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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, thinking I may have to do this soon - I'm fairly versed at the ins and out of the table saw
and have had a few mishaps, but thankfully no injuries with kickback and small pieces of wood acting with a mind of their own.

I am thinking of picking up one of these ...


Not super looking forward to putting my hands near the blade and running my arms literally over the top,
I've done a bit of looking and it looks like this may be in fact the safest way to rip small pieces, supposedly safer than making a homemade rig like this
- also a pretty expensive piece of plastic 馃 but if it's the safest, **** it.

.. and also may be open to a different less dangerous technique if people have had success. I have a jigsaw, and also a scroll saw.
 

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are you wanting to build several cedar strip canoes ?
or a bird house.
I would think the amount of usage would determine which tools to invest in.
 
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The Nut in the Cellar
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When I've needed to rip thin strips of wood, I've always done it with the resulting piece on the outside of the blade. I have a 24 tooth thin kerf glue rip blade and it cuts cleanly without binding. I also have the riving knife installed. This allows me to use my regular push stick to move the bigger piece through the saw. Yes, the cutoff will be free to kick back when freed from the workpiece, but it will be thin, not have much mass, and I can stand clear if and when it launches. I have a 3/4"x1/64"x72" strip of red oak coiled up in the shop using this method. I realize this might fly in the face of convention and likely safety, but I've never had an issue. I really don't think it's any different than any other rip cut.
Oh yeah, a "tool" I invested in is a carvers apron. It has a thick, padded panel in the front to absorb blows from kickbacks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you, John - I'm thinking of ripping 1/2 square dowels from a 2x4.
I did consider using the cutoff from the outside of the blade ( I'm taking that to mean the side of the blade not against the fence )
ripping hundreds of pieces may be too time-consuming since I think you may have to re-adjust the fence with every cut. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
 

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A gripper is the safest way to cut small pieces on your table saw. Homemade push sticks aren鈥檛 even close when it comes to safety. A gripper may seem expensive, but touching a cutting tool will cost far more.

With a special foot you can do as small as 1/8 inch rips safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A gripper is the safest way to cut small pieces on your table saw. Homemade push sticks aren鈥檛 even close when it comes to safety. A gripper may seem expensive, but touching a cutting tool will cost far more.

With a special foot you can do as small as 1/8 inch rips safely.
"sponsored by Microjig GRR-ipper all rights reserved " .. :LOL:
kidding - thanks for the input - if only helping me me justify a $60 piece of plastic ;)
- I also find my fingers useful on almost a daily basis as well
 

mike44
retired carpenter and farmer
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I saw thin strips with the sawn piece to the left of the blade. I determine the thickness. A stop block is held down to the table with a clamp. Insert a shim between the fence and the stop block . I glue shims to a scrap that adds the thickness each cut.
If I want 1/8" thick shims The first shim is 1/8", then 1/4" etc. This is a quick way to rip thin strips of a consistent size.
I used to build cedar strip canoes. I sawed the first two canoe strips on the bandsaw. This was fine but the sawn face needed sanding. I decided to rip the strips on the cabinet saw using a Freud blade that left a jointed face.
Bandsaw will give me more strips per board but the cabinet saw gave me a planed finish.
If you rip the strips between the blade and fence I would clamp a short fence on . The short fence should extend to the outer most edge of the blade and no farther. This helps to avoid kickback. I would stand to the side anyhow , in case a strip sails back at you.
 

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I use push blocks I make from 2x4. 1鈥 dowel for a handle. No way I鈥檓 paying $70 for something I have to to fiddle with. The only drawback is with thin wood and a Micro Jig splitter it has to be removed b/c the push block won鈥檛 clear. Hasn鈥檛 been an issue.

Not for an inexperienced user, but you can safely rip 1/8鈥 thin strips between fence and blade, You need the right blade, feather boards and a push block. I do it like this every time no problem.

But most people use an indexing block on the offcut side, can be a magnet, a jig that registers in the miter slot, or simply a stop block clamped to top. Move fence over for each cut.

I鈥榖e also indexed off the fence rail itself using a 1/8鈥 spacer and a clamp. Move over for each cut. Woodpecker makes an eye candy fence indexing add on.

All that said, if I a bunch of this strips to rip I use my bandsaw follow up with drip un sander (indispensable!)
 

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I've also done bazillions of "thin strips" - between the blade and fence.

no push sticks!

make a push block - with a push lip on the trailing bottom.
I glue the push lip on - because....
I set the blade height to cut thru the work and into the push block about 1/8"
that way you can keep the work pc and the cut off 'clamped down' and push both pieces thru until clear of the blade.

to get uniform thickness on the cut off strip the work needs to be kept tight to the fence.
as the work pc gets smaller and smaller, I use a "rub stick" to push the work against the fence, just ahead of the blade.
for thin pieces I notch the rub stick so I can both push down and against the fence.

I consider the push blocks "disposable - one time - custom made"
it's just scrap.
I glue the push lip on - if the push block is okay for another job but the push block is chopped up....cut it off and glue a new push lip on.

and while discussing push sticks . . .
those cute plastic ones that come with a saw?
throw them away before plugging in the saw.
if a push stick comes in contact with the saw blade, you want the blade to cut it with the greatest ease - the plastic ones don't cut so well, can jam - which really irritates the saw and the saw will throw the plastic stick at you, at high speed.
use a soft wood - pine or popular - for push sticks.
 

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I use the Rockler thin rip jig. It clamps in a miter slot. It has a bearing that allows the stock to easily move while staying in contact with the stock. You need to readjust the rip fence for each cut. It works well.
 

where's my table saw?
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I've also done bazillions of "thin strips" - between the blade and fence.

no push sticks!

make a push block - with a push lip on the trailing bottom.
I glue the push lip on - because....
I set the blade height to cut thru the work and into the push block about 1/8"
that way you can keep the work pc and the cut off 'clamped down' and push both pieces thru until clear of the blade.

to get uniform thickness on the cut off strip the work needs to be kept tight to the fence.
as the work pc gets smaller and smaller, I use a "rub stick" to push the work against the fence, just ahead of the blade.
for thin pieces I notch the rub stick so I can both push down and against the fence.

I consider the push blocks "disposable - one time - custom made"
it's just scrap.
I glue the push lip on - if the push block is okay for another job but the push block is chopped up....cut it off and glue a new push lip on.

and while discussing push sticks . . .
those cute plastic ones that come with a saw?
throw them away before plugging in the saw.
if a push stick comes in contact with the saw blade, you want the blade to cut it with the greatest ease - the plastic ones don't cut so well, can jam - which really irritates the saw and the saw will throw the plastic stick at you, at high speed.
use a soft wood - pine or popular - for push sticks.
That's the issue with the long, narrow push "stick" coming in contact with the blade!
When that happens either of 2 things will occur:
It will cut into the end of the stick with no issues OR ..
It will kick back the stick jamming the handle into your palm with such severe force that it may require an ER visit. That has happened to me, and others here.
Push sticks" should be outlawed and only push shoes allowed .... JMO after 50 years of using a tablesaw.
 

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I dont know if a bazillion is more or less than a Gazillion. But I too have been cutting thin strips on a table saw for 50 years or so. I have honestly never given it much thought as to being a problem. Any time you use a table saw you need to be careful, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and use a push stick or push block to keep your fingers away from the blade. I am 63 years old and was able to type this with all 10 fingers.
 

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I use the Rockler thin rip jig. It clamps in a miter slot. It has a bearing that allows the stock to easily move while staying in contact with the stock. You need to readjust the rip fence for each cut. It works well.
yup.
but the major debate is leaving the fence "fixed" with the 'thin strip dimension' between the blade and the fence
or
moving the fence for every cut, putting the 'thin strip' on the outside of the blade, in which case you need a "stop" to establish the new fence position.

both methods work - it's a question 'and how many sausages are we making today?'

well, more major debate on 'this is safe' vs 'this is not safe' . . . but whatever...I'm left to wonder how many masks some of the experts wear to bed.
 

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Thank you, John - I'm thinking of ripping 1/2 square dowels from a 2x4.
I did consider using the cutoff from the outside of the blade ( I'm taking that to mean the side of the blade not against the fence )
ripping hundreds of pieces may be too time-consuming since I think you may have to re-adjust the fence with every cut. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
1/2" is hardly considered thin in my book. I'd set the fence at 1/2" and start ripping, I wouldn't even bother with the zero clearance insert. Just use a push stick
 

mike44
retired carpenter and farmer
Joined
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I've also done bazillions of "thin strips" - between the blade and fence.

no push sticks!

make a push block - with a push lip on the trailing bottom.
I glue the push lip on - because....
I set the blade height to cut thru the work and into the push block about 1/8"
that way you can keep the work pc and the cut off 'clamped down' and push both pieces thru until clear of the blade.

to get uniform thickness on the cut off strip the work needs to be kept tight to the fence.
as the work pc gets smaller and smaller, I use a "rub stick" to push the work against the fence, just ahead of the blade.
for thin pieces I notch the rub stick so I can both push down and against the fence.

I consider the push blocks "disposable - one time - custom made"
it's just scrap.
I glue the push lip on - if the push block is okay for another job but the push block is chopped up....cut it off and glue a new push lip on.

and while discussing push sticks . . .
those cute plastic ones that come with a saw?
throw them away before plugging in the saw.
if a push stick comes in contact with the saw blade, you want the blade to cut it with the greatest ease - the plastic ones don't cut so well, can jam - which really irritates the saw and the saw will throw the plastic stick at you, at high speed.
use a soft wood - pine or popular - for push sticks.
I bore a hole thru the push block for a 3/8" dowel. The fit has to be tight. I cut a dowel about 5" long and tap it thru the saw handle type of push block til about 3/8" or so protrudes. If the lip gets chewed up I just tap the dowel thru a bit more. I have done this with 3 push blocks and do not think I ever had to replace a dowel.
mike
 

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I use the Rockler thin rip jig. It clamps in a miter slot. It has a bearing that allows the stock to easily move while staying in contact with the stock. You need to readjust the rip fence for each cut. It works well.
The Rockler thin rip jig is a good, simple product. If you don't want to buy one, you can find many plans to make your own. There are also many variations on the basic idea.

Here is the catch:

The Rockler thin rip jig won't extend all the way to make very thin rips on several jobsite table saws. It stops about 1/4 or 3/8 inch short of the blade line. (I don't remember the exact distance.) It was true for my old Bosch jobsite saw, and I also found the same issue on the SawStop jobsite saw.

The miter slot is closer to the blade on my cabinet table saw. The Rockler thin rip jig fits it perfectly. I have been told by others with cabinet and contractor table saws that it fits their saws, too.

Link. While collecting this link, I noticed that it is 15% off right now:
https://www.rockler.com/thin-rip-tablesaw-jig
 

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The Rockler thin rip jig won't extend all the way to make very thin rips on several jobsite table saws. It stops about 1/4 or 3/8 inch short of the blade line. (I don't remember the exact distance.)
In the customer photos Jeremy L shows how to extend the slot to fix that.
 

1948
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So, thinking I may have to do this soon - I'm fairly versed at the ins and out of the table saw
and have had a few mishaps, but thankfully no injuries with kickback and small pieces of wood acting with a mind of their own.

I am thinking of picking up one of these ...


Not super looking forward to putting my hands near the blade and running my arms literally over the top,
I've done a bit of looking and it looks like this may be in fact the safest way to rip small pieces, supposedly safer than making a homemade rig like this
- also a pretty expensive piece of plastic 馃 but if it's the safest, **** it.

.. and also may be open to a different less dangerous technique if people have had success. I have a jigsaw, and also a scroll saw.
You don't need anything as elaborate as shown in the video.

A 8" wide length of 3/4" sheet goods with a hook tab at the end is all you really need. 8" is enough clearance from the blade to make me comfortable, but adjust the width to your comfort level.

A featherboard will keep the stock snug to the pusher. But this does not work well for really long pieces. I find that 36" to 48" is the maximum that I find feasible.

I would note that there are wholesale vendors of cedar strips and those are sold at a price that makes ripping lots of them unattractive.
 

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In the customer photos Jeremy L shows how to extend the slot to fix that.
Thanks! I should have thought of that when I had a jobsite saw. Allow me to point out that extending the slot reduces the strength and rigidity of the jig. I doubt it matters. Furthermore, if you are going to that trouble, you could have your own and saved your money and a trip to the Rockler store in the first place.

Rockler should have thought of it from the start. In addition, they should have fixed the problem immediately after the first reports came in. Furthermore, until they fix it, they should include a warning for jobsite table saw owners that the product won't do what they want - make thin rip cuts.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have made my own thin rip jig rather than buying the Rockler one. Since I have it, I use it on occasion. It isn't bad, but jobsite table saw owners may be surprised when they get it home.
 
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