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How do you handle cross cutting wide panels?

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 06-26-2013 01:46 AM 1071 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 914 days


06-26-2013 01:46 AM

I am building a desk for my office. I got the top glued up and flattened on my new bench with my stanley #7. I am ready to trim the edges square. The top is 48” long and 30” wide. That poses a bit of a problem:

Cross cut sled? Nope
Miter gauge? barely, but not comfortably and there is no room for an auxiliary fence.
CMS? Yeah right
Circular saw? As an absolute last resort

Has anyone tacked on a runner to the bottom of a panel and trimmed it that way? I am thinking about doing this but worried about how I will keep both sides square.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


15 replies so far

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Buckethead

1921 posts in 535 days


#1 posted 06-26-2013 01:50 AM

I’m thinking a circular saw with a secured straight edge and a reasonable quality blade. Maybe a nice 40T Freud.

It seems too chunky to manhandle on the TS. Access to a track saw would be a superior option, or maybe a large infeed and out feed table with a helping hand.

In any case, there will be more finishing to be done, no?

Does a radial arm saw have a 30” capacity?

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

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mbs

1440 posts in 1606 days


#2 posted 06-26-2013 01:50 AM

How ‘bout a sliding table saw or a festool plunge circular saw with the zero clearance guide.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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pintodeluxe

3390 posts in 1479 days


#3 posted 06-26-2013 01:53 AM

My Bosch circular saw with a diablo thin kerf blade rivals a tablesaw when used with a straightedge. I use the Emerson clamp and guide. The 7-1/4” diablo fine finish blades are less than $10 at Home Depot.
I use this method for dining tables, coffee tables, and anything too big for my crosscut sled.

Don’t worry, it works great.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Loren

7624 posts in 2314 days


#4 posted 06-26-2013 01:54 AM

You can clamp a straight board to the underside and run it
against the edge of your table saw table, assuming the
edge is parallel to the miter slot.

That said, I’d recommend doing it in two stages…
crosscut to within about 3/16” of you square edge
using a jigsaw or circular saw, then clamp a board
underneath and use that to guide a router with
a flush trim bit.

A guide bushing can be used with the board clamped
topside, or a top-bearing pattern bit as well.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 914 days


#5 posted 06-26-2013 01:57 AM

mbs, terrific idea. How about sliding me 6k for a Hammer K3 Winner :)

A track saw would be ideal. I don’t have one. I could make a “track” for my circular saw but I think tacking a runner is easier. I have the room on my table saw top and I have a 6 foot long outfeed table. My only issue is using the same reference edge to line up the runner. I wouldn’t be able to unless the second pass is on the left side, which I don’t really have enough table to support the cut.

I suppose I could rip 1/32 off one edge so my reference edges would be identical.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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kdc68

1982 posts in 943 days


#6 posted 06-26-2013 01:59 AM

lumberjoe....I cut big panels to rough dimensions (within an 1/8” of finished size) using a circular saw and straight edge, then use a router with a top bearing pattern bit and straight edge rout to final size…gives the edge a nice smooth finish…no saw marks
Never tried it but I have seen somewhere (perhaps here) someone using a runner on the bottom side of the panel and use it against the table saw edge…looks easy enough though

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 914 days


#7 posted 06-26-2013 02:04 AM

Loren, that’s a great idea… but.. but my fence rails extend past the table on both sides of my stupid table saw.

I like the flush trim idea and I have both top and bottom bearing bits. This is the end grain side though, and I am using ash. Will I get a ton of blowout? I climb cut endgrain to avoid it, but ash loves to tear out

Also I barely have anything to take off, maybe 1/8” on each side. It’s sandable if I had a big enough edge sander.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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kdc68

1982 posts in 943 days


#8 posted 06-26-2013 02:16 AM

I like the flush trim idea and I have both top and bottom bearing bits. This is the end grain side though, and I am using ash. Will I get a ton of blowout? I climb cut endgrain to avoid it, but ash loves to tear out

Climb cutting is an option to remove most of the 1/8” to avoid tear out….get it within a 1/16” and I think you will be fine….just be mindful of your technique in the final pass … a nice fluid motion to avoid burn marks and have the straight edge longer than the wood so you can rout past without inadvertently turning a corner on an adjacent edge

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 914 days


#9 posted 06-26-2013 02:22 AM

I have a very small jointer, so I actually edge joint long boards with a flush trim bit. I’ve got the technique down pretty well. Since my bench is dead flat and as a dead square/flat edge, I ride the bearing on the edge. I have a drywall T-Square that I know is square. I suppose I could use that to square the edge of the panel, clamp the panel down, pull the square and route it.

I’m trying to avoid the circular saw because mine kind of sucks, and the height adjustment is broken.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1243 days


#10 posted 06-26-2013 02:25 AM

The router idea works.
You could make a t-square pretty easily if needed.

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

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kdc68

1982 posts in 943 days


#11 posted 06-26-2013 02:28 AM

Yep a drywall T square will work….I’ve done it that way before I bought these fancy straight edge clamps (link below). To assure your square is “square” when you clamp it down you can measure diagonals before you route…that’s assuming the other end of the wood is square….

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=22083&site=ROCKLER

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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Loren

7624 posts in 2314 days


#12 posted 06-26-2013 02:48 AM

Make some test cuts to figure out the blowout. You
may want to tape or tack a strip on the end to control
the end of the cut chipping. Not relevant if you’re going
to rip or joint the long edges, but if you’ve already
dimensioned the panel to final width…

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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crank49

3443 posts in 1637 days


#13 posted 06-26-2013 02:49 AM

I have a Bora saw guide which will clamp itself across any board 48” or less and an aluminum flat bar that is 9 ft long I can clamp at each end to cut a sheet the long way.

But, I never ever try to cut a large sheet on the table saw. To me that’s like standing on a ladder holding a light bulb against a socket while 4 people turn me and the ladder in a circle to screw in the bulb.

Why? It’s so easy to cut a very precise line with a circular saw on an 8 ft sheet with it flat on the floor, supported on 2 or 3 2×4s or a sheet of Styrofoam. You can even have zero tear out if you throw in a sacrificial strip of 1/4” MDF under the guide and saw.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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CessnaPilotBarry

892 posts in 776 days


#14 posted 06-26-2013 06:25 PM

I usually crosscut table and counter tops with a circular saw and router.

- Clamp a straight edge in place. An “Official” straight edge or jointed board will work equally well.
- Cut ~ 1/8” oversize with the saw
- Move straightedge as necessary
- Finish with router and spiral bit

For curved ends, replace the circular saw with a jigsaw and the straight edge with an MDF pattern. You can also use an MDF pattern to round the corners with the router.

Easy peasy…

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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dschlic1

172 posts in 636 days


#15 posted 06-26-2013 06:28 PM

I just made a panel sled for my TS that will easily cut a 30” wide panel. The secret is to have plenty of track in the miter slot at all times. My 30” sled measures 36” along the blade axis. I found that I need at least 15” of tack in the slot for good accuracy. If you want I can post some pictures.

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