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Forum topic by straycat posted 128 days ago 735 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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straycat

3 posts in 323 days


128 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: table saw safety thin slats

I need to cut 1/4” thick slats for a baby cradle. How can I do this safely on a table saw with no splitter or riving knife? The last time I tried it, I felt like I was a target at skeet range.


14 replies so far

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CharlieM1958

15684 posts in 2844 days


#1 posted 128 days ago

Sounds like you need to use a thin rip jig, where your 1/4” slat will be cut to the outside of the blade, rather than between the blade and the fence.

If you are not familiar with thin rip jigs, just plug that term into the LJ search box and you’ll get lots of ideas for how to make one.

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

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crank49

3366 posts in 1596 days


#2 posted 128 days ago

You ripping 1/4” narrow strips off of thick material?
Or are you ripping wide strips in 1/4” thick material?

If it’s the first one, it might help to rip long pieces and then cut them to length later.

If it’s the second one, I’d use a plywood blade, or any fine tooth blade, and drop the height to just clear the stock thickness plus about 1/8”.

A Gripper type push block might help as well.

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

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straycat

3 posts in 323 days


#3 posted 128 days ago

It looks like the rip jig is the answer to my question. I am cutting the 3/4” x 10” x 1/4” slats from a 3/4” x 10” x 12” piece, so the long rips are not an option. Thanks so much for the answer, you might have saved me from a table saw accident.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1469 posts in 346 days


#4 posted 128 days ago

You can capture the thin piece between the blade and the fence if using a proper push block that will allow you to not only keep your hands a safe distance from the blade, but also push the strip and large cutoff together past the blade. I just made one to fit over the extrusion for my saw fence and am very happy with the results. Good alignment between the blade and fence is also critical as you can create a dangerous or inaccurate (or both) situation if the fence is pushing the material into or away from the blade.

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a1Jim

112010 posts in 2203 days


#5 posted 128 days ago

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Gixxerjoe04

285 posts in 202 days


#6 posted 128 days ago

microjig griper? Been looking at videos from them lately because i think I’m going to get one, but on the videos they rip some pretty small stuff

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1202 days


#7 posted 128 days ago

You need a splitter. It’s a necessity. Once you have one in place, setting the fence to 1/4” and using a thin pusher is very safe.

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

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bannerpond1

231 posts in 524 days


#8 posted 128 days ago

CharlieM1958 has the right answer. DO NOT use the thin push stick method. (Sorry, Nite Walker)

-- --Dale Page

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NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1202 days


#9 posted 127 days ago

With a splitter, the thin push shoe method is plenty safe.
A thin push shoe isn’t a necessity; a regular thickness (typically 3/4”) one will work too, but the bottom will get a bit chewed where the blade comes through.

Charlie’s method works fine too, but even with a thin rip jig, there can still be some inconsistencies because of the constant setting and resetting of the fence. Also, without a splitter, it’s not safe either.

I speak from experience; I learned the trick from kelly mehler’s table saw book and dvd. Kelly is a very strong proponent of table saw safety.

It deserves repeating; a splitter/riving knife is an absolute necessity. No table saw operation is safe without one.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is use of a zero clearance insert. When ripping thin strips, that’s also pretty much a necessity.

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

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doitforfun

152 posts in 233 days


#10 posted 127 days ago

I recently made this thing. I call it the finger saver. The actual pusher is 1/4” thick but I can rip it narrower if I need to.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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Jim Finn

1653 posts in 1547 days


#11 posted 127 days ago

I cut 1/4” strips,using my table saw, often. I put the fence on the left side of the blade and reach over the fence to push the wood using a push stick. I am not standing in line with the saw blade. Any kick back that may occur will not hit me this way.

-- In God We Trust

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paxorion

571 posts in 671 days


#12 posted 127 days ago

Grr Rippers are great, and I use it to do thin rips. However I do not consider them to be a no substitute for a splitter/riving knife. All you’d be doing is “applying brute force” to intentionally hold down a piece to prevent kickback or any other problem. Not to say that it wouldn’t work, but if you’re doing a lot of cuts, I see it as only a matter of time before your fancy and expensive Grr Ripper meets some carbide. The idea a1Jim shared with a wedge at the tail end of the cut sound to serve as a splitter sounds like possible idea take and adapt.

doitforfun – Neat looking push block design. I’m curious how it can be adapted to add some form of downward pressure during a thin rip cut?

-- paxorion

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doitforfun

152 posts in 233 days


#13 posted 127 days ago

Paxorion , Interesting concept. I would imagine a feather board mounted over the blade from the left side so that the pusher can still get by Either that or bridge it from the fence side upright part and make the push stick long enough to pass the outward end of the blade. I think that would be more difficult to control. I’m already considering adding some kind of track to keep the pusher perfectly straight. I haven’t had a problem with the little use its gotten so far but there’s nothing holding it to the fence but my own direction. I think I’ll make one and find out how to do it. ;-)

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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paxorion

571 posts in 671 days


#14 posted 127 days ago

doitforfun – sounds like you may have an interesting project to post (someday)

-- paxorion

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