Rip cutting maple without the burn

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Forum topic by ellen35 posted 01-20-2009 02:21 PM 20700 views 2 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2738 posts in 3608 days

01-20-2009 02:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple saw burn

I have several 6-8 foot maple boards that need about 1/2 inch ripped off. I know (from experience) that cutting maple can cause burns. Since I am a novice at this, I was wondering what, if any, the trick is to doing it without burning. These were expensive pieces and I really really need them nice and clean. The boards are a hail over 3/4” thick and 6-8 feet in length.
I have a DeWalt heavy duty job site table saw and the following blades: a B & D Firestorm 200 T plywood blade, a DeWalt 60 T cross cut blade (came with the saw?), and an Irwin Marathon 80 T trim/finish blade. Of course, I could buy another blade but I am hoping that it is “technique” rather than equipment!
Any help/advice you can offer is much appreciated!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

28 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3998 days

#1 posted 01-20-2009 02:53 PM

Ellen, here is a picture of some cherry I recently ripped on my table saw. Cherry is notorious for burning, even more so than maple.

Milled Cherry

Some burn marks are simply inevitable when milling wood but this can be mitigated by (1) making sure that you have a SHARP premium blade in your saw. I use only Forrest blades (2) make sure that your blade and fence are aligned. With my Craftsman saw I occasionally spend up to 10 minutes aligning the fence and blade for each cut. With my fence the front and rear of the fence can end up being angled if you simply set the blade to fence distance and lock it down. Here is a picture of my saw and the “fine adjusting tool” that I use to align the fence:

And (3) did I mention use a SHARP premium blade. :)

Hope this helps.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3945 days

#2 posted 01-20-2009 02:53 PM

Buy a good rip blade. A crosscut blade will definitely burn, and based on my experiences with the blades that you already own, the heat generated can cause the teeth to become suddenly independent of the blade.

I would suggest going to

I have some blades from them that are 25+ years old, and still great. They also service what they sell.

Make sure you are sitting down when you see the prices though.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4209 days

#3 posted 01-20-2009 03:25 PM

Raising the blade high above the wood reduces burning also, the Forrest rep gave me that tip at a recent woodworking show where he was cutting cherry without burning. He also used blade stabilizer.

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 4164 days

#4 posted 01-20-2009 04:07 PM

If you get significant burning then chances are your fence is a bit closer to the back of the blade than the front. This causes the wood to be pushed into the teeth at the back of the blade. Those teeth don’t really cut the wood very well, though, because they are going in the wrong direction. You might actually be able to look at the burn marks and see the direction of the burn; meaning the shape of the burn will look more like the arc of the back of the blade than the front.

The solution then would be to adjust your fence so that the back of the fence is pushed a bit more to the right (assuming your fence is to the right of the blade). It’s even OK if your fence is the slightest bit out of parallel to the blade, as long as the back of the fence is further from the blade. This might cause a bit of burning on the waste side of the cut, but it should be minimal, since there is no fence pushing the wood into the back of the blade. The only source of pressure would be from the wood itself and there isn’t anything you can do about that.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3608 days

#5 posted 01-20-2009 05:09 PM

Thanks everyone. I just found a Freud 24 T rip blade for $60 locally. I think I may try to pick this up…unless I hear it is a dog!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View CharlesNeil's profile


2454 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 01-20-2009 05:28 PM

ellen…all of the above is super good info and correct..however if you will cut your wood close ,say to within 1/16, then skim the last 1/16 in as smooth and flowing a cut as possible, trying not to have “pauses” in your feed rate you will not get burns and you will also get a nice smooth cut…I often use the freud 24t glueline rip, its a super blade…personally i prefer the freud blades over most of the other expensive ones..which I have.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3824 days

#7 posted 01-20-2009 08:20 PM

Charles has a good point… that’s what I sometimes do – cut it a little
wider and then saw, (or joint) off the stock. This is actually pretty
smart for cabinetmaking in general… rip a little wider, let the board
move, then joint and rip again to final width. Reduces burning and
gives a straigter board. I learned it from one of Jim Tolpin’s books
and when doing doors or face frames that’s always my procedure.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3761 days

#8 posted 01-20-2009 09:12 PM

Also as well as making sure your blades are sharp ,don’t feed too quickly, and add a little spray wax on the blade frequently and you’ll notice a big difference Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3975 days

#9 posted 01-20-2009 09:23 PM

its all in the blade and the set up.

-- making sawdust....

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3608 days

#10 posted 01-20-2009 09:40 PM

spray wax????
what do you mean?
I assume set up means getting the blade nearly/exactly parallel with the fence….

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3944 days

#11 posted 01-20-2009 10:59 PM

use a 24 tooth blade. i have a 40 tooth blade and i get burning with that. and what MR Neil said is always great info. just sneak up on it!

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3608 days

#12 posted 01-20-2009 11:07 PM

This forum has become a tutorial in ripping maple for me! WOW!!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3941 days

#13 posted 01-21-2009 02:57 AM

Yes, what bently and everyone else said. If you get a lot of burn, it’s either a dull blade or a fence (and or blade) out of adjustment. Just take your time and tackle one at a time, you’ll get it. Good luck.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3737 days

#14 posted 01-21-2009 03:13 AM

If possible I’d also cut down the 6-8 foot lengths to a little longer than what your project needs. I find it hard to control such a long board without a helper.

-- Joe

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3717 days

#15 posted 01-21-2009 05:26 AM

I agree with bentlyj also…I invested in a 40 tooth CMT for about $90 and it does everything. Not only rips great, without burns, but also crosscuts good and is great on plywood and melamine. If you’re planning on investing $60, why not spend a little more and get a blade that can do it all. Just remember to keep it clean.

-- Childress Woodworks

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