Taking on construction projects is quite risky and usually requires a lot of time. To lighten the load, further developments in sawing technology have been made; thus assuring well-produced cuts and more secured working provisions. The bench saw, or the table saw, is one such advancement. Woodworkers are now able to produce lengthwise cut boards with less effort. Even more is that it has a mechanical circular saw attached just beneath a sturdy work table and obtrudes in a constructed opening which allows the user to moderate the depth of wood to cut.
Oftentimes, the bench is used to cut long lateral pieces of wood; but it can also be used to cut boards in shorter lengths. And since it is manageable, the user can easily adjust the saw blade’s angle to such extent that the blade would already touch the wood. In addition, the blade can be positioned up or down depending on the depth of the wood the user wishes to cut.
The rip fence is already a compulsory accessory to the bench saw. It is a movable guide parallel to the saw’s blade and it basically serves to measure the width of the board when cutting. The hold-down is another guide to the bench saw and its main function is to keep hold of the board onto the table as the tendency otherwise would be that the blade would pick the board off the table and ruin the effect. Other accessories are also available alongside the bench saw; they ensure that results would appear as the intended construct in the first place. These guides are constructed in such a way as to accommodate any particular angle the user may decide to apply.
Bench saws are made very sturdy to avoid any accident that may occur during wood-cutting. They are usually very heavy to avoid movement and vibration during sawing; any form of disturbance can generally affect the overall result of the woodcut – the accuracy of its cut, as well as its stability. It is important to take precautions to avoid accidents in the process: wear eye protection at all times and as much as possible, use a solid scrap of wood to push the board as you saw to keep your fingers away from the blade and prevent yourself from any serious injury. Remember to always lower the blade back beneath the table every time you finish using it.
Things to look for bench saws:
In selecting a bench saw to purchase, consider the following first: the accuracy, portability and mount and motor system of the saw. A regular bench saw or table saw is preferable if you plan to keep it at home. However, if you are to bring it every time to the worksite then you are better off with a portable saw. You can choose from a wide range of options of stationary saws – the ones already fixed in the workshop once assembled – or portable saws.
Quality can be evident from the type of fencing system that is installed on the bench saw for this is what will affect the accuracy of the cuts off the larger stocks of wood pieces. An excellent fencing system – consisting of a fence and a rail – is one that extends further from the table, thereby constructing more accurate widths for the woodcut.
In addition, how the motor and the blade are attached are important features to attend to; this is to ensure that the bench saw as a whole is in fact sturdy. Smaller bench saws have its motor on a single bracket attached to the side of the table. This allows the saw to revolve and subsequently control the raising and lowering of the blade for cutting. Meanwhile, bigger bench saws have guide rods or tracks symmetrically arranged for the blade’s manageable positioning on the fly. This system lessens the vibration of the running blade and the motor, thereby producing better boards of precise cuts.
The accessories that come with the bench are no simple decors but are also relevant in the overall performance of the machinery. A bench accessory stand would be a useful addition as it would keep your bench saw accessories within reach as you work; besides, it keeps your materials in order and therefore adds character to the accessories themselves.
Tips when choosing a bench saw:
Ask yourself why you want a bench saw. Is it going to be for professional use or just for leisure? The purpose for purchasing a bench saw would be the basis of the table size you need. Also, note the size of your workplace in which the bench saw will be placed.
It is best to purchase a small portable bench saw if it will only be for home-based purposes. It only requires but minimal space in the household. However, make sure that all the functions you require are covered by the bench saw before finally deciding. Bear in mind the following points as well: the black guard must be interchangeable, and an operational emergency switch must be accessible. Some bench saws are installed with a flash sensor which functions to prevent serious injuries. A dust collection feature is also a mandatory accompaniment to the bench saw.
Be prudent in making your selection – never settle for the first item that catches your attention. Make comparisons. Try to browse for more variants before finally deciding on your purchase. Go for the item which offers the most (utility) for the least (cost). Reviews in woodworking magazines are reliable references for finding quality bench saws.
Safety measures must be taken when using power tools to avoid any mishaps while working. Wear your full safety gear every time you work. The circular blade attached to the bench saw is very sharp and runs at high speed so it risks serious injury to the user. To avoid getting your fingers caught within the saw, use a solid scrap of wood to ram the board as it is cut, even more so if the wood is being cut into short lengths. When not in use, keep the blade under the saw bench as an added precaution and security.