How Can I Safely Cut Butterfly Patches on a Right-Tilt TS?

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Forum topic by Ynot posted 02-16-2015 07:11 PM 1347 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ynot's profile


8 posts in 1585 days

02-16-2015 07:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: safety butterfly bowtie patch tablesaw bevel small stock

I have a right tilt TS (Uni). I need to [safely] cut what would end up being a block of stock (or several species) that can be sliced into individual butterfly patches. The stock starts out being roughly 7/8” x 3/4×6”. If you know a butterfly patch, it’s basically four 15° cuts around the block, which makes up the shape of a butterfly or bowtie. The reason I want to use the TS is mainly for finish, not to mention ending up with enough pre-made patches for future use. I read an article in a ten year old magazine where the author describes the process, but [I feel] falls short in describing exactly and safely how to make the cuts on the TS.

If I move my fence to the other side, to stop trapping the stock in between the fence and blade, then the blade ends up angling in the wrong direction. Of course if I leave the fence on the right side of the blade I have the trapping problem. Will the stock get trapped if I used a push block that goes over and around the fence?

Would you make a sled for this specific cut?

Am I working for nothing and since not that much material is being taken away from the stock that there’s not a safety issue of being trapped?

I do not want to use a router, BS or other for this part of the process. I simply want to know how to safely make the cuts on my TS. If someone has pics describing how they would do it, that would help tremendously. Thanks

11 replies so far

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1336 days

#1 posted 02-16-2015 08:04 PM

How about tilting the blade to desired angle and clamp stock vertically to a tall sacrificial fence on miter gauge that you can clamp the stock to? Use a stop block also clamped to sacrificial fence to register stock. Flip stock to make second cut. Then repeat on other end of the stock. If you are making a butterfly that is more than 5” long finish with a handsaw?

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View firefighterontheside's profile


18200 posts in 1856 days

#2 posted 02-16-2015 08:11 PM

I dont understand the thing youre making, but cant you turn the piece over? Then the angle will be correct.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View MrUnix's profile


6715 posts in 2199 days

#3 posted 02-16-2015 08:14 PM

If you angle the blade on a left tilt, and have the fence on the right of the blade.. there is no difference in doing it on a right tilt machine.. you just tilt the blade and put the fence on the left of the blade. I’m not seeing how it would be any different other than the side you use. Any ‘problem’ would be the same, regardless of which way your blade tilts. What are we missing?


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1797 days

#4 posted 02-16-2015 08:21 PM

I think r v l tilt has nothing to do with it. The problem is how to cut a butterfly key vertically when the apparent way to do it would trap the key between the blade and the fence. Right or left tilt, the solution will be the same—just the fence on one side or the other.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2493 days

#5 posted 02-17-2015 01:09 PM

Ditto what others have said about it NOT being a right/left tilt issue. As I think about it, I’d probably make a sled that carried the piece and would allow you to flip it edge to edge for both of the cuts to make one V, then flip it around to make the same cuts on the other side. It might pay to leave a 1/2” flat at each edge to register against the side of the sled, and then rip that off after the V is cut. Once you decide on an approach, please post back with some pics.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1248 posts in 1713 days

#6 posted 02-17-2015 01:22 PM

A solution could be this: Glue together a pile of piezes on top of another in order to have a long pieze of cross grain wood. This is then easily clamped to a sled and cut to a butterfly cross section shape. slivers of this is then cut from the end of the stock. No fingers harmed and you get prezise butterflies. Hope this makes sense? Should think it is a fast way to work too..

Let ud know how it ends!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Ynot's profile


8 posts in 1585 days

#7 posted 02-17-2015 03:18 PM

Thanks a bunch for the replies. Lot’s to consider.

While my post was in limbo, waiting to be okay’d by the admin, I made a push block that slides/cradles on my fence. That along with two feather-boards, one at feed and the other at out-feed, seem to do the trick. I was still apprehensive about making the cut, so I wore a face mask just in case. If I had a catchers chest protector I would have worn that also. I ended up with some really nice blocks of butterfly stock that I can now take slices from.

There are some additional tweaks that I’ll be making. One, make one more FB to go where the blade is since this is the only spot with no additional coverage. And two, make another push block that’s height adjustable this time. I may still consider a sled as others have mentioned; even if it’s for the sole purpose of making butterfly stock. The only question is how to hold such a small piece, that gets smaller as the process goes on and not have that hold-down get too close to blade.?

Again, thanks for all the info

View Drew's profile


350 posts in 3100 days

#8 posted 02-17-2015 08:12 PM

Just for the record….

A “butterfly patch”, also referred to as a “bowtie” is actually called a Dutchman Joint.


View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1797 days

#9 posted 02-17-2015 09:41 PM

or . . . a butterfly, a bowtie, and a dutchman’s joint are three ways of referring to the same thing.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Ynot's profile


8 posts in 1585 days

#10 posted 02-18-2015 12:05 AM

aka Pewa Patch

View TheFridge's profile


9477 posts in 1486 days

#11 posted 02-18-2015 12:40 AM

I’d just rip away and take me time. But that’s me.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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