I am a retired contractor.
I have a shop with a 10" table saw.
And I have opinions about safe operation.
For safety, turn saw off when making adjustments.1) Raise blade
There is a handle you turn to raise the blade.
If you are cutting 1/2" plywood, then set your blade at 3/4" or a bit more.
Keep blade low and away from hands.
Keep hands high and away from blade.
For 1-1/2" thick 2x4, I usually set the saw at 1" and run the board through, and then flip the board over and run it through again, taking 2 passes to make really thick cuts.2) Blade angle
There is a second handle you turn to set blade at an angle up to 45 degrees
Angle cannot be set if saw blade is fully raised >> lower blade to half way or less and experiment.
Angle cuts are difficult if wood is not perfectly flat and square, or too long or too short (boy is that helpful ... but cutting angles takes some experimentation)3) Table Guide
You stand behind power saw to operate
The saw table guide is on left side of blade and clamps across the table
The guide markings show inches >>> these are usually approximate
To set guide for accuracy, measure distance from blade to saw guide, and then clamp guide down.4) Push sticks push sticks push sticks and other safety stuff
Let me emphasize safety first last and always
A table saw will chop your fingers off in a blink
On the plus side, I hear it doesn't hurt. But OMG.
There is a very strong human instinct to reach in with your hand
when working on stuff
Train your mind >> if the saw is running, do not lean or reach into the saw
If a board is stuck >>> turn off the saw and wait for full stop
If you wear baggy clothes
of a loose shirt
, the saw will grab you and pull you in too fast for you to react
Keep your clothes tight and your arms bare
Always use push sticks or push boards::
Notice the saw blade is set low
Two push sticks are used to assist when cutting short board > one stick holds down the board ahead of blade, the other stick is pushing board through saw.
Keep your hands away from the blade no matter what.
The person stands behind and to the side of the board being cut.
The cut wood is supported by a catch table (in this case there are rollers)Where to stand
Obviously you stand behind the saw to cut wood, and sometimes with long pieces, you can move in front and pull them through, and sometimes with large plywood you stand kinda back and to the side.Why not stand directly behind a saw
? Because saws throw stuff back.
When 'ripping' a board lengthwise as shown in photo above, if the saw catches the board just right, it will throw it backwards like a spear.
If a board 'binds' the saw causing saw blade to stop, then turn off saw, back up the board, and cut again.Crosscut guide
The saw comes with a T-shaped guide that fits into a groove.
This is a 'push stick' >>> you use it to cross cut a board, and it lets you stand to the side of the saw blade so things wont flip back on you
When using the cross cut guide, remove the table guide that clamps across the saw, or push the table guide WAY back so pieces don't get caught in a bind and the blade flips up the piece and hits you in the face
Remember, the saw throws everything backwards
The saw is strong and fast, and you are best when traveling slow and without rush around your strong friend.