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Table Saw Cross-Cuts / Panels that are longer than they are wide

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Forum topic by LucasinBC posted 05-08-2012 01:21 AM 1796 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LucasinBC

62 posts in 1729 days


05-08-2012 01:21 AM

Hi all,

I’m sorry I can’t find a good answer anywhere on Lumberjocks so if you have already answered this question please point me to your blog / forum!

My question is simply this: how do you guys go about cross-cutting glued-up panels that are longer than they are wide?

Let me explain – I am making a cutting board for my wife. I think everyone has seen videos on how to do this. I’m at the point now where I have laminated my wood strips lengthwise and they are all glued up. Now, I need to cut across the grain on the assembled panel in order to expose the end grain, rotate the pieces with the end grain facing up and glue it up for final assembly.

Now – if I use my cross cut sled to cut the strips, once I reach the halfway point of the width of the panel, the panel will be longer than it is wide. I am wondering if this would present a safety or accuracy hazard on a crosscut sled.

On the wood whisperer video for making a cutting board he does this by using his table saw fence and he cross-cuts the strips using a push stick. Has anyone ever done this? Is it safe? That would break the cardinal rule of not using a fence to make cross cuts, no?

Any help would be welcome!!

Thanks,

-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.


8 replies so far

View Vrtigo1's profile

Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1649 days


#1 posted 05-08-2012 01:44 AM

I think the rule of not crosscutting using the rip fence comes more into play when the piece between the blade and the fence is wider than it is long (i.e. think about crosscutting 6” off the end of a 2×4). The way Marc does it is the same way I did it and in my opinion it is safe as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing.

As far as using a crosscut sled, I think that would also be safe, but as you said, I think I would feel safer using the method Marc used when the panel starts to get narrower.

EDIT: If you can get the panel to fit between the front of the miter gauge and the blade, the safest method would probably be to use the miter gauge to guide the workpiece in conjunction with a stop block clamped to the rip fence well in front of the blade to register the panel against for controlling the width of the cut. That way there is no chance that the offcut can become trapped between the fence and the blade.

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 869 days


#2 posted 05-08-2012 03:49 AM

I use my home-made sled for cuts like that, or a straight edge and circular saw.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1012 days


#3 posted 05-08-2012 04:02 AM

sliding mitre saw for something the size of a cutting board.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112104 posts in 2235 days


#4 posted 05-08-2012 04:06 AM

I would use a sled with a stop.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1429 days


#5 posted 05-08-2012 07:15 AM

I’ve done several cutting boards and haven’t had a problem using the rip fence. It all comes down to the size/width ratio. You don’t mention how long your edge glued panels are, so it’s a tough call.

What you can do is lower your blade all the way down, then run the panel against the fence, if you feel the excess length (the part of the left of the blade) is pulling too much and you are unable to keep the piece secured against the rip fence then I would cut it in half with the sled, then use the rip fence. Hell if it makes you feel more comfortable, there’s no harm in cutting it in half first, then using the rip fence.

I do not recommend using a combination method, whichever method you use it should be the same for all the strips you cut, otherwise you’ll likely get 2 slightly different width pieces and will cause you to need to do a lot more sanding to flatten out your cutting board.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2054 days


#6 posted 05-08-2012 12:37 PM

making that type of cut is what a cross cut sled is for.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2835 posts in 1901 days


#7 posted 05-08-2012 03:49 PM

Turn your miter gauge 180° in the slot and press the board against the miter gauge head as you push it throught the blade.
Note: If you do this, first check with a test cut using the miter gauge in this backwards fashion.

View LucasinBC's profile

LucasinBC

62 posts in 1729 days


#8 posted 05-09-2012 03:38 AM

Thanks everyone for the input –
Jeremy – I think I like the idea of cutting the panels in half first and then try to use the fence in order to make more accurate cuts. I agree with your assessment of picking one cutting method and sticking to it rather than switching halfway. Steve from woodwrorkingformeremortals told me that he used the crosscut sled first then finished with the fence as the cuts became progressively awkward, but he said next time he would make the panel longer and only use the sled. He also said in his video that his cuts had not been as accurate as they could have been, so probably switching between the sled and his fence added some error.

Cheers everyone,
Lucas

-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.

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