How I addressed problem of 15/16" thick soft maple board slats that moved
away from the cut when sawing 6 foot lengths:
I had to saw about 110 6 foot long slats off the above mentioned boards
which varied in width from about 4 inches to about 8 inches. I want to
thank all of you who commented on my earlier post for the help I got from
Here's what I found and what I did about it:
1. Some of you asked about moisture content. I had about 50 of these boards
in my unheated garage, still on the pickup truck. They measured 11 to 12%
I had about 20 boards tightly stacked (no stickers)on a pallet in the far
end of my heated woodshop and 30 more standing around the shop. I had the
temperature in the wood shop up to about 65° F with the boards in it for
about 4 days.
All of the standing-around boards measured 11-12%.
The 20 boards on the pallet measured from a high of 12% to a low of 4.8%
I don't know how good or bad that is, but I am assuming this wood must
have been kiln dried. That's because I have a shed with about 10,000 bd ft
of hardwoods that have been stickered there for up to 35 years and that wood
never goes below 16% up here in west central Wisconsin.
2. I had not been using the splitter or guard. I did set it up after you
3. THE BIG ONE: I added a "short fence" as a couple of you guys suggested.
That really made life easier.
4. I lied at one point where I said that I had a sharp blade. Yah, it was
sharp, but I didn't realize how gummed up it was, and that it was getting
worse as I went.
Now, don't flame me too much, but I bought this saw about 5 years ago and I
have never even looked closely at the blade since I installed it!
I don't saw wood every day, but I hardly ever saw soft woods and I know
that I have put a few thousand feet through it.
Anyway, looking back, after I had cut several of these boards, I started
noticing some smoke, but, at the time, I assumed it was just from the
occasional knot. (Why are knots so much harder than the rest of the tree,
---Okay, so now it's a day or two after I first posted my problem to you
guys. I was out there sawing some more boards. The smoke got a LOT worse.
It finally came to my slow brain that something else was going on. AND, as
the smoke became more prominent, the saw cuts started CLOSING UP rather than
opening up as they had been doing previously.
So I quit sawing and finally looked at your responses.
5. I went to Rockler in Maplewood MN (50 miles one way) and bought a kit for
cleaning the blade. Well worth it, since I had tried most of the solvents
in the shop and tried scraping gunk off with a knife blade with poor
6. While the sections of the blade were soaking, I applied all the fixes you
7. When reinstalling the splitter/guard on the saw, I remembered why I had
removed it in the first place (5 or so years ago). The splitter didn't line
up quite right with the blade. I had done all the other alignments to
within about 3 thousandths at the time. So I just said to ****
poor mfg. and pivoted it out of the way.
Now that I had solved a bunch of other problems, about 1/3 of the cuts
were going perfectly, about 1/3 were opening up a little and the other 1/3
were closing up.
This splitter misalignment wasn't much of a problem when I restarted
sawing, unless the kerf did the "closing-up" thing. Then it was a headache,
so I finally stopped the saw and made a 16 thou brass shim to get the
splitter exactly centered on the blade.
--- Shoulda done THAT about 5 years ago!
Things really went smoothly for the rest of that operation.
Thanks again, guys. You are a really great resource.
I am almost to the point where I think I may know what I am doing,