Is it safe to rip cut oak using a circular saw?
I don't have a table saw (yet!), so in the meantime, is it safe to make this type of cut? I will be using an edge guide and my saw has a brand new blade. Thanks!
The nature of your question leads me to belive that your are a beginning woodworker. So I'll start at the beginning for you.
Let's say you have a typical board, a 1" x 8' and you want to rip in 2 equal pieces with a circular saw. If it's long, 3' or more, it will be easier and safer than if it's less than 3' long.
You must support the board on a stable surface, Preferably on saw horses or other table. It's best to use a piece of 2" thick styrofoam directly under it and saw right into it. Otherwise you'll have to put spacers across the length under the board and cut into them.
You'll want to secure the board with clamps or screws either right
through the board, (not on the cutline) or use scrap blocks at both ends and a few in the middle along one side. You don't want it to shift in the middle of the cut. Or just hot glue it and pop it off when you're done.
Set the depth of cut to almost maximum for ripping.
Good face down.
A good straight edge from a plywood off cut or an aluminum extrusion, or a very straight 1/4" to 3/4" thick board clamped, or otherwise secured at the distance from the cutline to the saw shoe away from the line, usually about 1 1/2" or so. The clamps shouldn't stick up into the path of the saw base limiting the forward progress of the saw unless you want to stop and reclamp which is just fine.
Start the cut just 1/8" into the work as a test and measure your
cut to the line or sight it to make certain you're the right distance away.
If all is good complete the cut.
For a piece less than 3' It requires more skill and it must be securley held, and not with your hands!
A table saw would be best or a bandsaw even better for a beginner.