As the same blade cannot provide smooth cutting for a long time, many carpenters and independent people (DIY lovers) need to change the blade of a table saw a few times on different projects. Typically, a table saw is used at construction sites and homework spaces.
In fact, it is one of the most basic tools for bigger projects. After using it for months, the blades become old and dull and they can no longer provide sharp cuts. However, the blade is also changed depending on the material to cut for a specific project. The well-known table saws are dado blades, smooth cutting, rip blades, etc.
When Should I Change my Table Saw blade?
If you’re experiencing any of the following issues with your table saw, it’s probably time to change the blade:
- Sluggish cutting – A dull blade will cause your saw to work harder, which will make cuts slower and more difficult.
- Burns on wood – This is a sign that the blade is losing its sharpness and causing friction as it cuts.
- Loud sounds from the saw – If your saw is making strange noises, it could be because the teeth on the blade are damaged or worn down.
- Difficulty following cut lines – A blunt blade can cause the saw to “wander” off the line you’re trying to follow, making for an inaccurate and dangerous cut.
What Materials are Needed to Change the Blade of a Table Saw?
Following materials are needed to change the blade of a table saw –
- New Table Saw Blade
- Allen or Hex Wrench
- Small Block of Wood
The Process of Changing the Blade of a Table Saw
Changing the blade of a table saw requires careful attention to detail. At the same, you have to follow a certain procedure as well. If you ignore any of these things, the chances are that you might not be able to change the blade. So, let’s have a quick look at the process of changing the blade of a table saw –
Switch off the Power
Find the power switch on the table saw, and turn it off. It is safer to unplug the saw from the main socket to completely separate it from the power line. After turning off the switch, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. The rest of the power will be drained off the machine.
Remove the Plate of the Blade
Place the blade plate on the table saw. The bed plate, as the name suggests, is a plate of metal that remains on the upper surface of the table saw. Generally, most of the blade plates are secured with two screws, one front, and another back screw. You can loosen or remove the screws to remove the plate. Once removed, place the plate aside out of the way.
Remove the Blade
Now, move the plate around until it reaches the highest position. The blade may turn accidentally. To avoid this problem, arrange a small wood block and place it against the blade. Locate the nut and washer and then remove them from the blade. You can do it by turning the nut with a wrench in the anti-clockwise direction i.e. towards you. After removing the blade, set it aside out of the way while working.
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Install a New Blade
Put the blade onto the blade housing and make sure the teeth of the blade are positioned toward the front of the table saw. Locate the nut and washer, and fix the blade in place by tightening the nut turning a wrench in a clockwise direction i.e. away from you. Use a small wooden block to hold the blade safely.
Re-install the Blade Plate
Now, you will utilize a screwdriver for reinstalling the blade plate through tightening the screws. It will secure the plate at the top of the table saw.
Turn the Power On
Connect the plug to the wall socket to establish the connection with the main power line. Now, turn the switch on to start the table saw and test run the blade to check if it’s installed properly and running true.
When you get the procedure, replacing a table saw blade on a regular basis will be a lot easier without any previous planning. While running a long-term project, you may need to change the blade quite a few times. The changing of the blade does not only depend on its usage but also on the materials to be cut for that specific project.
How many Times can You Sharpen a Table Saw Blade?
A table saw is one of the most versatile tools in a woodworker’s arsenal, but even the best quality carbide blade will only stay sharp for 3-4 sharpenings before some or all of the teeth need to be replaced. This can be done at home with a sharpening stone, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully so you don’t damage the blade. Once the teeth are worn down too far, they can’t be brought back and you’ll have to buy a new blade.
Safety Checklist for Using a Table Saw
When you are using a table saw, you must follow and maintain the safety checklist. it will allow you to be safe while operating. At first, you should wear a pair of safety glasses. Also, a face shield can be used along with the safety glasses if the material chips severely. After that, you should check the blade’s proper tightness before turning the machine on.
Besides, the hook guard and anti-kickback devices should be checked for proper operation. Now, verify the location of the switch-off button and the emergency power disconnect. Always make sure that the fence is set properly and tightly. And, remember that the table must be free from materials, tools, and rubbish.
Check if the hood guard, splitter, and anti-kickback device are properly installed in the table saw. One or more of these devices can be removed only if it is a must to perform any specific cut (e.g. Dado or rabbit). Take a suggestion from a shop supervisor before removing them by you! Once the cut is completed, reinstall that (/those) safety device again.
- It is not safe to use both the fence and the meter gauge at a time. Use the meter gauge for cross-cutting and the fence for ripping.
- Accessories like- push sticks, feather boards, hold-downs to run a perfect operation. It needs the operator’s hand to go up to 6 inches of the saw table.
- A helper should be used to support the work when boards over 3 feet are cut in any dimension.
- The blade height should be adjusted so that the top of the teeth extends up to ¼” above the wood.
- When the wood is fed to the saw, the operator should stand to the side of that wood.
- Lower the saw blade below the table once your task is finished.
- A perimeter of two feet should be kept free around the saw to avoid sawdust and debris.
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Always turn off the power switch of the saw before removing or changing the position of the blade. If the saw includes a cord and plug, unplug it first! Test the saw after disconnecting and before any operation. Table saws do not accept wobble blades.
It will be useful to follow and maintain the safety checklist for using a table saw. The reason is if you don’t follow them, you might end up hurting. Besides, when you are intending to change the blade of a table saw, following the above procedure would be effective.
In fact, your task at hand will be much easier than you think. So, follow the safety checklist and save yourself from hazards!