I don't know what's going on. I rip a couple slabs of wood, one edge
tight against the fence for the length of the cut--and when I put the
edges together and hold the seam up to the light, not only do I see
light but there are irregular gaps you could easily slide a thick sheet
of paper through. This will not a good glue joint make.
Maybe I should take up knitting instead :P
Naah, stick to the wood. And check yourself out on the following:
1. Was the side that's against the fence jointed flat?
2. More probably, check your feeding technique. Don't try to guide the
piece, just push it straight through. To paraphrase the revered Paul R., if
you don't practice on your scrap, you'll practice on your project.
3. Is your fence securely locked?
My .02’ - - Haven't checked *that* closely on the rip seams on my Crapsman,
but they_seam_straight(pun intended). As near as I can tell, the blade/fence
are parallel, but the fence obviously toes 'out' a little on the tail,
because if I just push a rip piece through, it seems to pull away from the
tail of the fence, oh, maybe 1/32" but the cuts are straight. If I try to
'force' it to stay tight to the fence, it starts grumbling & sometimes a
little burning. Hhhmmmmmm, maybe I should dig out the dial & recheck
fence/blade parallel? Also check some rips against some fresh jointed stock.
The law of intelligent tinkering: save all the parts.
Nope, leave your fence the way it is. As you've noticed, the cut is
parallel and straight, and you get a bit of anti-kickback protection.
For those odd times when you move the fence to the other side of the blade,
however, things could get terse.
Wonder if the OP isn't overfeeding and getting some blade squirm. That's
what I think of when I see "irregular gaps."
I am not the original poster, but I have a very similar problem. No
matter how careful I am when jointing the edge that runs along the rip
fence, I invariably wind up with a small (less than one millimeter)
concavity on the cut edge. I have done my best to make sure the fence
is parallel to the blade, and I also do my best to keep the workpiece
from wandering away from the fence (typically, one push stick behind
the stock, pushing, and one push stick beside the stock, holding it
against the fence) but this always happens.
When width is very important, I have taken to building single-use "rip
jigs" that ride in the miter slot. It gets me a straight cut, but
it's very wasteful of both time and MDF, and it's embarrassing, in a
sense, when "rip to width" is typically described as though it were
Can you explain what you mean by "overfeeding"? Another poster
mentioned "pushing [the workpiece] too hard", I'm afraid I don't know
how hard that is, or should be. Is there some kind of rule of thumb
you can suggest?
I had exactly the same problem with my ripping until I was told to simply
push the piece through and not guide it. IOW, don't make a concerted effort
to hold it tight against the fence--that will actually cause the concavity.
Just make sure that it is against the fence at the beginning of the rip and
for the first few inches, then push it through. I practices for a few cuts
and found that my rips are now much better. In fact, I can usually glue up
right off the rip without jointing.
OK, remember to hold the board to the fence immediately in front of the
blade, leave your hold there and continue until you've cleared the measured
piece past the entire blade.
I like the kids at school to use a featherboard with a handle to make the
hold, so their fingers are out of the way, and they don't have to release
pressure until the rip is done. That way the piece doesn't come away from
the fence as they change grip. Might be what's happening to you. Could
also be that you have a bit of flex in your fence or "sacrificial board"
that's being moved by excessive sideways pressure, creating a situation
where your fence is actually closer at the rear than the front of the blade.
Your ears are the best judge of feed rate, followed by your eyes. Keep a
feed rate which makes for even pitch, and look at the sides of the cut as
the teeth hit 'em to see if you're picking a bit of splinter, indicating
Check to see if your fence is properly aligned with your blade first. I
sounds like your fence is toed in to the back of the blade making your saw
very dangerous because the back of the blade will lift the wood kicking it
Also you will have to joint your wood on both sides if you plan on
gluing it up together.
If you have a planer, the steps you should make are:
joint the face then plane to rough thickness
joint one edge then rip to rough width
plane ripped edge to width
this will end up giving you a perfectly square and flat board to start with.
Remember start square end square
First, is this something that just started? you used to get good rips,
but for some reason suddenly you don't, correct?
are you using a good blade?
arbor nut's tight and no sawdust under the flange?
is there pitch or other crap on the blade?
is there a lot of stress in the wood? and waddya mean slabs?
how long a cut? is the cut surface ragged or smooth?
I agree with the below response and would add chuck the thin kerf blade and
rip with a full-sized quality blade.
I just finished ripping some 2" slices from some 10/4 walnut and two of the
eight are stating to look like blanks for propellers.
For a rip, I just rip away. For a glue-edge, I rip close, then do a
second cut taking off only the slightest amount to the line, or just
to finish the edge if no line. The blade will tend to wobble even
slightly under load, but will cut straighter and smoother with
negligible load. If *really* picky, cut close then finish with a
In addition to the other comments already given...
How old or used is the saw? Could the wobbly cut be due to sloppy
Are you using a thin-kerf (3/32"ish) blade? They tend to flex more than
standard kerf (1/8") blades.
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
The first things I'd look at (given your description) are the condition of
the blade and the speed you are feeding your stock through the blade. If
your blade is dull (particularly with a thin kerf blade), it will flex a lot
while trying to cut. As well, if you are pushing the stock through the
blade to make it cut faster, you will end up flexing the blade. Let the saw
do the work and feed, rather than push the stock through. If feeding the
stock results in a wooden paperweight on your tablesaw, then split for a new
Although there is a little bit of irregularity in the gap, closer
examination showed that the cut is, as someone else described, basically
concave, that is, the ends of the board are very slightly wider than the
That would be fine if I were *trying* to make a sprung joint, but I'm
The fence and blade are parallel, so it must be my technique.
Sounds like the fence is flexing away from the blade at the beginning
and end of the cut - you're likely pushing against the fence harder at
these times than when in the middle of the process.
Use a lighter touch and merely maintain contact between the wood and
fence while pushing the wood forward into the blade at an even pace
without forcing the blade to cut.
I think I was the someone else. Thanks for letting me piggyback
on your question, and thanks to everyone who replied with suggestions.
I am now keen to get back on my table saw and get this problem licked.
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