Rookie questions

I just purchased my first real woodworking tool (at least with woodworkign in mind), a table saw. For basic cuts, is it better to cut on the left or right side of the blade? I wouldn't think it would matter but the saws measuring guide is longer on the left and my instinct is to cut with the main part of the stock on the right.
Also, I'm using an old Craftsman router my dad lent me. I'm trying to cut a rabbit joint with it. I was told to cut from left to right but it splinters the side of the board at the edge so I began cutting/routing in from the outside of the edge to the inside to prevent the splintering. Then I ended up rounding off the corners of the rabbit joint where I was coming in from. (I hope this makes sense). Short of using a router table and guide, is there a way to prevent the rounding? I thought of putting scrap wood next to it which may be the answer but it's one more piece of wood I have to clamp down.
Last one for tonight.... How do you make a perpindicular cut with a TS? I used a square to make a 90 degree mark but I know you shouldn't free cut with a TS, so how do I get the TS to follow the line? (the other side of the board is just enough of a bad angle to put the other side off.
I'm taking a local woodworking Tech class next month and should probably just wait, but I'm not that patient.
Richard
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I'm confused. The measuring guide is longer on the left? The fence is usually on the right side of the blade and the material is guided along the fence. The scale on the rail is set to measure the distance from the fence to the right edge of the blade.
Quick tip: Never u se the fence and the miter at the same time. Use a push stick for narrow pices of wood. By narrow, anything less than four or five inches, I reach for the stick and not ue=se my hand that close to the blade.

The scrap wood works well, It is possible to cut from right to left for just a 1/4" or so and then start at the left side. That little bit of climb cutting is just enough. You have to do it very slowly. Eventually you'll find a router table is very hand for that type of cut.

Make a sled. Attach the board you want to cut straigh and attach it temporarily to another board that is straight and use that one to follow along the fence. Once you have one straight edge you can reverse the board and cut off the irreglular edge.

If you want to do good woodworking, you will learn patience. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturers instructions and to wear safety glasses. Just like Norm. Seriously, that blade can do a lot of damage in milliseconds. Use care and learn to use the saw properly. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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I was refering to the scale on the rail (like I said, I'm a rookie). The scale to the right of the blade is shorter than the left. The TS blade I set to 0". The fence I have placed on the right side but it can be moved to the left side. My question came up when I was trimming some of the end of a 24" board and the fence couldn't go far enough to my right to use it as a guide. I ended up moving the sliding table and rail over to the right more. Now the scale is off but I assume that if they didn't want me to move it, it wouldn't be movable.
...... After reading my response I realized that my problem is that I shouldn't have been using the fence and should have used the miter instead. It would have been more stable, obviously. Smack. (sound of palm hitting forhead)
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 22:20:01 -0500, "Richard A."

hey, is that a ryobi table saw?

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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

didn't read online or in a book but I feel like I made a good purchase, so far anyhow.
It looks like I'll be making a sled as soon as I finish a featherboard. Thanks for the tips on safety also. When hearing that I bought a TS the guys at work replied, "so, you decided to join the nine finger club?". Apparently there are more than a few members already. I'm not in that big a hurry to join.
Rich
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Use push sticks, the splitter, and eyewear. Stand to the side, never directly behind the piece you are cutting. Did I mention to use push sticks?
Yes, I am part of the 9 (actually 9 3/4) finger club... it happens VERY fast!!!
One more thing, don't forget the push stick.
--
-Jim


If you want to reply by email its --> ryan at jimryan dot com
  Click to see the full signature.
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Well, unless you're making repeated length cutoffs, where the touch gage is clamped to the fence.

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On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 21:10:36 -0500, "Richard A."

kinda depends if you're right or left handed. as a right hander I have the fence to the right of the blade. you want your body on the opposite side of the blade from the fence. that is, as you push the wood through the blade, you also push it tight to the fence.

as soon as you can, get a real router.
for router tips, go to: http://www.patwarner.com /

with a sled. http://tinyurl.com/44x8x

wait? pah! you gots tools.... make something!

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One of the responses recommended that you make a sled. I can really agree with that. I had read many articles about sleds and it sounded interesting but I never wanted to take the time to make one because it would slow me down. Finally I took the time and made a nice sled and boy did I kick myself. I should have made one years before. Any time you get a board of any size and try to cross cut it just using the miter, you will get very frustrated because it is really hard to hold it square. The sled allows you to hold a large board nice and square. It is well worth the time and effort to make one.
Also, I echo the advice another gentleman gave. Never, never use a miter and a rip fence at the same time. Very dangerous. Also, learn what kickback is and understand and respect it. Saftey is very important. Not exciting to talk about, but if you want to do woodworking for a long time, you will need all your appendages and internal organs.
George
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George wrote:

the net. It really seems to shorten the learning curve. I'll take the advice given here and go ahead with building a sled. I've heard the part about not using the rip fence and miter at the same time. Now that I've heard it repeatedly, I intend to remember the advice.
I've read a lot on safety and seen some of the pictures posted here to inspire people to keep paying attention. I intend to maintain a healthy fear of the TS and other wood tools.
Richard
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For repeated length cutoffs make/clamp a board on the rip fence short of blade and use thatalong with the miter fence and kickbacks are greatly reduced but repeatability is enabled. Protect your hearing!
On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 11:38:45 -0500, "Richard A."

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Richard, Riobi has a forum for BT3K owners that's really useful: http://www.ryobitools.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum Fo rumID24&confConfID1
There's also an independent site that has lots of BT3K info: http://www.bt3central.com/default.asp
Good luck and have fun!
Vince Heuring
--
Vince Heuring To email, remove the Vince.

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Bad mailer, bad mailer. Let's make that http://tinyurl.com/3jg64

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Vincent Heuring wrote:

Thanks. Gotta love Tinyurl's. Didn't know about the BT3K site. I think I'll get a lot of use out of it considering that having the TS feels a bit like having a stranger in the garage.
Rich
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Congrats!
If you're really that impatient - get one of Kelly's books or videos. http://kellymehler.com/Assets/pages/Book%20and%20Videos.html *All* (or darned near all) of your questions will be answered. Including making a crosscut sled.
My small, local library had his "Mastering your Table Saw" video.
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On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 21:10:36 -0500, "Richard A."
Short of

You're correct about the scrap wood. It will give better results. Sometimes it is wise to do that extra, annoying step to get better results, and frequently safer operation.

I may be misreading the situation, but it sounds as if you wanted/were using the fence as a guide, instead of the miter. It's not a good idea to use the fence for a guide when making a perpendicular cut where the cut is across the narrow dimension of the work piece. The fence is primarily an aid in ripping, not cross cutting.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/wgoffeney/Woodworking/Woodworking.htm
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