I have decided to try and square up some of the 2x4 studs I have gotten for
free to see if they can make a bench top... please hold the ooo's and flames
for not 'buying good wood' back... the newsgroup has enough issues right
now. I would love to buy great wood for a bench.. and someday I will. But
I'm actually enjoying trying to make due with what I have.
So, on my ,YES cheapo, table saw I have determined I can get a decent edge
by simply cutting off about 1/8 to 1/4 inch. The issue I have is that I
made a featherboard on the infeed side, but since the boards are so long the
24" fence doesnt have a chance to hold the outfeed side of an 8 foot 2x4
once I get past the halfway point. I can't use a featherboard on the
outfeed side because it would 'pinch' the sawn off portion of the board back
into the blade... and, as most of you already know, that's bad.
Does anyone have a suggestion on a way to stabilize the board on the outfeed
side a bit more so this doesnt happen?
Make an outfeed table.
Buy a roller on a stand
Get your wife, kid, neighbor to support the wood as it comes out of the saw.
I remember doing this as a kid when my father was ripping long boards.
For aligning for the cut, the part you are worried about is on the infeed
side. Once you get the wood past the blade, its a matter of supporting it
reasonably so it doesn't cause problems on the wood still feeding into the
I haven't put together a fancy outfeed table yet, but I do have some very
heavy stable sawhorses which I built that have 9"x36" tops. I took some
3/4" plywood and made a simple "table" to sit on top of one of these
sawhorses, so that its top was about 1/8" lower than the table of my saw.
Then I just set up behind the table saw and cut away. Its absolutely amazing
how reasonably (and safely) you can cut long boards, when they are supported
in some reasonable manner. The fancy adjustable roller tables are what you
need for super high accuracy ripping. But for what you are trying to do, I
think some kind of whipped together outfeed table will work nicely.
I have a tool cabinet with rollers on top for my outfeed. Makes best use of
the space in my small shop. The roller top can be covered by a larger
gluing top with a laminate surface. Fancy store-bought stands won't store
tools nor will they serve as workbenches.
After thirty six years, SWMBO still can't master the idea of support rather
You too? I have only 35 years on this model SWMBO and was hoping that this
would change (:-)
I recently got on of the HD work support stands with the tilting top and
found that it works surprisingly well. The plastic top is more slippery than
it looks and the tilting action is good for catching the leading edge of a
long piece. It folds up to store in a small area and is quite stable when
Spend ages fooling around to get an outfeed roller stand to work
without falling over (I've never got those cheap ones to work), until
you give up and get a friend to help you out.
Watch for kickbacks when ripping "construction grade" timber. This is
the sort of job I won't do without a splitter behind the sawblade.
The timber twists and bends as you rip it open, then pinches the back
of the sawblade - which then picks it up and throws it at you. You
can often feel this beginning as the back of the cut starts to "lift"
- stop right then and fix it ! Push a piece of scrap into the kerf,
if you absolutely must - but keep clear of getting pulled into that
blade, and beware of javelins.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
The good news is that what happens AFTER the cut does not
matter. All you really have to do is provide support for the wood
so it will not tilt down to the ground as you cut. A simple outfeed
table should do this nicely, or, with a little more hassle, one
can use a roller stand.
The only important alignment in the cut is the fence segment
in front of the blade, up to the point that the teeth contact the
stock. Of course, I am assuming that the fence bows AWAY from
the blade once it gets past the leading teeth. Bowing TOWARDS
the blade is a Bad Thing. Also, it would be a Good Thing to
have a splitter on the saw, to keep the stock from wandering sideways
A featherboard will, as you point out, not work here.
Finally, you probably will have some problems with
curving in the stock. You can deal with this in a couple of ways...
first off...don't worry about it, but, when gluing up, put the
arch "up" and plane it down after everything is set. Alternatively,
you can make a long, straight "carrier" out of some 1/2" plywood
and clamp the curved stock to it.. Run it through the saw, producing
a straight edge on the stock, then, flip the stock over and
run it through again, with the freshly cut edge against the
fence. The only problem with THIS approach is that you end up
with thinner stock - say 2x3" or so. I would be inclined
to the first approach, and, clean up after glueup, as that
would allow aligning the wood to keep the maximum thickness.
The bottom of the table does NOT have to be nice and smooth,
remember...only the top...so if there are some hollows, etc,
it does not matter.
Mike, Try taking off slightly less than the thickness of your saw
blade and then you can use two featherboards, one on infeed
and one on the outfeed. The outfeed one never has to be adjusted
after it is set up using this method. Also, the infeed featherboard
doesn't have to be moved if you take the same amount off each cut.
Just move the fence over after each cut.
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