Tip: The Nut Catcher For The Table Saw

This has happened to me dozens of times. Even when I’m being especially careful (actually, it seems to happen even more, then), I still manage to let the nut slip from my fingers and fall down inside the saw. Part of the problem is the design of the insert opening: it’s too small, especially on that side of the opening.
But, whatever the excuse I choose to use or bad words I utter afterwards, the nut still ends up out of reach:

nut fallen inside saw cabinet

On my saw, I only need to pull out the bin that catches the bulk of the dust to retrieve the nut, but if you have a dust collector hooked up to the bottom, there may be some disassembly required. Still, nice to be able to avoid having it fall in the first place.

the dust bin under my saw
magnets from the home centre

I gave this a lot of thought and devised (in my head) several ultra complicated ways to get the nut off without dropping it, but in the end I settled on what I think is the best solution. It is also the easiest – glue a small magnet to the end of the arbor.

The magnet is fixed with epoxy and will also help to keep the flange from falling. It’s centred on the arbor shaft as best I could, but given the small size and low mass of the magnet (and its proximity to the axis of rotation), some small misalignment won’t cause any vibration problems:

the magnet glued to the arbor shaft

Of course, sometimes the nut will still manage to escape and fall (as shown in the video below), but with this addition that should be less often. It’s also handy to have a magnet glued to the end of a long stick for those times.