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Question about table saw technique


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I am parting off some 1/16" thickness sheets from some boxwood stock that is 1/2" in thickness using the Byrnes table saw. Is it frowned upon to part off the sheet using two passes, one on each side of the sheet? It seems to be a safer way to do the cutting since the saw blade can be left at a height of just over 1/4" and it remains covered by the wood stock while making the cuts. 

 

Thanks for any guidance!

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Well, the blade can bite you once it passes through the cut in any event!

 

I don't see any reason not to, other than the possibility of a minor difference ruining the cut. I've done it often on full-size table saws where the piece was too large to cut in one pass, or to reduce the resistance in thicker pieces.

 

Keeping the blade just a bit higher than the piece is thick is proper and in that instance, there's very little of the blade exposed, during the cut, at least. Always, always use push sticks and, where necessary, featherboards.  Never, ever, reach over the blade for any reason. Keep your hands behind where the blade is exposed.  Always use a sled or miter gauge when making cross-cuts. Always use an outfeed table if the piece needs support to prevent it from dropping over the back edge of the saw table. Never stand in line with the blade. Sometimes that takes a bit of extra time to set up and can be a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, but it's the easiest way to keep all your fingers.

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I agree with Mark.   if you are using fine toothed blades with the Byrnes saw if the blade does not clear the cut it can trap sawdust between the teeth. Like Bob above I have made two half cuts with my full sized table saw but it has much more power and the gap between teeth in the blade is much wider so it tends to throw off the debris.

 

Roger

Edited by Roger Pellett
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Follow up question for you all: When I try to part off a sheet, whether with one pass or two, no matter how slowly I push the board through the blade, there are moments when I can hear the resistance building and the kerf of the cut widens by a small amount. Then the resistance releases, the board pushes more easily, and the cut returns to the narrower width. Is the blade getting clogged by sawdust within the cut? Why does the cut widen? When I do the cut in two passes, the depth of cut is 3/8". I have tried doing some cuts with one pass, meaning I am cutting a thickness of 3/4". I am beginning to think I am asking too much of the tool.

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Hi - I've recently cut some 13mm thick boxwood into 1.5mm planks on my Byrnes saw.  I used a .040 slitting blade and had no problems at all doing it in one cut.  I made about 30 planks which I then cut in half to 6mm using a .020 slitting blade.  This saw is very good but take all of the advice given above as it can bite if you don't respect it.  The only thing that concerned me was how hot the motor got but it cooled down okay and has been perfect ever since.

 

Now the only reason that I did this was because I ordered the wrong size wood so I thought that I would just give it a go. It really showed me just how good my saw is.

 

Sorry I should have said that I placed a metal rule as a spacer on the fence that ended half way along the blade.  This was to prevent the back of the blade grabbing the wood and getting a kick back due to the lack of a splitter on this tool 

Edited by No Idea
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1 hour ago, jdbondy said:

When I do the cut in two passes, the depth of cut is 3/8". I have tried doing some cuts with one pass, meaning I am cutting a thickness of 3/4". I am beginning to think I am asking too much of the tool.

If you are cutting 3/4-inch wood use a carbide blade and it will cut it in one pass w/o any problem.  I trimmed out my whole house/shop addition with red oak trim up to 3/4-inch thick w/o any problems using my Byrnes saw - easier to carry from room to room than my chop saw.  Cutting 3/4-inch wood isn't (in my opinion) a job for a slitting saw blade - just asking for problems like overheating the blade and warping it, clogging, uneven cuts.....

Kurt

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Regarding my secondary issue described above where the motor slows down and the width of the cut increases, I have made a zero clearance plate with splitter out of cherry wood. The problem has improved but is still present, so I plan on adding a little bit of width to the splitter and hopefully that will resolve things.

IMG_4142.jpg.fe90b10ca5ac348c408f784f3b4f7504.jpg

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I think your problem is the buried cuts. When the saw blade doesn't clear the top of the stock, it can't shed the chips and the second half of the cut will be ragged due to chips completely jamming the tooth gullets. 

 

I agree with Kurt, you'd do much better doing it in one pass with the teeth completely clearing the top surface of the wood.

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On 4/20/2019 at 10:53 AM, jdbondy said:

I have tried doing some cuts with one pass, meaning I am cutting a thickness of 3/4". I am beginning to think I am asking too much of the tool.

   Personally, I have found that most of the problems with cutting thicker boards (or tougher wood) can be solved by just slowing the rate of feed.  It allows more teeth to make the same cut and a smaller bite of wood to cut through for each tooth. (not to mention usually a smoother cut)  As they say: let the tool do the work.  Forcing the board through the blade wont make it cut any faster. 

    That reminds me of when my Father-in-law was helping me to install the wood siding on our current home. He seemed to think that the saw was at fault when it kept bogging down and stalled as he pushed the saw as hard as he could.  But, even though he watched me when I would cut the same board much faster by letting the saw do the work, he would never admit it and continued to force the saw every time.  My wife just told me to let it go as he was just a stubborn old German farmer (her words) who would only do it his way anyhow.  I agreed with her assessment, but just the same I made sure that I did most of the cutting rather than let him burn out my saw.;)

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Dave, Mark, Vossiewulf, thanks for the feedback.

 

Today I made a quantum leap in my table saw technique. I have installed the splitter and created a push stick. Each enables a much smoother pass of the wood through the blade. 

 

Unfortunately, my picture of the stock boxwood and the sheets I created is failing to upload. However, I experienced no binding of the blade when I was able to push the wood at a very consistent speed through the blade. I used each technique, one in which the sheet was created from the wood between the blade and the fence, and one in which the block of wood was pushed between the blade and the fence, with the sheet falling away to the left of the blade. Each worked equally well. I am finding the key is the smooth passage of the wood through the blade, at a speed that "lets the tool do the work". (Where have I heard that?)

 

To which probably a lot of you will say, "Uh, yeah, just now figuring that out??" But I feel proud of having learned the lesson nonetheless.

 

Sure wish my photo would upload...I get an error dialog box, and all it says is "-200".

 

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 9:02 AM, jdbondy said:

Yeah Mark, I checked that, and the picture has been reduced to appropriate pixel dimensions. But it still won't load. This seems to happen to me occasionally with a random picture. Haven't made any sense of it yet.

 

Are you using Explorer?

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On 5/11/2019 at 2:51 PM, jdbondy said:

To which probably a lot of you will say, "Uh, yeah, just now figuring that out??" But I feel proud of having learned the lesson nonetheless.

I'm glad you were working with a little Byrnes saw, learning those lessons yourself on a full-sized table saw could cost you fingers and whole hands. If you have a Woodcraft store local, they give table saw training classes. Or simply have a friend who's worked with saws walk you through the basics, you can also damage blades or the saw if you haven't had intro table saw training.

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