when to rip?

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Suppose you have a perfectly square board, is it still wrong to use a ripfence to cut across grain? How about plywood, is it a no no to cut across the shorter dimension of plywood using the rip fence? What if the short dimension is 14 inches? Is it grain direction and aspect ratio of the board that determines whether or not to rip?
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Marc wrote:>Suppose you have a perfectly square board, is it still wrong to use a

Make yourself a sled for all those "iffy" cuts. You'll love it. Don't use the fence. Tom Work at your leisure!
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It is not inherently wrong to crosscut with a rip fence. The trick is you must have sufficient depth to have control over the wood. A thin piece will twist easily and become a dangerous projectile, especially on a wide cut. I frequently do it on stuff too wide for my miter saw; anything narrower would probably be a mistake. With that firmly in mind, practice and see what you can and can't do; but understand that kickback is always possible.
Yes, a sled is much better, for those with a shop big enough to have a sled.
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So there is really no hard definition of a crosscut, it is more of a judgement call, correct?

will
I
would
sled.
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Marc states:

Not so. A crosscut runs across the grain. Period.
The technique you use to make a crosscut might use other tools with different names, but if the cut is still across the grain, it is a crosscut.
Charlie Self "Did you know that the White House drug test is multiple choice?" Rush Limbaugh
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On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 22:05:28 GMT, "Marc"

a crosscut is made across the grain of a board. it's a bit of a misnomer to apply the term to sheet goods at all. PB and MDF are grainless, and plywood has layers with the grain alternating, so all cuts are both rips and crosscuts
so forget about the word crosscut when working with plywood. what is relevant is aspect ratio. if the distance from the blade to the fence is much greater than the amount of the wood touching the fence you're getting into a danger zone. the longer and skinnier the piece you're whacking in half the short way the more likely you are to have kickback.
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the
It is perfectly fine to use a rip fence to cut across the grain. Just don't use a rip fence and a miter gauge at the same time unless you use a block so that the wood is not touching the fence at all while the cut is being made.
--

-Mike-
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If the miter gage will fit between the fence and the blade, it's also safe to use. As with the stop block method, you must feed with miter gage only.
There are zones of uncertainty between miter gage cutting, using my panel cutter and going to the fence and treating as sheet goods.
My comfort level seems to fall at 9" for miter gage, 18" for sled, and above that, fence.

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the
On my web site is an attempt to explain the situation that can arise when using the long fence as a /stop/ when cross cutting narrow workpieces.
Please look under Circular Sawbench Safety - Fences.
Jeff G
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Jeff Gorman - West Yorkshire - UK
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When cross cutting along the length of a narrow piece you can clamp a block to your fence behind the point/line where the piece will contact the blade as sort of a surrogate fence. Using the miter then you have the proper distance to the fence up to the point where the piece contacts the blade. This eliminates jamming the piece between the blade and the fence but still gives you consistent accuracy for your cut or multiple cuts.
wrote

the
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block
still
You are right with many cases, but let's do a "what if" here.
What if you have a glued up panel that is 13" x 24". You want to end up with 13" x 22". Given the 13" dimension, you can't use the miter because the end is off the table. You know you should be using a panel sled, but you don't have one.
Do you make the cross cut along the fence? Do you set the fence to cut off 2 inches or to cut off 22 inches?
What if the panel was 13" x 48" and you want 13" x 46"? Still feel safe doing it that way?
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because
off
2 inches. Simple and effective.

I'd use my circular saw. Simple and effective.
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What? If you're using the mitre, the 24" side is against the miter and you're trimming it to 22". Same for your 48" below.
If you are trimming the 13" to 12", the 24" side goes against the fence and you cut off (cutoff on opposite side of blade from fence) the 1".
Unless I am missing something, it seems simple to me.
LD

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Thee is a reason I chose 13" for the example. Most saws are 11 1/2" or less from the table front to saw blade. Thus, the miter will be off the table starting out maiking a rather difficult cut. OK, so yo can do 13" on your saw, what if it was 14"? Point being you can't safely u se the miter. Ed
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wrote in message

OK. On mine I can do pretty close to 18" in front of the blade using the sliding table. At some point I'm going to reach a panel size that is just too dangerous to use either the fence or the mitre. Then I'd use the panel saw - If I had one. :o)
LD

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

No arguments about how to do the cuts. But is it really true that most table saws only have 11-1/2" in front of the blade. I have pretty limited exposure to a variety of saws but my old Craftsman (from my dad) has 15 + inches in front and my radial arm saw will cut a 15" wide pannel that is 1" thick. I'm not considering a new saw, but if I were I wouldn't have looked at that dimension until now.
BTW, I've seen hints that for wide pannels you simply reverse the mitre in the slot. (as a note: with my mitre and saw I would also have to change from the right slot to the left slot to avoid hitting the miter with the blade. Is there some objection to reversing the miter? Of course you can't cut all the way through a wide pannel but at least you could cut the first 10" and then continue with the miter in the normal position. In my case this would work for a 25" wide pannel, but I couldn't be assure of a really straight cut, so I always use a circular saw and a straight edge for anything over 15" wide.
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George Cawthon asks:

That must be a really old Craftsman. My current Craftsman has 12", which is unusually wide. My Unisaw had, IIRC, 11-3/4". Both of those are measured, not claimed, but I don't recall where I stored the Unisaw measurements, so that's memory, which is a tricky thing these days. Reverse your gauge and you get about 22" with some stability to start, and more than that in 3/4" thick wood as the blade doesn't need to be all the way up, thus doesn't reach the end of the insert slot.
A sled is really a better bet for accuracy, but some of those I've seen will create as many problems, because of weight, as they cure.
I've seen some smaller saws--some of the job site types, for example--that have as little as 5" in front of the fully raised blade. And take about 40 turns to get the blade all the way up.
Charlie Self "Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air." Jack Benny
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On 02 Aug 2004 20:38:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:
|That must be a really old Craftsman. My current Craftsman has 12", which is |unusually wide. My Unisaw had, IIRC, 11-3/4". Both of those are measured, not |claimed, but I don't recall where I stored the Unisaw measurements, so that's |memory, which is a tricky thing these days. Reverse your gauge and you get |about 22" with some stability to start, and more than that in 3/4" thick wood |as the blade doesn't need to be all the way up, thus doesn't reach the end of |the insert slot.
My Unisaw has 12 1/8" from the flat side of the chamfer on the edge of the table to the leading tooth of the fully raised blade. My neighbor works nights or I would go over to his place and measure my old Craftsman. But by *my* tricky memory, it's about the same distance.
Wes
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Charlie Self wrote:

It's a 10 inch bench model 113.29991. I don't know when he bought it probabaly between 1952 and 1958, so it is old but not ancient. The exact measure is 15-3/8" from the mitre face (about 1/16" onto the table and the blade raised to 1" cutting height. Heck, I could switch to an 8" blade and get another inch.
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George Cawthorn writes:

OK. The measurement is usually taken from table edge (not fence rail edge) to the tip of the first tooth on a fully raised blade. I won't have time today, but if I remember, I'll check the difference on the current saw. It should be at least 2" more that way, possibly more than that.
Charlie Self "Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air." Jack Benny
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