I'm looking for tips on cutting half laps with a dado blade on my table saw.
The saw lives in a friend's garage and I haven't installed the rails and
fence because I don't need them for the outdoor projects I've building.
My problem is sneaking up on the cut lines for these half laps since I can't
see them because they're turned down when doing the cutting. Careful as I am
sneaking up on the turned down cut lines, occasionally, I've cut too much
off which is a pain. Anybody got any tips for cutting these without going to
the effort of installing the rails and fence to use with a start off
reference block against the fence?
I *do* put reference marks on the sides and bottom of the wood. Problem is
sitting in the wheelchair, I can't feed the wood and lean over it at the
same time to see where the leading edge is going into the blade. However, it
did occur to me to cut do the cut from the back of the table saw, pulling
the wood towards me into the blade, something I'd be able to see from the
I can't envision a specific safety issue doing it that way, but then that's
exactly when those safety issues jump up and bite you in the ass.
I forgot that you worked from a wheelchair - sorry.
Sometimes I do this kind of cutting with a sled on my TS. The sled has
only ever been used with one blade, and so the slot in the bottom and
rear fence are "zero clearance". I can envision pulling the sled back
until it tips - then fitting it with stop blocks or clamping the work in
place using the zero-clearance slot as a reference...
I think there's too much room in that picture for the blade to grab the
workpiece and throw it in your face.
That was suggested by one person who emailed me privately. I'm going to try
(or at least examine) the method of pulling the wood from the back left hand
corner of the table saw into the blade where I can watch it hit the
reference points. If I feel that's too unsafe or I'm not very comfortable
with it, then it shouldn't be too much problem for me to jury rig a mirror
that I can use to see the cut.
Coincidentally, I've been looking for an excuse to buy a better mitre than
the stock one that came with the saw over thirty-five years ago. Ideally, I
feel one *should* be able to line up a cut properly and cut wood without the
need to see it feed. I want to buy a new mitre for the saw and this will be
my reason to do so.
It will be a few days before I get over there to use the table saw. My worry
right now when thinking about it is that it's a contractor type table saw
with the belt and motor hanging off the back, things I really don't want to
be near when the saw is running. I'll see how it goes.
The upclimb cut into the blade is too dangerous to even contemplate
standing w/ two hands and body for bracing/control what more w/ the work
essentially at eye level and hands/arms above/level w/ shoulders or
thereabouts. It's just _NOT_ a good idea at all as it has far too much
potential to grab and pull (if you've ever used a RAS you'll have an
idea; that you'd contemplate it probably indicates you haven't, at least
The mirror would be good, measurement and a stop block clamped to the
table would be good, most suggestions would be good--climb cutting is
not a good suggestion...
Yup, the climb cutting did occur to me. If I attempted it, I'd be using the
magnetic featherboard set that I've got.
So far, I've been hogging out 3/8" of cedar which isn't the most difficult
wood to cut, but I am mindful of your concerns and you've made some valid
points. I will be taking a mirror with me and I'll try that first and then
the suggestion to clamp down a temporary wooden fence. If either lets me
eyeball the cuts easily enough, I won't even consider the backwards cutting.
I've got a total of six more tenons to cut, so there's not a great deal of
I'm not envisioning how the featherboards are going to help in this case.
Whatever, be careful _first_....agreed, the cedar and a 3/8" cut isn't
terribly much, but all it takes is once for the results of the blade
grabbing your work piece to get ugly. I'm particularly concerned given
the geometry in which you have to approach the saw of being low. I'm
sure you've got a lot of experience in using it that way and are able;
but this operation spooks me to hear it.
Is there any chance you could eventually get a platform surrounding the
saw that could support the wheelchair for better access? That would
seem to potentially aid if not fully resolve a lot of problems for a
long time in the future...
For the immediate problem--How about taking one that is at the proper
distance now and use it w/ the blade stopped to set the distance for the
stop block clamped to the table?
Alternatively, how about making the pieces a tad long, cut the tenon
approximately (but a little long) then trim the end for the final length?
Eventually, I plan on buying a General 650 lowered version tablesaw. They
build a line of five pieces of big iron that have been lowered for
wheelchair, sitting use or someone of lower stature. And the fact that
they're not charging a cent over the cost of the regular version makes them
a class act in my books.
Not a problem anymore. The Kreg mitre I'm going to buy will let me cut
I'm putting tenons on both ends of single pieces. I can screw up one end and
then adjust for length, but the opposite end would need to be exact to the
line without any initial error.
I do know of a few instances where they've been covered by health insurance
if it's essential for one's job and their livelihood. For the average
person, you're correct in that they are not covered by health insurance.
Aside from that, they're a mechanical nightmare and keeping them in working
order mechanical wise and part wise can be a waking nightmare onto itself.
One of them would be a nice diversion from a convenience point of view, but
most things out of reach from someone sitting in a wheelchair can usually
obtained with the use of a wide variety of reaching and pick up tools.
Dean Kamen can help out too.
That guy is farking brilliant!!
I saw one of these at the local mall. It was so intriguing, I went over and
talked to the guy. He was sitting in the chair when it was in the elevated
position. I asked him about that. He said he goes into that position when he
wants to look down the mall hall. I never thought about that, never have
been in a wheel chair.
Anyway, it has that balance feature in it that allows the person in the
chair to do all these kinds of things. I asked if the balance features was
similar to the segway. He said that it was not quite that sophisticated.
But similar technology. Maybe early segway?
The gentleman in the chair made it very clear that his life was very
enhanced with this high tech chair. I love to see technology like this. It
fills a genuine need and really helps people. Wouldn't it be nice if more
technology did that?
Unfortunately it's no longer in production and support ends in
2013--supposedly only 400 of them were sold at a cost of $26K a piece and
Medicare/Medicaid (and presumably private insurance as well) wouldn't pay
for them. http://disabilities.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_end_of_the_ibot
The rights have reverted to the inventor so maybe he can interest some other
outfit that can get the cost down.
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