and can do a wide range of tasks. Hand tools are another option. They’re much quieter and generally less messy. And if you start to cut off your finger with a hand saw, it will stop cutting.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View AstroEd's profile


45 posts in 1831 days

#15 posted 11-23-2019 08:26 AM

Thank you all for the replies and information. I contacted a local wood turning f]group in the hopes of 1. Getting help setting up my shop and tools (I live alone). And 2. Help learning temper safe use and maintenance of them. But sadly after two years no help. Oh lots of offers to help out when free time is found but no one yet is free. But it is a VERY busy club but mostly for wood lathes. They hold classes, coffee gatherings to share how to turn and such. Out side of that they have 2 – 4 major charities/fund raisers every year that keeps them too busy.

I am about 2 hours fro. Fort Leonard Wood, had not considered that and option.

I worry about letting the VA know I want to learn wood working for extra income for fear of loosing my VA and Social Security Disability. The income side of things are still confusing me as to what I can and can’t earn.

-- I measured twice now where is my Saw?

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