Stand a straight-edge (at least as long as the fence) in the miter slot, and slide the fence until it rests firmly against the straight-edge. An improperly tuned table saw will not only cut inefficiently, it can be hazardous to the operator.

Since we know that the blade is now perfectly aligned to the miter slot, we’ll align the fence to the miter slot.

Also, check for excessive sawdust or pitch on the lip on the table that holds the plate in place. Finally, check the miter gauge to make sure it slides freely through each of the miter slots, and that it is square to the miter slot.

England, these skills were sufficiently difficult to be known as ‘the misterie’ of the turners guild. In many parts of the world, the lathe has been a portable tool that goes to the source of the wood, or adapts to temporary workspaces. The reciprocating lathe, while primitive technology requiring considerable dexterity to operate, is capable of excellent results in skilled hands. In bowl turning, the grain runs at right angles to the axis, as if a plank were mounted across the chuck. Moisture content affects both the ease of cutting wood and the final shape of the work when it dries. The archaeological record of woodturning is limited to illustrations because wood is a fiber prone to rot.

Finely crafted drinking bowls, known as mazers, were produced in very limited quantities from dry wood, then decorated with silver-gilt central bosses and rims. This lathe evolved into the ‘queen of machine tools’ which made it possible to turn parts for other machinery. Industrial arts teachers used their institutional affiliation to create seminars, publish books, and foster research.

Moderate lateral pressure

Essential Table Saw TuneUp Tips

Other turners have chosen an artisan-based focus on traditional work, custom work, and the pleasure of studio practice. The harder the type of high speed steel used, the longer the edge will maintain sharpness. This sharpening process requires either skill of the craftsman, or one of the many available sharpening jigs, which facilitate maintaining a specific bevel on the tool. Often has a thicker shaft and longer handle than a spindle gouge because it has to cut farther away from the tool rest and deal with the forces of turning a large bowl. A sharp scraper has a burr at the edge which cuts the wood, only a dull scraper actually scrapes. May be turned to finished thickness, in which case the differential shrinkage of the wood will result in a finished piece that is not perfectly round. Rough turning is inexact science: turning wood too thick will lead to splits, turning wood too thin will lead to distortion that cannot be removed, because not enough thickness is left.

May include the bark or not, but pieces with bark should not have any bark damaged or missing.

Most stand alone respiratory equipment will interfere with dust shields and visors, so devices that incorporate both are available. Polishes and finishes used in woodturning can also be harmful or irritant to skin, often containing organic solvents such as methanol, turpentine and toluene. Safe usage of a lathe also depends on the operator’s choice of proper techniques for the lathe, tools, and wood. Particular care is also required for wooden shapes that are not circular, such as off-center work, or bowls with wings or square rims.

Pick one carbide tooth on the blade, and rotate the blade until that carbide is level with the table on the side of the blade closest to the front of the saw. Then, rotate the blade until the chosen carbide is at table level at the rear of the saw, and measure again. Also, check the fence's locking mechanism to be sure it doesn't slip when moderate lateral pressure is applied to the fence.

If the blade is out of alignment, you will likely notice burn marks on the wood (although cutting too slowly or allowing the wood to close the kerf cut past the saw will also cause burning). Sight down the straight-edge and look for any gaps between the straight-edge and the fence.

Next, look inside the table and make certain that the dust collection system and adjustment mechanisms are not covered with excessive sawdust or pitch. Also, check the fence’s locking mechanism to be sure it doesn’t slip when moderate lateral pressure is applied to the fence.

However, the wood lathe is still used for decentralized production of limited or custom turnings.

Woodturning appeals to people who like to work with their hands, find pleasure in problem-solving, or enjoy the tactile and visual qualities of wood. In spindle turning, the grain runs lengthwise along the lathe bed, as if a log were mounted in the lathe.

This varying grain angle limits some of the tools that may be used and requires additional skill from the turner. These variable changes may add the illusion of an oval bowl, or draw attention to features of the wood. Early lathe workers would sometimes use their bare feet to hold cutting tools in place while using their hand to power the lathe.

A master would cut the wood while an apprentice turned the crank on a huge wheel, often several feet in diameter. Woodturning skills were used by patternmakers in the making of prototypes and shapes for casting molds used in foundries during the 19th and 20th century.

A small group of serious collectors invested in the increasingly sculptural explorations of woodturners.

Planing is done with a tool in which the bevel below the cutting edge supports wood fibers, just as in a typical wood planer. Woodturning tools must be sharpened more frequently than other edged woodworking tools to maintain a clean cut because the wood passes at great speed. When this happens, the blued area must then be ground away to expose fresh steel and the tool must then have the bevel reestablished and the edge re-honed. Often with very long handles, to maintain enough leverage when working in a deep vessel, far away from the hand rest. Segmented turning – a method of woodturning where the wood blank is constructed from many individual pieces of wood (segments) which are glued together before being turned. Rough turning involves turning the piece only to its general shape, leaving enough thickness so that after turning it can be allowed to dry to equilibrium moisture content and distort. Natural edge work – pieces which include the outside of the tree trunk or limb as the edge of the piece.

Respiratory equipment and dust collection systems are also important when woodturning or doing any type of woodworking that creates dust. Long term exposure to fine wood dust has also been linked with an increased risk of developing cancer. Aside – make sure you are standing to the side of the blank’s ‘firing line’ (not in front of the wood). This exerts very large forces on the wood, the tool, the lathe and the operator, often causing the wood to break apart or tear free from the lathe.