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How To Cut Notches in Wood With Table Saw?

As a woodworking expert, you need to learn how to make a notch in wood materials. Beginners might find this challenging, but one can easily practice and master the task because there is a wide range of tools that can assist. Once you know the involved steps and tricks, you will never miss a chance.

And why should you spend time learning to cut notches? Because it is one of the best ways to keep your wooden structure strong and long-lasting. So, let us know what are notches and how to achieve them using a table saw.

What are Woodworking Notches?

Notches are necessary when you need to join a table, chair or any other similar wooden material. You need a repeatedly cut a wooden material within a certain area so that the blade can create multiple thin wafers. You can easily scrape out the waste using a hammer.

You can also use a chisel and drill to create notches manually. No matter which tool you use, we advise you to wear protective glasses because cutting notches will produce plenty of wood chips and sawdust.


3 Steps to Cut Notches in Wood with a Table Saw


  • Tri-square,
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Table saw
  • Hammer and chisel
  • Safety glasses and
  • A dust mask

notch cutting

Step 1: Plan a notch

  • Examine the size and quality of the wooden material and make sure you can make a notch inside it.
  • Use a tri-square to draw the shape of notch on the wooden piece. You might need a ruler to measure the width.
  • Once you are ready with the measurements and sketch, wear your safety glasses and be ready for the action.


Step 2: Cut some lines

  • Start by raising the blade on a table saw according to the measurements.
  • Adjust the miter gauge at 90 degrees and place it on the designated slot.
  • Turn on the table saw and place the material wherein its notch drawing should face the blade. Hold the material against the miter gauge and align it according to the blade.
  • Move the material towards the blade, but against the miter saw. Once you finish a cut, repeat the same to the 1/8th inch left or right until you reach the endpoint of the notch drawing.

 Alternatives for Table Saw

  1. Miter saw: Apart from the table saw, you can also use a miter saw to cut notches (see the recommended products). Place the wooden piece against the fence, hold it with one hand. Power on the machine, pull the blade lever and bring down the blade inside the notch drawing to cut until it reaches the right depth. Lift the blade back to its original position, slide the wood left or right for 1/8 inches and continue to cut, until the blade covers the entire sketch.
  2. Circular saw: Set the desired depth on its blade. Make a series of cuts between the guide marks or notch sketch. Keep a difference of 2 to 3 mm between two cuts. Afterward, you can use a hammer to remove most of the waste. Instead of using a chisel, you can also deploy a circular saw on the solid wood side by side too until the bottom is clear. You need to finish a notch very carefully if you are using a circular saw, otherwise the blade will damage the wood.


Step 3: Define the notch

You can use several tools to knock out the crisp wooden lines and finish the notch. However, we suggest you use a hammer and chisel that can give you the right dimensions. Both the tools will give you crisp outlines, so that the final outcome can look straight as well as bright.


The Final Words

Now you know everything about how to make notches in wood with a table saw. It’s clear that you don’t need a complex tool or don’t have to follow a lengthy process to create some notches. Instead, it is more important that you use a table saw that is in good shape so that every cut you make is flat and productive. Be familiar with your power tool and practice the above-mentioned steps on a trash wooden piece for better results.