Sign in to follow this  
Andrew Pritchard

How smooth is your cut from a table saw?

Recommended Posts

I've just had to adjust my table saw fence after I realized it was 1/8th" closer to the blade at the back than at the front. Yeah, I know - that's the dangerous one. Just counting my lucky stars I didn't get a kickback, but it certainly explains why the motor was getting bogged down on some 3" thick oak I was cutting on the weekend.

 

I've not checked the alignment of the blade yet as I wanted to get the work finished, but after I was done re-aligning the fence I did a quick comparison with the blade and looked good - especially compared to the way it was before!

 

The resulting cut is smoother, but I'm still getting saw marks on both surfaces of my work. It got me thinking, how smooth should it be? Should I expect to have to do some planing on it before I can glue up? Or should I be looking at my table saw setup again to see if I can get a smoother more accurate cut.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the blade design, how sharp it is, and how much wear is on the saws bearings. With a " Glue line Rip" blade on my UniSaw which has fairly new bearings you can barely see any saw marks . On an older saw and a average rip blade you can see the blade marks but the lightest setting possible on the jointer will take them out in one pass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with what Southwood and Steve said. I would add one other factor. The wood you are cutting can also effect the quality of the cut. If there is any internal tension being released when you cut, then one or both of the edges will show saw marks, no matter what. It will often show up as burns. Of course burns happen with dull blades as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The blade I'm using is pretty new. I bought it a few months back and I'm a weekend warrior so I don't use it a whole lot. I do remember it cutting smoother when I first got it, but I was cutting pine back so it was having to work less. Maybe I'll put it in for sharpening once the snow arrives and I can't so easily get into my barn shop. I know my cross cut blade needs some love so I'll probably get them done at the same time.

 

What recommendations do people have for glue line ripping blades, should I decide to replace my blades any time soon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a high end diablo blade, and I get the occasional board that needs some work before gluing. I normally run a hand plane over the edge anyways, just to get rid of any imperfections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a diablo blade and get glue line rips unless the board is long. Those tend to move a bit after a rip and I usually have to clean them up a little bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another one for the diablo combination blade. I wouldn't think a zci would impact saw marks, just tearout. But suffice to say, use a zci as well.

They say you only need to sand to about 120 grit for edges you are going to glue, so blade marks that aren't too severe I'd just go straight to glueing provided I can clamp them adequately.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an Irwin Marples 50 tooth combo from Lowes. Sharp and clean, it leaves a polished edge in hard woods. I'm starting to notice a little burning in deep cuts, so it is probably time to clean it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keeping your blade clean helps as well. I have a Freud glue line rip, the thin 3/32 kerf version. I use a Forrest blade stiffener unless I am ripping something thicker than 12/4 stock. A zero clearance throat plate is almost always on my saw. Constantly check the blade for square especially after changing blades or setting angles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine is a Freud 24T Ripping blade, not a Diablo one. I cleaned it a little while ago, so it's probably time for me to clean it again. I too almost always use a zci, unless I'm doing angled cuts. Not quite got round to cutting a load of blanks for zcis.

 

Now I've done all the cutting I need to do for a while so I'll probably take a look at the squareness of the blade too, and re-check the fence now I've done a little work with it after the re-alignment. Adjusting the blade can be such a pig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

If your blade is sharp and clean and square to the fence and you are still getting marks, it could be your feed rate.  A constant feed rate can be hard to achieve on longer boards (its really easy to slow down or stop when reaching for a push stick, for instance) but I find that most of my blade marks come from an inconsistent feed rate.  Also feather boards pushing your stock up against the fence, as close to the infeed side of the blade as possible, help quite a bit. 

 

I run pretty much everything over my jointer after ripping so don't worry about it too much.   If it is really important that I get a clean cut, I actually do a dry run of the cut with the saw off and the fence pushed back a little bit.   That way I can practice feeding it through, grabbing my push stick at the right time and find any problems that might get in the way.  Something as simple as some caked up dust on the fence or ZCI can be enough to slow you down and cause some marks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The quality of the cut will depend on the blade, the material, how flat the material is, the saw, whether or not the throat insert is flush and stiff, technique, etc.  If the saw is aligned well and setup properly, the right blade can make the cut extremely smooth, to where it's tough to spot the saw marks (until I stain it!).  

 

http://lumberjocks.com/knotscott/blog/12395

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this