Rip cut binds on table saw, best solution?

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Forum topic by AffineCreations posted 04-08-2012 06:07 PM 4067 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AffineCreations's profile


28 posts in 1680 days

04-08-2012 06:07 PM

Ripping a 24” long, 7” wide, 1” thick piece of cherry on my table saw. Cut is 3” in. About 1/3 way through the cut, board starts to bind and quickly the board wants a lot of force to move forward. I carefully reach over and power down the saw.

First off: I am thankful I have the riving knife in place, along with the anti-kickback pawls. Board did stay on the table and I still have all my fingers.

I unplugged the saw and wrestled the board free of the blade. Inspection showed the board had been under tension and closed around the kerf, hence the binding. I will point out the board was planed on the table down face and jointed on the edge against the fence.

I proceeded to start the cut again, letting the blade redo the part of the cut that had slightly closed up. The rest of the cut went fine, with no extra force needed to finish. The other three similarly cut boards ripped without incident.

Question: first time something like this has happened to me. I am new to working from rough-cut lumber and dimensioning it myself. Did I proceed in the safest fashion, or is there a preferred method to deal with rip cuts that bind?

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

13 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


7120 posts in 1999 days

#1 posted 04-08-2012 06:10 PM

Use a band saw, another fine tip expressed on LJ. I learned the hard way as well on Zebrawood, Oops.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 04-08-2012 06:11 PM

If there is a better way, I’m not aware of it. As far as I know, you did everything right.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Loren's profile


8164 posts in 3070 days

#3 posted 04-08-2012 06:50 PM

Yeah, that happens. Sometimes you can do what you did and
recut the kerf and it will work out. Sometimes you’ll have to
flip the board and cut from the other end. Then sometimes
there is so much tension in the board you cannot safely cut it
on the table saw. Safest practice is to rip solid wood with
a band saw.

View Brit's profile


6579 posts in 2264 days

#4 posted 04-08-2012 09:22 PM

For a two foot long Cherry board, I’d use a 6tpi rip saw personally. If it starts to close up behind the saw, just stick a wedge in it and carry on.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2756 days

#5 posted 04-08-2012 10:29 PM

I like to do ripping on my bandsaw. I think It’s safer and a lot more effortless and it also generates less sawdust. a good choice if you have a decent bandsaw.

I think rip cutting will wear down a sharp table saw blade very fast and it also puts quite a strain on the motor, especially with the lower hp saws mostly found in hobby wood shops.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View RussellAP's profile


3059 posts in 1708 days

#6 posted 04-08-2012 11:06 PM

I work primarily with pine so I just push it harder when that happens, but if it were hardwood, I’d knee the switch and start over too. Heck, with pine you can cut a curve with a TS if you want.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View knotscott's profile


7146 posts in 2797 days

#7 posted 04-09-2012 01:17 AM

Any chance that your blade is a bit too thin for the riving knife? What saw and blade are you using?

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

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2112 days

#8 posted 04-09-2012 02:14 AM

You did the safe thing and that’s the most important part. After I stopped the saw I would drive a wedge in the sawed kerf and have another go at it, replacing the wedge as necessary.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1773 days

#9 posted 04-09-2012 02:34 AM

I use Brit’s method.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1999 days

#10 posted 04-09-2012 06:43 AM

What gfadvm said.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2305 days

#11 posted 04-09-2012 07:24 AM

Happens to me all the time with rough sawn lumber. You did the right thing. Just drive a wedge (or a large screwdriver!) into the kerf and continue on.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3174 days

#12 posted 04-09-2012 10:18 AM

You did everything that I would have done with stopping the cut AffineCreations. I have had binding many times before the wood safely reached the riving knife. It usually was from the wood closing past the blade kerf, or operator error on my part.

View AffineCreations's profile


28 posts in 1680 days

#13 posted 04-09-2012 11:56 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Nice to get the impression my sense for how to deal safely with a table saw is pretty good. Though I love that tool, it always scares me. I like the idea of using the bandsaw to rip cut rough lumber. Will definitely try that next time.

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

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