So, the day comes when you decided to craft all those beautiful miniatures and dollhouses yourself. How to even begin? Where do I bloody (pardon my English) even start? In this article, I will talk to you about one of the basic crafting materials that you definitely need if you want to craft dollhouse furniture: the mini table saw.
( If you just want to focus on miniatures like for example polymer clay mini-food, that’s fine, I don’t think you will need a craft table saw then ).
Other than the Dremel ( Dremel has craft table saws as well), which I will talk about later, it is thé best machine ever that I invested in for sure.
At first, I didn’t want to spend too much money on crafting materials for ‘a hobby’, so I tried to just use a regular small saw and a fretsaw. I can tell you: I gave up on that quickly. Miniaturists are very patient but in my case, not THAT patient! 🙂
Not only do I use my craft table saw a lot for miniatures, but for other sorts of crafting as well. Even to fix stuff around the house, but that’s not what this website is all about of course 🙂
How to choose a mini craft table saw.
It really depends on how much you are going to use the mini saw and what for.
Do you have plans on becoming a professional miniaturist in making mini furniture (it’s what I personally love the most), or do you just want to use it from time to time and don’t want to make little furniture that gets too complicated? You can go as cheap or expensive as u like.
I bought one from Proxxon because I was told it’s one of the best here in Europe ànd most of all, if pieces need to be replaced or if I need some extra accessories for the craft saw, I don’t always have to order those online and I can just go to the hardware store to buy them or get my mini saw repaired. (I think it’s pretty important to think about that last one).
If you don’t know which one to choose, I can help you make a decision with this review of 4 different craft table saws that I used in the past or that I am still using.
Big or small table saws.
We’re going to make small things. Unless you also want to work with wood for real-life-size furniture, laminate flooring, panels, or wooden planks, etc, there is probably no use for you to buy huge and expensive table saws. Also, I honestly would think that the saw blades or too wide anyway!
If you need to cut large planks into small pieces, a small, mini, craft table saw does the job as well perfectly! (and probably better for making dollhouses and miniatures).
What can you make with them?
Before you start working with a craft saw, I would definitely advise you to watch a professional work with it and ask him ( or her ), how to use it. The best way to hold the wood, how to use the accessories etc. There are also tutorials on YouTube, lots of them. Even books about table saw techniques.
Once you get the hang of it, the things you can craft with it are pretty much endless. What I love the most on pages like on Pinterest, and I already made some myself, is ‘Fairy Garden‘ mini furniture, made with willow branches. Not much other crafting materials are needed for those!
The best thing about miniatures is letting your fantasy work and you can basically make anything that you can ‘sit’ on, ‘sleep’ on, ‘dine’ on, complete kitchens, wooden floors, u name it! Be careful though, you might get addicted 😉
Working with a table saw would of course mean to mind your fingers! Keep your fingers away from the saw blade at all times, to close and your fingers will definitely lose the battle. I have seen a miniature artist talk about an accident where he lost the tip of his finger, so I can’t stress enough about how important this is.
When I have to cut really small pieces, I always use a ‘push stick’ to push the last part of a board against the saw blade. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes of push sticks on the market or you could make one from scrap. Whenever your piece of wood is six inches or fewer from the blade, use the push stick.
Other safety measures I personally take are :
1 A dust mask/face mask.
I do not want to scare anyone, but I have heard story’s about woodworkers getting problems with their longs over time. I wear dust masks also because I have a dust mite allergy and cutting wood obviously gets you a lot of dust.
There is a possibility to add a dust sucker on a table saw, but somehow I never managed to get it right and I still get a lot of the dust on my crafting table. I’m sure a handyman would be able to figure it out more than I have.
Of course, sawdust irritates the eyes, that’s why I also wear :
2 Safety glasses.
As important as the fingers are, I’m sure you would agree that the eyes are equally important. A few times I was happy to wear them, as little pieces of wood can get ejected while I was cutting wood. Obviously, sawdust is very irritating to the eyes and it can lead to dangerous distractions during a cut.
Also, testings show that carbide tooth tips ejected from table saw blades during operation could not penetrate commercially available safety glasses.
3 Hearing protection.
Sounds at 75 dB or less are considered safe for your ears. Over 80 dB your ears can get damaged if u expose them too long to the noise. I can’t seem to find in the manual off my Proxxon craft saw how high the decibels are, but I presume it is over 80 dB. So I definitely wear ear protection.
What kind of ear protection is totally up to you. I have earplugs to sleep, but to craft, I use ear cups, cause they are easily put on my head and ears.
4 Last but not least:
I always tell people that I’m going to use the craft saw and that they should not distract me in any way when I’m using it. If someone you live with wants to ask you something, you could turn your head to ask like: ‘what were you saying ?’ and ‘whoopsie’: the finger is gone. Do NOT scare someone/ distract anyone/ or come too close when they are cutting something, please!
Not all miniaturists want to make small furniture or are willing to use a craft table saw (I get that it looks scary ) or they just want to make miniatures that aren’t made from wood.
But if you do, I would definitely recommend buying a craft table saw, it is my most used machine so far and belongs to your most needed crafting materials!
If ever you would like to buy a small table saw, then read my article first before you buy one! Review 4 circular saws
Do you have any questions about this article and crafting materials? Feel free to comment below or come chat with a bunch of great people on my Facebook group! And please, don’t hesitate to share this blog post with your friends!