Half Fence For Table Saw Ripping - Page 4 - Router Forums
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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 07:54 PM
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A civil discussion involves two, or more people expressing their opinions, while listening to others, to further that discussion, and does not entail a "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude. Some of us have been working with wood and power tools for a long time and have used techniques that we are comfortable with, with great success.

I answered the original poster by saying that I would never rip with a short fence. That was my opinion and will always be. I'm not a professional, nor have I ever worked in a production shop, but I have been ripping, as a hobbiest, with a long fence, for 40 years. I don't plan to change my technique, regardless of how many times someone tells me it's wrong.

As regards to your last statement; "being unaware of danger does not make it safe", please explain how using a long fence (that is properly set up) make the activity dangerous?
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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tooler2 View Post
I thought of it as a civil discussion thus far. Being unaware of danger does not make it safe.
Rob
'PhilP', out of the UK, banged that drum a couple of years back. So, no, we're not "unaware of(the) danger", and if the lack of incidents reported by the members is any indication, most woodworkers here are operating their TS safely.
There are a few potential situations that we try and make new woodworkers aware of, for example not using the rip fence in conjunction with the miter gauge. Now there's a serious and very real hazard that we all take seriously!
Personally I'd like to see a lot more members using their blade guard~anti-kickback pawl protection, but again, a lot of members have been using their TS's without the guards for years if not decades; they have routines that keep them safe (we hope?).
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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 09:36 PM
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As regards to your last statement; "being unaware of danger does not make it safe", please explain how using a long fence (that is properly set up) make the activity dangerous?
It is not the long fence that is the problem it is the technique that relies upon the last half of the fence being there that is dangerous. The blade teeth cut slightly wider than the thickness of the plate of the blade. Anything that may cause contact with the plate is an accident waiting to happen. The only way to assure that the wood does not contact the plate is to feed it straight into the front of the blade. That is the purpose of the rip fence. By the time the wood has reached the front of the blade the fence has done it's job. If you were to cut off the fence right there it would not change anything but if there is reaction wood going past the front of the blade, the rest of the fence could cause the wood to contact the plate and rear teeth, causing jamming, burning and tooth marks.Some reaction wood may indeed cause the wood to close in on the plate, but in that case having the back of the fence in place is not going to solve anything. Free hand cutting on a tablesaw is not safe practice but if you do it make sure the fence is completely out of the way and concentrate on letting the teeth cut their path while guiding the wood so as to avoid touching the side of the blade. Remember the teeth coming up the back of the blade are not sharpened on their ''backside'', so pushing wood against them will burn quickly.

An interesting discussion on the Canadian Woodworking Forum lately has it that a bandsaw blade that has been used even once for curved work will never again be suitable for re-sawing. Obviously a tablesaw blade is less sensitive to the effect but food for thought never the less.
Saw Stop's advertising suggest a staggering number of table saw accidents every year, so clearly there is room for increased safety awareness
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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tooler2 View Post
Actually Charles I can tell you are not using proper (safe ) technique by your admission that you are using the fence past the cut to guide your wood, that is what prompted me to reply to this thread. That you further confess to ripping a board with the horns against the fence proves it. You would be banned from using a saw in a professional shop.
Rob
I have worked professionally, once in a mantle shop and again in a cabinet shop with no issues in either one about the techniques I used. In fact management admired my techniques. I also worked for the BC Forest Service for 7 years as a contract/safety coordinator. I regularly dealt with the WCB, now Worksafe BC, and as such I needed to have a good working knowledge of the WCB Act. I never came across anything about using short fences, or dado heads or moulding heads either. Daninvan is a former contractor here in BC and I'm willing to bet his stories are similar to mine. Stick is also a former contractor as are other members and I'll bet their stories are also similar. Collectively all of us old guys have many hundreds of years of experience so when we say we can do something and do it well and safely you can bet on it that we know what we are talking about. That doesn't mean that a better way or better technology can't eventually replace it but our way works. This forum wouldn't be here if that wasn't true because people who don't know how to come here to find out how. That's what keeps this forum going.

So for you to insinuate that I and others here don't know what we are talking about is rude and fails the member respect policies we have so weigh any future comments you have carefully before making them. Remember that are usually multiple ways of doing any job and there is not necessarily one best way. Often just different ways.
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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 11:56 PM
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It was not my intention to be rude so I am sorry if I came across that way. Please realise that many people reading this forum are not experienced and I feel a duty to warn of unsafe practice so they do not get hurt. A table saw is not a machine to use to make a straight edge, it requires a straight edge to use against the fence. If you do not have a jointer it is so easy to simply tack the non straight board onto a straight one and run it through the saw that way. I have considerable experience myself. I own a 1930s GreenLee 493, two Wadkin PKs one from the forties the other from the fifties, and an Oliver 260d from the sixties. All of them came from the factory with short fences so this is not a new nor a UK thing. All of them run 18'' blades at 3600 rpm so the surface speed of the teeth is nearly 17000 ft/min compared to about 10500 ft/min for a typical 10'' saw so it would not take long to burn a blade that is worth many hundreds of dollars. These bigger saws do not slow down when pinched. I also own a Diehle straight line rip saw that is designed to put a straight edge on a rough board. It has a fence less than one foot long that stops 18'' before the blade so that it cannot interfere with the power feed chains that carry the wood through the 15hp direct drive blade. This saw is set up as a glue line rip saw, it is set to produce boards that are hollow by about .005'' over 6' long to give an improved glue joint when clamped. To tune machines like this requires a good grasp of the physics involved in milling lumber. Wood is a dynamic material.
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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 01:51 AM
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Nice old machines Rob and I love old cast iron. What you describe is similar to the feed in a gang saw or edger. Once you line it up the feed rollers take over. The short fence is just to help you get it lined up on an edger. Feeding by hand is a little different. I've fed numerous boards with a curve through saws and as I said, as long as the points stay in contact with the fence all the way through the cut. The board stays stable as long as that's the case. There is nothing dangerous about that. Trying to cut the convex side first is asking for trouble.

You mentioned reaction wood as being an issue with using a long fence. I bought a bunch of #3 red oak years ago and it has been the worst wood I've used as far as having tension and compression fiber in it, possibly because of the knots. The wood that wanted to spread as it cut was never a serious problem. The one side stayed fairly tight against the fence and the other side opened up. The problem wood was the ones that wanted to close as they were cut. I had one do that recently and it almost stalled my Unisaw before I could hit the kill button with my knee. One member a couple of years ago said he was ripping on his saw with a Grrripper when it flipped upside down and he lost fingers as a result. He said it happened so fast he didn't know what caused it but I suspect it was the cut closing up without him being aware of it.

The worst case I ever saw of that was when I was helping a cousin on his small sawmill. The mill had a 52" head saw and a 50s D8 Caterpillar motor driving it so lots of torque. He started into a green hemlock log about 18-20" in diameter and 8' long that I don't think the two of us could lift and about 1/3 the way through I heard the motor start to stall and I turned to look at the saw and witnessed that hemlock log getting ripped out from under the dogs on the carriage and tossed 10-12' through the air back onto the infeed deck. In cases like that the short fence on a TS makes no difference. What might is a properly fitted splitter like the Microjig. The stock splitter/anti-kickback probably wouldn't have helped much though.

As for physics, if you want to start a private dialogue I'll be happy to accommodate you. I was a physics major for a couple of years at the University of Alabama and I'm a retired power engineer so I think I have a pretty good handle on the physics involved with saw and wood dynamics.
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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Stick,
Here it is
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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 01:09 PM
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I just came across a table saw technique that I was unaware of.......use of a Half Fence. An article I saw said that Half Fences are a common feature on European table saws. To simulate the Half Fence on a Full Fence table saw a flat board is clamped to the rip fence...the board extends from the front end of the rip fence to the midpoint of the saw blade. Anybody tried it?
yes... but not into more than ¼ of the blade for general use... overall ¼ of the way seemed to work a lot better than half way
I prefer 8/4 or better for that ''board''... whole numbers for the math is a plus...
it's about the best set up you can do for wild grain ripping or wood under compression... it gives the erratic piece some place to go w/o the usual bind you get w/ a full length fence...
good to better than great for small piece cutting and for making thin strip...
for thin strips and small piece cuts the end of the add on needs to be just short/shy of the lead edge of the blade so that the strips/pieces freely fall away from the blade and are not in any way touching the end of the add on at the same time...

for the short/shorter strip/piece cuts...
set the fence...
employ your miter gauge...
set the material to be cut to the fence and push through w/ the miter gauge..
for long/longest strip/piece cuts use your push stick or Gripper to completion...
for cuts w/o the miter gauge set the add on to the ¼ position...

NOTES...
the add on needs to be a lot thicker than the cut off... and I mean a lot... as in way lot...
for really small pieces rig your shop vac to collect the drops...
for really thin strips... rig a wedge attached to the drop side your spliter/riving knife...
the lead edge of the wedge needs to be at zero or near zero thickness...
the teeth on the blade are wider then the blade body is thick... capitalize on this...
the wedge forces the strip to peel away from the blade and not to be ''grabbed by the back side teeth which then will throw throw the piece back at you... kick back.. what a miserable incident...
if the wedge deal isn't to your liking ... adjust the lead edge of your spliter/riving knife flush to the drop side of the blade and kant the trailing edge of your spliter/riving knife maybe a couple of degrees into the cut...
this works for long thins... the wedge on short thins...
to get a kant, all it takes is a thin washer under your spliter/riving knife and held in place w/ it's mounting screw...
hyper thins that are subject to the air flow/currents generated by the blade need to be caught by the shop vac...
I don't suggest nor recommend using compressed air to move the cuts away from the blade because you will have very little control on which way they will move...
sometimes they'll move away from the blade...
sometimes they'll flip back into the blade resulting in kick back......
need we mention a zero clearance inserts for these operations...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 12-29-2017 at 01:46 PM.
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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
Not sure a half fence would work well with grr-rippers

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
it does... just don't follow through...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 12-29-2017 at 01:49 PM.
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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MEBCWD View Post
Really hard to cut dados or any cut that does not go all the way through the board.
huh???

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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