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Best Scroll Saws (December 2018) - Top Picks & Reviews

workpiece during the process of making a rip cut. Most table saws come standard with a rip fence, but some high end saws are available without a fence so a fence of the user's choice can be purchased separately.Featherboard: Featherboards are used to keep wood against the rip fence. They can be a single spring, or many springs, as made from wood in many shops. They are held in place by high strength magnets, clamps, or expansion bars in the miter slot.

Hold down: The circular sawblade of a tablesaw will pick up a piece of wood if not held down. Hold downs can be a vertical version of featherboards, attached to a fence with magnets or clamps. Another type of hold down uses wheels on a spring-loaded mechanism to push down on a workpiece as it is guided past the blade.Sub fence:

A piece of wood clamped to the rip fence allows a dado set to cut into the rip fence, allowing rabbet cuts with a dado blade.Miter gauge: The table has one or two slots (grooves) running from front to back, also parallel to the cutting plane of the blade. These miter slots (or miter grooves) are used to position and guide either a miter gauge (also known as a crosscut fence) or crosscut sled. The miter gauge is usually set to be at 90 degrees to the plane of the blade's cut, to cause the cut made in the workpiece to be made at a right angle.

The miter gauge can also be adjusted Best Scroll Saw to cause the cut to be made at a precisely controlled angle (a so-called miter cut).Crosscut sled: A crosscut sled is generally used to hold the workpiece at a fixed 90 degree angle to the blade, allowing precise repeatable cuts at the most commonly used angle. The sled is normally guided by a runner fastened under it that slides in a miter slot.

This device is normally shop made, but can be purchased.Tenon jig: A tenon jig is a device that holds the workpiece vertically so cuts can be made across the end. This allows tenons to be formed. Often this is a purchased item, but it can be shop made. The tenon jig is guided by a miter slot or a fence.Stacked dado: Saws made for the US market are generally capable of using a stacked dado blade set. This is a kit with two outer blades and a number of inner "chip breakers" that can be used to cut dados (grooves in the workpiece) of any width up to the maximum (generally ​13⁄16 of an inch).

Stacked dado sets are available in 6, 8 and 10 inch diameters. 8 and 10 inch stacked dado sets are not recommended for saws with 1​1⁄2 or fewer HP. Although 10 inch stacked dado sets are available with a ​5⁄8 inch bore, these are recommended with a 1 inch bore.Inserts:

Table saws have a changeable insert in the table through which the blade projects. Purchasable inserts are usually made out of metal. Zero-Clearance inserts can be made of a sawable material such as plastic or wood. When a Zero-Clearance insert is initially inserted, the blade is raised through the insert creating the slot.

This creates a slot with no gaps around the blade. The zero clearance insert helps prevent tearout by providing support for wood fibers right next to the blade thus helping to make a very clean cut. Other inserts can be bought or created in the same manner, such as a dado insert.

Splitter: A splitter or riving knife is a vertical projection located behind the saw blade. This can be a pin or a fin. It is slightly narrower in width than the blade and located directly in line with the blade. The splitter prevents the material being cut from being rotated thereby helping to prevent kickback.

Splitters may incorporate pawls, a mechanism with teeth designed to bite into wood and preventing kickback. Splitters can take many forms, including being part of the blade guard that comes standard with the saw. Another type of splitter is simply a vertical pin or fin attached to an insert. Splitters are available commercially or can be made from wood, metal or plastic