46 - Utility Workbench, страница 30

46 - Utility Workbench, страница 30

▲ The small 4" blade stabilizer (above) won't limit the depth of cut as much as the 6" stabilizer below it. But it doesn't provide as much support.





Blade Stabilizers

□ One of the simplest ways to get a smoother cut from the blade on your table saw is to use a blade stabilizer. This is a flat, metal disk that slips onto the arbor of the saw and fits against the blade, see photo at right Note: Some stabilizers are sold in pairs (one on each side of the blade). But the stabilizer on the inside of the blade "throws off the scale on the rip fence, so I prefer using a single blade stabilizer.

STIFFENS BLADE. So how does a stabilizer improve the quality of cut? First of all, it's like a big, thick washer that helps "stiffen" the blade. (This is especially true for a thin-kerf blade.)

The extra mass of the stabilizer dampens the vibration set up by the motor, pulleys, and belts. Since there's less vibration transferred to the blade, it runs "truer" and makes a cleaner cut

FLAT & LEVEL. But. a blade stabilizer isn't just a hunk of metal. It's ground flat and level on both sides. This way, when you tighten the arbor nut, it presses the stabilizer flat against the blade (like a kid pressing his face against a window). As a result, the stabilizer minimizes the "flutter" in the blade that can cause the wood fibers to fray.

REDUCES NOISE. There's also a side benefit to using a blade stabilizer. Since die blade cuts cleanly through the air, it runs quieter. A stabilizer reduces the decibel reading of my saw from 93 to 90 dB. (That may not sound like much, but it means a decrease in the intensity of the sound by half) Even so, 90 dB is still too loud to work

without hearing protectors.

SIZES. You'll find that blade stabilizers come in a variety of sizes, see margin. As a rule, the more support the better. So I'd recommend using the largest stabilizer possible.

The only drawback to this is it limits the maximum depth of cut you can make with your blade. But I don't find that to be too much of a problem. To make a deeper cut just remove the stabilizer.

SOURCES. Blade stabilizers are available from many woodworking stores and catalogs, see page 31.

What about Extension Cords?

■ I never used to give extension cords much thought. That was my first mistake. The second was stringing together two lightweight cords to plug in my circular saw.

At first, the saw worked fine. But after awhile, I noticed the smell of burnt electrical parts. I quickly flipped the switch on to see if the saw was okay, but nothing happened. That's when I got a sick feeling that the saw was rained.

The sad thing is it could have been prevented by selecting the

Power Tool Amperages

Portable Tool

Circular Saw

2 HP Router

1/2" Drill

1 HP Router

Sabre Saw

Palm Sander

Tool Amperage

13-15 Amps

10-15 Amps

5-10 Amps

6-8 Amps

5~6 Amps

1.5-2 Amps

correct extension cord

AMPS. The best way to do this is to start by finding the amperage (current) needed for the tool to operate properly, see chart below left. (This information may be on the plate that's on the motor as well.)

Once you know the amperage, the key is to use an extension cord that can "cany" the load. This is a combination of two things: the gauge and length of the cord.

GAUGE. The gauge refers to the size of wire in the cord. The larger the gauge, the smaller the wire. If the vdre is too small, the current can't flow easily. (It's like trying to squeeze out a crowded exit door at the movie.) This can cause the extension cord to overheat or start a fire.

LENGTH. The second consideration is the length of the cord. As the length increases, the voltage decreases. (Voltage is what pushes

the current through the cord.) If the voltage is too low, the motor is "starved" of the power it needs. Since it's not working efficiently, it gets hot and may burn up.

To prevent this, simply match the gauge and the length of the cord to the amperage required by the tool, see chart below.

Wire Gauge

50 Ft. Cord



20 Amps

1 5 Amps

1 3 Amps




100 Ft Cord



15 Amps

1 3 Amps



6 Amps



No. 46

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