Cutting Boards Tutorial (Page 2 of 7)
Written by: Mike Schwing

First, some important things..

You will be cutting multiple thin strips on the table saw. This is DANGEROUS, but can be done safely. You may be tempted to work with workpieces that are too small to cut safely, please take the time to ensure that doesn't happen.

Some prerequisites:

1. Accurate table saw fence. The process will include repeated cutting of thin strips of wood in widths as small as 1/32". Each strip will increment in width by an additionial 1/32" for a widest strip of 18/32" (or whatever you want it to be).  You must have a fence that can read accurately in 1/32" increments!

2. Accurately aligned table saw fence! The strips that come off of the table saw must be glue ready with no further prep - they're too thin to join, so they must not be burned or nicked at all. Hard maple burns a bit more easily than other woods and glue won't stick to burned wood well. My fence is aligned to within .001" front to back of the blade.

3. Sharp, accurate saw blade. The better your blade, the better your strips will come off of the saw. Tiny little nicks along the edge will make for gaps in your glue ups. I use a Forrest Woodworker II. I used to use a Freud Diablo. It worked well, but not NEARLY as well as the WWII.

4. Clean wide, wood. Ideally, you would be working with wood at least 12" wide, but it gets hard to find sometimes. The wood needs to be as wide as the total needed for the strips, plus the total of the saw kerfs you will cut. For me and my 3/32" blade, that means I need clean, clear wood 8 1/2" wide. Onto that I glue a wider strip of wood so I have something to hold onto. Like this...

5. Walnut dust can be hazardous. It makes me sneezy and sniffly for a day or two if I don't wear a good dust mask when I cut these strips. You'll generate a WHOLE LOT of sawdust doing this.

TIP: Its just as easy to make 2 boards while you have everything set up.

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