5 Table Saw Tips from Jimmy DiResta

Woodworking Workshop


We’ve covered some of Jimmy DiResta’s excellent Jimmy Tips series here before. In the episode embedded below, Jimmy runs through some of his favorite tips for working with a table saw. We went through the video and pulled out five of our favorite tips. While you’re on YouTube, be sure to check out the entire Jimmy Tips playlist. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll find at least one or two indispensable tips in every one.

Quickly Thread a Round Dowel

tableSaw_2You can cut a spiral thread into a dowel on a table saw by setting up a fence at the desired angle of your spiral (say around 5 to 7 degrees) and then feeding the dowel into the blade while twisting and holding the stock against the temporary fence.

Try the “Rip n’ Flip”

tableSaw_3If you’re ripping a lot of thin stock, say for making furring strips, and you don’t want to be making a lot of repetitive cuts where you’re getting your hands repeatedly close the blade, rip the stock halfway down, flip it over, and the rip the other half. Just make sure to keep the the same side of the stock against the fence for both cuts.

Quickly Change the Blade

tableSaw_4It’s easy to loosen and re-tighten the nut on the mandrel of a saw blade by bottoming out an adjustable wrench on the far edge of the open throat of the saw (as seen above) and then pushing the blade away from you to loosen the nut. Once the blade is replaced, to tighten, bottom the wrench out on the edge of the throat closest to you and pull the blade towards you to tighten.

Use Screw Clamps to Prevent Material from Riding Up

tableSaw_5If you’re working with a dull blade (why are you working with a dull blade?) or are otherwise concerned that your stock might ride up while cutting it, you can attach a screw clamp to your fence right above the height of the stock. If the stock tries to pop up, the bottom wooden edge of the clamp with act as a stop. (And if it happens, time to sharpen your blade.)

Make Bendable Wooden Curves

tableSaw_6By making a series of angled cuts on one side of a piece of stock (at about 5 to 7 degrees) and then flipping it over and spacing another series of cuts between the cuts on the other side, you can make a bendable angle in wood.

Watch the entire video for the full details of these tips and many more:

YouTube player

You can see all of the episodes of Jimmy Tips here:

DiResta: Jimmy Tips 1: Hot Glue
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 2: Paint Brushes & Cans
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 3: Sanding & Scraping
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 4: Geometry, Rulers & Patterns
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 5: Band Saw Tips (featuring Spike on the band saw)
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 6: Wall Hanging
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 7: Drill Tips
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 8: Crazy Glue, Epoxies & Bondo
DiResta: Jimmy Tips 9: Tape Tips

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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