The first table saw I owned (yep, a Craftsmans benchtop model), and used to
build two recording studios, didn't even come with a fence, IIRC, and was so
underpowered that it would bog down before kicking back.
We used it primarily to cut sheet goods to size, although I can't tell you
how many tubufours were ripped to 2X dimensions on that thing ... both
almost always a two man operation, for _safety's_ sake.
Something I would be very hard pressed to try, or even think of attempting,
on my Unisaw and without a fence.
if you are going to do this, make a crosscut sled (searching will find tons
of plans to make them). even with a good miter gauge its just too easy to
start slightly changing the angle at which the board is being fed into to
the blade and this is what causes the kickback. you can clamp the hell out
of it to minimize it but thats time consuming and not as good as a sled.
basicaly, the sled insures the board feeds in straight by using both miters
slots at once. one you've used a sled you will never go back, but you wont
have to. you already made it.
Dunno where you read that but take anything else that you read there with a
very large dose of salt--a table saw will cut any grain orientation--the
difficulty is not in the cutting itself but in supporting the piece and
maintaining the desired alignment.
That said, if you _have_ a radial arm saw or other saw that has a controlled
crosscut movement, you'll find such a saw more _convenient_ for
cross-cutting, and you'll find the table saw, which tends to pull the work
down onto the table instead of lifting it up in the air, to be more
_convenient_ for ripping.
Sure--a knothole is just air. Now if there's a knot in it, that can be
another story--if the knot comes out it can be thrown by the saw and hurt
anybody in the line of fire. Check each knot that you're going to be
cutting and if it seems at all loose knock it out first--that doesn't mean
that one that's tight when surrounded by board doesn't come apart when the
saw goes through it though.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Yes, it's OK, I've done it many times. The problem is one of holding/moving
the board. You need a sled or long miter gauge to hold the board square to
the blade, and even then trying to support a long board (more than 3 feet
or so) is going to be awkward or impossible.
Like another poster mentioned, I usually use my power miter saw (chop saw).
I cut through as far as I can in one pass, flip the board over, and finish
the cut. It's not a perfect cut, but it works fine most of the time.
If accuracy is important, you could simply clamp a straight edge to your
board, and make the cut with a handheld circular saw. I cut plywood this
way as it's easier than trying to juggle a sheet up on top of my table saw.
It doesn't really matter what type of saw is making the cut, it depends on
the knot. If the knot is loose, trying to cut through it could send
fragments flying, and/or the knot will fall out after being cut. But, if
the knot is tight, it should not be a problem. I cut through them all the
Yes- that's what the miter guage is for (the "T" shaped thing that slides
in those slot thingies). If the board is too
long to safely handle on the saw, cut it close to size with a handsaw first.
Actually, this might possibly lead to a kickback, as with the blade set
low, the force of the blade is running almost parallel to
the board and tabletop- this makes it much easier for the blade to "kick"
the board. If the blade is raised as high as possible, it will run almost
straight down, helping to force the board down onto the table. Just be sure
to keep your hands clear of the blade.
Well, actually Kick Back is most often caused by the back of the blade
lifting the board and throwing it back when it becomes jammed between the
blade and the fence. The higher the blade the more likely of a jam and the
blade throwing the board higher. The blade should be high enough for the
teeth to clear the top of the board and that is it.
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