Long Bevel Cut on the TS - Am I asking too much?

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Forum topic by PurpLev posted 07-19-2010 05:00 AM 7257 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8535 posts in 3648 days

07-19-2010 05:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question suggestion bevel rip cut safe safety narrow left tilt blade table saw

This is a cut I was never able to make in one pass to get satisfying results and figured I’d pop it up here, and maybe get some ideas how to improve on this.

The Goal: to rip a 1 1/4” x 2” x 25” into 2 beveled strips 1 1/4” x 1 1/4”.

The Issue: the beveled cut is never plane or clean, there are always iregulatiries – swirl marks, digs, etc.

Partial Solution: Until today for beveled cuts I would cut the bevel leaving extra width on the part I needed beveled, then sneak up on the final width, making the final bevel cut more of a ‘shave’ than a full mid cut.

The Problem: this time around, I don’t have much extra length on the parts that I can give myself enough material to sneak up on the bevel. Also the parts are very narrow, so once I cut them, if I wanted to sneak up on the cut – I would be subjected to some safety hazards as the parts would ride inside/under the blade.

What I have done so far is this set of cuts:

notice there is a ~1/8” extra material on the beveled parts as I figured those cuts will be poorly made, and will need some clean up. the question is – how? (since the parts are so narrow)

As I’m writing this a thought came to mind. I think I’ll place the fence on the LEFT side of the blade (I have a left tilt), attach an auxiliary fence to it that is low profile and can reach under the tilted blade, and rip my parts to final dimensions against that aux. fence.

My original thought was to plane it with a handplane, but I’ll have to setup some sort of fixture to hold the parts properly so that I can hand plane them while keeping the angles proper.

Does anyone have a any other/better ideas how to go about these rip cuts? for safety sake!

Thanks in advance,

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

23 replies so far

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3992 days

#1 posted 07-19-2010 05:15 AM

Sharon i have made cuts like this before using the shorter setting on my uni fence so here’s my thought could you use a piece of 1X laid down flat as your fence. it would have to absolutely trues and set perfect to the blade but it mite work.


-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3737 days

#2 posted 07-19-2010 05:30 AM

You can also make a jig for the pieces and then pass them through the planer. They should come out perfect every time .

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 07-19-2010 07:03 AM

Long bevels are always tricky for me.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3432 days

#4 posted 07-19-2010 01:29 PM

I have no answer… but I sure have the same problem!
It is both a safety issue and a perfection issue.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3882 days

#5 posted 07-19-2010 02:18 PM

I just did some fairly long miter bevels of about 15 inches. I feel your pain. I first ripped them on the bandsaw and cleaned them up on the TS. And then did something I never did before, tilted my jointer fence tword me at 45 degrees and jointed them. It came out great. I set the depth of cut to absolute minimum, and fashioned a long push (pull?) stick with a notch at the back end. Worked for me.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3074 days

#6 posted 07-19-2010 02:21 PM

I routinely clean up these cuts with a pass through the jointer. I can take off just a thin sliver with the jointer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


404 posts in 3022 days

#7 posted 07-19-2010 02:24 PM

I would cut the diagonal first leaving about a 32nd over and then clean it up with a pass over the jointer. After that was complete, I would rip the vertical. Based on my shop set-up, I think that would be the easiest and safest way for me to do it.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6856 posts in 3980 days

#8 posted 07-19-2010 02:31 PM

Hi Sharon,

All good ideas here, and I’m sure I have tried them all, as have most of us. I would still use the table saw with a Forrest blade, and then clean them up on the jointer.

My second choice would be the band saw, followed by the jointer.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3464 days

#9 posted 07-19-2010 02:43 PM

I agree with Greg – do the bevel first, then the 90º rip. with that done you might not even need to adjust the fence on your jointer, just pass the stock over with the beveled edge down. Unless you’re looking to conserve as much wood as possible, I’d leave a generous portion on the left (as you’ve drawn it) to sneak up on the final dimension. also, I’d leave the widest part under the blade to allow for an overhead fingerboard or two.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3395 days

#10 posted 07-19-2010 03:05 PM

I would always choose to do these cuts, regardless of technique, from much wider stock.
Even if it’s much more expensive in terms of waste, it’s cheaper than hurting myself. These cuts are difficult and I believe there is an inverse relationship between safety and difficulty.
I prefer to use the tablesaw with a new or newly resharpened thin kerf blade.
Placing the fence on the left of my left-tilt saw is a technique I use from time to time, but with extreme caution.
Please keep all your digits!


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#11 posted 07-19-2010 03:25 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions.

John Ormsby the planer idea is a good one and would probably keep my and my hands/fingers as far from the blades as possible – similar to my idea with a hand plane, just powered and automated – thanks.

Everyone else – the jointer came to mind, but because these are so narrow, it kinda makes me a bit concerned, but I guess if I make a proper push device (Thanks SPalm) this may be the way to go with minimum preparations on my end.

Than there is a TS sled – thanks for the idea Barry, however, with 25” long material this would have to be one heck of a sled to support the piece both in front of the blade, and after the blade. theoretically this one would be just as safe as the planer method, but easier to conjure if I can get past the length issue – and I may be able to get past this.

Don I complete agree with you and in my post I said that usually I’d have plenty of extra width to give me something to work with while keeping it safe. unfortunately this time around for lack of material, I am left with narrow material – BUT as this post suggests, I wouldn’t want to do anything that would compromise safety. so looking for suggestions to make the most of what it. and there have been good ones here. a good point though about the extra width and keeping it safe!

Thanks everyone for the food for thought, this has been a great help! LJ to the rescue does work :)

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3480 days

#12 posted 07-19-2010 03:36 PM

I have done bevel cuts like this on boards that have been many feet long. I typically do the 90 deg cut first, then the bevel. I agree it works best if you start with a wider board to give you something to work with. I also use feather boards on top and side. If the TS has the power, it should slide through without incident :-)

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3799 days

#13 posted 07-19-2010 03:57 PM

As you mentioned, all of the above ideas will work to some extent. The problem is the blade and the amount of material it has to cut through. The heat buildup will cause all but the sturdiest and sharpest blades to deflect.

Being a hand tool guy, I’d make the rip with a full kerf width blade and cleanup the cut with my #7 plane. When I’m done, I don’t even need to touch the surface with sandpaper.

CAVEAT: If you’re not a hand tool guy don’t even THINK about what I just said. If you do not know how to tune a hand plane to get the most out of it, you’ll be frustrated beyond measure.

Good luck.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#14 posted 07-19-2010 03:58 PM

Thanks Barry – the wheels are turning. I’m going to try and model something digitally to get a clearer idea of how to do this one (since I mostly have time for digital woodworking, and less actual physical one :) ).

Wayne – doing these beveled cuts in cherry and maple – I have finally come to realize why I NEED a 3HP saw. for what it’s worth, doing square cuts I never have power issues, so I may not ‘NEED’ a 3HP saw all the time, but on those cuts it sure would make things easier.

J.C. Read my original post – my first idea was to use a hand plane for the clean up. my problem is that this is HAS to keep the 45 degree bevel, so I’ll need to conjure some sort of a planing fixture to hold my parts beveled on my workbench in order to clean them up properly. and I agree with you – the only time I use sandpaper is for cleaning metal, or for finishing.

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

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3160 days

#15 posted 07-19-2010 04:40 PM

I’m with John, I’d go the planer sled route myself. Easiest & most accurate(for me).

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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