Figure 2-14. Before beginning a table saw operation, adjust the table height so the blade protrudes 1/4" to 3/8" above the stock, as shown. Click on image for larger view.
Blade projection (Figure 2-14) refers to the amount of blade that is visible above the workpiece. Except in the case of hollow-ground blades, which are set slightly higher, keep the projection within 1/4"and 3/8".
The upper guard has a depth-of-cut scale so it is easy to adjust the projection of the blade. Just lower the guard over the blade and then adjust the table height. For example, if you are sawing 3/4" stock and want a 1/4" projection, adjust the table height until the tip of the blade aligns with the 1" mark on the guard.
Figure 2-15. Use a step gauge to set blade projection.
Another way to set blade projection is to use a step gauge like the one shown in Figure 2-15. A gauge you can make by laminating 1/8" pieces of hardboard is shown in Figure 2-16.
Both the scale on the saw guard and a height gauge can be used to set the projection of saw blades and other cutters like the dado accessory.
Figure 2-16. Construction details of a homemade height gauge.