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Quick, simple ripping blocks

This pair of handheld blocks will provide an added measure of safety and even increase your productivity.

Cutting wedges and ripping thin strips rank among the more dangerous tasks you can perform on a tablesaw. Our two ripping blocks add a measure of safety to these operations, plus you only position the fence once to make multiple pieces.

You can build these from any flat pieces of scrapwood. Just follow the guidelines given in the drawing at the bottom of the page. To make the handle, cut out and enlarge the handle pattern provided in the link below. And don't neglect to add the keepers on the blade side of the handle of each block. These prevent the cut pieces from kicking back.

To use either block, set the distance from the fence to the inside edge of the blade equal to the width of the rear of the block. Place the workpiece in the notch in the block, and push it and the block together past the blade. With the fence in the same position, repeat the cutting operations for any number of identical wedges or thin strips.

ripping blocks

ripping blocks

Photographs: Hetherington Photography Illustration: Roxanne LeMoine

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