Table Saw difficulties

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Forum topic by Tooch posted 05-04-2016 02:21 PM 1013 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1303 posts in 1300 days

05-04-2016 02:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question table saw twisting lumber

I have been getting a lot of resistance recently from making basic rip cuts on 3/4” oak. Despite using an riving knife, it seems like the work pieces are twisting as I am making cuts, causing the blade to bind up on the outfeed side of the table. see picture below:

It’s pinching so much that the blade can’t cut the piece, and I’ve had to back out of several cuts. The green circle shows the kerf in the middle of a 36” board (measures 1/8” thick), and the red circle shows how it is pinching and twisting after the cut (measures 1/32” thick) .

So my question is- is this because of the wood? or is it a machine calibration issue? The blade is not that old, so I don’t think that is the issue.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

29 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


575 posts in 985 days

#1 posted 05-04-2016 02:26 PM

It’s the wood. As you cut you are releasing the natural stress in the wood.

View Tooch's profile


1303 posts in 1300 days

#2 posted 05-04-2016 02:29 PM

thats what I thought, is there any remedy?

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

483 posts in 1104 days

#3 posted 05-04-2016 02:37 PM

I assume you have a flat face that is facing down and a jointed edge that is facing the fence?

For pieces of lumber that just don’t want to cooperate or really thick stock that my tablesaw bogs down on I will bandsaw them first a 1/4” or so oversized than use the table saw to just clean up to the line.

However you might also want to check that the blade is parallel to fence.

Hope this helps,


View hoss12992's profile


3814 posts in 1317 days

#4 posted 05-04-2016 02:40 PM

It’s def the wood. I’m having the same problem at times. It has to do with the way the lumber was originally cut and moisture content of the wood(humidity plays into this big time). These are factors but the biggest part of the problem is when the tree was harvested and the moon cycle during harvest. An example is the old Mountian cabins with the wood shingle roofs. If those shingles are harvested on a full moon they will end up curling and the roof will leak. Always have to harvest on the dark of the moon and they will lay right. The moon affects the sap flow in the wood and in return will cause curling and twisting hence the problem when we cut. Even boards that are quarter saw and kiln dried can still be affected but not to the same degree. Hope this helps buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View albachippie's profile


757 posts in 2459 days

#5 posted 05-04-2016 02:52 PM

Use a wedge to keep the cut open while sawing. Happens all the time, especially with pine I find. Two things I keep at the table saw at all times. A push stick and a wedge. Especially when ripping long battens.

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland -

View MrRon's profile


3898 posts in 2667 days

#6 posted 05-04-2016 02:57 PM

Is the riving knife the same thickness as the blade?

View Tooch's profile


1303 posts in 1300 days

#7 posted 05-04-2016 03:29 PM

I went back and finished cutting the piece with the assistance of a wedge and another set of hands. Check out the curve after the cut:

Definitely must be the wood, case closed.

Thanks for all the input

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View BurlyBob's profile (online now)


3499 posts in 1689 days

#8 posted 05-04-2016 03:41 PM

I’ve had that happen more than once. I’ve found that flipping the board end for end will sometimes relieve the problem. If not a wedge is about the only thing I know that will help.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7732 posts in 1804 days

#9 posted 05-04-2016 05:37 PM

To much moisture in the wood. Can also happen with limb wood.


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16822 posts in 2529 days

#10 posted 05-04-2016 05:55 PM

The tension is releasing from the wood when it is ripped. Sometimes it comes together like that and sometimes it spreads out. I stick a little wedge into the drawn in part to spread it and finish the cut. Not uncommon!
But, knowing that happened, check the board that is cut to see if you need to straight line it on the jointer.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Aj2's profile


634 posts in 1222 days

#11 posted 05-04-2016 07:28 PM

That’s why I rip everything over sized on my bandsaw.Face and joint the wood then back to the tablesaw for the final cut.
Ripping down thru the middle of cathedral grain on a tablesaw yikes.

View bondogaposis's profile


3972 posts in 1775 days

#12 posted 05-04-2016 07:31 PM

thats what I thought, is there any remedy?

Yes, make a little wedge and put it in the saw cut.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jgt1942's profile


136 posts in 1312 days

#13 posted 05-04-2016 08:25 PM

When this happens for me, I cut a bit wider than necessary and then make a second cut to the proper size.

-- JohnT

View Aj2's profile


634 posts in 1222 days

#14 posted 05-04-2016 09:07 PM

I heard woodworkers say they put wedges in the saw Kerf when they get a board that’s closing behind the splitter or riving knife.
I just cannot imagine reaching out behind the saw blade and sticking a wedge in there.So maybe one would stop the saw insert wedge then turn the saw back on.
How is the wedge thing done, and I’m not trying to start a argument. Just trying to learn something I’ve never done.Thanks Aj

View hotbyte's profile


826 posts in 2399 days

#15 posted 05-04-2016 09:27 PM

I’ve inserted a wedge by turning off saw, walking around to outfeed side, insert wedge, back to infeed side, slightly pull board back 1/4 or so (release tension on kickback pawls if needed), get stable control of board, turn saw on.

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