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Cutting Thin Strips on Your Tablesaw - WOOD magazine



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an issue 208 of wood magazine we feature

this little keepsake box that required

us to cut a series of thin strips each

1/16 inch thicker than the previous one

now to safely cut thin strips you need

to take into account a few extra setup

and safety requirements you can't just

drop your table saw at 1/16 inch and

expect to cut those strips safely you'll

get some explosive kickback there I'm

going to show you two methods to safely

rip thin strips in this case just 1/16

of an inch then I'll show you how we

take a stack up sixteenth inch strips

and use them to make the progressively

wider cuts used in our keepsake box

first thing we're going to do is create

a set of sixteenth inch thin strip

gauges and we're going to cut those all

off of this one board and the way we do

that is we set our fence to a known size

in this case we're going to use about

two and a half inches and you want to

get dial this in as accurately as you

can get it right on the right on the

needle there

you

and then the next step is we're going to

bump this over to slice a sixteenth inch

strip off of the off cut side here and

so to do that we bump it over a

sixteenth plus the kerf of our blade and

because I'm using a full kerf eight inch

blade we're going to bump this over 3/16

there you have a sixteenth inch strip

and we can check this the accuracy of

this if you want and that's pretty close

if you need to make adjustments go ahead

and try again you got plenty of board

here and then the next step is to just

cross cut this up into smaller strips in

our case for our incremented pattern we

need eight

okay now I've ripped my sixteenth inch

strip into eight different gauges and we

know they are pretty accurate because a

stack of them is coming out to 0.5 now

to set up to rip the thin strips we're

going to

lower our blade move our fence onto the

left side

raise our blade back up just so and then

we're going to take our thin strips and

a stop block and use these to set our

fans now if we just wanted to repeatedly

rip say sixteenth inch strips we'd use

one of our strips bring the stop block

up to it get it tight but not so tight

that it flexes the blade and one a

little little play in there

okay and then we're going to pull the

stop block back behind the blade so

we're not getting our heart pinched

and then we're going to tape that in

place against the fence

now we're going to move our fence back

into place

and simply

position that against the fence and

against the stop block here

and there's 1/16 inch strip and then you

just simply repeat that process blank

against the stop block fence against the

blank and make as many sixteenth inch

strips as you need

now if you want to do the progressively

larger thin strips increasing in size by

1/16 each time the wind gay as it goes

this way the maple as it goes this way

that's where you can use all eight of

your thin gauges I'll show you how to do

that okay once again we're going to

start with the fence on the left side of

the blade we are going to sandwich this

time we're going to sandwich all eight

strips between the blade and the stop

block make sure the teeth are engaged

with those and then slide the fence

against that and get it snug but not so

snug with the blade flexes like so

again we're going to tape that stop

block down move our fence to the

opposite side and this time we're going

to take our blank our gauges eliminate

one so you have seven sandwich those

between the blank and the stop block and

then move your fence up to that so

that's snug and remove your gauge blocks

and now your fence is set pick out a 16

inch strip

for your next cut you use only six six

of the gauges

and now you're set up for an eight inch

cut five for 3/16 inch cut

four strips for a quarter-inch cut three

strips pinched cut or a 5/16 inch cut

two strips for a three-eighths inch cut

one strip for a 7/16 inch cut and

finally zero strips for a half-inch cut

and to do the Maples strips you just

repeat the process from the beginning

and there you have thin strips cut

safely on the table saw and our blank is

ready for a glue up