Table Saw Question

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Forum topic by Jim Savage posted 01-29-2013 06:38 PM 989 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Savage

26 posts in 3398 days

01-29-2013 06:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw safety blade tilt

I was recently making a 45-degree rip cut. My saw blade tilts to the right, where I usually have my fence. I have always moved my fence over to the left, so that the workpiece is not trapped under the tilted blade and against the fence. With the fence to the left, the workpiece that is between the fence and the blade is sitting above the blade rather than below it.

Is this the safe way to make this cut? Or should I keep the fence on the right and trap the wood under the blade?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Jim Savage

8 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 01-29-2013 06:50 PM

yes. this is the SAFER way to do it: safer when compared to the other alternative of trapping the board between the blade and the fence, creating a very high likelihood for a nasty kick back.

that said, depending on how wide the board you are attempting to cut is, this could still be an unsafe cut. make sure you use featherboards, and GOOD push blocks and keep your hands away from the blade. mind you, when cutting bevels, there is a larger surface coming in contact with the blade, also the blade is cutting at an angle and has a tendency to lift and push your board to the side – thus featherboards really adds a lot of safety and help make a cleaner cut in those cases.

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

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3519 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 06:52 PM

Jim, if I needed to use a table saw for such a cut, I’d make sure the area to the right of the blade (on a right-tilt saw) was clear. I would not want to entrap, or wedge, the cutoff in a 3-sided tunnel – that is, between a tilted blade, fence and table.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3850 days

#3 posted 01-29-2013 06:57 PM

Some woodworkers set up the fence so it is out of square
by about 1/32” front to back. This allows such cuts to be
made with less concern about jamming.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3361 days

#4 posted 01-29-2013 07:09 PM

I make that cut by switching the fence to the left of the blade IF I can’t safely push through with my hand. If I can firmly push the board through by hand, then I don’t bother switching the fence on my right-tilting Unisaw.

As always, make sure that you have a splitter or riving knife installed when making such cuts and your fence is properly adjusted to the blade.

-- jay,

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2275 days

#5 posted 01-29-2013 11:25 PM

+1 on riving knife being the key to this cut. I always prefer, on thinner cuts, to rip these on wider boards and then resaw them back at 90 degrees. I also use the paddles off of my jointer, This allows me to use the pressure needed to make sure any bow is pushed out, with confidence. I walk them hand over hand always making sure downward pressure is constant. This is also how I determine the width at which I no longer rip an angle. If I can’t fit the paddles in, then mitre first, and rip seconds Those wheel dohickey’s HorizontalMike uses Look nice for angle rips. They are like hold down kick back devices. PM him, he loves to talk about them.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3154 days

#6 posted 01-29-2013 11:56 PM

If I need to rip at an angle on a thinner board (under about 3” or so) I’ll often start with a wider board, which gives the wood a better table to blade contact ratio. Then, once you have the angled edge, you can do straight cut to get the right width. I don’t always do it this way, but it’s one more way to be safe, I guess.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3635 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 12:01 AM

Always be safe….let someone else cut it

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3779 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 12:17 AM

I agree with Brandon about using a wider boards plus taking light cuts.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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