question on proper table saw use

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"Leon" wrote in message

The first table saw I owned (yep, a Craftsmans benchtop model), and used to build two recording studios, didn't even come with a fence, IIRC, and was so underpowered that it would bog down before kicking back.
We used it primarily to cut sheet goods to size, although I can't tell you how many tubufours were ripped to 2X dimensions on that thing ... both almost always a two man operation, for _safety's_ sake.
Something I would be very hard pressed to try, or even think of attempting, on my Unisaw and without a fence.
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Last update: 4/13/04
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if you are going to do this, make a crosscut sled (searching will find tons of plans to make them). even with a good miter gauge its just too easy to start slightly changing the angle at which the board is being fed into to the blade and this is what causes the kickback. you can clamp the hell out of it to minimize it but thats time consuming and not as good as a sled.
basicaly, the sled insures the board feeds in straight by using both miters slots at once. one you've used a sled you will never go back, but you wont have to. you already made it.
randy
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Commando Line wrote:

Dunno where you read that but take anything else that you read there with a very large dose of salt--a table saw will cut any grain orientation--the difficulty is not in the cutting itself but in supporting the piece and maintaining the desired alignment.
That said, if you _have_ a radial arm saw or other saw that has a controlled crosscut movement, you'll find such a saw more _convenient_ for cross-cutting, and you'll find the table saw, which tends to pull the work down onto the table instead of lifting it up in the air, to be more _convenient_ for ripping.

Sure--a knothole is just air. Now if there's a knot in it, that can be another story--if the knot comes out it can be thrown by the saw and hurt anybody in the line of fire. Check each knot that you're going to be cutting and if it seems at all loose knock it out first--that doesn't mean that one that's tight when surrounded by board doesn't come apart when the saw goes through it though.

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--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Yes, it's OK, I've done it many times. The problem is one of holding/moving the board. You need a sled or long miter gauge to hold the board square to the blade, and even then trying to support a long board (more than 3 feet or so) is going to be awkward or impossible.
Like another poster mentioned, I usually use my power miter saw (chop saw). I cut through as far as I can in one pass, flip the board over, and finish the cut. It's not a perfect cut, but it works fine most of the time.
If accuracy is important, you could simply clamp a straight edge to your board, and make the cut with a handheld circular saw. I cut plywood this way as it's easier than trying to juggle a sheet up on top of my table saw.

It doesn't really matter what type of saw is making the cut, it depends on the knot. If the knot is loose, trying to cut through it could send fragments flying, and/or the knot will fall out after being cut. But, if the knot is tight, it should not be a problem. I cut through them all the time.
Anthony
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Yes- that's what the miter guage is for (the "T" shaped thing that slides in those slot thingies). If the board is too long to safely handle on the saw, cut it close to size with a handsaw first.

Actually, this might possibly lead to a kickback, as with the blade set low, the force of the blade is running almost parallel to the board and tabletop- this makes it much easier for the blade to "kick" the board. If the blade is raised as high as possible, it will run almost straight down, helping to force the board down onto the table. Just be sure to keep your hands clear of the blade.
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Snip

Well, actually Kick Back is most often caused by the back of the blade lifting the board and throwing it back when it becomes jammed between the blade and the fence. The higher the blade the more likely of a jam and the blade throwing the board higher. The blade should be high enough for the teeth to clear the top of the board and that is it.
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