Canadian Woodworking

Top 10 table saw accessories

1. A Good Blade Selection – Ripping and crosscutting solid wood require different things from a blade. Melamine, laminate and other man-made materials also present unique challenges when cutting. And a dado blade can assist with making dadoes, grooves or rabbets. One blade won’t do everything.

2. Somewhere to Store Blades – Blade teeth make clean, efficient cuts, but only if they’re sharp and the blade is in good condition. Having a proper cabinet or case for your blades will go a long way to keeping them in good working condition. Even a few screws on the wall to hold the blades is better than nothing.

3. Crosscut Sled – Cutting workpieces at a 90° angle is an important part of woodworking. A dedicated crosscut sled will make cutting larger workpieces to length easier, safer and more accurate.

4. Mitre Gauge – Also on the theme of crosscutting work­pieces: A table saw likely came with a mitre gauge, but an after-market version might go a long way to assisting you with making 90° and 45° cuts, not to mention any other angle you choose.

5. Mitre Sled – Although a mitre saw can make 45° cuts, I find mitring workpieces on a table saw with a proper mitre sled is more accurate and you end up with smoother cuts. A mitre sled is also easy to make.

6. Auxiliary Fence – A piece of 3/4″ plywood ripped to 4″ wide and cut the length of your rip fence is essentially all you need. Clamp it to your rip fence to assist with making rabbets, machin­ing long bevels and doing all sorts of other fancy things on a table saw.

7. Push Sticks – The best push stick is your hand, but if a cut is too close for comfort, you need a push stick. It will grip and guide the workpiece as it’s being cut, and will keep your hands a safe distance from the blade. There are lots of versions to accomplish many tasks, so do your research and then make a few. Many after-market versions are also available.

8. Featherboards – Featherboards can help make cuts smoother and reduce kickback. Although you can purchase them in a variety of shapes and styles, they’re also easy to make.

9. A Few Clamps – I keep two 6″ F-clamps and two 2-1/2″ C-clamps at my table saw at all times. Whether it’s securing my auxiliary fence, clamping stops or positioning my long featherboard, a few clamps are helpful to have nearby.

10. Outfeed Table – Having the ability to support long lengths of material is critical to safety. It also makes for better cuts. If space is really tight you can add a hinged outfeed table to your saw. Another simple option is to use a router table or other stable surface positioned behind your saw as an outfeed table.

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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