Cutting 2x4's with table saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting 2x4's with table saw

I'm trying to cut some 2x4's in half to make some 1x4 drawer fronts about 24" wide for my work bench. Ive adjusted the blade low enough to make 1 pass on on the top and 1 on the bottom which was recommended to me. I have made sure that the blade is square but I still cant get an even cut on both sides or top/bottom. One side is thicker or wider than the other. Am I doing something wrong or is it the blade/saw itself?
thanks, Chris
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 04:45 PM
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So.. You are resawing a 2x4 on the table saw. This leads to a couple of questions...

#1. Is the blade square to the table?
#2. Is the rip fence square to the table?
#3. Is the 2x4 stock you are using square to itself?

Chances are the answers are, yes, yes, and no. RARELY is construction grade lumber square...

That being the case, You should face, then edge joint your 2x4, rip the opposing edge, THEN resaw it...

Of course that means you will be taking material off, but you WILL get square cuts if everything else is square and right.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 04:51 PM
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I vote Yes, No, No

Actually, I seriously doubt that if you could make a 1 x 4 X 24 face for a drawer front from a 2X4, that it would stay flat. Just buy a 1 x 4 and cut to the 24" length
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
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I vote Yes, No, No

Actually, I seriously doubt that if you could make a 1 x 4 X 24 face for a drawer front from a 2X4, that it would stay flat. Just buy a 1 x 4 and cut to the 24" length
Well you sure aren't going to get true 1x4 out of 2x4 nominal unless you use a board stretcher...

Out of square fences aren't all that common, but they do happen... So you may be right. If so square that fence up and try again...

OP, Remember that your 2x4 is actually 1.5x3.5" not really 2"x4".

And yeah, you CAN resaw 2x stock, you won't get 2 1x pieces though. You will get 1 1x piece and scrap. Even if it were a full 2" thick, the kerf of the blade would remove enough material that the offset side would be 1/32" or so thin...

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Last edited by dbhost; 12-29-2009 at 05:02 PM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 05:36 PM
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If you joint the narrow edges to be parallel to eachother (this can be done on a jointer, or on the TS), check to see which side has a cup if any. If it does, use that side against the fence. If one side is flat, or you make it flat, use that side against the fence for both cuts.

If you're using an 1/8" kerf blade you should wind up with two 11/16" pieces. I would use a 24T or 32T ripping blade and use a slow feed.






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post #6 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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thanks all.
I guess I could go and buy 1x4's but whats the fun in that? I already have a bunch of 2x4's hanging around so I thought I might just use them, there free. How do I use the table saw as a jointer?

Chris
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 07:07 PM
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Table Saw Jointer

Quote:
Originally Posted by jester125 View Post
thanks all.
I guess I could go and buy 1x4's but whats the fun in that? I already have a bunch of 2x4's hanging around so I thought I might just use them, there free. How do I use the table saw as a jointer?

Chris
Virtually impossible to do. You will have saw kerf marks and it will not allow for a seamless joint, not to mention the piece will more than likely not be square enough to keep the boards flat enough when you glue them up.

If you have a router use that to joint the glue edges.
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 08:02 PM
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What? Nobody suggested using a zero kerf bandsaw blade?

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-29-2009, 11:53 PM
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One problem is you are working on the narrow edge
of the board, hard to keep it level.

How about putting several together, clamping them
and drive a peg through the whole stack and
then cut off slices.

You could leave the pegs for character.

Or glue up several and cut the slices off. They would
all be the same thickness with a seam running the
long way. Set your fence to 3/4 and flip the stack
end for end to make the cuts.


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post #10 of 20 Old 12-30-2009, 05:12 AM
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How do I use the table saw as a jointer?
Chris

You're not using the TS as a jointer...exactly. What happens is that when the two edges of the 2x4 are flat and parallel to each other, and you have the flattest face that is referenced as close to 90 degrees to the edges against the fence, cutting the 2x4 in half is as close as you can get with getting a straight cut after flipping the 2x4 for the second cut.






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post #11 of 20 Old 12-31-2009, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again everybody. OK now I get it.

Chris
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 09:40 AM
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All I want folks is to know how to cut a 2X4 (8' long) into 4' foot lengths without my table saw kicking back and trying to kill me? I have been searching for weeks, but it seems no one does this on a small DW745 table saw???
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 09:55 AM
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on long pieces, the "drag" on the non-pushed side is what contributes to the kick back issue.

a four foot wide "sled" with the cut in the middle is your best bet:
Cutting 2x4's with table saw-freeplan-002-body2_zoom.png
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 11:57 AM
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A quick and dirty solution is to have 2 miter gauges, one in each slot, with a long piece of 3/4" plywood screwed to the faces of both. Use that as a miter fence to guide the 2-by through the blade.

I did this for cutting dadoes in some 2X6's, except my fence was a jointed and planed 2X4.


Dave in CT, USA
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVonKC View Post
All I want folks is to know how to cut a 2X4 (8' long) into 4' foot lengths without my table saw kicking back and trying to kill me? I have been searching for weeks, but it seems no one does this on a small DW745 table saw???

A table saw is not the best tool for this job. Yes, having a sled would make the job much easier, but unless you are going to do a lot of these cuts it is unnecessary.


If you have a circular saw, use that. If not use a hand saw.


George
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 02:08 PM
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Your problem is that it is too hard to control such a long board on a small top.

Make some supports to hold the ends of the 2X4 on each side of your saw, there are lots of ideas for this online where attachments are added to sawhorses, same attachment will also work when ripping in the future.

Add an extension to your miter gauge, make it long enough so the blade passes through it so both parts are supported as it is cut.

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post #17 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVonKC View Post
All I want folks is to know how to cut a 2X4 (8' long) into 4' foot lengths without my table saw kicking back and trying to kill me? I have been searching for weeks, but it seems no one does this on a small DW745 table saw???
I made me a small sled for my Rigid R4516 to do just that. and got me a couple of harbor frieght fold up workbenchs and used scrap plywood clamp in them to act as supports
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 04:16 PM
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The table saw and miter guage will "work" IF ....

You can use the miter gauge IF you attach a long 36" fence to the face of it. This will prevent the 8 ft long board from twisting as it's pushed through the blade. If it twists in the process it will bind the blade and cause a kickback. If the miter gauge is a snug fit in the miter slot, that will minimize any potential twist, if not, even a little movement in the bar will translate to a large movement at the end of the long board. It will "work" but it ain't the best approach.


The best approach is to make a sled like Marvins, that captures the 2 X 4 on either side firmly and fits in the miter slot without any play or movement, the longer, the better. Using both miter slots would be even better.


Here's a long board attached to a single miter gauge:



Here's a setup I made using 2 miter gauges:





Because my saws have multiple miter slots I can do this:
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-26-2018, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
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Because my saws have multiple miter slots I can do this:
That must be really nice to be able to do that, make me want to go out a build a giant table saw too...


-T
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-27-2018, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
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You can use the miter gauge IF you attach a long 36" fence to the face of it. This will prevent the 8 ft long board from twisting as it's pushed through the blade. If it twists in the process it will bind the blade and cause a kickback. If the miter gauge is a snug fit in the miter slot, that will minimize any potential twist, if not, even a little movement in the bar will translate to a large movement at the end of the long board. It will "work" but it ain't the best approach.


The best approach is to make a sled like Marvins, that captures the 2 X 4 on either side firmly and fits in the miter slot without any play or movement, the longer, the better. Using both miter slots would be even better.


Here's a long board attached to a single miter gauge:



Here's a setup I made using 2 miter gauges:





Because my saws have multiple miter slots I can do this:
WoW ya know I like that to the point I am going to make a couple of jigs like that and even make a sled like I got except using both my miter slots.

Marlin
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