blade to fence distance - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-30-2019, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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blade to fence distance

I need a rule of thumb for safety. if I am corsscutting sheet goods 12" wide and I need to end up with a 8" piece and a 4" piece does the narrower portion go between the blade and fence or is it safer to put the wider part between the blade and fence?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-30-2019, 10:40 PM
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The fence is not used!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riversider View Post
I need a rule of thumb for safety. if I am corsscutting sheet goods 12" wide and I need to end up with a 8" piece and a 4" piece does the narrower portion go between the blade and fence or is it safer to put the wider part between the blade and fence?
The danger in the operation you are describing is that either way the piece can rotate away from the fence at the rear spin up and over the spinning blade and kick back at you. There is a rule of thumb as to how wide the piece that's against the fence must be to crosscut it safely and I think about 12" is the minimum.

When I'm cross cutting, the rip fence is located far away from the blade on the right side and is never used during this operation.
I do use a sacrificial, extended fence on my miter gauge face and cut into it with about 8" to the right and about 16" to the left of the blade. It supports the work on both sides while you safely push it beyond the rear of the blade. There is no danger of a kickback with this method. Something like this one:



As far as your specific question goes, you want as much registration/support on the face of the miter gauge as possible. So, I would make the 4" wide cut first, leaving the 8" remaining. Just make certain that there is no way your cut offs can get too close to the rip fence and rotate around causing a kickback.
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Last edited by woodnthings; 09-30-2019 at 10:48 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-01-2019, 01:42 PM
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Are you actually cross cutting or ripping, if you are ripping put the 8" next to the fence, if you are cross cutting I don't understand the question.

You always want a greater length along the fence than the distance between the blade and fence.

My rule of thumb is to rip if cutting along the longest edge using the fence, cross cut shorter edge using the miter gauge or sled, fence is not used in that case.

Smaller parts are always cut using a sled.

Each situation is different, if you are not comfortable with what you are intending to do, stop and rethink.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-01-2019, 06:52 PM
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If you are "uncomfortable" ...... STOP!

How would a novice know the correct way to make a cut? They are probably uncomfortable the whole time ... I donno?

My advice is "If you've never done this before, STOP" If you have done similar cuts, then just duplicate your past procedures. When in doubt, ask questions here or do some research on the web. Not every You Tube demonstrator does things the proper way, but some freely say "Do NOT do this at home" .

I had no mentor for my first table saw and learned by doing. Being blessed with a fair amount of common sense and an understanding of basic physics, I managed to operate it safely for 50+ years, barring a few kickbacks.

I even managed to acquire enough skill to impress my professors enough to teach a sophomore college class in power tool operation. Admitting that a few times I wasn't entirely "comfortable" with a specific operation, I knew to always keep the work registered against the fence and to support any overhangs with same size blocks I could feed along simultaneously.A well thought out jig is always worthwhile, rather than rushing through a cut that seems "iffy".

Splitters and proper outfeed supports are a must in my shop operations.

This little leg brace doesn't seem like all that much, but it was a challenge to make all the cuts at a 45 degree bevel:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/l...allenge-33352/
Notice the extended fence on the miter gauge face:
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Last edited by woodnthings; 10-01-2019 at 06:55 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-01-2019, 11:30 PM
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Wow Woodnthings...Those look like some serious deep cuts. Was that done with a 10" saw?

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-02-2019, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I misspoke. the workpiece is 1/2" plywood and I am registering it against the rip fence, so I'm ripping. the piece is 12" X 12". From a safety standpoint should I set the fence at 4" or 8"?
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-02-2019, 07:51 PM
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I doesn't really matter IF ......

You should use a push shoe, not a push stick:
http://www.waterfront-woods.com/Articles/PushShoe.htm
OR a gripper:
https://www.amazon.com/GRR-RIP-BLOCK...22766233&psc=1


If you don't have either, make or buy one now while you still have all your fingers!
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-02-2019, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riversider View Post
Sorry, I misspoke. the workpiece is 1/2" plywood and I am registering it against the rip fence, so I'm ripping. the piece is 12" X 12". From a safety standpoint should I set the fence at 4" or 8"?


8 inch
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-03-2019, 01:27 AM
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A Shaka is a Hawaiian hand sign that has the thumb and pinky extended as wide as possible. If with the Shaka you can touch both the fence and the blade, use a push pad.

Generally speaking, the most accurate cut is between the blade and the fence. Both edges should be parallel. The off fall may or may not be parallel between edge and cut.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-03-2019, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riversider View Post
Sorry, I misspoke. the workpiece is 1/2" plywood and I am registering it against the rip fence, so I'm ripping. the piece is 12" X 12". From a safety standpoint should I set the fence at 4" or 8"?
You will not get a 4" and an 8" from a 12" wide board, so put the width that has to be exact against the fence.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-03-2019, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoThankyou View Post
A Shaka is a Hawaiian hand sign that has the thumb and pinky extended as wide as possible. If with the Shaka you can touch both the fence and the blade, use a push pad.

Generally speaking, the most accurate cut is between the blade and the fence. Both edges should be parallel. The off fall may or may not be parallel between edge and cut.

Unless you have really BIG hands, I never let my fingers get that close to the spinning blade.


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post #12 of 12 Old 10-03-2019, 11:03 AM
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Does your saw have a splitter or riving knife? IMO either one is an absolute must.

Whatever distance is not within your comfort level, use a push block. You have to decide that starting out, I'll just say you can never go wrong using one.

One of the most common injuries is due to kickback, either wood getting propelled back at you, or your hand getting drawn in to the blade.

When dealing with plywood, especially thin material like 1/4" this is when you need to to be more alert, as if the material is bowed a little or the blade isn't high enough or there is no splitter, and the blade gets underneath the board, you have an issue!!
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