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Forum topic by SnowyRiver posted 661 days ago 756 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51451 posts in 2076 days

661 days ago

I was thinking today that I wish I had a video camera in the shop. I planed two birch 4/4 boards to 3/4 by about 6 inches wide. I’m making a face frame for a large storage cabinet. As I was cutting the strips of birch, 1 1/2 inches wide for the frame, I noticed as the board passed the riving knife that there was so much tension in the wood that the saw kerf was closing so tight that I could hardly see the kerf.

If I wouldnt have had the riving knife on the saw, I probably would be picking this board out of my teeth. It would have been a good video for someone new to woodworking on the reasons to always use a riving knife or splitter.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

11 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


2938 posts in 883 days

#1 posted 661 days ago

There is a time and place for riving knives. Mine is off at the moment because I’m only using it to slice 1/8 strips off a 4×4.
Is the wood riding along the fence okay, the kerf shouldn’t close up on you.

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2076 days

#2 posted 661 days ago

Yep, very straight along the fence…once it cleared the fence and the knife, the two pieces started to pull over against earch other. Thats why they make splitters and riving knifes to prevent a serious kick-back when this happens. I dont use the knife when I am doing dados, but after a serious kickback a few years ago I learned my lesson when ripping boards. LOL. I dont ever want that to happen again.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View nwbusa's profile


1016 posts in 882 days

#3 posted 661 days ago

Yep, there is a time and a place for riving knives—and that time and place is every time you make a through cut.

Thanks for the reminder, Wayne.

-- John, BC, Canada

View jmos's profile


681 posts in 965 days

#4 posted 661 days ago

Glad you had your riving knife in!

You might want to think about taking those boards over to the band saw for ripping. I’ve taken to doing that anytime I’m ripping more than a little off of an edge to square up a board; that is at least for boards I can handle on the relatively small band saw table. I’ve had quite a few kerfs close up on me.

-- John

View Charlie's profile


1001 posts in 882 days

#5 posted 661 days ago

I’ve had this happen on maple recently. It pinches so hard on the riving knife that it becomes really hard to push. I’m afraid to just keep pushing harder for fear it’s going to suddenly get easier and I’ll force the wood hard into the blade. So I stop feeding, turn the saw off. Leave the board right where it is. Go around and put a wedge in the kerf just past the riving knife, walk back around and pull the board just a touch off the blade and start it back up and continue. I have actually had boards when trying to cut long 1-1/2 inch wide pieces like 6 feet long, that have the cut-off curl UP and start to cross OVER the other piece.

Wood does weird stuff. :)

View DadoSutter's profile


15 posts in 985 days

#6 posted 661 days ago

Thanks for sharing this.
It seems that we are all newbies, until the first serious kickback.

-- Dado Sutter

View pmayer's profile


565 posts in 1661 days

#7 posted 661 days ago

Good reminder. Thanks, Wayne.

-- PaulMayer,

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

389 posts in 781 days

#8 posted 661 days ago

I dont understand why you wouldn’t use a riving knife for all of your cuts. On my sawstop it never gets in the way. The blade guard however, I dont even use it.

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235 posts in 1013 days

#9 posted 661 days ago

SnowyRiver, were you able to use the ripped stock for the faceframes?

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Porchfish's profile


570 posts in 1128 days

#10 posted 661 days ago

I agree with Charlie, expect the worst and you should be a little safer and maybe a little slower too, but the peace of mind is worth the effort !

-- If it smells good, eat it ! The pig caught under the fence is the one doing all thesquealing

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2076 days

#11 posted 660 days ago

Cole…I could use a riving knife on all cuts, but I would have to change it to a smaller knife. I have never had any problems with dados so I just use it on through cuts.

MNgary…yes, I was able to use the pieces. I had cut about 6 or 7 eight footers and two were curved or bowed. I cut those up and used them for the face frame on the shelves.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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