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Posted on Picture frames - amatorski methods

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426 posts in 4074 days

#1 posted 04-04-2008 11:17 PM

Hi Yettiman

The blade height was a “war” subject in many forums and there are “Low blade” and the “High blade” guys but as I noticed, the majority are the “Low blade for safety” guys but they are also the “No guard” guys, otherwise….what one would care what is the blade height if the blade is covered or guarded.

I’m from the “High blade” and my decision came from some reading, personal experience and observation …

Ian Kirby writes in his book “The accurate table saw”.......”When the blade is high, the cut is at it’s cleanest and most efficient, but there is a lot of exposed blade, perhaps too much for comfort”.

Well, I believe that Ian Kirby “Knows his people” and like Kelly Mehler that also knows that…. “Overall average for woodworkers using the guard on U.S. table saws seems to be around 5 percent.”

I don’t have a Band saw but I noticed something very interesting….if I want to rip, lets say, 4” thick board on the table saw, I shall need many “horses” – HP…
But a 1HP band saw can do it without much problem…..I think that it’s because of the teeth angle of attack….

You can make an experiment with 1”~1½” thick Oak (or other hard wood)...first time, set the blade low (the gullet above the workpiece) and rip – note the feed power and speed….
Now, set the blade to “full high” and repeat the cut…my observation was that I need less feed power, the feed is faster and if the feed is faster, usually no “burn marks” or very little because the wood does not spend so much time in the blade and the number of teeth involved is smaller than “low blade” as you can see it here

Not only, but a “high blade” will result in “cooler blade” (less chances for distortion) and of course cooler motor with less time spent to cut the same FB.

Some people clam that high blade will cause more tear-out at the bottom (lower) side of the wood because of the high angle of attack of the teeth that are coming out of the wood, but when I asked “OK, set the blade to full high…rip an 1/2” thick wood…...and now rip a 3” thick wood….what is the difference in the angle of attack in both cases—-non, it’s the same angle….so, maybe we need different blade for each thickness of wood”....that was the point that the conversation ended – no reply…

Just a small note…when one is cutting, say, 1¾” thick wood and setting the blade to 2” (1/4” above the workpiece…..if he is not using blade guard…when the cut is finished…the blade is exposed 2” above the table.
Many accidents happened during this time of the exposed blade or the blade run-down.

In my case, even if I set the blade to 3¼” with the guard on…it’s like I don’t have any blade exposure….unless, I decide to use my fingers as a “Backer board” :-)

By the way…did you noticed that I’m using a 100 teeth blade (Makita) for ripping?....

All the above is only my opinion and I think that one should use the blade height that he feels the most comfortable and safe with.


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