What am I doing wrong

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Forum topic by RickB posted 01-04-2010 08:36 PM 1353 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RickB's profile


48 posts in 3379 days

01-04-2010 08:36 PM


A bit ago, I asked about boards I was glueing up having a warp or cup after the glue dried. I scrapped that project and started again. I am trying to make an end grain cutting board. Right now I am ripping stock to about 1.5×1.5 inches and about 36 inches long.


1) It isn’t coming out square from the table saw. More of a diamond cross section. I am using a home made feather board to keep the piece tight against the fence.
2) The cut itself is all wavy in some instances.

Now, in some instances when I push the piece through, there is a loud buzz… the piece is buzzing against the table top. My theory is that the feather board is lifting the piece off the table top as I push it thru.

1) what am I doing wrong?
2) How tight should a featherboard be against the piece to be cut?
3) any suggestions?



8 replies so far

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

67 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 08:45 PM

There could be several problems causing this to happen. Tablesaw setup could be it. Is your saw tuned properly? Is the fence parallel to the blade? Do you have a small engineers square to check to see if your blade is 90° to the tablesaw top? Do not trust the manufacturer, as new saws always need to be tuned, and older saws always need to be checked.

Also, has the wood stock you are using been 4 squared properly? Has one side been flattened with the jointer, etc…...? If you are using lumber straight from the lumber store, there’s a good chance it’s not flat, not properly thicknessed, and not squared to the edges.

Your featherboard could also be the problem. Is the edge of the lumber you are using against the fence been jointed properly on the jointer or with a jointer plane.

If your lumber is flat and square, and your saw is tuned, then it is most definately your technique running the boards. I never use a featherboard, as my tools and lumber are always ready for work, and the lumber is easy to keep against the fence with just light pressure.

Answer some of these, and we will get to the bottom of the problem.

-- Jeff Heath

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3887 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 08:47 PM

is your table saw blade a perfect 90 to the table? is the fence parallel to the blade?

the featherboard should only keep the piece from moving away from the fence -but should not pinch the piece or make you have to push harder.

are you using a push block? use it to keep the piece from getting up from the table, and push straight through.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3719 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 08:50 PM

I usually keep the featherboard tight enough to keep the piece against the fence, but not too tight that it restricts the forward movement of the piece so its hard to push it through. Have you checked the fence and blade to be sure everything is square and stays square as the piece is pushed through? Are you using a standard kerf balde, or is it a think kerf, and is it possible that your blade is flexing? It might help to use a push block like the Grr-ripper to hold down the stock if you think the featherboard is lifting it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Dragonsrite's profile


136 posts in 3635 days

#4 posted 01-04-2010 08:51 PM

I’m no expert, but I’ll take a shot at this. Assuming you’re using a tablesaw, here’s what I’d look at…

Verify the blade is square with the table.
Make sure the throat plate (?) is flush with the table.
Make sure the edge of the featherboard is square.
Wouldn’t hurt to check the fence to see if it’s square.
Make sure the fence is parallel with the blade (or maybe just a fraction of a smidge away from the blade at the outfeed end).
The featherboard should be positioned just a little bit in front of the blade with just enough pressure against the piece to hold it in place, but not so much as to interfere with feeding the piece.

What I’m thinking is that the piece is coming into contact with the rear of the blade and is lifting (hence the “buzz”).

Another possibility for the buzz is that the stresses in the wood are causing the kerf to “collapse” allowing the piece to contact the blade. That would make the noise. but not the diamond cross-section.

Just a few thoughts. Let’s see what others think.

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

View lew's profile


12509 posts in 3994 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 10:03 PM

Here are some links to “how to” tune up a table saw

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View SteveMI's profile


1128 posts in 3533 days

#6 posted 01-04-2010 10:44 PM

The buzzing and wavy cut would make me want to stop and check the blade tightness. Then make sure the blade hasn’t warped. Check the teeth to make sure one of the carbide haven’t detached or chipped.


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4060 days

#7 posted 01-05-2010 12:56 AM

One other point I would add in addition to what has already been said is that the “buzz” you are hearing is the board coming in contact with the back side of the blade. It could be that the blade/fence are not parallel to one another.

Another possibility is that as you are pushing the board past the saw it is a natural tendenacy to push the board away from the fence as you shift your focus from watching the fence to watching the blade as your hand passes it. This also can happen when using a push stick since, again direction of push can shift to the right as the stick approaches the blade thereby pushing the board to the left away from the fence and into the blade itself. These situations, when you hear the “buzz” means that more material is being taken off the back of the board than the front.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View tnwood's profile


263 posts in 3325 days

#8 posted 01-05-2010 03:34 PM

Is the blade sharp? How high is the blade above the board when cutting? How fast are you pushing through? It sounds to me as though you are forcing the saw either because the blade is dull, you have the blade a bit low in the cut, and/or you are trying to rush things. I’d follow the guidance on tuning the saw but also make sure the blade is sharp.

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