Safely using a table saw is one of the cornerstones of woodworking, but for some who want to be woodworkers, this tool can be super scary to use, but they are not the only people who can be intimidated by these loud, dusty and powerful machines and that is why we can embrace options like Auto Cut, the a table saw wood feeder mechanism.
First of all, wood feeders are not new to woodworking and table saws. They have been in use in small production shops for years and any that I have seen or used, all have their own "issues" with use, some twist during use, some and extremely hard to get proper pressure on wood and a number of issues. The Auto Cut has a completely different design and from my testing and use, appears to have overcome many of the previous issues of form wood feeding adapters.
There are many excellent reasons why someone would want an automatic wood feeder for their table saw including ...
1) Table saw usage fear of injury
2) Table saw use in shared environments, like students and woodworking club members joint saw usage
3) Woodworkers who lack the power to push wood through, or those with disabilities
4) Tedious or repetitive production work like trimming wood for cutting boards, cabinet or door making etc.
5) Woodworkers who work alone and need to be both the wood pusher and the wood receiver and stacker
6) Even small shops who want the option of having an power feeder when needed
The way this unit works is that it is comprised the 3 basic components, the head portion which contains the 2 wheels that will move the wood through the saw, the middle part which contains the switches and electromagnet the clamps the whole unit to the saws steel deck and smaller outboard component that holds the unit to the outer edge of the table saw.
Once you have competed the small amount of assembly, the next thing is to set it up on your table saw and become accustomed to the use.
I am not going to go through that here because my video does a much better job of explaining that.
The picture below is the Electromagnet component and on the side, the blue button is the off/on switch for the electromagnet; the circular button on top near the middle is the off/on switch for the drive motors and big blue dial button on top is speed control for the motors so you can adjust the speed of the wood being driven through the table saw blade according to thickness and wood hardness and the type of blade your are using.
Some of the things I did not talk about in the video is that the wheels could either straddle the table saw blade, but you could also have the wheels between the blade and the fence for some special needs cuts. At ALL TIMES the drive wheels need to be in firm contact with the wood that is moving between the blade and the fence ... this is to prevent kickback. I have never encountered any kickback with this device, but it could happen if the wood is not flat, is thinner and/or thicker from one end to another (wedge shaped); is very rough and uneven, or for other unknown reasons so users NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS. Wood kickback is ALWAY an issue with table saws and every woodworker needs to know this. Avoid standing behind wood being cut on any table saw, and the thicker and heavier the wood, the more this is very important.
The picture below shows the red knob which is the laser button for use in determining the height of the blade.
The picture below shows the larger black knob which is used to set the the height of the drive wheels on the wood you are cutting, the upper "winged nut" is to be flipped forward after the wood is removed from the wheels and slightly pushing down on the carriage now locks the wheels slightly lower and are now in the "drive position" for feeding wood through the Auto Cut.
What I Really Liked ...
1 - I found the Auto Cut easy to remove and to reset up. There are times when you may need to remove an auto feeder and this one is not heavy to lift and was easy to re-install.
2 - I can use this unit on my router table (note: my router table has a steel deck) which also makes it perfect for repetitive cutting like door frames.
3 - It is very easy to set the pressure of the wheels onto the wood, any feeder I have used in the past, this was big issue.
4 - The electromagnet grabs the table firmly so the unit cannot twist while pushing wood through the saw like others I have used.
5 - The unit is quite easy to adjust back and forth but once you set it up with the drive wheels positioned in the middle of the blade position, there is little reason to ever need move that positioning.
6 - It cut every piece of wood I gave, even very thin slices of wood were not an issue
7 - I found almost NO wood burning and what there was was quite insignificant, but this may vary according wood species, speed and blade selection
What I Didn't Like (and easily changed)
1 - The wires that connect the center block to drive block were swinging freely, probably not a issue, but this was easily fixed by simply taping them to together in the middle which held them from swinging, problem solved.
2 - The tail piece that connects to the outer side of the Auto-Cut to the saw is a bit fiddly, I found that simply using a "C" clamp worked quicker and more securely on my own saw, again problem solved.
I was one of the lucky people who have had a chance to try out this wood feeder, and to give feedback, but now it's time for the rest of the woodworking community to have a look and determine where this might become a viable tool. This tool is NOT for everyone, but I guess we can say that about many woodworking tools, that's why we have choices. The Auto-Cut does have some specific placements in terms of Safety, Repetitive Production Shops (like cutting boards, cabinets, boxes etc.) and Convenience.
The tool has recently been released live on Kickstarter.com HERE which means anyone who is interested can take advantage of an early introduction price by pledging to purchase one, details on the Kickstarter website.
Just like thousands of other inventions and modifications that are invented and re-invented, this one also has a place in the workshop for many people and the woodworking community will determine it's ultimate path and success.
You can view the campaign here - https://bit.ly/4998qMH
Thanks to the Inventor and to everyone who comments and leaves suggestions for him for the future of this product.
Colin Knecht - woodworkweb
- - Taylor Tools Affiliate Store - https://lddy.no/18zkg