The Color of Poplar, Internal Tension and TS Splitters

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I'm learning stuff...
As my kitchen upgrade continues, I had the pleasure of ripping about 100 li near feet of 1 x 6 Poplar this weekend. The pieces ranged in length from a few that were over 60" to large number between 25" and 35".
I was using a 40 tooth GP blade, Freud D1040X. The ripping went very smooth ly and I got a pretty good edge on all boards, but I did run into an intere sting (at least to me) situation.
I learned that the darker the Poplar, the greater the internal tension and the more apt that the kerf was going to close around the splitter. In some cases I wasn't able to rip more than halfway through the board before it wo uld bind up. Early on I was pulling the boards back out (with the saw off, of course) flipping them and coming in from the other end to complete the r ip.
I eventually got to the point where I was putting the darker boards aside, ripping the "lighter" ones with the splitter installed, and then (somewhat nervously) ripping the darker ones without the splitter/guard. I don't know for sure that all of the darker ones would have jammed around the splitter , but I can say for certain that none of the lighter ones did.
I have a 24 tooth ripping blade, but it is in serious need of sharpening. ( In fact, I dropped it off at a saw and knife shop this morning) The 24 toot h cuts a wider kerf than the D1040X, so I might not have had the binding pr oblem, but I don't think it was sharp enough to have given me such a clean edge. I have read about internal stresses causing kickback and other issues , but this was the first time that I actually experienced it first hand - n ot kickback, but the closing of the kerf on the splitter.
In any case, the ripping is done, I now have to wait for a decent dado set to magically appear in my shop so that I can start on the grooves and stub- tenons.
In the meantime, I'm going to build a *real* cross-cut sled to replace one I made years ago when I had even less of a clue than I have now. It works, but just barely, and it's not big enough for the MDF panels I'll need for t he kitchen doors.
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On 2/2/15 2:27 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

That's an interesting observation. One I'll keep in mind next time rip some poplar.
By the way, next time that happens and the board starts to pinch the splitter, try sticking a shim in the kerf to keep the two sides pushed apart.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 2/2/2015 2:27 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

No problem, here's how I do that. ;)
Whittle a 'wood eye' out a piece of dark reaction poplar and rub it briskly while standing in the shop at the exact moment of sunrise, chanting "Om... just a few brads until the glue dries, Om...", to the tune of "Misty Mountains Cold". Then post a YouTube video link to the wREc of your performance before sundown of the same day.
Never fails ...
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On Monday, February 2, 2015 at 4:52:04 PM UTC-5, Swingman wrote:

Wood Eye? Wood Eye?
Hair lip! Hair lip!

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On 2/2/2015 2:27 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

And I feel that poplar smells an awful lot like cotton candy when cut. ;~)
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I've used a fair amount of poplar and have never encountered that problem. I'm fixing to need another 150-200 board feet of it so hope I never do :)
The only times I have ever had a kerf close up is when ripping white wood 2x4s for this and that. I just stick a wedge in the kerf.

I made one just for ripping panels out of mel board. I can do any length, up to 36" wide. Two runners, white oak.
--

dadiOH
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On Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 5:40:26 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

...Snip...

I mic'd the blade and the splitter. They both read 3/32" with a digital micrometer that reads down to 1/64". It seems like it wouldn't take too much movement to get things to bind up.
Is your ripping blade a full 1/8"?
Maybe I should sand the paint off of the splitter. ;-)
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No. Can't say what it is, but 3/32 sounds about right.

I just don't use it :)
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On 2/3/2015 8:35 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

No, get a blade that has a 1/8" kerf. That helps with all kinds of issues that are introduced with think kerf blades. If a thin kerf blade flexes in the cut it can cut unparalleled to the fence and cause the wood to pull away from the fence. A thin kerf can flex if it get hot or hits hard and soft spots in the wood.
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On Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 1:11:46 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

100

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.

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micrometer that reads down to 1/64". It seems like it wouldn't take too mu ch movement to get things to bind up.



But that 1/32" of an inch is a waste of our natural resources. How will I s leep at night? ;-)
OK, now this may be a really stupid question:
Many have mentioned that they insert a wedge in the kerf to keep it open. O K, where should this wedge be placed? I assume that it should go into the k erf after it has passed splitter, but what if the board hasn't made it past the splitter yet?
I don't recall the exact situation, but I think I remember times when the b oard bound up before it was past the splitter. Is it safe to put a wedge ju st behind the (stopped) blade and then continue ripping, letting the wedge fall out (?) when it contacts the splitter? Something just doesn't sound sa fe with that method.
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On 2/3/15 2:00 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

IMO, if your board is binding in the couple inches between the back of the blade and the splitter, there is something wrong with your set-up.
As as already been discussed, although it is improbably that the splitter is wider than the blade kerf, it is very possible for the splitter to be left or right of the blade kerf due to poor set-up. The arbor could actually be NOT perfectly perpendicular to the miter slot and fence. There are ways to adjust that which could involve a sledge hammer, if there are no adjustment bolts. :-) The splitter could be bent in any number of ways. The splitter could need shimmed left or right depending on the blade. Just a tiny bit of deflection in any direction in the splitter is enough to cause what you're describing.
Even in a board with high tension, you should be able to get past the splitter before needing to insert a wedge. I have run across a board or two with extreme tension that started to close up before the splitter, even when the saw was set-up perfectly. You can do two things... 1. Back the board out and re-cut into the pinch. Turn the saw off before backing out if you're uncomfortable with that procedure. 2. Raise the blade all the way up before cutting. This will actually cut the pinched wood again on the back side of the blade. Plus there will be less space between the blade and splitter. Careful, it may want to lift a bit if pinching on the back of the blade. Be sure you are pressing down as you always should. If you end up having to back out again, the blade won't kick back as much since it is cutting in a more downward motion.
However you end up ripping a board with tension. I would recommend ripping to rough widths on the first pass. Then the final width on a second pass. If you're only cutting off a fraction of an inch, there won't be enough, or any, wood to bind.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 3:37:20 PM UTC-5, -MIKE- wrote:

...Portions snipped...See OP for more info...

While I tend to agree with you, perhaps I should clarify: Of the 50+ boards that I ripped, maybe 1/2 dozen or so presented this problem. Maybe I made it sound more extreme then it was and for that I apologize. It only took a couple of binding episodes for me to notice that it was the darker wood, so I grabbed another dark one: it bound. Then I grabbed a light one: it was l ike butter. That indicated to me that the darker boards were the issue, not my set-up.
Trust me, I checked my set up carefully since I am still in the "I don't kn ow what I don't know" phase. The only variation between "bind" and "like bu tter" was the color of the wood.
...possible set-up related remedies snipped...

Actually 3...

3: Back the board out and restart the rip from the other end. That worked f or me.
However, I do like the higher blade method and will keep that in mind. Than ks for that!

Umm...true for the second rip, but that doesn't solve the initial binding p roblem. Maybe I'm missing something...
I was ripping 1x6's essentially in half. I used the narrowest of the 50+ pi eces to determine what the narrowest "1/2" would be and set the fence to ri p each board to that width. Therefore for each board, the first rip was to final width, leaving the "cutoff" rough. That piece was then ripped to remo ve that "fraction of an inch", which changed slightly for each board. Even if the first rip was rough, the binding issue would still have been present since I would have been ripping a full width board, regardless if it was t o final width or rough. Am I missing something in your suggestion?
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On 2/3/15 3:42 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Yes, we are well into the "sake of discussion" portion of internet threads. :-) Just talking about general processes for the sake future problems or for anyone else listening in.

Again, just speaking of general technique when dealing with board tension. Sometimes the first rip or two that relieves tension in a board produces a poor cut, yielding burn marks or steps and saw marks in the cut line. This can happen with a great blade.
Since I am accustomed to glue-edge ready cuts on my table saw, I'm sharing what I usually do to get them. If someone had a long jointer, they could go straight from the table saw to the jointer to remove any of those imperfection I mentioned. I've found it's simpler for me to just make a final edge cut on the table saw to exact width that leaves a ready-for-glue or ready-to-sand edge.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 2/3/2015 1:37 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

When I bought my (used) Delta the blade guard and splitter were missing. I used a piece of 12 gauge steel and made a splitter about 12" long. (12 gauge is 7/64") Never had a binding problem.
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Not when a resulting bad cut wastes more wood.

If the wood is pinching bewerrn the blade and splitter, just pull the wood out and cut again. The wedge should only be after the splitter if you need it.

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You do realize that the entire purpose of the splitter is for the wood to bind on the splitter before it binds on the blade, right? I would never consider ripping without a splitter (or riving knife), _especially_ if I knew that wood was likely to close the kerf.
John
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"John McCoy" wrote in message

+1
John
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On Mon, 02 Feb 2015 12:27:46 -0800, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It's not just poplar. Seems like all the wood I've bought in the last few years has a good proportion of case hardened pieces.
I just let it go far enough past the blade that it's starting to close and then wedge an appropriately sized nail in the cut to hold it open.
And for all the horrified gasps I'm about to get, do NOT do this unless you're using anti-kickback rollers! Shooting a nail across the shop is a BAD idea. Use a wooden wedge instead.
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On Monday, February 2, 2015 at 2:27:48 PM UTC-6, DerbyDad03 wrote:

linear feet of 1 x 6 Poplar this weekend. The pieces ranged in length from a few that were over 60" to large number between 25" and 35".

thly and I got a pretty good edge on all boards, but I did run into an inte resting (at least to me) situation.

d the more apt that the kerf was going to close around the splitter. In som e cases I wasn't able to rip more than halfway through the board before it would bind up. Early on I was pulling the boards back out (with the saw off , of course) flipping them and coming in from the other end to complete the rip.

, ripping the "lighter" ones with the splitter installed, and then (somewha t nervously) ripping the darker ones without the splitter/guard. I don't kn ow for sure that all of the darker ones would have jammed around the splitt er, but I can say for certain that none of the lighter ones did.

(In fact, I dropped it off at a saw and knife shop this morning) The 24 to oth cuts a wider kerf than the D1040X, so I might not have had the binding problem, but I don't think it was sharp enough to have given me such a clea n edge. I have read about internal stresses causing kickback and other issu es, but this was the first time that I actually experienced it first hand - not kickback, but the closing of the kerf on the splitter.

t to magically appear in my shop so that I can start on the grooves and stu b-tenons.

e I made years ago when I had even less of a clue than I have now. It works , but just barely, and it's not big enough for the MDF panels I'll need for the kitchen doors.
Don't write the darker poplar off entirely. Some of it it is pretty. In f act, poplar gets kind of a bad rap for being a featureless, utility wood an d it can stain up very nicely.
Our son is a construction superintendent for an an area company. He was bu ilding an office building in Bentonville, AR that had some pretty nice conf erence rooms. He called me one evening and asked me about poplar because t he architect had specified poplar for a lot of the conference room trim, ch air rails, etc. I asked how it was going to be finished and he read the fi nish spec from his plans. I asked him if he had faith in his finisher; and also ask if he was going to pre-treat the wood before staining. He had pr evious good-history with the finisher and I just said "get out of his way."
He called a week or so later and said the finish in the rooms was beautiful . I got to go down a month or two later and he was right. The architect a nd finisher turned lowly poplar into a cherry look-alike.
RonB
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On 2/4/15 10:07 AM, RonB wrote:

I love poplar and use it often, but I only use it for painted projects. I call it snot-wood for a reason. As you say, it is a beautiful wood... until you run into a one of its infamous green-yellow streaks and then you're screwed.
Perhaps this particular supplier offers cherry-picked (PUN!) stock that doesn't have any snot-wood in it. But around here, I've found I end up having to order twice as much poplar as I would a more expensive wood, so I usually just go with birch or maple to avaoid the hassle of cutting around all the snot.
BTW, I'm curious if the "cherry look-alike" finish you mentioned is the real cherry as in a natural blonde that patinas over time or what Ikea considers "cherry" which is something stained to be the color of the skin of the cherry fruit. Like this...
http://goo.gl/YDMWH4
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-MIKE-

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