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  • Table Saw Ripping Question

    Hello,

    New to the forum and new to the table saw. I purchased the Ridgid 2400 and love it so far. I am pretty comfortable with using my saw but I have a question I can't seem to get a reasonable answer on. I am building a built-in bookcase and I am preping to rip down the 4X8 ply to start building the carcass. Trouble is that after meausing 12 ways from Sunday I don't believe my $40 sheet is perfectly square as provided from the factory. Obviously if you put a wavy edge up against the fence your result will be a wavy cut or worse....Is there a tip/technique that can be suggested that can be used to ensure cutting a straight edge? Can anyone suggest a good book that would cover solving problems such as this? One suggestion I received was to attach a straight edge to the sheet to use as a guide against the fence but I don't know about that....

    Any suggestions would be great and thanks in advance for the help.
    Rick

  • #2
    Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

    If you have a router you can use it to square up one edge. Once that's done you'll need to use that edge as the one you place against the fence.

    Jointing With A Router
    ================================================== ====
    ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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    • #3
      Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

      ricky frist let me welcome you to the board,

      i know you have a new table saw but with out out feed tables and such and with little skill on a table saw you might be better off trying this, take a straight board that is long enough and clamp it down on your ply and use an every day skil saw to make this with the side of the base against the clamped board. then use your table saw to trim it to it's final size. it may seem like double the work but it is much safer and the smaller size will be easyer to handle.
      also do not forget to put a good blade in there as the stock blade is nothing to write home about.

      also don't forget to post some photos of your work!!!
      9/11/01, never forget.

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      • #4
        Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

        RickyH -

        Welcome to the forum. I've used a Clamp'N'Guide to make a straight edge on plywood with a circular saw.

        - djb
        sigpic

        A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

        Restore the Republic.

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        • #5
          Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

          measure the ply board from corner to corner to see if it is square, and if not then the 3,4,5 method will probly help you get it square, and then clamp on a straight edge and trim the offending edge with a skill saw or router (with a straight cut bit), to edge it.

          or it may be easier to cut it to width and then square the smaller narrow pieces, with a farming square,

          if one long is is not cut straight, and the other is use the straight one and saw from that edge.
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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          • #6
            Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

            I've always found it much easier to use a straight edge guide (board or one of the suggested commercial guides [I use a board]) to cut the sheet down to a nominal size, using my hand-held circular saw. Then as OSC mentioned, you can use the table saw to trim it down to the final size.

            IMO, this is much safer than trying to handle a full 4 x 8 sheet of stock. Otherwise you're likely to have it bind and possibly kick back on you. While a well fitted shop might have full extensions on they're table saw, to handle such stock, most of us simply don't have the room or the luxury of a full-time set-up.

            When you have a piece of stock that needs an edge cleaned up, the router table becomes indispensible when used like jointer. Likewise if you don't have a real jointer or even a router table, that "straight board" can again be used with a router to put a clean edge on the stock, like Badger Dave has previously noted.

            I hope this helps,

            CWS
            Last edited by CWSmith; 09-19-2007, 01:26 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

              I built 2 sawhorses just for the purpose of ripping large plywood stock. I built them to be the same height as my TS. I place one in front and 1 in back to support the stock as I feed it. That and featherboards, especially one on the fence to keep the stock down, makes it manageable to rip.
              As a plus, I prefer using sawhorses at this height. They come in handy for a lot of things. Most sawhorses are usually shorter.
              www.TheWoodCellar.com

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              • #8
                Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                I've always found it much easier to use a straight edge guide (board or one of the suggested commercial guides [I use a board]) to cut the sheet down to a nominal size, using my hand-held circular saw. Then as OSC mentioned, you can use the table saw to trim it down to the final size.

                IMO, this is much safer than trying to handle a full 4 x 8 sheet of stock. Otherwise you're likely to have it bind and possibly kick back on you.
                Good point, CWSmith. I should have clarified that the reason I use a Clamp'N'Guide to cut plywood is to get a piece down to a reasonable size I can safely work with in my small shop (OK, my garage).

                - djb
                Last edited by djb; 09-19-2007, 03:27 PM.
                sigpic

                A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                Restore the Republic.

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                • #9
                  Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                  Yup, same here - my $.02 - use a straight edge and a circular saw
                  “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace” - Thomas Paine

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                  • #10
                    Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                    Even with a table saw, for the 4'x 8' sheets of plywood, etc, I use the saw service at my local building supply store. They've got the panel saw that cuts a straight line that's square with the bottom.

                    Bob M.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                      Whenever I buy full sheets, I get them to put it on the panel saw in the store and cut a 1/4" strip off the long side. That creates a perfectly straight edge.

                      Next I get them to turn the sheet 180 degrees, so it rests on the newly cut edge and cut a 1/4" strip off the short side. That gives me two perfectly straight edges at exact 90 degrees to each other.

                      There is no charge for this at the local HD, they have even done this for me on sheets I got from somewhere else.
                      Frank sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                        You are assuming that the panel saw at HD is setup properly. I dont have such faith.
                        www.TheWoodCellar.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                          Welcome Ricky,

                          As others have stated, one of the best and safest ways, is to use a straight-edge and circular saw to rough-cut the pieces to size. That way you can make the 2 long edges parallel, and then cut them to finished size on your table saw. Once you have the pieces rough-cut to size, then square the ends to the long sides.

                          May I suggest too, that you get a couple of roller bearing stands to support the sheet as it feed through the saw blade on the out-feed side of the saw table.

                          Good luck, and please post some pics of your project progess!
                          Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
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                          • #14
                            Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                            Whenever I buy sheet goods at HD I figure out my cutting plan for the sheet and have HD use there panel saw to cut it to manageable sizes within my cutting plan. When I get it home I do all the finish cuts on my table saw.
                            SSG, U.S. Army
                            Retired
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                            • #15
                              Re: Table Saw Ripping Question

                              Originally posted by TOD View Post
                              Whenever I buy sheet goods at HD I figure out my cutting plan for the sheet and have HD use there panel saw to cut it to manageable sizes within my cutting plan. When I get it home I do all the finish cuts on my table saw.
                              I'd say that is the way to go.

                              Also, ask how much some of the lumber yards in your area charge for delivery.
                              I was shocked when I asked one place. Free delivery on all purchases within a certain area! And this place's prices are competitive.
                              www.TheWoodCellar.com

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