Table saw - ripping thin material?

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I just got a used Craftsman table saw on Craigslist, and would like to rip some long, narrow, thin cedar strips from fence pickets. So for example, I would first rip a 5/8" x 3.5" x 6' picket into three strips of 5/8" x about 1" x 6' by making two cuts. The first cut seems pretty straightforward. The second one - cutting a 2+" strip in half - I also think I can do if I'm careful and have an appropriate push stick. The saw does have the usual blade guard, splitter, and anti-kickback pawls, and a 96-tooth, narrow steel (not carbide) blade that says it's for finishing.
But then I'd like to cut each of the three strips in half again, but this time edge-wise, so that I end up with 1/4" x about 1" x 6' strips. So that's cutting the 5/8" dimension in half.
It's that last cut that bothers me. I've watched some videos on Youtube on cutting thin material, and it looks like it would be possible to do it with Grip-Tite or GRR-ripper gizmos, but they're just beyond my budget.
But it seems it should also be possible to do this cut with clamped featherboards to lock the feed stock against the table and fence, and end by following with a scrap piece of the same dimensions, or perhaps pulling through from the other end.
Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions on how to do this if there is a safe way to do so.
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On Sun, 25 Apr 2010 22:39:38 -0500, Peabody

Clamp a board on the side away from the fence to trap the wood and another block on top so the strip is totally under control. (just not too tight) Run the blade up into the top block and start ripping. The splitter stays but the blade guard is above the top block that will have the blade enclosed anyway.
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On 4/25/2010 9:42 PM snipped-for-privacy@aol.com spake thus:

Dunno; that sounds like Kickack City to me.
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On Sun, 25 Apr 2010 22:30:41 -0700, David Nebenzahl

If the top of the blade is buried in the top block, how do you get kick back? I have ripped down a lot of stuff like this with no scary movements at all.
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board is fed straight, and the board can't move to the top of the teeth.
They also sell a strip cutting jig, which allows the anti-kick pawls to work.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...
> Clamp a board on the side away from the fence to trap > the wood and another block on top so the strip is > totally under control. (just not too tight) Run the > blade up into the top block and start ripping. The > splitter stays but the blade guard is above the top > block that will have the blade enclosed anyway.
Thanks very much, but I'm not quite getting the picture. The board on the side would be clamped to the table, but I don't understand where the top board goes. Is it clamped to the fence?
Also, I'm wondering how far, if at all, these clamped boards go beyond the blade. Well, it seems the side board would only be on the feed side. Not sure about the top board.
It also looks like I would need to make a zero-clearance insert for the table.
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On 4/25/2010 8:39 PM Peabody spake thus:
[...]

This sounds like a job for a bandsaw, not a table saw. What you're doing falls under the heading of resawing. (Not the answer you wanted, I know, but there it is.)
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Agreed...
A band saw with a wide re-saw blade would accomplish this process in a much safer way...
~~ Evan
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On 4/25/2010 11:39 PM, Peabody wrote:

I don't know where the guard is ... it may have been dumped during the last year move, although I don't dump anything, even though I haven't used it for 30 some years. Anyway, if I were doing just one, I would use 2 people and probably 2 push/holder sticks. The catcher (my wife) can gently pull as the wood comes out the back of the saw. If I were doing many, I have a fence adapter (also Craftsman) with metal hold down springs; 2 provide downward force and 2 push toward the fence. You still need pushers to keep your hands away from the blade. When ripping, I try not to stand "in the line of (kickback) fire, especially on small pieces. But good carbide blades rarely kick back as they'd rather cut than kick.
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On 4/26/2010 8:34 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

disclaimers apply. This is the way I do it, YRMV.
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Be careful that the "catcher" doesn't pinch the work on the blade. Only the piece next to the fence should be moved. The cut-off piece should be along for the ride.

A featherboard on the table, before the blade, pushing against the fence and one on the fence holding the work down to the table.

Yes, always visualize where your hands are, where the blade is, and where they will be if the blade has its way. Never reach across the blade or put your hands behind the blade and always stand beside the work, out of the firing line.

Don't count on carbide blades saving you. It's certainly true that sharp tools are safer than dull, but any blade can kick if you do something stupid.
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Art Todesco says...
> I have a fence adapter (also Craftsman) with metal hold > down springs; 2 provide downward force and 2 push toward > the fence.
Thanks very much. Do you have more info on this? I can't find it.
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Peabody wrote the following:

I have these. I haven't used them in years, but as I recall they worked well.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak says...
>> > I have a fence adapter (also Craftsman) with metal >> > hold down springs; 2 provide downward force and 2 >> > push toward the fence.
>> Thanks very much. Do you have more info on this? I >> can't find it.
> http://www.owwm.com/photoindex/detail.aspx?idc12 > I have these. I haven't used them in years, but as I > recall they worked well.
Thanks. It looks like they still sell a version of this.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00903230000P?keyword903 230000&sLevel=0
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Peabody wrote the following:

Other than the price, the only difference is that it has allen screws for adjustments rather than the wing screws on the older version.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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There are a few ways to do this safely with a tablesaw. Rather than trying to describe them here, I recommend you go to your local library and see any good woodworking book on use of the tablesaw. 2 authors that come to mind are Kelly Mehler and (not sure of spelling or 1st name) R. DeCristofero
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On 4/26/2010 10:20 AM, willshak wrote:

attach them to a piece of wood and then the whole thing clamps to the fence.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Sounds like a whole lot of effort, and danger, to avoid simply buying the correct wood stock in the first place. Project coulda been done by now. And if OP has to go out and buy, or fabricate, a lot of table saw accessories he will likely never use again, well, any cost saving from those cheap fence pickets seems rather questionable. I think he'll find that a lot of the pieces end up shattering, either as they are cut, or as they are installed.
But if it makes him happy to try, more power to him.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers says...
> Sounds like a whole lot of effort, and danger, to avoid > simply buying the correct wood stock in the first place.
Indeed, that's the very first thing I tried to do. I checked with the big lumber yards in my area, and the smallest stock I could find in cedar was 1x2 x 16', which would still have to be ripped further, and it was a lot more expensive than the fence pickets, plus there would have been a delivery charge.
Anyway, since I changed the game plan to just cutting strips off the pickets, this is going to work out ok, and shouldn't be dangerous. It has had the added benefit of "forcing me" to buy, and learn, a new tool - the table saw - which I'm sure will come in handy for other things. Or, if I don't want to keep it, I can put it back up on Craiglist where I got it.
This morning I made the zero-clearance insert, so I'll be doing a test run, and if all goes well with that I should be able to begin.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...
> I just got a used Craftsman table saw on Craigslist, and > would like to rip some long, narrow, thin cedar strips > from fence pickets. So for example, I would first rip a > 5/8" x 3.5" x 6' picket into three strips of 5/8" x > about 1" x 6' by making two cuts. The first cut seems > pretty straightforward. The second one - cutting a 2+" > strip in half - I also think I can do if I'm careful and > have an appropriate push stick. The saw does have the > usual blade guard, splitter, and anti-kickback pawls, > and a 96-tooth, narrow steel (not carbide) blade that > says it's for finishing.
> But then I'd like to cut each of the three strips in > half again, but this time edge-wise, so that I end up > with 1/4" x about 1" x 6' strips. So that's cutting the > 5/8" dimension in half.
I appreciate all the responses. After revisiting my requirements for this project, I've concluded that the strips don't have to be a full inch wide, and in fact the actual 5/8" thickness of 1-by cedar pickets is enough to be the width of the strips I want to end up with.
So that makes things easier. I'll just be ripping successive 1/4"-thick strips off the edge of a 1x6 picket until I get down to something like 1" remaining, and then just throw that away.
Instead of using the 96-tooth steel finishing blade, I'll put on the 36-tooth carbide ripping blade that came with the saw, which as it turns out is brand new. For some reason the previous owner only ever used the 96T blade. But in doing some practice runs today, that blade only allows a pretty slow feed. I assume the ripping blade will be faster, and the rougher finish will be fine.
I'll have to measure the kerf, but assuming it's about 1/8", I could get about 12 strips from a 1x6 picket. That would be the 5.5" actual width, less the inch I'm going to throw away, divided by 3/8" (1/4" strip thickness plus 1/8" kerf). Those pickets are about $1.90 each where I live, so the materials cost of this will be pretty nominal.
I learned one other thing today. Even though this saw has a dust bag underneath, I need to be operating it outside in the driveway, and not inside the garage.
Thanks again for all the help.
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