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Bad cuts on my table saw

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Forum topic by Gixxerjoe04 posted 07-06-2015 01:44 PM 1284 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1044 days


07-06-2015 01:44 PM

I have the ridgid 3650 and it’s not giving me a nice clean cut like it should and not sure why. It’s leaving small cut marks and when cutting wood to glue together, it’s not always a perfect fit and could have a small gap or some flaw. Anyway what could be my problem, it’s at a perfect 90 degrees and I’m using a 50T combo blade by Irwin I believe.

Another question, what’s the best bang for you buck aftermarket fence, the one on my saw isn’t the greatest.

You can see the cut marks on the left side.


26 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#1 posted 07-06-2015 01:56 PM

Tuning, technique or tension.

On tuning, even if you’ve done a good job, there could be a very slight wobble to the blade or arbor. It could also be the fence having gone slightly out or something else.

Technique could involve unequal pressure, the board coming off the fence, how the push stick/block is being used. Could also mean you don’t have a perfectly flat surface of the board riding on the table.

Tension relates to tension in the wood. If, as you cut, there are tensions being released, it can cause the wood to move.

All of the above are reasons I don’t glue up off the saw—everything gets planed first.

Best bang for the buck aftermarket fence, IMHO, is the Delta T2.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#2 posted 07-06-2015 01:58 PM

Is the blade a thin kerf? Fence flex? Have ya tried a dedicated rip blade? Are ya using a feather board or any other type lateral device to insure that the workpiece is not flexing away from the fence?
I know. Too many questions, but each is valid without seeing what you’re doing.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 631 days


#3 posted 07-06-2015 02:43 PM

It could be one of several things. Is your table saw a belt drive, or a direct drive? Belt drives tend to be smoother and give cleaner cuts.

Also, are you using the right blade? There are several different ones for different jobs. Is it a ‘combination’ blade, one for ripping, or crosscutting? How many teeth are on the blade? The more the cleaner the cut. Also check out the configuration of the tooth pattern.

However, just by looking at the picture, it appears the cutting pattern in not uniform throughout the cut. This seems to indicate that part of the problem may be the rip fence, or the person doing the ripping. The taller the rip fence, the easier it is for the wood to have a firm resting place as you push through the cut. Have you fine tuned your fence in order to make it exactly perpendicular to the blade? And is the blade at a true 90 degrees?

I just looked up your particular saw, and unless you are into serious cabinet making, its a good saw. Ridgid has a solid reputation for excellent power tools. I’m not sure who made yours, which is not the latest model, but the current one is made by Dayton Electric, a subsidiary of W.W.Grainger. They make excellent saws.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 631 days


#4 posted 07-06-2015 03:00 PM

Oh, here’s another suggestion on the rip fence. Before you shell out the bucks for an upgrade, why not make the fence higher. I just did a search on Google, “Rip Fence Modifications”, and there is are some good possibilities. For instance, a member here, “jlb”, did a modification that caught my eye. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/85004 It wasn’t the wheel that did it, but the polycarbonate he used on the fence. If you took something like that and affixed it to your existing fence, making it higher, you would have a much more stable rip fence. I’m not sure how much the polycarbonate would cost but it is a lot cheaper than buying a T2 upgrade. And the “passthrough” would also be smoother than silk. Also, if your’s is like mine, there is an opening between the top of the table and the bottom of the rip fence. This makes ripping thin material problematic. With the polycarbonate addition, you could eliminate that gap.

Just a suggestion.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1044 days


#5 posted 07-06-2015 03:54 PM

It’s a belt drive, not a thin kerf blade, don’t use a feather board and I use a gripper. I just had the arbor replaced but think it still happened before hand. The fence sometimes has a tendency to lock in place out of alignment, I eyeball it every time but eyeballing doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Haven’t tried using just a rip blade, hate having to change out the blade.

JayT, so you plane the edge grain before gluing anything up?

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#6 posted 07-06-2015 05:00 PM

JayT, so you plane the edge grain before gluing anything up?

- Gixxerjoe04

I hand plane everything before gluing. For edges, I match plane—line up the two boards as they will be glued, then fold them on top of each other so the two faces that will be the same side of the finished product are touching and plane both edges at once. Produces a perfect glue joint. Even if you are off just a bit from 90 degrees, the corresponding piece is off the other way, so they still mate up. No matter what else I’ve tried, that method consistently produces the cleanest and most invisible glue line.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View RobinDobbie's profile

RobinDobbie

133 posts in 1202 days


#7 posted 07-06-2015 05:22 PM

I don’t believe Irwin offers full-kerf blades. That said, I don’t believe a full-kerf is absolutely necessary. Neither is planing the piece before glue-up. That’s just some old-school shenanigans. If the board is properly prepped(perfect 90-degree corner), and the table saw is properly tuned, you should be able to get a cut that has no perceptible gaps or texture.

When I use my TS3650 fence, I always push forward as I’m pulling the lever down. Seems to eliminate a lot of the misalignment problems, as long as it was pushed forward and down when it was locked down for initial alignment. Regardless, a misaligned fence wouldn’t explain intermittent gaps in the same cut.

Looking at the picture, I only see the marks on one small section. This could be the photo, but it could mean the piece is shifting mid-cut. This would go along with the description of the problem “not always a perfect fit and could have a small gap”.

The first thing I would look do is make sure the piece is not leaving the fence during the cut, ever. A lot of people like to look at the blade, at the actual cut. Even if you’re not one of those people, it’s possible the piece is leaving the fence due to the shape of the board, internal stresses allowing the board to warp mid-cut. Maybe try a piece or two with a featherboard and standard push block. Even if you don’t feel like doing that, try leaving a tiny gap between the gripper and the fence. You don’t even want your pushing mechanism to be touching your fence. You always want to be able to apply force toward the fence, and you can’t do that if you’re already touching the fence with the pusher.

Another possible cause for the piece shifting mid cut is a table that’s not flat. I know my TS 3650 is not flat, and the stock blade throat plate made it even worse since it had a twist. A misaligned outfeed table could mess up your day, too.

Another thing you might consider is making your own zero clearance plate with a splitter. The splitter is about more than safety. It helps keep the wood aligned as it’s traveling past the blade. I like to make mine about 5/8” tall so that any push blocks I use can easily make it over. Another benefit of making your own splitter is that you can make it the exact width of your blade.

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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1044 days


#8 posted 07-06-2015 07:02 PM

Believe I checked my table and it’s flat and I made a zero clearance insert, may need to double check and make sure it’s flat with the surface. I bought the blade, and it didn’t say “thin kerf” which most have that advertised on there. When using the gripper I usually have it pushed against the fence so I wont move the board around when pushing it. The splitter I have is the micro jig splitter.

View RobinDobbie's profile

RobinDobbie

133 posts in 1202 days


#9 posted 07-06-2015 07:39 PM

Measure the teeth on that blade. $5 says they measure around 1/10th of an inch. Officially the teeth are supposed to be .098”. Full kerf would be around .125”, or 1/8th of an inch. Measure your splitter. Should be the same size as the blade. According to MicroJig, they have a thin-kerf splitter “For kerf ranges between 0.090” to 0.118”.” as well as a full-kerf splitter “For kerf ranges between 0.122” and 0.145”.”

If you have constant pressure towards the fence it won’t be moving around. I try to always have pressure down, towards the fence, and lastly towards the blade.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7224 posts in 2843 days


#10 posted 07-06-2015 08:48 PM

It helps a lot of if the wood is flat and straight. If not, that’s the first place I’d start. From there…the variables are pretty much the wood grain itself (some grains are just stiffer than others), the blade, throat insert, fence, alignment, splitter, belt/pulley, arbor/bearings, or technique…. I’m sure there are other possibilities, but that’s most of them. Make sure the blade is sharp, clean, and appropriate for the task. If it’s an Irwin Marples, it’s a pretty decent quality blade, but it could still be dirty or dull, causing excess heat and distortion …if it’s a Marathon, it’s time for a better blade. Be sure your insert isn’t flexing, and the fence isn’t flexing.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2280 days


#11 posted 07-06-2015 09:01 PM

1+ with knotscott. Start with your wood prep sequence to see if something is amiss. Joint and plane your stock square and flat before ripping. Clean up the edges on the jointer.

If your stock prep habits are sound, then it is probably the fence at fault. Thin kerf blades on smaller saws do wonders. Switching to a blade with less teeth will make the cutting easier as well.

If you are using home center lumber that is already S4S, I would expect you will continue getting mill marks and voids (because the lumber isn’t straight).

Good luck

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1044 days


#12 posted 07-07-2015 02:38 AM

It’s an Irwin Marples, measured .99. I usually get my blades at lowes or homedepot and I’ve looked to see if they have full kerf blades but never see it advertised, just thin kerf. I mill all my lumber, jointer isn’t the best but I usually don’t mill up long boards. Going to switch to a new blade and see how it goes and work on my technique.

View RobinDobbie's profile

RobinDobbie

133 posts in 1202 days


#13 posted 07-07-2015 03:58 AM

Just be aware the reason most stores don’t stock full-kerf blades is because our contractor saws and full-kerf dont’ always get along. Going from almost .1 to .125 means that’s 25%+ more material being removed during the cut.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2228 posts in 1913 days


#14 posted 07-07-2015 09:49 PM



It s an Irwin Marples, measured .99. I usually get my blades at lowes or homedepot and I ve looked to see if they have full kerf blades but never see it advertised, just thin kerf. I mill all my lumber, jointer isn t the best but I usually don t mill up long boards. Going to switch to a new blade and see how it goes and work on my technique.

- Gixxerjoe04


So Gixxerjoe, did you switch to a new blade? if so, did it get rid of the mill marks?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7224 posts in 2843 days


#15 posted 07-07-2015 10:58 PM


It s an Irwin Marples, measured .99. I usually get my blades at lowes or homedepot and I ve looked to see if they have full kerf blades but never see it advertised, just thin kerf. I mill all my lumber, jointer isn t the best but I usually don t mill up long boards. Going to switch to a new blade and see how it goes and work on my technique.

- Gixxerjoe04

I’d give the old one a quick cleaning before you try a new blade….

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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