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Tablesaw Tips and Tricks

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Ripping guide steadies rough-edged stock

Ripping guide steadies rough-edged stock

Do you need a safe, secure way to rip lumber with one rough edge? This ripping guide costs next to nothing, and it keeps lumber tight against the fence.

To start, cut the 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 10" ripping guide from a piece of smooth hardwood, such as maple. Then, put a dado blade in your tablesaw, tilt it to 20, and rip the angled rabbet as shown in the drawing at left. Finish the guide by chiseling or sanding a slight bevel on the infeed end of the rabbet. This prevents the guide from snagging on splinters or rough edges of the stock.

To use the ripping guide, hold the rabbet against the rough edge of the board on the left side of the blade and about 4" behind the leading edge of the blade, where shown in the drawing at left. Push the workpiece snugly against the fence and feed the wood into the blade. Keep the ripping guide and your hand stationary as you feed the workpiece into the saw blade. Don't move the guide with the wood, always keep it at least 4" in front of the blade.

-- Allen Ulrich, McClure, Ohio

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Comments (11)
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bakerallen1 wrote:

I have a pair of grip tite featherboards that do the same thing. Because they attach to the table top with a magnet you have no need to put your hand any where near the blade. These are extremely versatile tools. I wouldn't part with mine.

1/1/2012 08:31:12 AM Report Abuse
ZekFussel wrote:

Add a angled handle, lostaways to do it. Line the inside of the slot w/an abrasive. Hand drawn picture could have had a guard Ghosted but was not necessary for the illustration.

2/4/2011 09:57:45 AM Report Abuse
millham wrote:

Allen Ulrich's tip is excellent, doable, and safe - for any careful handyman. The best safety device is your head. Use it. Buy the best tools you can afford, learn how to use them safely, and enjoy them. - MORE DELETIONS NECESSARY - I am 76 years old, have all my fingers, my vision, and my hearing and can still keep occupied in my shop. You can call me lucky, if you like!

1/9/2011 12:45:15 AM Report Abuse
keithc21208 wrote:

This is used to hold the uneven / rough edge while pushing the stock through the blade. Once you have the block set, it doesn't move it pushes the stock tight to the fence not the stock through the SAW.as stated, this it for UNEVEN edges. I am thinking where a featherboard would 'skip low spots in the edge.

1/6/2011 11:04:24 AM Report Abuse
Phellis wrote:

When all else fails, read the directions...

10/21/2010 12:47:02 PM Report Abuse
papamoe1 wrote:

All you guys need to go back and reread.You sure didn't pay attendion when you read the first time.

10/15/2010 08:07:20 AM Report Abuse
bojinks1 wrote:

The item missing here is the blade guard

7/29/2010 10:12:58 AM Report Abuse
Woodburner wrote:

If you fellas read this correctly you will see that you don't get the left hand near the blade. Nor do you push on the already cut rough edge of the board. Reread the last paragraph, please. Leo

7/23/2010 03:35:27 PM Report Abuse
jtalbotjr wrote:

I would make something from a foot or so of a 1/8 by 1" piece of wood with a lot of "spring" and use it similar to a feather board, screwed to a block clamped to the saw table. Hands free and finger safe!

7/22/2010 02:21:09 PM Report Abuse
aamyot wrote:

I forsee two safety issues with this one if the guide nears the blade 1) It might bind the offcut against the blade 2) Holding a loose piece of wood that contacts the blade is highly dangerous

5/7/2010 01:50:59 PM Report Abuse
summerspa wrote:

How about slightly curving the notched side and routing the rabbet along the curve so you are less likely to catch a rough edge against the end of the guide?

5/6/2010 07:00:01 PM Report Abuse

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