I have noticed on newer model table saws that the far portion of the throat plate has a mirror-bright finish across the plate and for about 3″ of length. What is the function of this shiny finish? – John Cusimano
Chris Marshall: That’s a curious question, John, because I’ve never given it much thought. I’ve used some table saws with throatplates that have this bare-metal, mirror-finish area, while other saws’ throatplates do not. Here’s one guess: this shiny area might help keep the sharp anti-kickback pawls on the splitter/guard assembly from marring the throatplate’s painted or plastic surface as you raise and lower the blade or when they snap down after making a cut. Most of the time, I use a shop-made throatplate made out of MDF or plywood that’s fitted for zero-clearance around the blade or with a wider opening for my dado blade. The pawls don’t seem to cause much mayhem on my homemade plates. Maybe other eZine readers will share their insights here, and I’ll be enlightened, too!
Tim Inman: Can’t help on this one, sorry. The working surfaces of my old cast-iron tools have long ago lost their like-new mirror finishes.