How to rip various materials with a table saw

LONG BOARDS: When ripping iong boards, tip the back edge of die board up so it is slightly higher than the saw table. Doing this will press the ieading edge of the board firmiy down on the saw table. Lower the back edge of the board as the cut progresses.

SHEET GOODS: Full sheets of plywood, particieboard and other sheet goods can be ripped effectively on a tabie saw if you position a sturdy tabie on the outfeed side of the saw, at or just below the saw table surface. Gut many woodworkers prefer to cut the sheets down to size with a circuiar saw or panel-cutting saw first.

LONG BOARDS: When ripping iong boards, tip the back edge of die board up so it is slightly higher than the saw table. Doing this will press the ieading edge of the board firmiy down on the saw table. Lower the back edge of the board as the cut progresses.

SHEET GOODS: Full sheets of plywood, particieboard and other sheet goods can be ripped effectively on a tabie saw if you position a sturdy tabie on the outfeed side of the saw, at or just below the saw table surface. Gut many woodworkers prefer to cut the sheets down to size with a circuiar saw or panel-cutting saw first.

2 Continue feeding the Workpiece through the Wade with your right hand as the end of the board approaches the front edge of the saw table. Switch to a pushstick in your right hand if necessary. Keep your left hand en the infeed side of the blade at alt times.

biade cuts the board in push the workpiece past the biade with your right hand until it ciears the blade on the outfeed side. Slide the cutoff piece away from the blade with your left hand or a pushstick to prevent ft from coming in contact with the blade.

1 Start rip cuts with your left foot against the front left comer of the saw base, feed the workpiece With your right hand, and use your left hand to keep the workpiece snug against the rip fence. Use a pushstick whenever a work-piece requires your hand to be closer than 6 In. to the blade.

NARROW STRIPS: When rip-cutting a single narrow workpiece from a wider hoard, the narrow strip should be oil the opposite side of the biade from the rip fence (left photo). This keeps the wider portion of the board between the biade and the rip fence to aliow more room for your hand or a pushstick. To rip a series of narrow workpieces, set the distance between the biade and the rip fence to match the intended width of the workpieces you need. Use a narrow pushstick to guide the pieces aiong the rip fence (right photo).

while guiding it firmly against the fence with your left. Maintain firm control of the workpiece throughout the cut until it is well past- the blade. Then turn off the saw and walk around to the back of the machine to retrieve the board. Always make a test cut, on scrap wood before cutting your stock. Measure the scrap to make sure it is exactly the right width.

One key point to remember is to never let your lingers get closer than about 6 inches from the blade. Never let your hands get directly behind the blade or they could get pulled into it in the event of kickback.

To rip a narrow board, use a push stick rather than your hand to feed the board. A featherboard clamped to the saw table will press the stock against the fence and allow you to keep your left hand away from the blade. Hold downs can be clamped to the rip fence to prevent the stock from bouncing or chattering as you feed it through the blade. Make sure featherboards and hold downs are not pressed too tightly against the stock.

blade is equal to the width you're after for your workpiece. Use a steel rule to set the distance, rather than relying on the calibration marks on the front of the table. Once the blade is positioned correctly lock the fence in position with the locking handle. Set the blade height so it extends no more than about Vi in. above the surface of your workpiece. Stand slightly to one side of the blade, not directly behind it so you're out of the line of fire in the event a board gets thrown back. Push the board with your right hand

NARROW STRIPS: When rip-cutting a single narrow workpiece from a wider hoard, the narrow strip should be oil the opposite side of the biade from the rip fence (left photo). This keeps the wider portion of the board between the biade and the rip fence to aliow more room for your hand or a pushstick. To rip a series of narrow workpieces, set the distance between the biade and the rip fence to match the intended width of the workpieces you need. Use a narrow pushstick to guide the pieces aiong the rip fence (right photo).

Circular Saw Right Left

Rip-cutting with a circular saw

While it won't give you quite the precise, clean cuts of a table saw, a circular saw with the right blade can do a fairly good job of rip-cutting on non-critical work. Its portability makes it ideal for on-site construction.

Ripping a straight line with a circular saw requires the use of a cutting guide. Most saws come with an adjustable ripping fence that attaches to the base plate. This is used fur- ripping fairly narrow strips parallel to an edge, particularly on boards too narrow to be ripped with a straightedge guide. Th e accuracy of the adjustable

THE PORTABLE CIRCULAR SAW is a handy tool for ripping sheet goods and iarger stock down to a manageable width, but Isnt weii equipped for fine woodworking cuts.

Trimmed' hardboard edge

Cutting Hne

ADJUSTABLE RiPPING FENCE: Most circular saws come with an adjustable ripping fence that attaches to the toot of the saw. The fence rides along the edge of the board to guide the saw so It cuts a line parallel to the board edge. These accessories are fine for rip cuts that donl demand a high ievei of accuracy^

STRAIGHTEDGE CUTTING GUIDE; With the help of a good straightedge you can use your circular saw to matte rip cuts that are nearly as accurate as those made on a tabie saw. You can purchase a straightedge, like the extruded aluminum modei shown above, or select a piece of stock (a strip of par-ticieboard, for example) that's straight, smooth-edged and even.

OFFSET CUTTiNG GUIDES: A long straightedge guide with a buiit-in offset can be made with two pieces of scrap from your shop. You'li need a strip of hardboard or plywood (V4 In. works well) that's at ieast 12 In. wide ┬╗id preferably B ft iong. Tack a piece of straight scrap wood (a 2 x 4 or a narrow strip of 3/4 In. plywood wiii work) to the hardboard so the scrap Is paraiiei with the hardboard or aiigns with one of its edges. Orient the scrap and hardboard so there is an offset that Is slightly longer than the distance from the edge of the saw foot to the blade.Then, simply trim off the edge of the hardboard with the saw foot riding against the Scrap "fence." Ciamp the guide to your wurkplece so the trimmed plywood edge aligns with your cutting line.

ADJUSTABLE RiPPING FENCE: Most circular saws come with an adjustable ripping fence that attaches to the toot of the saw. The fence rides along the edge of the board to guide the saw so It cuts a line parallel to the board edge. These accessories are fine for rip cuts that donl demand a high ievei of accuracy^

ripping fence can be improved by screwing a wooden batten to it to extend its bearing surface.

The best way to guide the saw in a rip cut is to clamp a straightedge guide to the workpiece and run the edge of the saw's base plate (foot) against it. This guide can be store-bought or shop-made, but must be long enough to overhang the work-piece on both ends.

Determining the offset. The "offset" of your saw is the distance from the edge of the foot that will ride along a straightedge to the closer edge of the cutting blade. To use the saw with a straightedge guide you'll need to know this distance. To find it, simply clamp a straightedge to a piece of scrap and make a cut, following the straightedge. Measure from the edge of the kerf to the straight edge: this is the distance your straightedge must be clamped from the cutting line on your workplace:. Or, you can make a guide with a built in offset (See photo, page 54, middle).

TIP: When making long rip cuts, stop the cut periodically and slip wood shims into the kerf'you've cut. This will prevent the kerf from closing up and causing the saw blade to be pinched in the cut (which can bog down the blade or even throw the saw).

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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