Table saw secret nobody will talk about from the good old days, C&T episode 180

Table saw secret nobody will talk about from the good old days, C&T episode 180

Over 50years ago I was trained by pro wood workers to use a table saw, and old school guys still know about this theory but refuse to talk about it. Other topics on this channel are: wood projects, tools, tool repairs, custom jigs, basic wood shop work, wood tools, 3D printers, RV repairs, car repairs, custom work

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Craftsman 12 inch table saw used for this topic


  1. CVee on January 7, 2023 at 2:32 am

    I always heard only a 1/2 of a saw tooth to a tooth. If carbide, 1/2 tooth – if non-carbide a full tooth above the wood.

  2. Wayne Vincent on January 7, 2023 at 2:33 am

    I always set my blade with the bottom of the gullet which is the opening below the teeth with top of the board or plywood the gullet is their to clear out the of saw dust always remember the five inch rule you start with five fingers finish with five use a push stick for five lnches or less the I still have all ten I don’t think you will go wrong I hope this helps some and have a bless day

  3. Doug Walkey on January 7, 2023 at 2:34 am

    So here’s the thing… I hate table saws, yet I use one. I like the radial arm better, my choice. But having heard your dark secret… you are right. I guess I’m old school too.

  4. Raymond Griffith on January 7, 2023 at 2:38 am

    I swear I keep expecting him to say "You know what mean Vern"

  5. Ronald Adams on January 7, 2023 at 2:38 am

    I worked in a cabinet/furniture shop for a few years, I liked it on the high side. Worked commercial so I cut through some non-typical stuff. Keeping the blade low absolutely makes the board jump.

  6. C Bammel on January 7, 2023 at 2:39 am

    One more thing concerning, "best possible cut"… the blades from 50 years ago were not the same blades we have today. Current blades are so much better.

  7. ME First on January 7, 2023 at 2:39 am


  8. Brian H on January 7, 2023 at 2:39 am

    Lol. I’ve seen guys fight over this debate many times. I have an old table saw from the 60s with no safety features, I’ve learned that running the blade high gives me better control.

  9. John McGovern on January 7, 2023 at 2:39 am

    I was always told (and followed) my shop teachers advice in the 80s that the blade should always be above the piece by one full tooth. Never had an issue.

  10. C Slick on January 7, 2023 at 2:41 am


  11. CAЛAVEЯА XIII 🇷🇺 on January 7, 2023 at 2:41 am

    Keep safe first ! Enjoy working!

  12. John Moyer on January 7, 2023 at 2:43 am

    Like my blade up a little, but I am worried about getting hurt after all these 50 yrs now of wood working most accidents happen when the operation becomes to repetative & so don’t get in hurry more hand sawing.

  13. mrk107 on January 7, 2023 at 2:44 am

    To prevent cuts and kickbacks I use a Nerf foam blade on my table saw. 😂

  14. ramsey smith on January 7, 2023 at 2:44 am

    Proper hight is teeth out (old school) so the blade operates as engineered to dissipate the heat (heat bad) more efficiently from the blade, more blade more friction and heat especially in production work modern blades are becoming thiner and have expansion channels to compensate and stop warping which is dangerous . Kick back prevention for people not comfortable on the saw should use the 2 to 1 rule twice as long as wide. thank you for the topic cheers

  15. Boran Theki on January 7, 2023 at 2:45 am

    I wish I had my riving knife. Back in the day the first thing I did when I got my table saw was toss out the riving knife.
    In the field it’s easier/faster to free hand cut wall base on a table saw when scribing it, then we finish with a belt sander or block plane. The riving knife makes it more difficult so most guys take it off and it eventually gets lost.

  16. James Lawler on January 7, 2023 at 2:46 am

    I tend to keep my blade a little high just because if your board isn’t a consistent thickness, you could get to a point where its not cutting through all the way and if you have a riving knife set for through cuts, the sliver left by the blade will run into the riving knife and not let you continue through the cut

  17. carcass cruncher on January 7, 2023 at 2:47 am

    The only time I ever had kick back was while cutting a piece of oak that was about 8×6 inches. I was cutting a groove to fit a tongue so the blade was only about 1/4 inch into a 1/2 inch board. I wouldnt have any fingers if it wasnt for the wood on top. I tried to keep it from kicking and ended up with both hands on it. Just a split second reaction before I let it completely go. When I let it go it took a second before it kicked back. The board came back really fast hitting my right hip and hand then flew about 30 ft or so into the air. Good old memories of high school wood shop. Lol it could’ve been really bad but I ended up with a monkey bubble on my right index finger and a bruise on my hip.

    That’s one of those scenarios that makes one never forget it. I still use table saws all the time, just more carefully now.

    One thing you should add is keeping the bigger portion of the wood being cut to the fence. That’s a pretty big tip on not getting kick back.

  18. Geb on January 7, 2023 at 2:47 am

    I had to stop the interesting video because of the annoying music.

  19. boatbyrd on January 7, 2023 at 2:48 am

    I used to read, the depth of the gullet should rise above the board!!! Better scrap removal!

  20. THEKEEFY GOFAST on January 7, 2023 at 2:49 am

    I find the wood likes to lift, possibly landing on top of the blade causing kickback, if you’re not careful when the blade is too low. Especially with larger pieces, which creates a constant other issue if you use that practice. Loosing control of your material is no bueno…
    Love your vids!

  21. Nicholas Cooper on January 7, 2023 at 2:51 am

    to me, table saws are like trains. It’s no surprise of the location of the danger…

  22. Paradise Builders on January 7, 2023 at 2:52 am

    Cool advice.

  23. Fred Flintstone on January 7, 2023 at 2:52 am

    My splitter has anti-kickback pawls which help a lot. Also an outfeed table will keep your boards from getting dinged when they hit the floor. One other trick is if your fingers must be on the blade side, hook your hand over the fence so there is no way that you can slip into the blade.

  24. SQ4ME2 on January 7, 2023 at 2:52 am

    Of my 27 rules to live by, these apply most to my work shop:

    3 Believe in optimism with the reality chaser
    4 Chance favors the prepared mind
    7 Hope for the best, plan for the worst, (similar to #3)
    8 If it seems to be too good to be true it already is
    9 It is important to be handy however it’s more important to know your limits
    14 Wisdom is learned
    18 Never push a bad situation
    19 The first time you disrespect something, it can bite you
    23 Not all things are created equal
    24 somethings are only appreciated when they’re gone
    27. Be a part of the solution or you might end up a part of the landscape

    Rule 19 is all about saws, routers and drills

  25. Alex Carr on January 7, 2023 at 2:53 am

    At work we had a General cabinet saw, very powerful saw. I even hated the sound of that saw starting up. Kick back is a real issue with a saw with no give. I seen what it could do to a experienced operator making a small error. My workshop tablesaw here at home, 1.5 hp is a much more forgiving, practical tool. A lower power and some slip in the belt are great safety features of a contractor saw.

  26. Bizarro on January 7, 2023 at 2:54 am

    7:20 Basically, the bigger the "push-stick" is, the better. I will keep that in mind, thank you.

  27. Jon Lanier on January 7, 2023 at 2:55 am

    From one old guy to another. Thank you!

  28. johnyhawgleg on January 7, 2023 at 2:55 am

    Thank you for the info. I had a wood shop teacher in high school that had a mishap with a daydo blade. Kids weren’t paying attention and he turned to scold them and ran his right hand through the saw, while it was running. He had all but one finger reattached. But they were never right after that.

  29. Justin Hill on January 7, 2023 at 2:57 am

    With "old school" table saw blades the tendency was to run them extremely low because they were all steel blades with no carbide tips, so the blade could stay in contact with the wood longer without risk of burning. Newer blades with carbide tips need to run at about 1/2" blade exposure to let the carbide "breath". The carbide is much more dense than steel and therefore holds heat longer than a solid steel blade, so it will burn wood if you run it too low.

    You can run a blade at full height and it will NOT burn the wood! The body of the blade does NOT make contact with the wood, the Kerf of the teeth is actually wider than the body of the blade. The only reason it’s not smart to run the blade at full height is because more exposed blade is more dangerous.

    I have been a woodworker for 38 years and a full time professional woodworking teacher for 25 years. I have a B.S. in Woodworking/Wood Technology/Furniture Design, so I have both practical and academic knowledge to back up this information. However, the largest reason for table saw accidents is distraction AND NOT HAVING THE BLADE GUARD ON! In all my years of teaching high school kids woodworking I have NEVER had the blade guard cause an accident. Anyone that tells you differently is just WRONG. Keep the blade guard on and make sure it has an integrated splitter, or you also have a riving knife installed whenever you can and these things will improve your chances of having accident free operation of the table saw.

  30. Chris Moody on January 7, 2023 at 2:58 am

    40 years in, I set my blade height about 1/2”. Or approximately no more than the depth of the gullets.

  31. Peeps on January 7, 2023 at 2:59 am

    I was always taught the material needs to be just below the gusset (at the highest point) in order for the tool to clear the material safely and effectively. No need to have more than that IMO.

  32. Doug Thomson on January 7, 2023 at 3:00 am

    I’m 73 and have been working with wood for over 50 years and have never had an accident with a table saw until about 3 months ago. Fortunately I had very little blade above the stock and that saved all 4 fingers on my right hand. Absolutely stupid mistake (aren’t they all), but I came out with no bone or tendon damage, just 60 to 70 stitches by a great Doc; I’m typing with those fingers now, so I am lucky as hell. Mine is a vintage (as old as I, I’m sure) Delta Uni-Saw … great saw, but a riving knife was never a thought when it was built. Still, I’ve never experienced kickback with the saw. Maybe that’s just damned luck, too. The very best safety advice is to bung out the Delta and move in a Saw Stop. My wife now thinks that might be a reasonable investment😅.

  33. TechnoNomadic on January 7, 2023 at 3:02 am

    This is late to the party, but what I was taught as a machinist was to select my blades such that I would have three teeth in the work. I could use more, but there might be more heat from friction and drag as the teeth spring in (kerf narrowing) but if I used less I would be likely to break teeth in the work. The stress just isn’t divided among enough cutters. That’s for metalwork, but the same goes for wood. I set my table saw so I keep three teeth in the cut. If I’m ripping thick boards, fewer teeth on the blade so I don’t have to stand it out so tall, and thin sheet, more teeth.

  34. Hippie Lewis on January 7, 2023 at 3:03 am

    Another video with background music too loud-these video’s are awful

  35. Will he heck as like on January 7, 2023 at 3:04 am

    I may have missed something here but, a riving knife and a crown guard are your obligatory starting point for table saw safety. Then you install a sharp blade, decent dust extraction from below the saw (the cabinet) AND the top of the crown guard. With all that in place you must have your sledges and push sticks.
    Dado blades that seem to be popular in America are BANNED in Europe as they are simply very dangerous. Furthermore all saws (table, band, chop) must stop within about 10 secs (precise time can vary from country to country). Simples.

  36. Brian Morris on January 7, 2023 at 3:07 am

    Video is great and informative, but you might want to peg your background music a half a notch.

  37. Rockapedra on January 7, 2023 at 3:08 am

    Good info. Thanks!

  38. Johnny Lightning on January 7, 2023 at 3:09 am

    I think one of the big reasons for kickback is rip fences that are not parallel to the blade, especially if the are closer at the rear of the blade. I have a couple of older Craftsman saws and frankly the rip fences are not very accurate. I think an accurate fence is probably the most useful thing you can do to prevent kickback to say nothing of putting out better work.

  39. jonny shoestring on January 7, 2023 at 3:15 am

    A very reasoned presentation 👍👍
    One novice suggestion, should the angle of the handle of the guide tools not be at an angle with the higher point being further from the operator that way there is more pressure being exerted which hopefully would reduce the possibility of the piece of timber lifting.
    Great vid 👏👏👏

  40. Andy Carnegie on January 7, 2023 at 3:16 am

    This is how I was taught to use a tablesaw too by a ex-cabinetmaker (who had all his digits) and was in his early 60’s when he taught me. It just feels natural to me to use the saw this way.

  41. PanamaSticks on January 7, 2023 at 3:17 am

    Clear the gullets! It removes the chips, and because the blade is higher, the rake presented to the workpiece is now positive, instead of negative or 0 degrees. That reduces the force directed at you (and the potential for kickback), while also making it easier to feed the workpiece. I know what I am talking about. I have cut thousands of linear feet of acrylic and also polycarbonate (bullet proof glass) without a riving nice. Polycarbonate has a great tendency to kick back. Also, if your rip fence is PERFECTLY parallel with the blade, or deviates ever so slightly to the right, it will reduce the chance of kickback. You don’t want the fence angled the slightest bit to the left, as that pinches the workpiece between the fence and blade, increasing the potential for kickback.

  42. Kevin Cozzo on January 7, 2023 at 3:18 am

    got my thumb years ago, ripping a small piece of lumber…mushroomed the end of it…learned my lesson, very lucky as it healed back up eventually

  43. TjDolHaus86 on January 7, 2023 at 3:19 am

    I always cut with the blade low and I’ve still got all off my fingers and have never experienced kickback, my dad always cut high and his nickname was stumpy.

  44. Kozmo on January 7, 2023 at 3:19 am

    I raise my blade to where the gullet just clears the piece being cut.

  45. C Bammel on January 7, 2023 at 3:20 am

    Regarding blade height, I had always heard 1 tooth above the board you are cutting.

  46. Joshua Powell (JPowellCreative) on January 7, 2023 at 3:20 am

    great tip, been cutting this way (well, blade like 1/2"-3/4" above wood) with no issues. I hate those stupid plastic shrouds, can’t see, instantly removed!

  47. rhkips on January 7, 2023 at 3:24 am

    Material handling and process awareness are two of the biggest injury prevention techniques anyone can use. There’s no reason to ever get your precious fingies anywhere near a sharpened chunk of steel spinning at 5,000+ RPM. I tend to stand well to the side opposite the fence whenever possible. If I’m within arms reach of the blade, it’s stick/block/jig time. I also keep 3′ of space between the table saw and the outfeed table to pull longer pieces of lumber through. I’ll take the time to make custom holding jigs when cutting dados or rabbets.

    People call me paranoid. I call myself "intact." 🙂

  48. mindtrap98 on January 7, 2023 at 3:25 am

    thank you for this vid, i use the height of the gullets just past the peace of wood, it works for me and yes i do use all the safety PPE. Thank you for the vid love your stuff and will keep watching.

  49. David Hart on January 7, 2023 at 3:27 am

    Brilliant Dave in the UK👍

  50. Topgun83152 on January 7, 2023 at 3:29 am

    Riving knife…