From building a deck to making a picture frame every DIYer needs to cut timber in large quantities or with high precision at some stage.
CROSSCUTTING is when timber is cut across the grain.
RIPPING is when timber is cut along the grain. Use a tablesaw with an extension fence to cut accurately. Always unplug it when squaring the blade and ensure the safety guard support lines up with the blade.
Kickback occurs when a spinning blade stops cutting the timber and grabs it instead, propelling it towards you at high speed. Never use the rip fence when cutting to length as it potentially causes kickback.
FINE-TUNE THE MITRE GAUGE
Make accurate right-angle cuts by squaring up the mitre gauge to the saw blade using a 45º set square rather than going by the gauge angle indicator.
Fine-tuning by making tiny adjustments is the most accurate.
Add an extension fence to guide the timber through the saw.
●1 LOOSEN THE HANDLE on the mitre gauge, lift the blade high to position a set square hard up against the blade at the widest section. Align the gauge to the other side then tighten the handle.
●2 CHOOSE A STRAIGHT BOARD at least 300mm long to make an extension fence, positioning it to extend well past the saw blade.
Secure it to the mitre gauge from the back with short screws that won’t go all the way through and damage the timber to be cut. Turn the saw on and trim off the end of the extension.
●3 POSITION A TEST PIECE of at least 100mm wide against the fence and make the cut, turning off the saw when finished. Flip the timber over and butt the cut edges together against the fence to check for gaps that show the mitre gauge is off, adjusting it accordingly.
TIP Always wear safety glasses, ear protection and a dust mask, and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing or long sleeves.
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