Ripping a bunch of boards, the solution

How I addressed problem of 15/16" thick soft maple board slats that moved away from the cut when sawing 6 foot lengths:
Background: 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 you.
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% (Lignomat) 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% (one board). 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 suggested it.
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, anyway?). ---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 results.
6. While the sections of the blade were soaking, I applied all the fixes you guys suggested.
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 **** with it, 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, Pete Stanaitis -----------------
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On 1/29/2012 5:09 PM, Pete S wrote:

Another easy fix for reaction wood that closes up and binds on the splitter is to stop the saw and simply put a shim/spacer in the cut to hold it apart.
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On Sun, 29 Jan 2012 17:39:31 -0600, Swingman wrote:

Yep - and it seems to be necessary a lot more than it used to.
The only problem is that when I finish cutting the board the shim falls on the floor and I have to find it in all the mess :-).
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On 1/29/2012 6:58 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Particularly with maple lately. We got some beautifully milled hard maple last winter for a bunch of kitchen drawers and a number of boards ended up being some of the worst wany and bowed stuff after ripping I've ever seen.
I had to use shims behind the splitter to cut most of that stuff, then what was cut was mostly useless for anything but more shims to cut the rest. :(

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On Sun, 29 Jan 2012 20:01:01 -0600, Swingman wrote:

I've seen it in a lot of different woods, but the worst I found was in red oak. When that stuff closes up one almost needs a sledgehammer to pound the shim in!
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snip
...until the next puzzle comes along! I suspect that there will always be things to keep us all in problem solving mode in the shop!
John
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