when to rip?

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Charlie Self wrote:

Fence rail edge? I measured 1/16 in from the table edge because there is no way I would start a dut without the flat of miter slightly on the table. Didn't know there was a standard, that's why I gave gave the height of the blade. Fully raised (which is 3 inches) the distance from the edge of the table to the first tooth is 13.5 inches. By the way, fully raise is a piss poor standard, since neithier I, nor many others would ever cut a 3 inch thick pannel. Distance at multiple heights such as 1/2", 1", and 2" blade raise would be more useful .
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George Cawthorn responds:

Edge of table measurement is simply to give a starting place. Reversing the miter gauge lets you get a start without losing anything at all.

It's only a standard for comparison purposes: most 10" table saws cut to 3-1/8", give or take a touch or two. But fully-raised is fully-raised, no matter the depth of the final cut, so you have some basis for comparison. The multiple height idea is a good addition, though, and one I'll keep in mind for the next test. It might well be the kind of thing, though, that works almost as easily from extrapolation: that is, if the person who looks the saw over sees it will cut to 12" at full height, he (or she) knows it will cut a considerably wider piece at a lower height.
You might be surprised, by the way, at how many people do at least some table saw resawing of woods that require full depth cuts and a flip to finish.
Charlie Self "Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories - those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost." Russell Baker
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Charlie Self wrote:

Ah but that would be ripping; the piece would be against the fence so the table edge to saw blade distance wouldn't be limiting except for long boards. Whew! resawing a 3/4" thick board with the blade fully raised would scare the hell out of me even if I had a high fence.

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Reverse the miter gage.

because
off
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You have to love a simple answer Ed
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|Reverse the miter gage.
Exactly.
My panel/crosscut sled is "reversed" too and I run it on the right side of the blade. It's feels more comfortable to me and I don't have to skid the whole thing across the saw when I'm crosscutting an inch and a half wide stile.
Wes
|
| |> |> 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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On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 21:00:35 GMT, "Marc"

It is not wrong, but it is not a safe thing to do especially without the blade guard properly in place. Use a panel cutter or miter.
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wrote:

the
What would be unsafe about crosscutting along a rip fence?
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If the board is very wide in respect to the length, you may get away with it. If you crosscut a narrow board and try to run it along the fence, it is very easy for it to cock and give you a kickback.
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wrote in message

is
How would this be any different than ripping a narrow board with a rip fence?
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Maybe we're taling about different things. With a long narrow board you are ripping with the board held firmly along the fence. Maybe 48" of it is in conact and at least 12" at any given time. Now, by cross cutting with the fence, do you man taking that same board and cutting a few inches off the end? If so, it is very difficult to run that narrow end along the fence and hold it square. As soon as it gets off of 90 degrees, it may contact the back of the blade and end up in your face.
So, you figure to hold it with the miter gauge and run it along the fence. Same thing can happen.
Or have I not understood the question? Ed
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are
and
Thank you Ed. From the way I understood the original post which has generated the discussion in this thread the stock was fairly near square, yet people have been saying that it is dangerous to crosscut along a rip fence. I've been walking through each response and posting questions like the one you replied to in order to try to understand why anyone would say this because it is patently untrue. A table saw is just a safe ripping along a rip fence or cross cutting along a rip fence. The direction of the grain is completely immaterial. I guessed that maybe the advocates that it is dangerous might be thinking of a long narrow piece of stock and the operator trying to run it the wide way through, but that is contrary to the original post. Next I thought there might be a little bit of the "this is what everyone says, so I'm going to say it too" thing happening here. It's pretty common for people to jump on the party line especially if it makes them sound authoritative in matters like this and I thought I'd take a stab at pointing out an error in the company line if that was the case. Finally - and with equal probability, I could have been missing something key to what people were trying to say.
To clarify my position - crosscutting is cutting against the grain and it has nothing to do with the size of a piece of wood. Ripping is cutting with the grain and it has nothing to do with the size a piece of wood. Either as just as safe or just as dangerous on a table saw. Cutting techniques prevail in all cases, but they don't relate to one type of cut any more than another.

This is what I pointed out several posts back as a bad practice - or at least I attempted to. I think another poster stated the warning better than I did, but our point was the same. The issue here is not an issue of cross cutting though.
I'm wondering which one of all of us are using the wrong term? Possibly some are using the term cross cutting to refer to cutting through the narrow direction of a board, or to put it another way cutting across its width. In contrast, to those people ripping would be cutting down the length of a board. This would explain a lot of the confusion in this thread - wrong use of terms.
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IIRC, it started with a square sheet of plywood. Given the nature of plywood, any cut is simultaneously a rip and a crosscut. In practice I run the long side against the fence. If I have to cut at 90 degrees to the long side, I put the long side against the mitre gauge but do not let it touch the fence. Unless your fence and miter gauge are dead nuts on, using both at the same time almost guarantees a problem - usually nasty.
LD
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This is originally what I was asking because table saw manuals usually refers to ripping and crosscutting interchangeably with the aspect ratio of the board. Ripping being displayed as cutting along the long side of a long board and crosscutting as cutting through the short side of a long board. Obviously it is unsafe to use the rip fence for a cut across the 2 inch side of a 2X20 inch board. But I was wondering if grain had anything to do with it. Apparently not, the degree of safety when using a rip fence is determined by the aspect ratio of the board but even still there is no generally accepted rule of safety.

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of
long
side
with
Correct Marc. I can probably refine your last assumption though, ("but even still there is no generally accepted rule of safety"). Consider the following to be true... if it kicksback, you probably did it wrong.
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One of the reasons I am asking is because I have been in this hobby for two years now, first with a $250 craftsman benchtop table saw and now with a delta unisaw and I have never experienced a kickback episode. I don't want to be lulled into the feeling that it will never happen. So I am trying to find out exactly how this occurs before it occurs. I really hate injuries and bad experiences that tend to take the fun out a hobby.
I was discussing with a woodcraft employee that I normally don't use a splitter or guard and he showed me a wicked looking scare on his palm where a kickback episode sent a piece of wood into his hand. Since then I installed one of those pricy biesmeyer splitters that is easy to remove, I used it for a while but I find myself falling back into the habit of not using it. I prefer "the gripper", plastic feather boards (lock into miter slot), a magnetic feather board (forgot what it is called), and push sticks. I also have an osbourne eb3 which solves alot of those questionable cuts, the stock miter is too small and temps you into using the fence. I've considered board buddies but I don't want to drill into my fence.
Marc

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On Tue, 03 Aug 2004 15:51:51 GMT, "Marc"

kickback happens when the wood engages the upward moving teeth at the back of the saw. it doesn't take much for the wood to wander over there and once the blade grabs it things happen fast. splitters are pretty good at preventing kickback, but not infallible. my feeling is that heavier, more solid machines with more horsepower are less likely to kick back than lightweight underpowered ones, but the consequences of having a 5hp motor flinging wood at you are scary to think about.
I have a pin in the throat plate on my saw. it works, and is easy to change in or out- just switch throat plates.
you're right to be concerned. kickback really sucks.
safety equipment is *always* imperfect. some of it creates more hazard than it solves, and all of it adds to the complexity of operating the machine. simple is good, easy to use, adjust and change is good. no guard can replace common sense or good work practice. that said, keeping a splitter on your saw is probably the easiest way to prevent kickback.
thing is, you get used to having the splitter in there and get a little sloppy... then you have to remove it for a dado cut or something, and forget to put it back in, and whammo....
the stock miter gauges that come with most saws are close to useless. build a sled.
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Know to very good cutters who both had their sticks kicked back at them when x-cutting against the fence. One guy was black & blue for weeks, contusion was rectangle 1 x 12. DO this on the bandsaw, a fun, friendly, quiet tool that will not kick back. Http://www.patwarner.com (Routers) *****************************************************************

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