How to Use a Track Saw
In this modern day and age, building tools such as saws have leveled up already and this is good news to most people nowadays who are into DIY woodworking projects. Ordinary saws have been replaced with a more modern track saw which is very helpful in woodworking as it makes cutting very easy and fast. It also ensures more precise cuts and smooth edges. In fact, the efficiency of a track saw is what makes most carpenters prefer to use it for their projects.
Using a track saw can be a bit complicated if this is your first time but remembering and applying important tips and procedures when using a track saw can ensure a safer, easier and more efficient experience with it.
Use the Track Saw for Wood Only
Never experiment with the track saw by using it on non-wooden materials like steel, ceramics, etc. Track saws are never designed to cut through non-wooden materials. If you do so, you will just end up damaging the saw and risking your safety and the safety of the people around you.
Use the Right Saw Blades
Saw blades play a part in allowing the track saw to produce quality cuts since the blades are the ones cutting through the material. With this, a saw blade with a diameter of 160mm and a round arbor bore of 20mm is required. Also, make sure that the saw blades are very sharp. Sharp saw blades with the right sizes can cut through the material with ease, saving you from too much stress and effort. On the other hand, using damaged blade can not only cause stress when using the saw, but it also produces poor quality and unsafe cuts.
Adjust the Riving Knife Properly
The riving knife is a vital part of the track saw because it is what keeps the operator safe from kickbacks. Though the riving knife is a built-in safety feature, it needs to be adjusted properly before turning on the saw. Simply check its alignment with the blade as well as make sure it is located at the right distance. Adjusting this feature properly can make it even more effective in preventing kickbacks.
Set the Proper Cutting Depth
The cutting depth refers to how deep the blade cuts through the material. The depth contributes to making quality cuts so it is important to set it properly before you start. Some track saw models indicate the right cutting depth in their manuals. Some suggest the depth to be at least 1⁄8 inches. The most important thing to consider is that the cutting depth should not be very deep to jeopardize accuracy and the function of the saw but it should also be deep enough to prevent kickbacks and blade damage.
Hold the Track Saw Firmly When Cutting
Even though a track saw is a very handy tool for woodworking, never underestimate its size during operation. Once it is activated, you will be able to feel its power roaring to life so, once you are cutting the material with it, make sure you are holding it firmly. There are times when kickbacks occur and it can cause you injury if you are not holding the saw firmly. The chances of the saw losing track are also higher when you are not getting a good grip of it. Good thing, the track saw usually has two handles, allowing you to hold it firmly and securely.
Use a Rail Track
When using the track saw, you can use a rail track with it. A rail track is like a guide for your saw to make precise cuts fast since it is attached and secured to the work piece using F-clamps. The rail track is also one safety add-on when using the track saw because of its rubber lip at the bottom protecting you from splinters.
Always check on the Cutting Path
Track saws are not only effective in making straight cuts but also in making plunge cuts. Making straight cuts is easier in the sense that you can actually see the cutting path. But during blind plunge cuts, your safety and the accuracy of the cut you are trying to make can be threatened if you do not check the cutting path. So, before making a blindplunge cut, make sure you check the path first for unnecessary objects and wires that may cause accidents when it comes in contact with the blade.
Press the Plunge Release and Power Trigger at the Same Time
When using a track saw to make both straight cuts and plunge cuts, “it takes two to tango”. This means that the plunge release and the power trigger should work together. Once you start to connect the plunge release to extend the blade, you still need to press the power trigger to start activating it before releasing the plunge release. You cannot just press one or the other; you need to press both to successfully activate the power.
Wait for the Track Saw to Reach its Full Speed
Just because power has been activated does not mean you can start working already. Take a few seconds to let the saw reach full speed before running the blade onto the work piece. This trick keeps you safe from kickbacks and ensures cleaner and more precise cuts. Most of all, since the saw is already at full speed, cutting through the material is already a lot faster an easier, which means no stress for you and the saw motor.
Exercise Safety Precautions and Wear Protective Gears
Using a track saw can be risky to your safety. So, if you decide to use it because of its big advantage, you must remember to abide by safety precautions such as keeping your hands away from the cutting path. It is also important to wear protective gears for your eyes, foot and ears to keep them safe from possible injuries that using a track saw can cause.