Of all the power tools in a woodshop, the tablesaw must be the single most versatile one. The capabilities of a good tablesaw go way beyond basic rip cuts, and with the right jigs and accessories, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish with this single tool. For instance, a tenoning jig is a traditional way to cut tenons on the tablesaw. The jig slides in a miter slot, and makes incredibly smooth and accurate tenons. The one drawback to using a tenoning jig is the fact that it requires separate shoulder and cheek cuts. However, if I need a really smooth tenon - such as an exposed through tenon - I just might reach for my tenoning jig.
One crazy cut you can make at the tablesaw is a cove cut. You might use this technique to make crown molding, or other complex cove molding profiles. To make a cove cut on the tablesaw, you’ll need two long straight boards clamped to your tablesaw and outfeed table. Space the boards so your workpiece fits between them, without any slop. Start with a shallow cut, and raise the blade incrementally until you develop the desired profile. Changing the angle of presentation results in different shaped cove cuts.
Using this technique, and taking no more than 1/8” depth per pass, results in surprisingly clean results. Here, a general purpose 40 tooth blade produces a crisp cove profile that only needs some light sanding.
Need tapered legs for a furniture project? The tablesaw has you covered! All you need is a simple tapering sled with an assortment of clamps to hold the workpiece in place. The sled simply rides in the miter slot of the tablesaw, guided by a hardwood runner.
Find all the details on making this handy tapering sled here… https://info.lagunatools.com/a-better-tapering-sled-for-the-fusion-f2-tablesaw
Angle the blade, and you’re all set to make bevel cuts on panels. The High-Low fence on the Fusion tablesaws offers plenty of support without additional jigs or fixtures. For the cleanest possible cut, be sure to use your riving knife and make the cut in two passes. Remove 90% of the waste with the first pass, and finish with a light trimming pass.
Decorative grooves are a snap with a dado blade installed on your tablesaw. With a large, flat reference surface and an accurate fence, the tablesaw is the ideal tool to cut consistent grooves.
Just imagine the woodworking projects you can build with a good tablesaw equipped with a dado blade. Whether the grooves are functional, or decorative as with this MCM Stereo Rack, the possibilities are endless!
Learn how to build a MCM Stereo Rack… https://info.lagunatools.com/build-a-mid-century-stereo-rack-or-cabinet
Grooves are also a staple in cabinetry construction. Whether your cabinet doors have plywood or solid hardwood panels, you’ll need the frame parts to have an accurate groove. Make joinery grooves in two passes for the best results. After the first pass, rotate the workpiece 180 degrees and make another pass. This ensures each groove will be perfectly centered.
Crosscut huge panels! With the right crosscut sled, you can not only cut routine workpieces, but handle oversized panels as well. How handy to make these cuts right at the tablesaw, with no need to break out the circular saw and sawhorses!
Half laps in record time. A tablesaw and dado blade will help you create one of the strongest joints in woodworking in seconds-flat! All you need is a miter gauge and full dado stack. Make multiple passes until you achieve the desired joint width.
Terrific tenons! The ‘ol standby tenon joints are quick and easy with this one-step, one-setup method. Simply use a miter gauge and dado blade to cut both the shoulders and cheeks of the tenon. Use a sacrificial fence clamped to the rip fence to prevent marring the metal fence.
Cross-grain dados. Dados are a core joint used for carcass construction. Use undersized chippers and shims as needed for precise fitting dados.
Notches. Need an accurate notch for furniture joinery? You’ll make quick work of it on a tablesaw. My frequently used list of accessories includes 1. A Miter Gauge, 2. Dado Blade, and 3. A Sacrificial Fence.
Rabbets. How do you fit a 1/2” panel into a ¼” groove? Rabbets of course! Remove the edges of a panel to make it the perfect centerpiece of your new cabinet door. Because the cut is narrower than the full dado stack, you’ll want to mount a sacrificial fence to the rip fence.
Let’s not forget the simple miter cut! I’m often amazed how well a tablesaw and miter gauge cuts an accurate miter. Often times, the tablesaw will yield better results than a chop saw for this basic cut.
I hope you get a chance to spend some quality time in the shop this week, and enjoy your tablesaw.
Willie Sandry is a Freelance Writer, Blogger and Crafter in wood and leather. Check out all the latest projects on his YouTube channel The Thoughtful Woodworker