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Cutting splines on a table saw

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Forum topic by 716 posted 02-19-2016 06:24 PM 826 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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716

502 posts in 382 days


02-19-2016 06:24 PM

I want to edge glue up 7” long hard maple boards. For that I plan to cut slots along the whole length of the boards and insert splines. I plan to use a single end blade from my 8” dado stack, as my thin kerf blades are too thin for this task.
In order for the spline to not show up I plan to slowly lower the board on the blade from above, about 5” from the end and stop the saw when the cut is 5” from the other end. As the boards are not perfectly straight I will use two featherboards before and after the blade.
Do you see safety problems with this setup ?

-- It's nice!


30 replies so far

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joek30296

47 posts in 2332 days


#1 posted 02-19-2016 06:36 PM

I assume you’re talking about 7 ft. boards and not 7 inch since you’re leaving 5 inches at each end. I’ve done that a number of times successfully. The only problem I see with using one side of your dado blade is many sets have left and right blades and teeth point either left or right. You might be able to use your thin kerf blade by making the first cut, then turn the stock end for end and cut again. Set up on a practice piece first to get the right width slot.

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#2 posted 02-19-2016 06:53 PM

So what can happen when cutting with the only lets say right teeth ? Will it try to pull the board to the side ?
I am not sure that two pass method will give me acceptable slot consistency especially if the boards are of slight different thickness.

-- It's nice!

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shampeon

1717 posts in 1649 days


#3 posted 02-19-2016 06:57 PM

Why are you adding splines? A glue joint will be stronger than the wood. If you’re concerned about alignment, use some cauls and clamps.

You’re really going to need to dimension the boards correctly before glue up.

And let’s just put me down as “concerned” about the idea of slowly lowering a thin board onto a spinning saw blade by hand.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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shampeon

1717 posts in 1649 days


#4 posted 02-19-2016 06:58 PM

Also, please don’t put a feather board on the outfeed side of a blade. You’re really flirting with dangerous kickback.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#5 posted 02-19-2016 07:08 PM



Also, please don t put a feather board on the outfeed side of a blade. You re really flirting with dangerous kickback.

- shampeon


Why ? The cut is not through so it is not going to pinch the blade.

-- It's nice!

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#6 posted 02-19-2016 07:12 PM



Why are you adding splines? A glue joint will be stronger than the wood. If you re concerned about alignment, use some cauls and clamps.

You re really going to need to dimension the boards correctly before glue up.

And let s just put me down as “concerned” about the idea of slowly lowering a thin board onto a spinning saw blade by hand.

- shampeon


It is a lot of clamps that I do not have, the same goes to thicknesser.
Do you think lowering the blade below the table surface and then rising it when the board is set up would be a better approach than lowering the stock onto the blade ?

-- It's nice!

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shampeon

1717 posts in 1649 days


#7 posted 02-19-2016 07:13 PM

Putting pressure on the board before and after the blade will push the board against the side of the blade while it’s spinning, causing kickback.

But it’s your nuts, man.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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shampeon

1717 posts in 1649 days


#8 posted 02-19-2016 07:22 PM

If you’re going to do woodworking, you’re going to need clamps and a way of dimensioning your stock. Cheap f-style bar clamps will work fine for this. A hand plane and some 2×4s will get you some cauls.

I do not recommend raising your blade into your boards, and really don’t think cutting slots for splines is a real solution. This whole operation just sounds dangerous and unnecessary. Get the boards prepped first before even considering gluing them up.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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bondogaposis

4035 posts in 1817 days


#9 posted 02-19-2016 07:43 PM


Why ? The cut is not through so it is not going to pinch the blade.

Yes, it could very well push on that thinner wood into the blade after the cut. It depends partly on how deep the cut is, the deeper it is the more likely that the feather board might cause the blade to catch. You could still use the feather board but put no tension on the rear one. I personally would prefer to cut stopped splines on a router table w/ a slot cutter.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#10 posted 02-19-2016 07:46 PM


Putting pressure on the board before and after the blade will push the board against the side of the blade while it s spinning, causing kickback.

- shampeon


There is the fence the board is pushed into not the blade. No ?

-- It's nice!

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jbay

816 posts in 365 days


#11 posted 02-19-2016 07:48 PM

I would do it all day long as long as you have the experience. I wouldn’t use 2 feather boards. If it were me I would use 1 long board.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2596 days


#12 posted 02-19-2016 07:49 PM

After passing the first featherboard, the release of pressure can cause the board to move a little bit into the blade, possibly causing kickback.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#13 posted 02-19-2016 08:00 PM



After passing the first featherboard, the release of pressure can cause the board to move a little bit into the blade, possibly causing kickback.

- Ger21

Huh ? Are you saying that featherboards are inherently dangerous and should not be used ?

-- It's nice!

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2441 days


#14 posted 02-19-2016 08:13 PM

This….you can buy 3/4” pipe clamps and some 3/4” black pipe fairly cheap.

If you re going to do woodworking, you re going to need clamps and a way of dimensioning your stock. Cheap f-style bar clamps will work fine for this. A hand plane and some 2×4s will get you some cauls.

I do not recommend raising your blade into your boards, and really don t think cutting slots for splines is a real solution. This whole operation just sounds dangerous and unnecessary. Get the boards prepped first before even considering gluing them up.

- shampeon


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GregD

783 posts in 2602 days


#15 posted 02-19-2016 08:37 PM

This cut could also be made using a router with a wing cutter.

But it is completely unnecessary to use splines for a panel glue-up like this. When I was new to woodworking I would do something similar, but it was a lot of work and if anything made the glue-up more difficult. While one might think the spline will perfectly align the boards, it often doesn’t. And it certainly does not reduce the need for clamps – if anything you may need even more pressure to close the joint tight.

Like most things in woodworking, glue-up requires appropriate tools and skills. Your results will get much better after you’ve done it a few times. The first attempt or two are likely to be very stressful and disappointing. Consider cutting a few strips of scrap plywood and practice gluing them up. It will be very educational – well worth the time and cost of the wood.

-- Greg D.

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