I needed to hang a large, 30 x 30, corner cabinet that SWMBO had me
build. I decided to use the angled cleat method hoping for maximum
strength since a TV will sit on it. Anyway...
I angled the blade on my right-tilt saw to 45d and put the fence on the
left of the blade. I was ripping a 4x27 inch piece roughly in half for
the cleats(I didn't want to try and squeeze a push stick between the
blade and the fence on the right.
Expecting that the piece would want to lift up cutting it on the left,
I clamped a feather board to my fence to hold down the piece. So far
so good, or so I thought.
I couldn't get a push stick to help me all of the way with the cut
because of the clamp and the feather board so I ended up pulling the
piece through from the back of the saw.
I know this was wrong, so what is the right way to do this, aside from
buying a new tool.
A smaller diameter push stick - I know cats only come furry and round but a
bit of broom handle will do - even if you cut it on the rip.
Alternately, cut the length of stock overlength then you can poke it in far
enough for the piece you want to cut on the angle.
Turn the saw off and retract it & cut the length back to what you want.
|I needed to hang a large, 30 x 30, corner cabinet that SWMBO had me
| build. I decided to use the angled cleat method hoping for maximum
| strength since a TV will sit on it. Anyway...
| I angled the blade on my right-tilt saw to 45d and put the fence on the
| left of the blade. I was ripping a 4x27 inch piece roughly in half for
| the cleats(I didn't want to try and squeeze a push stick between the
| blade and the fence on the right.
| Expecting that the piece would want to lift up cutting it on the left,
| I clamped a feather board to my fence to hold down the piece. So far
| so good, or so I thought.
| I couldn't get a push stick to help me all of the way with the cut
| because of the clamp and the feather board so I ended up pulling the
| piece through from the back of the saw.
| I know this was wrong, so what is the right way to do this, aside from
| buying a new tool.
That is the way I do it. I cut a lot of 3 1/2" wide strips, to create a
full bevel on both sides. (I glue these under my seams in solid surface
I make them longer that I need... then stop the saw. Pull out and cut to
I always put my fence to the left of the blade..that way nothing gets
pinched between the blade and the fence.
Push blocks. Narrow versions of what came with your jointer. Pieces of 3/4
stock, for instance, cut with handholds fore and aft, three-four inches
above the flat portion. Glue a chunk of mouse pad or other resilient
material to the flat bottom of one to use as both hold and push, leave a
1/4" hook on the heel of the other for the final.
Paint them some flashy color so they won't just look like another piece of
scrap and store them with your other push sticks on a shelf right of the saw
where you can grab one as required even if you forgot to preposition them.
Right next to the featherboards, for instance.
Not that this is any proof, but the guy that peddles (peddled?) the
Grip-Tite magnetic featherboard at woodworking shows used to do that
all the time as part of the demo.
I would say that with the featherboard the OP was using he had
sufficient control over the work (certainly as much as the Grip-Tite
guy) that he could safely go around the back of the saw and pull with
What would be the safety issue, anyway? If the blade snatched the work
(unlikely with the featherboard), the worst that could happen is a
spear gets propelled across the shop, but the operator is well out of
the line of fire being at the back of the saw or on his way to it.
I think there's problems with this method. At some point, he's going to have
to reach over the blade to pull the wood into the blade. (Danger 1). If it's
a long board, there's a chance the pulled part of the board will go past the
end of the fence causing the wood to skew. (Danger 2). If that doesn't
happen, there's similar chance a little download pressure off the edge of
the tablesaw will cause the board to lift. (Danger 3) There's also the
possibility of him being in the way of the wood exiting the blade, causing
him to have to move his body to continue cutting. (Danger 4).
In almost every circumstance, I can see the possibility of not having full
control of the wood as it's being cut. It's fraught with too many possible
problems as far as I'm concerned.
When? He starts the board from the front, as usual. Part way through
the cut, he moves around to the back of the saw. Yes, the work is
unattended at that point. Yes, the featherboard is holding it in
place. Yes, it's stable, and in the sense that it's not particularly
susceptible to any forces the saw might otherwise impart while it's
not moving, safe.
How is that any different than the long board extending past the front
end of the fence at the beginning of the cut? Think quality of
How is that any different than possible pressure variables applied to
the board at the infeed side? Think quality of operator technique.
Uh, so? Do you finish all of your cuts standing in the same place you
started? I'll bet you don't. Think sheet goods.
Well, you're certainly entitled to your assessment, and no one can
dictate what practices YOU should feel safe with and implement in YOUR
shop, but I wouldn't have any problem with the process described. Does
that make me an unsafe idiot? I don't think so (and no, you didn't
imply that), but there are lots of operations that can be developed
that while unfamiliar to some, are nonetheless safe and practical.
Moreover, I learned in a discussion on another forum that sometimes
other factors are involved. I was in a table saw safety discussion
with someone, thinking we were on the same page so far as basic
premises were concerned, until the other party revealed that he was so
afraid of using his saw that he bought a power feeder for it. That
changed the entire tenor of the discussion. Well, ended it actually.
There wasn't any point in me continuing.
hmmm... you are advocating PULLING the work piece through? What would
happen if the piece kicked back and the operator has a strong grasp on
the wood? Wouldn't that pull his hand INTO the BLADE? At least with a
kickback when one is standing WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE, their hand
won't be drawn into the blade. The worse that would happen is a blunt
force injury or damage to items in the shop from the resultant airborne
missile. But no AMPUTATION.
Have you ever seen the magic trick where someone yanks a tablecloth
off a table fully set with china, flatware, and crystal? Same
prinicple. I would bet a large amount of money (mortgage, first born)
that it is not possible to maintain a grip on a piece of wood in
sudden kickback mode with anything short of ice tongs and a chain..
... or, given that one were to be performing such an operation and
realizing the potential danger, not pulling the wood through with a death
grip on the piece. i.e., a soft touch.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
if the workpiece was short, I'd say there was danger of having your
hands pulled into the blade in case of a kickback. but then, if the
board was short, he wouldn't have had to go around and pull in the
first place. ripping short boards is always risky. but this was a long
board. with a long board, pulling from the back, you are far enough
from the blade that the wood is gonna get pulled out of your hands
second, he was using a featherboard. while I suppose it is possible to
get a kickback with a featherboard, kickback prevention is one of the
things that featherboards are designed to prevent.
besides, where was it written that you gotta stand in a certain place
only when you use a saw. where I'm SUPPOSED TO BE is where _I_ decide
is safe/effective for the operation at hand. with appropriate stock
control I stop feed and change position frequently with some operations
and have for years with no AMPUTATIONs.
It's not completely stable. As well, I've left wood unattended for a few
seconds while the blade is spining. It's often burned the wood or otherwise
marred a clean edge.
When you're in front pushing the board through, one can safely put a little
lateral pressure against the fence. When you're pulling it out from the
back, you can only grab it to pull when it's past the table edge and beyond
the fence a little after that. A little sideways lateral pulling the wrong
way and it's skewed.
When you're in front, you can push it onto an outfeed table. When you're in
back, you're in front of the outfeed table aren't you? If you're pushing it
from the side, it's more of an awkward motion. (and yes, I've done it
You'd be completely wrong. I do all my cutting from one position without
moving around, but not for any of the reasons that you might consider. As
well, this is all about control. Walking around while feeding (or pulling a
board) through a tablesaw is increasing the chances for something
unfortunate to happen. And yes, I know some do it all the time.
Something else has occurred to me too. Considering the rotation direction of
the blade, unless you're using an enclosed cabinet saw with a full dust
cover over the blade, you're going be exposed to various bits of wood dust
and splinters shooting up in your direction if you're at the back of the
Sure there are other methods that can be considered safe, but consider this.
Tablesaws have been around for a long time. If pulling a board through a saw
was comparably safe as pushing one through, there would be quite a few more
people advocating it than there are. Until I hear from a number of those
people, your single (so far) support for pulling from the back isn't going
to cut it for me. No offence is intended against you with this statement.
I always thought that the safety issue was the possibility of the
operator's hand/arm being pulled towards the blade if kickback were to
occur. Now, I would hope that I'd have my wits about me enough to
release the board if such a thing started to happen, but I'm certainly
not willing to test that theory.
On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 08:37:24 -0700, John Girouard wrote:
Trick I picked up in an Aikido class: Your index finger hangs on until you
will it to let go. Your other fingers will let go on their own. Something
about swinging in the trees, I suppose. Anyway, if you do want to try the
pulling technique, just hold with your other fingers. (I have no opinion
on the TS technique part of the discussion.) Keep the tip in mind for any
situation where hanging on would be the wrong thing to do in an emergency.
"Keep your ass behind you"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
I did test it and lost in a big way. I damn near lost 3 fingers! I'm
here to tell you from experience, there's no freakin' way you can pull
away fast enough. And I was just putting light pressure on top of the
board, I wans't even holding it. See my old post for a recap and a link
to some pretty pics :-)
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