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WOOD Magazine's
10 Ways to Tablesaw Success. 1
3 Must-have Jigs. 4
Rip-fence saddle 10
How to Clean and Lube
Your 11
A Safe Way to Make
Raised PaneIs. 12
Ctamp-on Edge Guide 15
Compound Miter Jig 15
Sure-shootin' Hold-Down 16
Making Stronger Doors. 16
Rip Fence on Wheels. 17
Tune in to J-channel 17
Extension Table 17
Rabbeted Tablesaw Fence 18
Glue Your Setscrews. 18 Shelves. 18
CIearH:Ut Uds for Boxes. 19
Cut Slats for Toy Trucks. 19
Safety Tongue Stay Put 19
Micro-adjust Your Saw 20
Coffee-can saw-blade Spacers. 20
Pushblock for Small Pieces. .20
Extend the SCope of Your saw. 21
Cutting Cove Moldings. 21
Editor-In-Chief Bill
Executive Editor JIM
Managing Editor MARLEI
Publication Designer RAY
Senior Vice PresldentJPublishing IIirec8r OlSDN
Group Publisher TOM
Publisher MARK HAGBI
President JACK GRiffiN
Editorial Director MIKE LAFAVURE
Finance and Administration KARLA JEfRES
Manufacturing BRUCE HESTlIlI
Consumer Marketing DAVID BAll
Creative Services ELLEN de LATHOUIIBI
Interactive Media LAUREN WIENER
Corporate Marketing NANCY WEBER
Reasearch BRmA WARE
A 1 ~ ~ ~ ~
President and Chief Executive Officer STEPHEN M. LACY
Chairman of the Board WIWAM T. KERR
In Memoriam - E. T. Meredith III (1933-2003)
OCopyright Meredith Corporation 2007
All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.
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Tablesaw Jigs ac Tips 2007
Finesse the fence. I
To set the fence parallel to the blade, start by cutting
two 2"-long blocks to fit snugly in one miter gauge slot.
Position the fence against them, and use a thin shim to check
for an equal gap at both ends, as shown at left. Setting the
fence exactly parallel yields the best results, especially with
dadoes. If the workpiece bums or binds, cant the outfeed
end away from the blade between .010" and .030" (about the
thickness of a business card).
True the blade and table.
For straight, bum-free cuts, the
saw blade must run parallel to
the miter-gauge slots and the fence. To
align the blade, mark one blade tooth
and measure, at the front of the throat
opening, from one miter gauge slot to it
using a combination square, as shown at
left. Then rotate the blade and measure
to the same tooth at the back of the
throat opening. If the distances vary,
reposition either the trunnions or the
saw table. Check your owner's manual
to see which method applies. Also check
and adjust the blade's 45 and 90 bevel
stops. Procedures for this vary widely,
so check your owner's manual.
Get blade height right.
Everyone has a different idea on
how far saw-blade teeth should
protrude above the stock. As a gen-
eral rule, raise the blade Yz" above the
surface of softwood stock to reduce heat
buildup. For hardwoods, raise it to 3/4"
above the surface. You want the blade
to eject waste from the gullets between
the teeth. That means that the bottom
of the blade's gullets should at least be
flush with the surface of the stock, as
shown above.
Cover theangles.
To ensure accurate crosscuts, make sure the miter gauge is
accurate at 90 and 45. Rest one edge of a plastic drafting
triangle on the blade body-not on the teeth. Loosen the miter gauge
knob, slide the head against the triangle, and then lock the knob, as
shown at left. Do the same at 45. These triangles are available in
artist's supply stores and are very accurate. Adjustable models also
are available.
Get proper clearance.
The standard throat plate on most saws has a wide
opening to allow tilting the blade. This leaves the
underside of the workpiece unsupported and susceptible to
chip-out, and can allow thin wood strips to drop into the
gap. To minimize these problems, make a zero-clearance
insert. Just trace your insert onto plywood of the proper
thickness (you may have to plane it down) and cut it to
rough shape. Plywood is better than solid stock, which
may warp. Either sand the insert to exact shape, or attach
it to the throat plate using double-faced tape and shape it
using a pattern-routing bit in a table-mounted router, as
shown in the inset, left. You also can use thinner plywood
and drive short flathead scre\ into the
bottom face to act as levelers.
Lower your saw blade all the way, and
check the insert's fit. If the blade doesn't
retract far enough to allow the insert to
sit flush with the table surface. reinstall
the standard throat plate and cut a kerf
in the underside of the zero-clearance
insert. Recheck the fit, and then clamp
the insert in place using a long board.
Tum on the saw and slowly rai e the
blade to full height to cut through the
plate, as shown at left. Use the arne pro-
cedures to make a dado insert.
Add function to the fence.
For some operation . uch as when cutting tenons with
a dado blade or cutting with the blade against the rip
fence, you'll appreciate having an auxiliary fence face. Easy
to make, thi acces ory prevents damage to the fence, and can
support a tall face for cutting wide workpieces on edge.
For general u e. cut a 4" plywood face 4"-wide by the
length of your fence. How you attach the face depends on
your fence. If your fence has holes through it, attach the face
with bolts. Just counterbore the holes in the face so the bolt
heads sit below the urface. Or make a "saddle" that lips
over the fence, as shown at left. Clamp it at the outfeed end,
or mount a pair ofT-nuts in the saddle's back "leg," and use
short bolts as setscrews to secure the saddle.
Tablesaw Jigs ok Tips 2007
createamightier gauge.
When crosscutting long boards or
cutting multiple pieces to the same
length, an auxiliary extension board
for the miter gauge is a must. Make
one from scrap 314" plywood, about 3"
wide and up to 36" long, such as the
one shown at right. For even greater
accuracy, give the extension a grip on
the workpiece by covering the face
with adhesive-backed sandpaper. Screw
the extension to the miter gauge so it
protrudes beyond the blade, and then cut
a kerf through it. Next, make a clamp-
on stopblock about 1/4" shorter than the
fence height to prevent sawdust from
building up and causing inaccurate cuts.
Make sacrificial guides.
Any time you are ripping pieces
narrower than 6", use a pushblock
to guide your stock while keeping your
hands safely away from the blade.
Make your own by simply cutting
a birdsmouth notch in one end of a
3/4x2x12" piece of stock. If you have
to rip pieces narrower than 1", make a
wide pushblock from a 2x4 and a piece
of hardboard, as shown at right. The
blade will cut into the pushblock, but
the hardboard "heel" pushes both the
workpiece and waste safely past the
blade. Rather than getting fancy, make
your pushblocks from scrap stock, and
sacrifice them to the blade instead of
your fingers.
Wax tables for smooth sliding.
Cast-iron saw tables will rust if left
bare, which prevents workpieces
from sliding freely. You can get rid of
rust by spraying the table with penetrat-
ing oil (such as WD-40) and scrubbing
with a synthetic steel-wool pad or 220-grit
wet/dry sandpaper. Form a barrier to new
rust by coating the table with a commer-
cial product such as Top-Cote (available
from Woodcraft at 800/225-1153), or by
applying a couple coats of paste wax to
the table and buffing it out well. Recoat
the table every few months to prevent rust
from coming back.
Take time for regular maintenance.
Your saw will run better and last longer if you take care of it
on a rrgular basis. Do the following every month or two:
Wipe sawdust and debris from the saw table. Spray protectant or
polish the table with wax several times per year.
Vacuum, blow, or brush sawdust from the trunnions and lubricate
per the manufacturers instructions.
Tum blade-height and bevel handwheels through their full range of
motion, and check 45 and 90 stops.
Use blade-and-bit cleaner to remove pitch from your saw blade.
Oven cleaner works, but is caustic. Try Formula 409-brand cleaner for
minor cleanups.
Check the condition of drive belts, and replace them if cracked or
worn. Check pulley setscrews, and tighten if necessary.
Make sure all electrical cords and connections are in good condition.
3must-have tablesawjigs
Build one or all, and boost your precision for pennies.
sk a few seasoned woodwork-
ers about the benefits of stock-
ing your shop with a variety of
hardworking jigs. They'll likely tell
you that some jigs get used again and
again, while others gather dust. These
three, we guarantee, won't gather dust.
We designed and thoroughly tested
this trio of tablesaw jigs, building
them from scrap to save on cost. Take
an evening or two to make them, and
we predict that you'll use the crosscut
sled constantly, especially for repeti-
tive cuts. The thin-strip ripping jig and
the four-sided taper jig provide you
with more specialized services.
See the Buying Guide on page 9
for the sources of the inexpensive
hardware items you'll need. We used
Baltic birch plywood and hard maple
for the wood parts. If you prefer, you
can substitute medium-density fiber-
board (MDF) for plywood and another
dense hardwood for maple.
Tablesaw Jigs &: Tips 2007
To make a cursor, scribe a line across
the middle of the acrylic indicator with a
sharp knife and a combination square.
Color the scribed line with a permanent
marker. Wipe off the excess ink with a
cloth or paper towel, leaving a fine line.
Miter-slot guide bar
slot on your tablesaw. Loosen the knob,
set the cursor to zero (the bottom end
of the rule), and retighten the knob.
Slide the jig so that the brass screw
head is beside the saw blade. Tum the
screw in or out with a screwdriver until
the head lightly contacts a left-leaning
tooth. Pull the jig toward you, loosen
the knob, set the cursor for the desired
Four-arm knob with V4' insert
: ~ V 4 ' flat washer
#8 x 314' F.H. wood screW)CJt'
0/"32" shank hole,
, countersunk
Indicator ~ :
2" I
cut. Drive a brass screw halfway into
the wood. (We used brass to avoid
any chance of damaging a tablesaw
blade.) You'll tum this screw in or out
to fine-tune your jig's basic "zero"
setting, or to adjust it for a blade of
different thickness or with a different
tooth set.
From the bottom side of the
assembly, drill and countersink a
1;4" hole through the miter-slot guide
bar and base for the machine screw
that holds the plastic knob. Sand all of
the wood parts to 180 grit, and apply
three coats of clear finish.
Make a mark 1" from the left end
of the sliding bar. Cut the first
1Yz" from an inexpensive steel rule,
align its left end with the mark, and
attach it with epoxy.
Cut a piece of 1;4" acrylic plastic to
the dimensions shown for the indi-
cator. Drill and countersink the two
mounting holes, and scribe and mark a
cursor line, as described in the caption
of Photo A. Attach the indicator to the
base, and add the knob.
Now, cut some strips
To cut a thin strip with the jig, place its
guide bar in the left-hand miter gauge
Sometimes you need to rip several
thin strips of wood to equal thickness
to serve as edging, veneer, or bending
stock, but slicing off thin stock on the
fence side of the blade could prove
unsafe. That's because it becomes awk-
ward to use your blade guard and push-
stick when you cut close to the fence.
The solution: Run the wide portion of
your workpiece between the fence and
blade, cutting the strips on the side of
the blade opposite the fence. You could
accomplish this by measuring for each
cut, but that's tedious and inaccurate.
This thin-strip ripping jig does the job
safely, accurately, and quickly.
First, buildthejig
Cut a piece of 314" plywood to the
dimensions shown for the base on
Drawing 1. Cut a dado on the bottom
side of the base for the guide bar, where
shown. Now, cut the %" dado on the
top side of the base for the sliding bar.
Cut two pieces of maple to size for
the miter-slot guide bar (adjust the
dimensions shown if necessary to fit
your tablesaw's slots) and the sliding
bar. Center the miter-slot guide bar in
the bottom dado, and glue it in place.
Drill a pair of 5/16" holes in the sliding
bar where shown, scrollsaw the materi-
al between them, and smooth the inside
of the slot with a file.
Set the jig in your tablesaw's left
miter-gauge slot. Place the sliding
bar in the dado with its left end flush
with the base. Slide the jig forward,
and mark the point where a left-lean-
ing sawblade tooth touches the bar.
Make a second mark 1h" closer to the
base. Remove the bar, and crosscut it
at the second mark.
Drill a Y64" pilot hole in the sliding
bar, centered on the end you just
Simple, handythin-strip rippingjig
strip thickness, and retighten the knob.
Position your workpiece against the
rip fence, and move the fence to bring
the left edge of the workpiece against
the screw head, as shown in Photo B.
Lock the fence in place, set the jig out
of the way, and you're ready to cut a
strip, as shown in Photo C.
After completing the cut, clean up
the workpiece on the jointer. Replace
the jig in the slot. Then unlock the rip
fence, move it to bring the jointed edge
against the screw head, lock the rip
fence, remove the jig, and saw another
strip. Repeat the process as many times
as necessary to produce all of the strips
that you need for your project.
Size your thin-strip ripping jig to suit your
tablesaw, so that a 1" screw in the guide
bar can contact the blade. Install a zero-
clearance throat plate to prevent the sawn
strip from falling into the saw.
Remove the jig before making the cut so
the workpiece doesn't bind between the
rip fence and the screw head. Replace the
jig in the slot without making any adjust-
ments to set up the next cut.
Versatile four-sided tapering jig
Diagonal lines on the end of the workpiece
locate the hole that fits onto the indexing
pin. Draw the cutline for the final shape,
and extend the lines to the edges to help
you position the workpiece on the jig.
assembly, using the previously drilled
holes as guides.
Cut a maple blank to 3/4x2xI2" to
make the pivot block. (We begin
with an oversized piece to assure
safety during the cutting process.)
Cut a rabbet on one end of the blank,
where shown on Drawing 2a. Now,
drill two holes to form the ends of the
adjustment slot, remove the material
between the holes with a coping saw or
scrollsaw, and clean up the slot with a
file. Cut a W' groove centered on the
bottom edge of the blank. Next, drill
a W' hole centered in the groove 2W'
from the rabbeted end. Glue in the 3W'
guide bar piece, making it flush with
the rabbeted end. After the glue dries,
drill a W' hole through the blank, using
the previously drilled hole as a guide.
Trim the blank to 3W' in length. Sand
and finish the assembly.
After cutting dadoes in the plywood base,
glue the hardboard to the dadoed face.
Mount the two outside blades of a dado
set in your tablesaw, and cut slots through
the hardboard centered over each dado.
W'-wide cut, put an auxiliary fence
on your miter gauge, and cut a slot
through the hardboard centered over
each plywood dado, as shown in
Photo D.
Cut a piece of maple to
/sxI2"; then cut two 3"
pieces and one 3
12" piece from
this blank for the guide bars. For
the hold-down bases, cut a piece of 314"
plywood to IY2xI2". Cut a W' groove
down the center of one face of this
plywood, where dimensioned on the
drawing. Drill two W' holes near oppo-
site ends of the groove, with each hole
centered in the groove and W' from
the end. Cut a 3" piece from each end
to make two hold-down bases. Next,
glue one guide bar piece in the groove
on each hold-down base. After the
glue dries, drill a W' hole through each
You can
taper one side of
a table leg without
much head-scratching,
but tapering all four sides
equally presents more of a
challenge. With this jig, however, you
can cut all four tapers without chang-
ing your setup. You simply rotate your
workpiece between cuts.
Locate the hold-downs to suit the
length of your workpiece. (The pivot
block can sit at either end of the jig.) If
your tablesaw has a 10" blade, you can
handle workpieces up to 2" thick.
Time to get started
Cut a piece of 314" plywood to the
size shown on Drawing 2, and
then cut a piece of W' hardboard to the
same dimensions for the base.
Cut 5/8" dadoes 3/16 " deep in
one face of the plywood where
dimensioned. Glue the hardboard to
the dadoed face with yellow glue.
Now, clamp the assembly between
two scraps of plywood to ensure even
pressure. After the glue dries, remove
the clamps, set your dado blade for a
6 Tablesaw Jigs'" Tips 2007
'/4' washer,
file to allow
nut to engage
the rabbet
V4 x 3" panhead
machine screw
3f4 x 12 x 36" plywood
The width and adjustability of the taper jig
allow you to handle a wide range of angle
cuts. Here, with the jig flipped end-for-end,
we're shaping a simple leg.
___.-/Four-arm knob
with '/4' insert
.J.---- W' flat washer
Pivot block i V4 x 1" brass roundhead

- machine screw,
.... -: / nut and washer
9/32" slot . ::;;; "-0

V4' groove i "1
3/'6" deep, centered i V4 x 3/8 X 3'12"
Hold the taper jig tightly against the table-
saw rip fence as you cut. Before starting
each pass, make certain that your left
hand is well away from the line.
Raise the saw blade \14" above the leg.
Butt the jig to the fence, move the fence
until the saw blade just clears the left
side of the jig, and then make the cut, as
shown in Photo F. To make each of the
three remaining cuts, loosen the hold-
down knobs, rotate the leg one-quarter
tum clockwise (as viewed from the piv-
oting end), reclamp, and cut.
This jig also serves another purpose,
as shown in Photo G. When you need
to cut a single taper, mark its start and
stop points on the end and edge of your
workpiece. Remove the indexing pin
from the end block, and nest the end
of the workpiece in the notch. Align
the marks with the edge of the jig, and
clamp. Place your hold-downs against
the workpiece. Tighten the pivot block
in place, and make the cut.
Tap intotapering
To taper a leg, cut your workpiece to
finished length, and then rip it to the
square dimensions that you want for the
untapered section at the upper end. Draw
a line on all four faces to mark where
the taper will begin. Drill a \4" centering
hole 3/s" deep at the center of the bot-
tom end, and add cut lines to show the
final dimensions of that end, as shown in
Photo E. Draw cut lines on the face con-
necting the leg-bottom marks with the
taper-start marks, as shown in the photo,
both to visualize the final shape, and to
serve as a safety reminder as you push
the jig across the saw.
Mount the leg centering hole on the
indexing pin. Slide the pivot block
until the planned outside face of the leg
aligns with the edge of the jig. Turn the
knob to lock the pivot block in place.
Now, near the upper end of the leg,
align the taper-start cutline with the
edge of the jig. Slide the hold-down
blocks against the leg, and tighten the
nylon nut on each one to set the block's
position. Tighten the top knob on each
hold-down to clamp the leg in place.
Assemble the hold-downs as
shown. For the pivot block, fIle
or grind one edge of the washer flat,
as shown on Drawing 2a, and then
assemble the nut, screw, and washer as
shown. Adjustable up or down in the
slot, this screw serves as an indexing
pin. Once set for a particular work-
piece, it guarantees that every cut in the
sequence is an equal distance from the
center of the workpiece.
1" plastic knob
V4' flat washer
,I." ", V4" nylon nut
0/4 x 1'12 X 3" plywood
V4" groove-.......-.-/ : V4 X 3/8 X 3"
3/'6" deep, , guide bar
centered I
V4 x 3"--..... V4" holes 7/
" V4"
machine screw
Dead-on 90
crosscut sled
A reliable tablesaw miter gauge
handles a lot of crosscutting tasks,
but not all. It rides in just one slot,
and supports the workpiece on just
one side of the blade, allowing for
slop. This problem disappears, how-
ever, with a well-made crosscut
sled. Making right-angle cutting
easier and safer, our design is both
simple and cheap to build. And it
includes adjustable, reliable stops
for repeatable cuts and dead-on
Buildareal workhorse
Select a flat piece of 3/4" ply-
wood, and cut the platform to
the dimensions shown on Drawing
Cut two maple pieces for the
fence, and cut a s" groove
in the face of one piece, where
shown on Drawing 3a. Glue the
two blanks together, keeping the
edges flush and the groove on the
interior of the lamination. After the
glue dries, cut a W' groove centered
on the S/s" groove. Then, cut a rabbet
along the front of the bottom edge and
a Vz" groove centered along the top
From 314" maple, cut the blade
guard sides and end. Glue and
screw the end to the sides. Now, screw
the blade guard to the fence, where
shown on Drawing 3.
Cut the front rail from 3;4" maple.
Use a jigsaw to cut a notch, where
shown, for the blade to pass through.
Attach the front rail and the fence to
the platform with screws.
Cut, sand, and finish two top blade
guard supports. Using a fme-
toothed tablesaw blade, cut a piece of
W' clear acrylic to size for the guard
cover. Attach the cover to the sup-
ports, the front rail, and the fence.
From 3/4" maple stock, cut two
strips to serve as miter-slot guide
bars. Set your tablesaw rip fence 8lfg"
to the right of the blade, and lower
the blade below the table's surface.
#8 x 3/..' F.H.........
wood screw ""'T
V4' dado 1/4' deep
7/a" from top edge
Blade guard
#8 x 1V2' F.H.
wood screw
'14 x 3'14 x 223/4"
3/4 x 3/4 x 161/4' clear acrylic
5/16 X 3/4 x 18"
miter-slot guide bars
1fa" shank hole,
#8 x 1/2' F.H. wood screw
3/4 X18x30"
Top blade guard
#8 x 1'12" F.H.
wood screw
Front rail
8 Tablesaw Jigs &: Tips 2007
7/,S" '/8 XV2' slot 1
!----+---___+__________' J
Score a line on the acrylic with a knife,
and color it with a permanent marker.
Keeping the right end of the platform
against the rip fence, set the sled assem-
bly on the guides. Press down firmly to
stick the bars to the platform.
V2" groove V's" deep
(to fit measuring rule)
L ~ 1
'/4' groove
5/1s" deep \ 5/8" groove
\ 3/,S" deep
1/a" rabbet ------"""'I I I
1/a" deep ----l W' wI------
Hold the workpiece firmly against the fence as you make a cut. Keep your hands outside
the blade guard, and don't cut through its end.
Two pennies shim the miter-slot guide
bars slightly above the tablesaw surface.
Place a couple of these stacks in each
miter-gauge slot, and set the bars on top.
Buying Guide
Hardware. Stainless steel rules no. 06K20.06; 1W
four-arm plastic knob no. 00M55.30. Call Lee Valley at
800/871-8158, or go to
Hold-down with bolt and knob, no. 145831; self-adhe-
sive rule, no. 08Y42. Call Woodcraft at 8001225-1153,
or go to
Written by Jim Pollock with Jeff Mertz and
Kevin Boyle
Illustrations: Roxanne LeMoine
to the top of each guide bar, and attach
the bars to the platform, as shown in
Photos H and I. Remove the assembly
from the saw, and permanently attach
the bars with screws.
Cut a piece for the stopblock,
and cut a dado in the back, where
shown. Cut a guide bar, and glue it into
the dado. Drill a shank hole through the
block and bar, where shown. Now, cut
a piece of 1/4" acrylic plastic to size for
the stopblock indicator. See Drawing
3b. Drill, saw, and file smooth the slot,
where shown. Make a cursor line, as
shown in Photo A on page 5.
Remove the top blade guard,
sand the jig, and apply three coats
of finish. Reattach the blade guard,
assemble and. install the stopblock,
place the crosscut sled on your table-
saw, and make a cut from the front
edge through the fence. Use a rule
to set the stopblock 4" from the kerf.
Mark the center of the stop block on
its top end, align the 4" line on the
self-adhesive measuring tape with that
mark, and attach the tape in the fence
groove. Use tin snips to cut off the por-
tion of the tape extending beyond the
left end of the fence. Place the indica-
tor on the stopblock, align the cursor
with the tape's 4" line, and attach the
indicator to the block with a screw.
Now, let's go sledding
If a workpiece fits between the fence
and the front rail, you can cut it on your
crosscut sled, as shown in Photo J. Use
the stop block to cut multiple pieces to
the same length, provided that length
falls within the stop block's range.
Remove the stopblock when cutting
pieces that extend beyond that range.
When you install a tablesaw blade of a
different thickness or with a different
tooth set than the one used to calibrate
your stopblock, check the setting with a
rule, and adjust the cursor. 9
An inexpensive, shop-built jigfor
top-notch machining andjoinery
uild this auxiliary wood fence and
mating saddle to support stiles and other
workpieces while machining end grain.
Use one hand to push the saddle and work-
piece across the blade, and your other hand to
keep the saddle riding firmly on the auxiliary
fence. Wax the mating pieces if necessary for
easy sliding.
Note: Our auxiliary fence is screwed
securely to our tablesaw rip fence, with the
top edge of the fence sitting 1" above the
top edge of the sawfence. The auxiliary
fence must be 90 to the saw table. Size your
saddle support pieces so the saddle rides
smoothly, without free play, along the top
edge of the auxiliary fence.
% x 8 x 8" plywood
Illustration: Roxanne LeMoine; Tim Cahill
Photograph: Marty Baldwin
% x 2 x 8" stock
Tablesaw rip fence
Positioned to center the work-
piece over the dado blade, the jig
is the perfect setup for machining
bridle joints or open mortises and
the mating tenons.
'h x 1 x 8" stock
(vertical support)
Tablesaw Jigs &: Tips 2007
Do the moving parts of your most
important shop tool offer peak
performance with every push of
the "on" button? If not, perhaps
alittle TLC is in order.
After vacuuming most of the dust, blast compressed air into the saw cabinet to
dislodge the remaining deposits.
f your tablesaw creaks and groans
when you crank the elevation and
blade-tilt wheels, it's long overdue
for an inspection and tuneup. Outlined
here is the procedure that will get your
saw moving smoothly again, along with
some important safety issues.
First, clean your machine
Begin by unplugging the saw. Remove
the throat plate, blade guard, and the
blade. Inspect the blade for resin
buildup, and clean it if necessary. Make
sure that the washer and blade stabilizer
(if used) are clean, smooth, and flat.
Removing the drive belt and motor
from the back of the saw is a fast and
easy step on contractor-style models,
and it dramatically improves access to
the saw's interior for cleaning and
lubrication. A shop vacuum with a
crevice attachment will remove most of
the chips, and an old paintbrush will
help loosen stubborn pockets of dust.
Tilt the arbor assembly to dump more
dust, and use a couple of blasts of
compressed air to complete the job.
Make especially certain that you've
removed all dust near the stops that limit
the tilt control so you'll get full travel.
If the worm gears or the rows of teeth
have any residue, scrub them with a
brass brush. For really tough build-up,
you may have to dip the brush in paint
thinner. Keep the solvent away from the
arbor bearings, which are usually sealed
and need no lubrication. Afterward, wipe
Apply paste wax to the gearing with a
toothbrush, and then remove as much as
possible. Your goal is to achieve a thin
film with no visible residue.
any remaining residue from the worm
gears in preparation for the next step.
Time for alubejob
After all of the gearing is clean,
lubricate it with a non-silicone automo-
tive paste wax applied with a toothbrush.
Also wax the curved slots in the front
and rear trunnions. Run the tilt and
elevation controls through several full
ranges of motion, and remove all the
wax, leaving only a thin film.
Push a plastic straw tip onto a spray
can of white lithium grease, and
lubricate the pivots of the arbor assembly
(where it swings upward) and the shafts
behind the worm gears. This aerosol,
A plastic straw delivers aerosol white
lithium grease with precision. This lubri-
cant sprays and penetrates like a liquid,
and congeals into grease.
available at auto-parts stores, sprays and
penetrates like a liquid and congeals into
grease. Again, wipe off all the lubricant
you can with a rag.
Inspect the arbor flange, making
certain that it's clean and smooth. Turn
the arbor by hand, and try to wiggle it.
Any noise or sideways play indicates a
problem with the bearings that requires
immediate attention.
Blow any dust out of the fence-locking
mechanism. Give the fence and the
entire surface of the table and the
extension wings a coat of non-silicone
paste wax or a special product like
Boeshield T-9. (Visit,
or call 800/962-1732.)
Pros can decorate shoulder
with profile router bits
Cons bevels are a bit more
difficult to sand
'V.' raised panels
'VB" rabbet
'14" deep
) 1r
Pros shoulder detail
catches the eye
Cons' bevels are a bit more
difficult to sand
3/B" rabbets
V4" deep
Pros contemporary look
easy-to-sand bevels
Cons no panel detail to
catch the eye
Markthe bevels
Looking at the end of the panel blank, lay
out the desired bevel using a sliding bevel
square. Also, if your panel needs a tongue
and rabbet lay them out, at this time.
Preparingthe panels
Before cutting the door panels to size, match
the wood tones and arrange the grain
patterns for best appearance. For example,
center the cathedral (inverse V) pattern on
narrow, single-board panels. When gluing
up wider panels, use pieces cut from the
same board for consistent grain and color.
Next, decide which style of panel you
want, one that's flush with the frame, called
a back-cut panel (see the drawing at right);
or a proud panel (with the panel raised above
the frame). All will give your panels a
custom look. Glue up the stock needed to
make your panel blanks. Then, cut your
panels to finished size.
Note: To minimize wood movement, we
suggest using boards no wider than 5" when
gluing up your panels.
Cut raised panelswithatablesaw
For the woodworker who doesn't have a
router table or the budget for expensive
raised-panel bits, cutting raised panels on
the tablesaw is an effective alternative. This
method does have one drawback: You'll
need to invest time and elbow grease into
finish-sanding the panel bevels.
To solve the challenge of supporting
panels safely while cutting bevels, make the
easy-to-build panel-cutting sled shown
in Drawing 1 and 2 on the opposite page.
aised panels have long been viewed
as signs of fine craftsmanship-
perhaps because they appear difficult
to make. But as you'll see here, that need not
be the case. We'll show you a method for
cutting a raised panel using the tablesaw.
Better still, you'll find this method excels at
safety and accuracy.
12 Tablesaw Jigs & Tips 2007
Build the basic sled
Combine scrap material with a few hardware items and you'll
have a jig destined for a lifetime of service. To make the sled
follow these simple steps:
1 Cut two pieces of 3/4' MDF to the dimensions in the Materials
List to make the upright (A) and base (8). Scrollsaw or bandsaw
the 1W radii on two corners of (8), cutting outside the line, and
then sanding to it.
2 Using a dado blade, cut two 3/4" dadoes W' deep in the top of
the base, where shown Drawing 1.
3 After adding a sacrificial auxiliary fence to your saw fence, cut
a rabbet :4" wide and W' deep along the bottom edge of the
upright (A) where shown.
4 Next, drill 5116" holes in the upright (A) and at the ends of the
slot locations in the base. Layout the sides of the slots, and
scrollsaw them to shape with a #12 blade.
S Cut two braces (C), as dimensioned in Drawing 2.
6 Drill 5/32" pilot holes, and then glue and screw the sled together
using #8x1W brass screws, where shown. Tip: Use brass
screws anytime a jig's screws are close to the saw blade.
Nowadd the extras
1 Cut the guide strip (D) to fit your miter-gauge slot in depth
and width. Trim the piece to 28" long, and drill countersunk
W' holes centered on the strip 3" from each end. Now, attach
the guide strip to the base using the hardware shown.
2 Cut the upright stops (E) to size, and drill the hole and
counterbore hole, wl:lere shown in Drawing 2. Secure the
stops to the ends of upright (A).
3 Cut the clamping bar (F) to size and drill
116" holes, where
shown. Layout and shape the clamping bar curve, as shown
in Drawing 1, using a bandsaw. Sand smooth.
4 Next, attach the clamping bar to the sled using the
hardware shown. Tip: If you have trouble finding extra-long
machine screws, cut two pieces of all-thread. Then secure
the four-arm knobs to the screws using 5-minute epoxy.
S Remove the hardware and the clamping bar and guide
strip, and sand all parts to 150-grit. Now apply two coats of
finish, sanding between coats with 180-grit abrasive.
6 Cut a piece of adhesive-backed 120-grit sandpaper, and
apply it to the sled face, as shown in Drawing 1.
7 Reassemble the sled.
V.-20 x 2" F.H. machine screw---"",I
10/8" __
!-':'--"'-"'-....:::..:;:::..:..:.='-''''-=-=--,-----------';'--1" 1V..'

Materials key: MDF-medium-den-
sity fiberboard, M-maple.
Supplies: #8x1 W', #8x1" brass
flathead wood screws; V,-20x2" (2),
V4-20x4W' (2) flathead machine
screws; V,-20 four-arm knobs
(4); V4' flat washers (8); 1V2xo/a"
compression springs (2); V,-20
knife thread insert (2); 4" adhesive
backed 120-grit sandpaper.
Blades and bits:
Stack dado cutter.
!V16" slot
0/4:" dadoes U
14"_ j t
1V4' F.H. wood screw ;-i
___ ) E i %2'
Curve on this edge :0 ... ,"" 1"....... L. pilot hole
%-20 x 41/2' F.H. ''.''
maC-lhinescre;our_arm 'V16" hole .';'''
" I sandpaper U ri ht
/ knob F 29 .......1" "---. P g
.. __ .. #8 x 1" -- """
r --. '''. F.H. wood screw
V4' flat washer '::.: . __ 3"
1" spnng ( ""
V4' flat washer EIj: _.
!Va" counterbore V4' deep with a I
0/16" hole centered inside -""'"0/.
%-20 knife thread insert
0/..' rabbet V4' deep 13
, \
; I
Adjust the blade to match your bevel
Place the panel into the sled with the exterior face out. To adjust the angle and
height of the saw blade, sight down the blade, and align it with the layout
marks, as shown below. Clamp a test piece into the sled and run it through.
Readjust the settings until the angle and bevel thickness are dead-on accurate.
To cut a raised panel with shoulders
(the square lip on the face of the panel),
first adjust the tablesaw's fence 1%" from
the blade. Cut a saw kerf Vg" deep (3/16"
deep if making proud panels) and 1%"
from all four edges and ends of the panel's
face, as shown in Drawing 3. This kerf
will determine the shoulder location.
Set up the sledfor smooth,
accurate cuts
For your sled to function well, it must slide
parallel to the saw blade with its upright at
a right angle to the saw's tabletop. With
either out of alignment, scoring and
burning will occur. The following set-up
procedure assumes that your miter-gauge
slot aligns parallel with your saw blade. If
not, make that adjustment.
Then, with a steel rule, measure the
distance from the saw blade to the sled's
upright. Move the sled side to side as
needed so the distance between the blade
and the sled is the same as the panel's
tongue (and rabbet) thickness. When the
upright is the correct distance from the
blade, and parallel to the blade, tighten
down the knobs in the guide strip. Now,
adjust the blade bevel. See "Adjust the
blade to match your bevel," above.
Let's cut araised panel
Clamp your panel into the sled, exterior
face out, and cut the bevels. Panels can
be cut in four passes through the saw.
First, cut across the end grain to reduce
chip-out. Then cut the bevels on the
panel edges. Move through the blade at a
consistent speed, slowing down only if
the saw strains.
Note:-lf your saw bogs down in the cut,
you may need to use a thin-kerf blade or
make the cut in stages, using succes-
sively deeper passes.
Sand the panel bevels
Remove any saw marks with 100-grit
sandpaper and a hardwood block.
Finish-sand the bevels with 150- and
nO-grit sandpaper. Take care when
sanding not to remove the ridge at the
intersection of the bevels. Stain the
panels before you assemble the door.
A %" round-nose bit creates a distinct panel.
%" round-nose
router bit set to
cut Va" deep
-_.- -- -
,;. %" deep
'""\c- _
Add detail to your raised panels
After raising the panel
on your tablesaw, use
a 14" round-nose bit in
your router table to de-
tail the square shoulder
on the face of the panel.
Set the bit 15/8" from the
fence, as shown at right.
Then rout the detail,
starting with the end
grain first, followed by
the edge grain.
14 Tablesaw Jigs &: Tips 2007
best-evershoptips for tablesaws
I tried several methods for ripping rough-edged boards on my
tablesaw with mixed success. Then, while I was using a clamp-on
aluminum edge guide and my circular saw to cut up some ply-
wood, it occurred to me that the answer to my ripping dilemma
was actually right in front of me.
Now, to rip a straight edge on a board, I fust clamp the edge
guide to the workpiece so it overhangs the edge of the board
slightly. With the edge guide lined up firmly against the
tablesaw fence, I get straight-edged rips every time.
By the way, I have a 48"-long Tru-Grip Clamp'n Tool Guide,
available through many woodworking catalog companies. The
guide also comes in 24" and 36" lengths.
-Glenn Sperry, Vista, Calif.
Here's a way to cut compound miter
picture frames without an expensive
compound mitersaw. Start by making an
18x28" base from a piece of Yz" plywood.
Attach parallel miter-gauge guides to the
bottom. Then, push this base through the
saw blade to create a kerf that extends
about 12" across the plywood.
Using this kerf as a centerpoint, screw
the two fence pieces and the two angle
blocks to the base, as shown in the draw-
ing. You can bevel the angle blocks at any
angle you like, but 25 works well for most
picture frames. Now, clamp or hold your
picture-frame moldings against the fence
and cut the compound angle by pushing the
jig and the frame stock through the table-
saw blade.
-David Mattichak, Port Republic, Va.
4 X14 X18" hardwood channels
Bend tabs
90 after
. : ~ through slots.
'Or, so slide block slides freely
Open caulking- - ~ ...-....
gun handle.
Cut off
excess gun
#8 x 3f4" P.H. ... Hole drilled
wood screw ~ f o r gun shaft
Cut slots to Z(./ / pad after
accommodate gun. ~ assembly.
o Nylon nut
UHMW self-adhesive
on end of pad
1W'-thick )
saw-blade guard
(centered over
blade path)
3f4 X 0/'16 x 19V2"
hardwood miter-
gauge guide strip 1
3f4 x 19V2 x 24" plywood base 1
When designing a panel-cutting jig for my tablesaw, I wanted a way to
clamp a workpiece fIrmly into the jig. I found the solution in the paint
department of a discount store.
I bought an ordinary bar-style caulking gun for less than $3, threaded off
the nylon nut that holds the plunger pad to the rod, and attached the clamp to
a hardwood block as shown in the Clamp detail drawing at right. The block
moves back and forth in a channel on the panel jig, which I built as shown.
To use the clamp, I simply slide it over my workpiece. A few quick
squeezes of the trigger secures the piece for a safe cut.
-Rusty Bentzinger, Leighton, Iowa
1 ---- '!4 x 1"-long
tR:==:=11 tenon
r----_ Y
f- Cut a %" groove
V2" deep along
inside edge
of frame.
When building frame-and-panel
doors, I make them extra strong
by making the tenons long. Rather
than chisel out the deep mortises,
you can cut them on a tablesaw.
In the stile, center a Y4" -deep
groove for the panel with your
dado blade. Then, raise the
tablesaw cutting depth up to I".
Measure the width of your tenon
and clamp a stopblock to your
tablesaw fence, as shown atfar
right. Then, run the stile groove-
side down over the dado blade to
the stopblock.
-Erv Roberts, Des Moines, Iowa
16 Tablesaw Jigs ok Tips 2007
.....------- TUNE IN TO J-CHANNEL
I already have my router mounted in the extension wing of my tablesaw
to save space. But when I wanted to build a downdraft sanding table, I
figured out a way to get triple duty out of the extension and opening.
First, I cut a second acrylic insert the exact size of the one for my router.
Then, I marked out and drilled a gridwork of 5/16" holes spaced 3/4" apart in
the insert. Next, I built a dust box, as shown at left. Finally, I glued the
box to the bottom of the acrylic insert.
Now when I need to sand a project, I lift out the router, drop in the sand-
ing insert, connect the dust-collection hose, and sand away. My shop stays
cleaner, and I still have room to move around. -Martin Beijer, Castak, Calif.
Aluminum J-channel
(4 x 1W' aluminum angle
also would work)
Saw blade
Saw off
rough edge.
tk' Saw off flange.
I needed to put a straight edge on a long piece of stock, but because
the piece was longer than my jointer's tables, I didn't have much
luck. I headed to the hardware store and bought an 8' length of alu-
minum I-channel (nornlally used with aluminum siding).
I sawed off the flange, as shown below, and attached the
I-channel to my board with cloth-backed double-faced tape.
Keeping the channel against my tablesaw's rip fence, I then cut a
straight edge on the opposite edge of the stock.
With this one 8' piece of I-channel, I've found that I can joint
stock up to 10' long. The tape will keep its tack for many boards
if you wipe the dust from the wood before applying the channel.
-Ron Radecki, Grand Rapids, Mich.
.cR\:' insert hole
--:.. - Dust box is glued
or siliconed to
bottom side of
insert plate.
'/2 x 2" stock
Hole centered . . ..........
in bottom -:::::---.::::- - 1 :Va" plywood
1 ',. ( bottom
Dust collection -s
connector or PVC #6 x 1" F.H. wood screw
tube siliconed
into hole in bottom Dust collection
16" holes spaced approximately :v.' apart
Acrylic insert
plate (same size
as router plate)
Self-tapping sheet-metal screws
The rip fence on my Powermatic 66 tablesaw didn't
glide as smoothly across the tabletop as I liked, so I
made a $S improvement. I bought a 2" fixed rubber
caster at the hardware store and attached it to the bottom
of the far end of the fence, as shown below. The wheel
rolls on the angle iron attached to the back of the saw. I
put a spacer between the caster and the fence to give me
1/32" clearance above the tabletop. The fence now glides
effortlessly across the table.
-William Marazita, Santa Barbara, Calif. 17
...------------ TABLESAW FENCE
Bolt shelves
to angle iron.
Every time you switch from the miter gauge
to the rip fence, you have to walk across
the shop to put one or the other down. Then
there's the problem of where to store the
pushstick and other tablesaw accessories.
Solve this dilemma by building a pair of
shelves below your tablesaw top, using two
pieces of angle iron and some 3/4" plywood
or particleboard. Cut two pieces of Ysxlxl"
angle iron as long as the total length of your
tablesaw top, extensions included. Mount
the angle iron just above the joint where the
legs and the saw enclosure meet, using three
equally spaced 5/16X2" machine bolts. (If the
saw's power switch or handle interferes, bolt
the angle iron to the legs.)
Attach the shelves to the angle iron using
Y4" machine screws, lock washers, and nuts.
Countersink the heads of the screws into the
shelves. A strip of lx2 glued and screwed to
the outside end of each shelf will keep acces-
sories from falling off.
-Marvin Ring, Corvallis, Ore.
Keep the good side of stock up when cutting on
atablesaw, bandsaw, scrollsaw, radial-arm saw, or
compound mitersaw. With aportable circular saw or
handheld jigsaw, the good side should face down.
Place afeather board in front of the blade on a
tablesaw. If it's next to the blade, it can pinch the stock
being sawn against the blade, causing kickback.
flush. If you don't have a flush-trim
router bit, is hand-planing the only
solution? If you own a tablesaw,
you're just an auxiliary fence away
from a super-quick solution. Make
a Ix6" wooden auxiliary fence for
your tablesaw and cut a rabbet in
its face exactly as wide as the kerf
of your blade. Attach the auxiliary
fence to your regular rip fence and
position it so that the outside edge
of the blade is flush with the
outside face of the auxiliary fence,
as shown in the drawings at left and
below. Then, run your workpiece
along the fence to trim off the
excess edging. We used a 50-tooth,
carbide-tipped blade for clean,
splinter-free results.
-from the WOOD magazine shop
My tablesaw's throat insert
used to cause me a lot of grief.
Vibration loosened the setscrews
over time, and the insert dropped
down below the tabletop. When
I tried to rip a board, the bottom
edge of the forward end would
catch, resulting in an end grain
To keep the setscrews firmly in
place, I put a dab of Loctjte 242
on the threads. The thread-locker
prevents the setscrews from
moving, but a hearty twist with
an allen wrench break& the bond.
-R.J. Lemerise, Utic'li, Mich.
You've glued some solid-wood
edging on a set of plywood panels,
and now it's time to trim the edging
18 Tablesaw Jigs &: Tips 2007
Set the dado blade height
to the same thickness as
the slat piece; then rip
spaces to form slats.
Don't have acontainer to put your circular-saw blades in for
cleaning? Aplastic oil-change pan from an auto-parts store
works just great.
Space and glue stakes
across slat piece with ~ - - - . E : : : ' ~ ~ ~
bottoms sticking out.
Slat piece
I build lots of toy cars and trucks, so I'm always
looking for simpler and faster building techniques.
One particularly time-consuming job was ripping
and gluing up thin strips for making slatted, stake-
side panels for. truck beds. My solution: Glue the
stakes to a solid piece of stock the size of the
finished slats, as shown below. When the glue
dries, cut away the material between the slats with
a dado set and tablesaw. This wastes a little more
stock, but the time saved makes it worthwhile.
-Richard Rosencrans, Cody, Wyo.
I read on your WOODOnline ( forum groups
about homemade zero-clearance tablesaw inserts sent flying when
caught by the blade. To prevent this, attach q safety tongue to the
outfeed end of the insert, as shown below. Tip the insert so the
tongue catches under the saw table and drop the insert in place.
-Dave Goldthorp, Dunrobin, Onto
One big problem with cutting the lid from a closed box on a
tablesaw is that the box and lid become more unstable as subsequent
cuts are made. The bigger the box, the more potential for binding
and gouging and the more dangerous the operation becomes for
the woodworker.
For several years I've made boxes as small as 4" square and 2"
deep for jewelry and other pieces and as large as l6x24x48" for
blankets and toys.
For safe, stable lid cuts, I raise the saw blade to the correct cut-
ting height (slightly greater than the stock thickness) and cut the two
long sides first. Next, I apply a small amount of hotmelt glue to each
kerf, where shown in the inset illustration below. I then make the
end cuts and separate the box and lid
by cutting the glue with a sharp utility
knife. I also use the knife to peel or
shave away the glue before sanding to
remove the saw marks.
-John Ash, Lockport, III. 19
Insert a playing card
between the fence and
the block for fine
My tablesaw fence doesn't have a micro-
adjustment knob, but that doesn't stop me
from making finely tuned cuts. To make
a cut on the money, I make a test cut in
scrap and check the measurement. Then, I
slide a wooden block against the inboard
or outboard side of the fence-<iepending
on which way I need to adjust the cut-and
clamp the block to the saw table. Next, I
loosen the fence, insert a playing card or two
between the block and the fence, relock the
fence, and make another test cut.
-Ken Kerns,Fairview, N.C.
If you stack your tablesaw or circular-saw blades for storage or transport them
to a sharpener, you need spacers between them to prevent the carbide teeth
from chipping each other. But rather than go to the trouble and expense of cut-
ting out hardboard or plywood spacers, just save a few of the plastic lids that
come on three-pound coffee cans. Bore a hole the size of your saw's arbor in
the center of these, and place them between your blades.
-Ken Kraft, Boise, Idaho
Coffee-can lid with
hole drilled
in center
I needed to chamfer the edges of a small block of wood to make a decorative
post cap. But when I tried to use my regular pushstick, the tablesaw blade
twisted the block away from the
fence, gouging the workpiece
beyond repair.
To keep the workpiece under
control, I built a custom pushblock
from 2x4 scrap, as shown at left.
By cutting a notch in the scrap to
fit the workpiece, the pushblock
holds the work firmly when making
the cut and prevents the saw blade
from twisting and pulling the stock
away from the fence.
-Richard Rosencrans, Cody, Wyo.
Cut notch depth V32"
less than the thickness
of the workpiece.
Saw blade tilted to 45
Cut notch to fit workpiece.
20 Tablesaw Jigs'" Tips 2007
When making repetitive tablesaw
crosscuts, you typically clamp a
stop on a miter-gauge auxiliary
fence and cut with confidence. But
what do you do when the length of
the cut extends beyond the face of
the miter gauge? To solve the prob-
lem, I made a telescoping stop for
my saw, as shown at right.
In a length of W' steel pipe,
I drilled a pair of holes for the
knurled knobs, where indicated in
the drawing at right top, tapped
them, and threaded a knob into
each. Then, in one end of a 1/2"
steel rod about the same length as
the pipe, I drilled a W' hole and
attached a bolt as shown at right.
I drilled and tapped holes in the
bottom of my tablesaw top and
used metal strapping to secure the
pipe to the table. Now, with the
rod inserted in the pipe, I can slide
the stop out to whatever length I need
and tighten it in place with the knobs.
When not in use, the stop slides all
the way into the
steel pipe.
-David Mattichak, Port Republic, Va.
1/2' steel pipe fastened to
bottom of tablesaw table
Cut off head.---"""
, Vi' steel pipe
W' steel rod
Knurled knob (threaded into pipe)
I like to make my own cove moldings on
my tablesaw, but I found myself spending
a lot of time in trial and error setting up
the auxiliary fence for the cut. To make
it easier to find the exact location for
the diagonal fence, I cut a piece 0;- ;,ard-
board the same diameter as my tablesaw
blade and mount it on the arbor. Then, I
draw the exact radius of the cove on the
Cove mar1<ed on end of stock
Cut hardboard
template to the same
diameter as saw blade.
end of the stock and raise the hardboard
template "blade" to the full depth of the
cove. By sighting around the template
and aligning the stock so the marked
cove matches the template, I can quickly
position and clamp the fence.
-Michael Burton, Ogden, Utah
Saw blade
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