Short vs Long Rip Fence

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As Lwasserm has indicated, the longer the fence the less important it is that the board be perfectly straight.
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Lets think about that board with a bow in it .... As is more than likely the bow is not consistent throughout the length of the board. If the amount of bow increases slightly, with both ends of the board in contact with the fence. Where is the board forced to go? ... into the side of blade. We have two options here. If the blade is thin enough and the increased bow is only minor the blade will flex enough to absorb the extra side forces being applied. If the blade is rigid or the increase in bow is considerable then things start to jam up. Hopefully at this point your saw in a little underpowered and the motor will start to stall, if not you can guess what happens next. You must remember that a rip saw is designed to cut straight stock. A jointer is used for truing stock. I so often see articles in various woodworking forums about near misses and unfortunately sometimes more serious injuries. Nine times out of ten the operator was trying to make a machine do something it was not originally designed to do. Always remember there is no such thing as an accident. 99.99% of 'accidents' are usually the result of someone doing something wrong, whether it be a deliberate decision to do it or simply a lack of concentration on the task at hand

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ONLY if one end of the board begins or eventually is not in contact with the blade during the entire cut.
If the board is relatively short, too short to go through a jointer to straighten, and will remain in contact with the fence through the entire cut the pricedure would benefit from the a longer fence as the piece would travel in a straight line.
We have

Actually I have had to guard against more "starts of a kick back" with an under powered saw. With my cabinet saw and regular kerf blade the blade seldom shows any sign of binding as the saw has the power to power through the cut. In my experience the more HP the safer all cuts are.
You must remember that a rip saw is designed to cut straight

True, however with the proper jig/sled, it can easily and safely straighten stock also.
Snip

If that were true there would be no such word, as accident. Partially agreeing however, "MOST" accidents can be prevented. A power failure in a basement during a cut could easily cause an accident and probably happens quite often. I personally have had power failures during cuts and they were not because of a blown breaker. This situation would be next to impossable to prevent.
99.99% of 'accidents' are usually the

I'll not disagree here, you are preaching to the choir. ;~) The other .01% are accidents. Unfortunately no one is not incapable of an accident. There are simply too many situations that come into play that fall outside the situations that one is taught to help prevent an accident. The moment that you think that all you know about safety will save your butt is the moment that something can get you. NO ONE is incapable of covering all bases in every situation or scenario.
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Paul D (in 450d3af0 snipped-for-privacy@news.iprimus.com.au) said:
| Lets think about that board with a bow in it ....
| We have two options here
There is a third option: using a sled or jig to ensure that the board travels in a straight line parallel to the cut line.
I built a simple board sled (follow the link below for a pair of photos) and use it whenever I have any doubt about the stock feeding straight along my normal fence.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/BoardSled.html
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charlie b wrote:

even though I have a pretty nice jointer, I often find it convenient to straighten boards on the table saw. set the fence for the nominal width of the board, run it through, flip it, run it through, increment the fence 1/64th or so, repeat. pretty soon you have a board that is straight and has parallel edges. the straightness you can achieve with this method is affected by the length of your fence- the longer the better.
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Why do 12 runs through saw bench readjusting each time when you have the correct tool whic would do the job in 1 or 2 rund with no setup time? You mast have a lot more spare time on your hands than me.

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bridgerfafc:
I think, with your "use the table saw as a joiner", you've provided support for the Short Fence. What you described -straightening a crooked board on a table saw with a long fence - isn't such a good idea, or a safe practice, especially when you do have a joiner and perhaps a joiner hand plane (#6 for short stuff, #7 for longer stuff or a #8 for the Arnold S. folks who just like to lift heavy things).
Now if I understand your method correctly, you have both the front and rear edge of the crooked board against the rip fence as you start and end the rip cut. Let's say the board in question is 36" long. That would require 36" of fence from the front of the blade as well as 36" of fence behind the front of the blade. Unless you have an auxillary fence added on to the back of your fence as well as to the front of your rip fence, you'd be asking for trouble, even if you have a riving knife in place.
A short fence won't let you even consider making the cut you describe. Just because it's possible to do something doesn't mean it's safe to do. And my point with the short fence - though implied but not stated - was safety.
Re: It's possible so I'll try it. I've got a 12" sliding compound miter saw that'll CROSS CUT a tad over 12" WIDE boards. Since it works sort of like a radial arm saw I figured I could rip a wide board with it - ie cutting "with the grain" rather than the intended "acrossed the grain". I took the precaution of using one of the saw's hold downs - and clamped that sucker down nice and tight.
When the first saw tooth made contact with the end grain, or within nano seconds afterward, all hell broke loose, as did the fence and the support to which the hold down was attached! The chunk of wood blown off my board was never found and it took me a while to find, and get my heart back in my chest. Figured I should do that before I went in and changed my shorts - priorities you know.
USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB!
DON'T TRY AND MAKE A TOOL OR MACHINE DO WHAT IT WASN'T DESIGNED TO DO!
Neither is good for you - or the tool. One of the objectives is to have you AND the tool last a lifetime - in good working order.
rant mode OFF
charlie b
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