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Cutting thick stock in half?

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  • Cutting thick stock in half?

    Is it safe to cut stock that is thicker than your blade in half? I have a few pieces of cedar ties that are thicker than my 10" saw blade so it would have to be cut on one side and then the other.

    I have second thoughts about this, as it is not me doing the cutting but a friend that wants them.

    Is it a safe procedure? i would be worried about kick back.

  • #2
    Re: Cutting thick stock in half?

    I have done it many times, safety is a big issue. If you do it be very careful, and it does ware down your blade quicker, however Cedar might not. Burning is another factor, judge your speed very careful. Cedar ties, if you have a metal detector run it over your wood, you do not want to hit a nail on your saw, you might not think there is any nails there, but do you really want to take that chance. Also this is a good way to tell if your blade is at a true 90 degree. I'm not telling you to go a head and do it, this is all up to you, safe cutting my friend.
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    • #3
      Re: Cutting thick stock in half?

      If you decide to do this, be sure to use a true ripping blade. You are removing a lot of wood in a confined cut. A good, sharp, 24 tooth blade is the best way to go.
      Combination (or general purpose) blades have too many teeth and will clog and cause binding/loading problems.


      • #4
        Re: Cutting thick stock in half?

        Be sure that you run the same edge against the fence when making both cuts. If you don't, chances are very good that the two cuts will be a little off from each other.
        I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


        • #5
          Re: Cutting thick stock in half?

          i take it that you don't have a bandsaw.

          most smaller bandsaws will resaw 6'' high and a riser kit will give you 12''. plus it also removes much less stock than a saw blade.

          what is the dimesion of the stock you're cutting, and how much

          is a chain saw out of the question?

          phoebe it is


          • #6
            Re: Cutting thick stock in half?

            The method you describe is the one I use for resawing boards up to 7" wide. It is the safest way to resaw a relatively thin board on a TS. Two tips:
            1. Set the height of your blade just a little bit less than 1/2 the thickness of the board. After you make both cuts (keeping the same face against the fence as Badger Dave said), finish splitting it with either a sharp chisel, or with something as prone to rip as cedar, cut the little bit remaining with a hand saw. You will have to flatten the surface with a chisel, plane, planer, sander, etc before cutting a second slice off.
            2. Make sure the face against the fence is flat. If is is bowed, it will cause the blade to warp or cause the work to pinch between the blade and fence. Either way, damage to the saw, the wood or more importantly you (this can cause kickback) will most likely happen.
            3. Use a full kerf blade if you have one. A thin kerf (especially the stock ridgid blade) may start to follow the wood grain, which will bind and warp the blade. I had it warp out over 1/8' between top and base resawing some treated lumber!!). If you hear any unusual saw noise, or it starts to get hard to push, shut off the saw and after it stops, remove the work from the saw to see what is going wrong.
            4. It helps to have a featherboard in front of the blade to help keep the work up against the fence as you start and continue the cut.

            By leaving the little center strip, you have no loose piece of wood to kick back from the offcut side, and it also keeps your hands above and away from the blade. I use this method even when resawing 3" or less boards, especially if they have any length to them, if I am going to cut off less than an inch thick strip, because it is safer than trying to wedge a push stick between the fence and the blade.



            PS Save the cedar chips. Put in a small cloth bag, they will add that "cedar chest" aroma to any drawer or chest when you are storing clothes or blankets for a while. Plane shavings work very well for this.
            Practicing at practical wood working