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Basic Education On Shop Saws

Aug 17, 2007
How many of us enjoyed those years long since passed when we were in school taking shop? Walking into the room on that first day while the teacher explained that the first half of the year would be wood shop. In that room was where so much was going to be learned. Students were first introduced to a variety of tools and woodworking methods. Initially they had an introduction to the shop saws.

Many of the tools took skills that no one had yet, but that the teacher promised would be forthcoming. Learning to use the shop saws was on the list of things that needed to be mastered. The shop saws that all the kids wanted to try were the table saws. Their eyes gleamed as they walked passed it waiting for the teacher to say that they have had enough time in class that they could be trusted to handle such a potentially dangerous tool. There are so many smaller shop saws, beginning with the simple hand saw and working their way up to the powered shop saws like band saws and cross cuts shop saws.

The teachers were always cautious of which tools and which shops saws they would allow the students to use. At first it is only the simplest hand tools. But as the classes progressed and the students learned some skills they became ready to progress to the power tools.

The first thing that had to be learned about shop saws was which blade to use for which project. A crosscut saw is used primarily for those projects that require the cut be made at a right angle in the same direction of the wood grain. While a ripsaw makes cuts that are parallel to the grain of the wood. Depending on the project either of these shop saws will do the job. But, if it is a sheet of plywood that needs to be cut the correct saw for that can only be a circular saw. With the large number of small teeth that the blades for these shop saws have they work best for cutting this heavy wood without excessive splintering. Other useful shop saws include the jigsaw; it is for cutting jagged or unusual shapes. This hand held saw also has a larger version, called a reciprocating saw and a powered version known as a scroll saw.

At the end of the woodworking course the students had learned a lot. Each one of them had worked on several projects. They had learned to use a number of hand and power tools. They had built enough confidence in themselves to use a variety of shop saws and not be afraid, though been cautious, when using the power saws. Perhaps at the very least they will be able to help around the house or have found an interest in carpentry that may spur a new career decision.
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