Extreme newbie questions on making straight, acurate cuts.


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Been playing around int he garage and getting a little better at things. But one thing I just cant seem to do is cur straight cross cutts with my small table top table saw. Especially with a long board. Is there a secret to this and how to cut two parts to where they are exactly the same and square? Also, if I want to edge glue boards for a bigger panel, can I rip them with a table saw and they will be good enough to glue together or should I go over the edges with a router table.
i read something in my book about a cross cut sled but it did not go into detail. Can I build or buy one?
I thought about buying another miter guarge and attaching it and my old one to a board for mor control. WOuld that help?
Would one of those plywood blades with many teeth keep everything from splintering?
Thanks!
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"stryped" wrote in message

Go to your local library/bookstore and get a book on table saws. Kelly Mehlers' is a good one to start with. It will answer all your questions and have plans for sleds and everything else you need to know to make your table saw and effective tool.
http://www.kellymehler.com/newsite/woodshop.htm
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You definitely want to build a sled for crosscutting assisted by a roller support for long boards. Clamp the board to the sled while cutting. Also get one of the HF dial gauges [under $20] and base to check your blade for alignment with the table grooves. Slide the gauge along/in the table slots to measure the distance to the fully raised blade at front and back. This involves loosening some table mounting bolts and bumping the table until it's in true parallel with the saw. This setting should be checked regularly. Most home shop Klutzenheimers never check their blade alignment, so never know what the saw will really do.
Some of the patented mitre gauges are a slight improvement over the original, but in my opinion not worth the cost.
A plywood blade is a difinite asset.
Good luck, Bugs
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stryped wrote:

How long are these long boards? If you are trying to cut off 3' of an 8' board - especially a heavy one - by pushing it with the little "came with the saw" miter gauge you are pretty much doomed to failure. You'll do better by whacking off a chunk close to desired length with a hand saw and then trimming to final length on the table saw.
Two make cut offs the same length, you need a stop....a fixed point of reference that can be used to position the boards. An easy way is to clamp a small block at the front of the infeed side of the fence. It needs to be sized so that you can slide your board over to touch it but small enough so that the end of the board isn't touching it when you begin to cut; otherwise, the cutoff can get trapped.
I made up a 1" thick block about 3" wide and the height of my fence. It straddles the fence and has a male T-track so that I can attach it to the female track in the top of the fence and easily remove/position it. Because it is exactly 1" thick I can use the saw's built in ruler to establish cut off length. As long as I remember to add an inch to the length desired... :) _____________

Yes if you have a good ripping blade, the wood is truly flat so it doesn't rock, your fence is parallel to the blade and you have decent technique. ________________

Yes to both. Keeping in mind that a table saw is basically a ripping machine, a sled is almost a necessity for things like panels. ________________

Basically, you are describing a sled. You would also need a way to keep the attached board from being whacked into two pieces the first time you use it. The way to do that is to use a piece of plywood as the base and attach two stout pieces of wood at least an inch wider (higher) than maximum cut height to the front and back of the sled. You don't need another miter gauge; in fact, you don't need any...just attach two wood runners under the sled so they slide in the saw tracks. You lose cutting height = thickness of the ply.
You could also attach a flat, straight board or piece of good plywood a couple of feet long to the miter gauge so that there is more bearing surface when you are crosscutting. The advantage over the sled above is that you can cut angles too. Position the board on the miter gauge so that it doesn't quite reach the blade. _________________

It might help but I kinda doubt it would prevent all splintering. Other ways to prevent it...
1. Use a zero clearance insert 2. Use a knife to score the bottom of the board where the cut will be 3. Cut off in two passes...first cutting only 1/8" or so, second all the way 4. Put masking tape on the bottom over where the cut line will be. 5. Slightly dampen the bottom of the board 6. Cut wide and finish with a router. 7. Use a good crosscut blade
To stop blowout on the back edge, use something else to back up that edge.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
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