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Cutting paper with a table saw

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Forum topic by mwatson2 posted 04-10-2015 09:29 AM 2600 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mwatson2

7 posts in 604 days


04-10-2015 09:29 AM

I’m an entrepreneur who does woodworking for a hobby (I love to save money!). I keep stacks of used paper and currently use a heavy duty paper trimmer to cut stacks of paper into quarters then bind the edges with glue to use as notepads – the office loves them.

I recently picked up a 13-amp Delta table saw (I love it!) and am curious if my saw could cut stacks of paper. I don’t know how a stack of paper compares density wise to wood and I don’t want to blow something up…

Any tips?

-- Casual Woodworking Hobbiest - Teach me something!


29 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 941 days


#1 posted 04-10-2015 10:44 AM

I think you’re looking for trouble here but I suppose if you could figure out some way of securely clamping the stack to a sled of some sort is possible.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View levan's profile

levan

472 posts in 2440 days


#2 posted 04-10-2015 10:56 AM

I’m with Robert on this one

I think you’re looking for trouble

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#3 posted 04-10-2015 11:07 AM

I wouldn’t try it. The saw will likely cut it just well, the edges will be fairly rough but the bigger problem will be controlling the paper for the cut. Unless you find a way to secure it to a sled that will be very tough to do. If you insist on cutting it on a saw, try a bandsaw.

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

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3548 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 04-10-2015 11:11 AM

You probably can do it using a jig that resemble a flower/wine press. It has to be longer than the size of the paper so the saw doesn’t completely cut the bottom in half and barely touch the bottom of the press plate.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1174 days


#5 posted 04-10-2015 11:25 AM

Paper is quite dense and should be perfectly fine to cut on the saw if suitable supported, for instance on a zero clearance sled.
Let us know if you succeed!

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

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

933 posts in 2154 days


#6 posted 04-10-2015 11:34 AM

Yes you can cut paper on your table saw using a fine blade. Take a stack about as thick as you can go and use packing tap to bind the bundle then cut through it. I haven’t done this in years but if I remember correctly the majority of the paper is cut good. Also if you have a scroll saw bind up your little pads the same way drill a small hole insert the blade and you can cut out little pictures or monograms. And for everyone’s information you can cut cardboard quite well, cut plexiglass and even aluminum and brass sheet with the right blades.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1975 days


#7 posted 04-10-2015 12:20 PM

I buy my shop towels in huge rolls that I cut down. I use my bandsaw, and have enough trouble doing that. It tends to clog the blade and shorten the lifespan.
I would not even think about putting paper through my table saw. A ream of paper will get caught, dragged down, who knows what happens then…

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View jshroyer's profile

jshroyer

80 posts in 1119 days


#8 posted 04-10-2015 12:24 PM

Band saw should cut it well. I cut cardboard on my bandsaw because i never have a box cutter to cut up a box in my garage for recycling. It might dull my blade a bit bit i buy cheap blades already.

-- http://semiww.org/

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2704 days


#9 posted 04-10-2015 04:28 PM

I think it can be done if you sandwich the stacks of paper, tightly between 2 sheets of plywood. They also make special knife cutting blades. I think Tenyru makes some.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1141 days


#10 posted 04-10-2015 04:45 PM

How about cutting it on a cross cut sled with a sacrificial hold down strip of 1/4” plywood?

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 691 days


#11 posted 04-10-2015 04:53 PM

two sheets of ply clamping the paper. ride on the fence. sounds good to me. will have rough edges. You can buy a paper cutter. A tool for every job. Hence why I chop onions with my knife and not my table saw.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3652 posts in 1726 days


#12 posted 04-10-2015 04:56 PM

Sounds like an invitation to a disaster. But hey follow all the above advice and make a video to share with us.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1757 days


#13 posted 04-10-2015 05:22 PM

If you have a heavy duty paper trimmer already why not stick with that? You get nice clean edges with that – you’ll certainly have a ragged mess with a table saw.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7208 posts in 2836 days


#14 posted 04-10-2015 05:52 PM



I think it can be done if you sandwich the stacks of paper, tightly between 2 sheets of plywood. They also make special knife cutting blades. I think Tenyru makes some.

- MrRon

That’s what I was thinking too…

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1211 posts in 1571 days


#15 posted 04-10-2015 06:19 PM

MDF would work well for the sandwich, and it’s cheaper and flatter than plywood.

I cut stacks and single sheets of very thin veneer all the time this way.

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