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Short Rip Fence is safer. Do you agree with this guy ?

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Forum topic by MonteCristo posted 764 days ago 2592 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MonteCristo

2094 posts in 789 days


764 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: milling safety table saw

In post http://lumberjocks.com/topics/2012, Bevel Ripping on a Table Saw With Right Tilting Blade, there is a reference to a YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7QXIN2X8-w&feature=user.

The video is by a guy at “Workshop Essentials”. In his video he extolls the safety merits of a short rip fence. I think this guy is giving really bad advice in that video. I think he has not thought this through well enough.

With his short rip fence the workpiece is under less control as the end of the cut is appoached because it has almost no contack with the (short) fence which is guiding it and of course no contact with the long rip fence. I would argue that this INCREASES the risk of kickback, not to mention that it will produce a poor quality of cut as the chance of the workpiece squeegeeng is much higher.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""


26 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7253 posts in 2248 days


#1 posted 764 days ago

Yes, I agree with him.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2178 days


#2 posted 764 days ago

I think Steve is a very bright guy but I would prefer to just move the fence to the other side of the blade.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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waho6o9

4749 posts in 1177 days


#3 posted 764 days ago

I prefer to move the saw, while the stock is secured, thank God for Festool and other plunge saws.

Yeah buddy.

Or, fence on the left side is my preferred method.

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Tedster

2269 posts in 812 days


#4 posted 764 days ago

I like his method. If there is no fence at the back edge of the blade, there is nothing to pinch the wood. And since the wood is already been cut at that point, there is no real purpose for the fence extending beyond the back of the blade. It’s the front of the fence that keeps the work piece in a straight line. In fact, I see no purpose for the fence anywhere beyond the front cutting edge of the blade, other than to pinch the work piece.

I’ve been pondering this since reading that thread last night, and I can clearly see the merits of that method.

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

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MonteCristo

2094 posts in 789 days


#5 posted 764 days ago

Just to clarify, it’s not the right tilt bevel cut bit of the post that I am talking about, it’s the video that someone included in a reply that deals with a short stub fence (see the YouTube link I give). Some guys use a stub fence for crosscut work to make sure the offcut is not bound between the blade and the fence (main piece guided by a miter gauge) but this video advocates using a stub fence for ripping, something I think is a flawed idea.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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Loren

7253 posts in 2248 days


#6 posted 764 days ago

A retracted position fence is safer in ripping solid woods
on the table saw. For ripping sheet goods I slide my
fence extrusion full-forward so it extends back behind
the riving knife. For all solid wood rips on the table saw
I pull the extrusion back. This allows the wood to go
either right or left as tension is released in cutting. If
the tension pushes it towards the blade, the riving
knife prevents binding and kickback. If the tension
pushes the wood right, the fence isn’t in the way
and there is no kickback that way either.

That’s why and when it is safer.

In cutting sheet goods the retracted fence doesn’t
matter much in terms of kickback but it tends to be
easier to feed a full sheet of ply against the fence when
it is in a less than full retracted position.

I use an Austrian made saw. I had some Swiss/French
saws before and came to prefer this method of work.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View rdjack21's profile

rdjack21

265 posts in 1528 days


#7 posted 764 days ago

If you ask me I think that the Delta unifence took design inspiration from European saws. (Disclaimer I have one on my UniSaw)

1) The fence can me retracted so that you have a short fence
2) The fence can be rotated so that you have a low fence and possibly short fence as well.

I actually purchased a short fence for my unifence so that the long fence would not be in the way when I retract the fence such that it does not go past the blade.

I agree with Loren above in all reality you do not need a long fence once the work piece is cut at the front of the blade the fence behind the blade is not needed. But I also do agree that when cutting sheet goods I do use the full fence.

Oh and I did add a BORK to my saw which solves the no riving knife issue on the UniSaw. The past owner of my saw had removed the splitter so I did not even have that but I’ve been thinking of getting one a putting it back on along with the BORK.

-- --- Richard Jackson

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MonteCristo

2094 posts in 789 days


#8 posted 764 days ago

Loren:

I understand your points but I remain unconvinced. It seems obvious to me that with the short fence the quality of cut will suffer. I would also argue that one has less control of the workpiece near the ned of the cut when using a short fence and that could lead to jamming the blade within the cut.

I use a riving knife as I agree that stress in solid woods is always a possibility. With the riving knife, kickback should not be possible, but I acknowledge that if the stress expands the piece between the blade and the fence, in a severe case it will cause a jam. For my money, this is a risk worth taking, as I can easily kill the power before anything further ensues.

It seems to me that even with a short fence, stress in the workpiece could lead to a jam in the case where the stress causes the workpiece to bear-hug the riving knife.

Kelly Mehler wrote Taunton Press’s book on the table saw. He’s a super safety type of guy but if I remember correctly even he doesn’t advocate for a short fence when ripping.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3785 posts in 981 days


#9 posted 763 days ago

That’s why I love my Unifence, I can flip it to a short fence for narrow stock or retract it. The vid does make some sense to me although I’ve never tried it during ripping, maybe I will tomorrow and post back my thoughts.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Tedster

2269 posts in 812 days


#10 posted 763 days ago

I tried some cuts with a scrap attached to my fence, that ended about 2/3 of the way to the back of the blade. What I discovered is that really short pieces, say 6”, can (and did) get caught and thrown back at me. Of course, I normally use other methods to cut pieces that small, such as the sled or by hand, but I was curious.

For longer pieces it works like a charm.

This is without tilting the blade. I have to make another insert for bevel cuts. Not sure but I might get to that today.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15663 posts in 2819 days


#11 posted 763 days ago

MC, I definitely see your point. I think it depends somewhat on the length of the board you are ripping.

Making a lot of small boxes, I frequently rip some pretty short pieces, using my Grr-ripper and maintaining pressure against the fence. In that situation, you really need some fence out past the blade to keep the board on track all the way through the cut.

However, in a situation where you are feeding the board from behind the blade the whole time, I would agree there is no need for the fence to extend past the blade.

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

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Rick M.

3785 posts in 981 days


#12 posted 763 days ago

My first instinct was that short boards would be more problematic but really what is the difference between short and long other than the amount of wood on the outboard side of the blade? Maybe the greater mass allows more control? Don’t know, still have to try it for myself.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15663 posts in 2819 days


#13 posted 763 days ago

wormil: In the scenario I’m describing, I use my push block on top of the board, all through the cut. Without the long fence, there would be nothing to keep my hand from turning the board off course before the cut was completed. If you are just pushing the board from the rear, it doesn’t really matter.

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

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 789 days


#14 posted 763 days ago

I have a jig that I use to avoid trapping the offcut between the blade and the fence when bevelling with a right-tilt saw. The same jig would work if one is suspicious that stress in the wood is going to cause a jam. I got the idea from Fine WW or somewhere like that. I’ll post a pix sometime when I have time.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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Sylvain

536 posts in 1100 days


#15 posted 763 days ago

I should check, but I think the long fence used in US is simply forbidden in Europe for safety reasons.

The recommendations are:
for cross cutting : the fence should not go beyond the front teeth
for riping : the fence should go sensibly at the middle between front teeth and axle
for panel cut : the fence should stop at the axle or just a little bit further

(translated from French and I am not a native English speaker)
If you read French look page 13 of the PDF document here.
http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/produits/mediatheque/doc/publications.html?refINRS=ND%202161
As Uk is in Europe It should be possible to find a UK document with the same recommendations.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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