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Blade marks from the table saw

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Forum topic by Nick posted 04-18-2016 02:31 AM 2325 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nick

5 posts in 490 days


04-18-2016 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw trick

I am relatively new to woodworking and was hoping I could get some help from the experts…

When I am cutting wood on my table saw, I am noticing that there are blade marks on just about every piece that I cut… While sanding is an option, the ‘square-ness’ of the wood is compromised by the marks and sanding doesn’t help much. :) Is this normal OR is there a trick to cutting wood without leaving the marks?

So far, I have:
(1) Slowed way down – I used to be excited and just throw the wood through the saw; now I take my time
(2) Replaced the blade with a new one (I bought a Diablo blade)
(3) Checked the blade to ensure it is square against my fence – as best I can tell, it is
(4) Checked to make sure that the blade does not wobble – as best I can tell, it does not (although, I’m not certain how to be 100% sure)
(5) Started to use a feather board to keep the wood tight against my fence

Still no luck with keeping in the blade marks down. Any tips?

Thanks!
Nick


13 replies so far

View ROB_IN_MN's profile

ROB_IN_MN

32 posts in 1868 days


#1 posted 04-18-2016 02:42 AM

getting sawmark-free cuts is kind of the holy grail. the higher the number of teeth on the blade, the less marks you get, but also the longer it takes to make a rip-type cut.

Most people use a high tooth count blade for cuts across the grain (called crosscuts) and a lower tooth count blade for going with the grain (called rip cuts).

there are blades that are called ‘glue line’ blades that are marketed as giving a very smooth cut that can be directly glued and have no need for sanding. have never tried one, but they sound too good to be true.

as for sanding affecting the squareness, that’ll improve with time as you do more sanding. that’s really the only help for it.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

722 posts in 1162 days


#2 posted 04-18-2016 05:29 AM

Blade marks are normal. They CAN be eliminated, but it takes a high-end blade (not a Diablo—though Diablo blades are decent) and a well-tuned saw (and/or power feeder). Most of us just deal with the saw marks, by sanding or planing.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7695 posts in 3097 days


#3 posted 04-18-2016 09:25 AM

No saw blade will give truly finish-ready cuts, but good TS setup and good blade selection can help. Plan on at leaTipst some light sanding prior to adding stain/clear coats. Stock saw blades are notoriously poor performers, and most cheaper blades at the homecenters are similar. You can do better with reasonable cost blades like the Irwin Marples series at Lowes, or the Freud Diablo series at HD, DeWalt Precision Trim, CMT ITK Plus, or even the Oshlun line. For more money, you can get even better blades from Freud Industrial or Premier, CMT Industrial, Infinity, Amana, Forrest, Ridge Carbide, Tenryu. Guhdo, etc. Plan on spending at least $30 on a decent blade.

Tips for Picking Saw Blades (and improving saw performance)

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

View lennyk's profile

lennyk

31 posts in 553 days


#4 posted 04-18-2016 11:38 AM

practice your push technique, I also got frustrated and went and bought a featherboard
only to realize that it could barely fit on my small dw745 and basically unuseable.

I improved my push technique but using my left hand to push the stock towards the fence just before the blade
and steady push with right hand/push stick.

I also have my blade just barely angled away on the trailing end from the fence so if burn marks were to occur
it would only be from the front edge.

Using purpose blades makes a huge difference too, rip or cross for the application.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4351 posts in 2072 days


#5 posted 04-18-2016 12:32 PM

One swipe w/ a sharp block plane and saw marks are gone.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Mikesawdust's profile

Mikesawdust

318 posts in 2760 days


#6 posted 04-18-2016 01:00 PM

The main time I get blade marks is from wood movement, so I cut within 1/16” of the finish line on short boards and then finish with another run through. If the edge is still straight it works out. On a long board I’ll go 1/4’ – 38” wide and let it sit a days before checking for straightness, joining if necessary and running it to the actual size needed. All the wood here is air dried and rough cut, so the extra steps are needed but I can usually get through with minimal saw marks.

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2607 posts in 1202 days


#7 posted 04-18-2016 01:51 PM

Re check for the fence to blade for parallel a little closer. I’ll bet this is the problem. Don’t try to eyeball it. You can use a dial indicator or a block of wood for reference. Measure to the same tooth front and back. Set the fence 2-3 thou more at the back of the blade.

If this checks out, then use a dial indicator and check the arbor for run out.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1202 posts in 641 days


#8 posted 04-18-2016 02:28 PM

Nick,

I have a Woodworker II combination blade on a well-tuned table saw, just as jerryminer suggests. I still get tale-tell blade marks left behind from a rip cut. Most are barely visible, but would be very noticeable if finish were applied without removing the marks. Many ripped pieces seem to have at least one slightly deeper blade mark than the other marks. This is probably due to the lumber diving into blade during the cut; either due to the edge that is against the fence not being perfectly straight or a very slight rotation of the board away from the fence during the cut. As jerryminer suggests, I think a power feeder could eliminate some of these left over marks, by keeping the stock tight against the fence and moving it through the cut at the same rate.

Whenever I want to a set of workpieces to end up at a given width with two clean edges, I first joint one straight and smooth the edge that sets against the fence. I rip the workpieces perhaps 1/32” wider than needed. After ripping, I run the ripped edge over the joiner to clean up the marks. The ripped edge of each workpiece is run over the jointer an equal number of times until I get to the needed dimension.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 2091 days


#9 posted 04-18-2016 02:30 PM

I’ve learned to deal with it. On my Bosch 4100 with Diablo blades, I used to pull my hair out trying to get rid of them. The fence just has too much play. I’ve got the marks minimized, but they’re still there. If it’s just a few parts, I’ll hit them with a hand plane and move on. If its a lot of parts, like a bunch of rails/stiles, I’ll cut them within 1/16” of final width, and then send them on edge, a few at a time, through my planer, both sides.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View unbob's profile

unbob

789 posts in 1624 days


#10 posted 04-18-2016 03:00 PM


Re check for the fence to blade for parallel a little closer. I ll bet this is the problem. Don t try to eyeball it. You can use a dial indicator or a block of wood for reference. Measure to the same tooth front and back. Set the fence 2-3 thou more at the back of the blade.

If this checks out, then use a dial indicator and check the arbor for run out.

- rwe2156


This is what I also do, I can get good results with the cheap blades.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2076 posts in 2349 days


#11 posted 04-18-2016 03:10 PM

IMHO, it is inappropriate to check fence alignment to the blade. I’d check miter slot to blade and then fence alignment to the same miter slot.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View Nick's profile

Nick

5 posts in 490 days


#12 posted 04-18-2016 06:08 PM

Thanks all – great tips and insight here. Happy to have joined the community.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2607 posts in 1202 days


#13 posted 04-18-2016 08:01 PM



IMHO, it is inappropriate to check fence alignment to the blade. I d check miter slot to blade and then fence alignment to the same miter slot.

- toolie

Less error directly checking blade to fence. Technically you’re doubling the chance of error the way you described, but it will still be close enough if one is careful.

As long as the arbor is within specs and blade is good and you use the same tooth on the blade it is extremely accurate.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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