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3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

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  • 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

    I'm an amateur with not a lot of experience with table saws, but am learning quickly and enjoying my new found hobby.

    I'm having some difficulties ripping any 3/4 MDF boards that are longer than about 16" as the board seems to get jammed on the splitter.

    When this happens I remove the splitter and take extra precautions, but generally do not like to remove safety equipment.

    When I remove the splitter I can get the wood cut, but the last 1/2 inch always worries me because I seem to get a fair amount of kickback as I guess I'm pinching the cut with the heavy long MDF rip. A note: I'm using the normal 40 tooth saw blade that came with the saw, and I have the saw teeth roughly 1/4 above the top of the MDF stock I'm cutting.

    I feel that there must be an easier way and safer way to rip 3/4 MDF without, 1 - removing the splitter, 2 - without getting the kickback.

    If possible I attempt to cross-cut it and use the miter tool, but sometimes it's like a 24" x 16" MDF board and using the miter is impossible.

    Suggestions please

    bc
    Last edited by binaryclock; 03-12-2009, 11:18 PM.

  • #2
    Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

    Check to see if the last bit of the fence is toed in towards the splitter. That's a very dangerous condition and you need to fix it before you do ANYTHING else.

    If it's not that, you need to check the splitter and make sure it's lined up properly along it's whole length with the blade. You might also want to check the splitter and make sure it's not wider than the blade (doesn't sound like your problem).
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

      Thanks for the reply.

      Well it cuts everything else without troubles, ply, spruce 2x4s, it's just the MDF board that seems to get jammed on the splitter... i'm thinking it's because it compresses hard on the splitter.

      The splitter and blade are OEM Ridgid TS3660

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

        Use your own judgement ..... But,

        Here is a pretty good page on table saw basics and tips,
        See the part about blade height. particularly about having the blade
        set to low. I agree having the blade set too low can cause kick back.
        See 1.2.1.2 Blade Height.... Refer to the picture.
        Having a blade set to low can also increase heat buildup and drag on the motor.
        Not only is the heat bad for the blade, but since the blade is already being slowed,
        and the motor is operating closer to its stall rate than necessary, kickback's are more
        likely to occur, especially with dense mdf.
        http://www.waterfront-woods.com/Arti...w/tablesaw.htm

        I find certain blades are better suited to cut mdf, laminates. Your blade may be great
        for wood, but not so great for mdf.
        Check out the blades on this page.
        http://www.freudtools.com/p-26-thick...tebr-nbsp.aspx

        My 2 cents ..

        Dave
        Last edited by Davet; 03-13-2009, 04:27 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

          Have you tried applying some wax to the splitter? If the MDF is rebounding and pinching on the splitter, some wax (Johnson's Paste Wax) may make it slippery enough for the MDF to slide over it.

          I haven't cut a lot of MDF on my 3650, but what I have cut I have never seen this problem. I usually leave my blade 1" or so over the surface. I like to have all the gullets exposed so there's no chip/sawdust problem. Keeping the gullets buried in the cut means you're not removing the sawdust as you go. That might also be part of the problem you're experiencing.
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

            Originally posted by binaryclock View Post
            Well it cuts everything else without troubles, ply, spruce 2x4s, it's just the MDF board that seems to get jammed on the splitter... i'm thinking it's because it compresses hard on the splitter.
            MDF should be very stable, and would compress on the splitter less than natural wood.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

              A piece of MDF like that will go right through the TS3660 without issue if the TS3660 is well set up/aligned...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

                the proper blade cutting height, according to freud blades, is where the upward facing surface of the workpiece intersects the midpoint of the blade teeth when each tooth is a top dead center. that allows the blade to slice through the workpiece, much as a scissors does as it cuts paper. i am unaware of any cellulose based material for whic this does not apply.
                there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

                  Originally posted by binaryclock View Post
                  I'm an amateur with not a lot of experience with table saws, but am learning quickly and enjoying my new found hobby.

                  I'm having some difficulties ripping any 3/4 MDF boards that are longer than about 16" as the board seems to get jammed on the splitter.

                  When this happens I remove the splitter and take extra precautions, but generally do not like to remove safety equipment.

                  When I remove the splitter I can get the wood cut, but the last 1/2 inch always worries me because I seem to get a fair amount of kickback as I guess I'm pinching the cut with the heavy long MDF rip. A note: I'm using the normal 40 tooth saw blade that came with the saw, and I have the saw teeth roughly 1/4 above the top of the MDF stock I'm cutting.

                  I feel that there must be an easier way and safer way to rip 3/4 MDF without, 1 - removing the splitter, 2 - without getting the kickback.

                  If possible I attempt to cross-cut it and use the miter tool, but sometimes it's like a 24" x 16" MDF board and using the miter is impossible.

                  Suggestions please

                  bc
                  BC
                  There is something bad wrong and before you use your saw again you need to find it.
                  It sounds like your fence is not parallel to your blade. It could be your blade is not parallel to the miter slots in the table also. First check and make sure you blade is within .005 of being parallel to the miter slots. Exact is better! Use the same spot on the blade an rotate it forward and measure and rotate it back and measure. Once you get that set then check to see if the fence is parallel to the blade measured from the same spot on the blade checking the distance with the point all the way forward and again all the way to the rear.
                  Lastly inspect that splitter is perfectly in line with the blade. After doing these three checks/adjustments try to make another cut. It should work perfectly.
                  Rev Ed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

                    You might read this on other posts, but I had similar problems with my saw and discovered that that splitter (on my saw at least) is wider then the 40 tooth blade that comes with the saw, hence kerf is narrower then the splitter and couldn't get the wood by the splitter. Had to buy another regular width blade to correct the problem to be able to keep the splitter on.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

                      An FYI of what I found from a user that posted on another forum:

                      "I'd been knocking my head against the wall getting the splitter aligned on my new TS3660. With the splitter aligned as well as my eyes allow I couldn't even rip a little piece of MDF as it would hang up on the splitter. Coming from a saw with a riving knife (CM 21829) I thought I was just doing something stupid in the set up. Turns out that the blade is ~0.071" while the leading edge of the splitter is ~0.086! I'm glad to find I'm not crazy! I'm surprised to see such a problem on a new saw, especially a safety problem on what should be a safety aid..."
                      That said, I'm going out to buy a new blade to replace the OEM blade today. I'll also get a digital calipier and let you know my results. Spread the word around if this is the case as this is a big safety concern.

                      bc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

                        I'm with Rev Ed on this one. I think that if the problem is the splitter thickness it would hang up when the work piece first encounters the splitter, not after 16 inches. My guess is that the fence is slightly toed in toward the blade on the back side. After the work piece has traveled past the center of the blade it starts binding and the pinching occurs. If this is the case the fix is easy. A lot of folks like to have the fence toe out (away from the blade) a few thousands just for a safety factor. I'm one of those.

                        At any rate, hunt down the problem and fix it. It's definately a safety hazard that you don't need.

                        Good hunting.

                        Blind Bill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 3/4 MDF Ripping on TS3660

                          I agree, it doesn't sound like a splitter. You would be noticing pinching on everything if it were So the obvious thing to do is take the splitter off for one cut and see if the problem goes away. But this could be dangerous so I wouldn't recommend that at all.

                          The manual for my 3650 says to set the fence up parallel to the blade. Well..... I pretty strongly disagree. My experience of butchering thousands of board feet of wood, as well as manuals from previous saws, magazine articles etc., indicate that you are much better and safer to set the the saw up so that the back of the blade is a tad further from the fence than the front - "toe out". 0.010-0.020 is a good number that I use, and you can set it with a 12" machinist's stainless steel scale. You an get these scales with 1 division = 0.010 and they're only about $15. I use my scale at least as much as the dial caliper. Much more convenient for setting blade depth, router bit depth and checking dado depths.

                          If you toe out too much, the offcut piece burns and drags.... and that's a "drag" if you were going to use it. So don't put in too much toe out. But in general the offcut isn't restrained by the fence and thus isn't quite as sensitive.

                          The reason this is better and safer than dead-nuts parallel is that wood often both curves and twists a bit on the outfeed - mostly not noticeable to your project, but both effects can push your piece into the back of the blade. That extra bit of clearance at the back allows for little wiggle room before the wood hits the teeth at the back of the blade. Which is where both burns and kickbacks come from, As well as excessive saw marks.

                          Whenever I get even a hint of burning or the saw sounds like it's laboring, or if I see crossing scratch marks on the cut surface (you do ALWAYS look a that cut quality, right?) it is inevitably due to not having the fence "toed out".

                          Good luck

                          Andy

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