I need to cut 1/8" thick strips for trim for jewerly boxes. To get all the
pieces the same thickness it seems to me to be only two possible ways. (1)
put the keeper piece between the fence and the blade, and I don't know how
the heck that is going to work, or (2) with the keeper on the other side of
the blade, move the fence the exact same amt. using an indicator set up
against the fence. Is there a third way or is one of the two mentioned the
answer. Just need some more experienced advice on this. Thanks.
I fairly regularly rip down lumber for model making. There are a
couple ways of doing it. First, make sure you are using a zero
clearance insert. Second, make sure your stock is plenty wide so that
your feed hand is far enough from the blade.
I find that if the wood is long enough, say 18" or so, that I can run
it through with the keeper against the fence. The key is that it has
to be long enough for its own weight to pull itself out from the blade
as it falls off the back of the saw once the cut is finished. For
shorter pieces it will just sit there, and you can't get a push stick
in there to clear it. The temptation is then to reach behind the
blade and pull it, which is very bad news. If your fence is setup
properly, the stock has a good edge, and it has straight grain you
should be fine, but if you feel uncomfortable don't do it.
The other way to do it is to setup a stop on the opposite side as the
fence at 1/8" from the blade. You then set the stock against the stop
and then bring the fence against the stock. An easy way to do this is
to clamp a piece of wood to the miter gage, as you can slide the miter
gage up to the blade to take your measurement and then just slide it
back. Make sure you push the miter gage against the side of the slot
away from the blade while you take your measurement to take out any
slop. My fence is hard to keep straight so I find that this method
doesn't work well for me, but if you have a good fence this is
probably the best way to go.
Yet a third way is to attach an auxilliary fence which is wide and a
little bit shorter than your stock. This will let you get a push
stick in there to push the keeper piece through.
I use a piece of mdf with a backing strip to hold the wood I want to cut.
place the mdf against the fence the wood you need the strip from against the
side and the backing strip cut away. Photo on
Here's a trick I use. I take one of these
and stick it in the left miter slot. Using your method #2,
adjust the fence for the proper size keeper piece, but
don't cut it yet. Now, using the "wrong" end of the
featherboard adjust it so it touches the edge of the
keeper piece and lock it down. Be sure it touches the
keeper piece well ahead of the blade.
Now it's just a simple matter to slide the fence to the
left till the new keeper piece touches the featherboard.
Be sure to use a zero clearance insert too.
Incra Jig. They demo this on their video; their fences are accurate
enough to cut the 1/8" off the "far" side of the blade, assuming your
blade width is exactly a multiple of 1/32" (else it just gets a little
trickier, but still just as accurate)..
I borrow the one from the router table for these kinds of things.
Another trick is to cut them a little big (jointer and bandsaw is good
for this - joint board, rip off strip, joint board, etc.) and plane
them on a sled down to the 1/8".
I'll add yet another one to the lot.
I lock a dial indicator to the saw. I have an adapter that locks it to the
miter slot, but anything will do. If you have, replace the point with a
blunted tip to prevent sinking in the wood. With a parallel and wide strip of
wood, move the fence to push it against the dial indicator, then slide it, to
check exactly how parallel it is.
Next set the indicator against an outer tooth on the blade for a reference,
then move the fence and wood for a .125 difference and zero it. You now have
your reference point for advancing the fence. The problem I found with using a
screw or other stop for advancing is that any pressure change can vary it
several thou. Of course, this depends on how accurate you need it.
I'm a bit cheaper, I guess. Again, the question remains as to the
accuracy required. Thin strips for wedging into routed slots require
more accuracy than thin strips for toaster tongs. I just apply a
piece of masking tape to the saw surface back from the blade. Then I
put the fence and marked wood where I need it for the first cut up to
the blade. Then draw it back, and pencil [thin/sharp] a line on the
masking tape, using the wood edge for the small line. Any more are
put to the line first, then cut. Remove tape when done.
Any of the better known books on tablesaws (Authors Melher,
DeCristoforo come to mind) will have a few different methods for
cutting narrow strips. For what you describe, the method I like is to
make an L shaped jig to ride against the fence, the bottom of the L at
the front of the saw and pointing towards the blade. The jig board
should be wide enough for a hand to safely guide it between the fence
and the blade. Adjust the fence to the width of the "upright" part of
the L, plus the width of the strip you need. Put your stock against
the jig, with the rear of the stock resting on the bottom of the L,
and push both through the blade. You'll cut the bottom of the L off to
the same thickness as the strips on the first pass. This way, you have
plenty of room for your hand on the fence side of the blade, and don't
have to adjust the fence for each cut, either. You are limited to
fairly short strips with this method, but jewelry boxes are generally
not that big.
Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
Put about a 6 inch wide square/jointed board about 2 ft long or so between
your table saw blade and fence.Move the fence and wood the required
thickness you want for the banding away from the saw blade and clamp the
board down. Use the clamped board as a fence and run the board through the
saw for your cut bands. Pull the band board fence back a little from the
blade so you don't get kick back.
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