Here are some rules and techniques to keep in mind when working with our design and with other sliding table European style machines as well.
- Know your machine, its possibilities and limitations. Study its features until sure that you understand what each part is supposed to do.
- The FMT table saw is equipped with several adjustment mechanisms. You must be sure the components are adjusted correspondingly before starting your work. These should be checked periodicallly as part of the maintenance. Cleaning the machine both inside and outside is recommended. Accumulated grime and sawdust degrade its efficiency. This is especially important for the Sliding Table.
- The integral Thien Separator Dust Collector should also be checked from time to time. Some operations and types of wood produce debris, small offcuts and fibers that can clog the ducting and impair its operation. Be sure to empty the dust bin as required by your usage frequency. Also keep the dust vac filter clean. The Thien Separator will help to extend its usage, but no separator is 100% efficient and fine dust will eventually accumulate on the filter.
- European style machines are conceived to be operated mainly from the left side. Standing in front of the blade is considered bad practice and should be used only for special situations. There are many articles (both in YouTube and Internet) to be found by searching with Google. These provide techniques and jigs to work safely and efficiently.
- The Riving Knife is the best and most important addition to provide a safeguard against kickback. The one we designed need not be removed for any operation, even for non-through cuts. Keep it in place and properly adjusted. It is your best bet against a dangerous possibility which virtually becomes eliminated with its use.
- The same goes for the Blade Guard. Do not remove it unless absolutely necessary. Besides being part of the Dust Collection System it is also a reminder of the danger that lies inside it. Since it is very easy to remove and reinstall, there is no excuse for laying it aside. Its mounting post acts as a second barrier to keep the cut from closing on itself. The only usual situation where the Blade Guard has to be removed is for non-through cuts.
- The Rip Fence is micro-adjustable, adjustable lenghtwise and reversible. The micro-adjusting is extremely convenient for precision work. In some special situations you might want to use the full length of the fence. However, for general use it is recommended that the far end is aligned with the center of the blade. The metal base is designed so that its end lays at this point. It will help to set the actual fence correctly. The reason is that, at this point, the actual cut is finished and any fence beyond does not serve to any purpose and could add another way to pinch the workpiece. Finally, the fence has a high and a low side. Being reversible you can choose which side to use according to the cut being done. The low side is also used when making mitered rips to keep the right-tilting blade from touching the fence.
- Set the blade height so that only the teeth (up to their gullets) are protruding on top. This is a safe practice that should not be ignored. Occasionally, it might become necessary to raise the blade as much as possible to do a partial rip (up to a certain length) and finish the cut with a handsaw or a bandsaw. Just remember to go back to what is suggested above for full rips. This recommendation is also valid for crosscuts as well.
- The Crosscut Fence of the FMT is long, extensible and with a millimiter graduation on top with an adjustable flip-stop. It uses a large graduated strip at the left edge of the Sliding Table for a very precise setting of angles. These can be easily set to half a degree.
- As is the case for all kinds of table saws, jigs will help the operator to do precise, repeatable tasks with better safety and convenient operation. Once more Googling will provide a wealth of options to choose from. An excellent example of a simple and versatile jig is Fritz & Franz which is described in another article in this web site.
- When working with large panels, the optional Outrigger Table and its associated Fence and Telescoping Arm provide the adequate support to handle such material. This system is also capable of managing angle and miter cuts as well.
- Keep an eye on the News Section of this page to learn of new improvements and accessories for the FMT table saw. We will periodically inform readers on the subject.