Shop Built Hand Tools #8: Thin-Ripping Saddle

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Blog entry by USCJeff posted 11-23-2011 06:37 AM 6270 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Scratch Stocks - I'm sold Part 8 of Shop Built Hand Tools series Part 9: Scratch Stocks put to use »

I’ll preface all by saying that if there is a way to avoid making this type of cut I normally take it. It’s typically the better option when ripping thin strips to have the strip on the outside of the blade vs. the fence. The reason is that it is tough to support a thin piece between a moving blade and your fence. Kickback is a real issue there. Never the less, sometimes this cut is needed and this is what I use to make it safe.

There are three goals in mind. I want to be able to push the piece forward through the cut, avoid having the piece kick back or flip end over end, and keep my fingers away from the action. The saddle does all three very well. It is simple in nature. Cut two boards to match the width and height of the fence and attach them. Develop some type of handle to go on top. Then create a replaceable thin board to push the work piece.

On mine I used dimensional lumber and hardboard. Glue and biscuits are the joinery method. The handle has two screws from the bottom as well as glue. The hardboard is held only by two 1” brads. I should note that you want to make sure if you use metal on this to make sure the blade won’t come into contact with it. The brads in this case are well above the max cutting range. The hardboard can be swapped out as it gets worn or as custom fits are needed. Here are some shots.

Note: In pic 3, I showed an example set up. I normally use the rubber nosed push stick or a pencil to control the cut off if it is in the “no hands” zone. Feather boards never hurt.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

2 comments so far

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3727 days

#1 posted 11-23-2011 02:48 PM

Great looking push stick. I like it!

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Woodbutchery's profile


401 posts in 3614 days

#2 posted 11-24-2011 06:04 AM

Great looking saddle. I like the idea of using hardboard.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

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