Half Fence For Table Saw Ripping - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 11:12 AM
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I think the difference may be that when using the short fence a splitter behind the saw takes over and guides the board the rest of the way through. This would keep a curved board from getting bound between the saw and the fence. Without that properly fitted and lined up splitter I wouldn't attempt it. In fact, I drilled my Unifence so that I could add a straight edge to extend it for some cuts.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 12:08 PM
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I think the difference may be that when using the short fence a splitter behind the saw takes over and guides the board the rest of the way through. This would keep a curved board from getting bound between the saw and the fence. Without that properly fitted and lined up splitter I wouldn't attempt it. In fact, I drilled my Unifence so that I could add a straight edge to extend it for some cuts.
The riving knife or splitter both protect the back of the blade from being touched but that is nothing to do with the short fence. The wood should never touch them unless it is reaction wood. Does your Uni fence not have enough length to guide to the back of the table if desired?
As for cutting sheet goods, the last section of a full length fence is only guiding the wood IF the wood is not being held firmly against the first section. Small table saws are not a great way to reduce full size sheet goods, they are why we have track saws, sliders and vertical panel saws. If you must use an ordinary table saw you can build it into bigger island like hardware stores did up till the eighties.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 02:28 PM
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Rob; or just use a normal fence.
I understand your argument, and I'm not saying that it doesn't have any merit. I AM saying that I'm very happy with my long fence (kicked a few thou out from the blade at the back) and i'm not planning on changing any time soon. I have neither the space nor the spare cash to plow into a $5K TS.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 02:42 PM
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The riving knife or splitter both protect the back of the blade from being touched but that is nothing to do with the short fence. The wood should never touch them unless it is reaction wood. Does your Uni fence not have enough length to guide to the back of the table if desired?
As for cutting sheet goods, the last section of a full length fence is only guiding the wood IF the wood is not being held firmly against the first section. Small table saws are not a great way to reduce full size sheet goods, they are why we have track saws, sliders and vertical panel saws. If you must use an ordinary table saw you can build it into bigger island like hardware stores did up till the eighties.
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The Unifence is about 36" long I'd say without going to measure it. I can cut a full sheet of panel with it pretty accurately (it took a few tries to master the technique) but sometimes I need one a little longer. Trying to straighten out a warped board for example.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 03:48 PM
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Jim; I'm on your team! In spite of what Rob says, If I'm running a large panel through the saw I want it supported ALL THE WAY THROUGH ITS LENGTH!
To say that a 4x8 sheet won't move left to right, just because a 10" section is interacting with the blade is a fantasy.
Dan: You said you are on "Jim's" team and want a large panel supported all the way through, but Jim, the OP was wondering about using a short fence. I responded by saying I want the wood supported all the way through as well. I'm hoping you got the name's mixed up.

Rob: I don't argue with your opinion, so telling me that I'm "washed up" is a little over the top. MY OPINION, is that I wouldn't rip with a short fence. I referred to Delta's UniFence. In their instructions, all reference to ripping operations show the fence in it's normal position, front to back. In their reference to crosscutting, or in their words "USING THE FENCE AS A CUT-OFF GAUGE", they warn that the "rear end of the fence be positioned in front of the blade".

In my opinion, having no fence to support the work piece past the blade COULD create a pivot point as you push the work piece. What would prevent the would from pivoting into the blade? Why don't you just rip without a fence, maybe hurt yourself, launch a lawsuit and a new line of, say SawStops???

The link to the article tells us that the British think we (North Americans) are crazy. Yet these are the same folks that don't create saws with arbors that are long enough to support dado blades.

I'll keep using my fence in it's full position to rip boards and my miter gauge or panel sled to cosscut, thanks. Yup, I've still got all my fingers and plan to keep it that way.

Some folks call me Vince - other folks call me...........
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 06:25 PM
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Some of my saws have full length fences but they usually have a false fence bolted to them allowing the blade to cut into them for some cuts,. It is dead simple to clamp a board to the first half of the fence giving you a short fence for free! Give it a try and you will prove my point. If you are relying on the fence past the blade to guide the wood, you have a serious technique problem! The old Jet-Lock style fence relied on the back rail to lock the fence in position. With modern T-Square designs the rear rail is no longer required. There is something to be said for not providing room for a heavy unbalanced object to be mounted on a saw arbour.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 08:24 PM
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Vince; oops! My apologies, Vince, " I'm hoping you got the name's mixed up." I meant you.
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 12:32 AM
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Some of my saws have full length fences but they usually have a false fence bolted to them allowing the blade to cut into them for some cuts,. It is dead simple to clamp a board to the first half of the fence giving you a short fence for free! Give it a try and you will prove my point. If you are relying on the fence past the blade to guide the wood, you have a serious technique problem! The old Jet-Lock style fence relied on the back rail to lock the fence in position. With modern T-Square designs the rear rail is no longer required. There is something to be said for not providing room for a heavy unbalanced object to be mounted on a saw arbour.
Rob
Been doing it the old way for a couple of decades + without issues Rob. I'm pretty sure my technique is working. There may be other ways but there is nothing wrong with mine. And my dado doesn't vibrate. If yours does get a better one. I have an unused CMT I can ship you for less than retail. I got a good deal on it.
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 01:34 AM
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Been doing it the old way for a couple of decades + without issues Rob. I'm pretty sure my technique is working. There may be other ways but there is nothing wrong with mine. And my dado doesn't vibrate. If yours does get a better one. I have an unused CMT I can ship you for less than retail. I got a good deal on it.
By definition your technique is wrong because you are not holding the wood tight against the first part of the fence therefore you do not have proper control of the work piece. It may well bite you one day. Try adding a quarter inch shim on the front half of the fence and practice a bit using scrap stock or styrofoam, you will be impressed. Realise that you should never put a non-straight edged piece of wood along a fence, tack it to a straight board instead.
I rarely use a dadoe but I do own a few mostly for use on a radial arm saw. They mostly use 2 tip cutters that can never be balanced but they do not vibrate. I prefer 1'' and 1.25'' shaft radial arm saws, my biggest dadoe is 12'' to use on the 18'' saws.
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 03:22 AM
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Just looked this up and here in the UK the official safety advice published by the Health and Safety Executive says that the fence should extend no further than the front edge of the blade, and a riving knife should be fitted. I assume from this that the short fence and riving knife have to be used together, not either/or, otherwise it could be even more dangerous, not safer!

I suspect this advice is based on workshop accident statistics, and aims to protect the least experienced operators using a badly set-up machine.

My saw was made for the UK market and has a full length fence (with rear clamping bar) and an a bolt-on short fence. I have to agree that there's nothing except the riving knife to control the workpiece once the back end reaches the blade and I usually get blade marks on the last couple of inches of it as you can't stop it pivoting slightly, especially when using a push-stick.
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