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Thread: table saw for making cutting boards?

  1. #1
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    table saw for making cutting boards?

    I've decided I want to crank out tons of cutting boards.

    I'll need a good consistent way of ripping short lengths of boards all day.

    Would a contractor saw be ok for this or do I need something more on the professional/cabinet level?

  2. #2
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    If I was going to do this, I'd probably go for a short stroke slider if the budget allows.

    These are nice for allowing you to be a little out of square with your glue ups and then you can trim to square without needing straight edge to work from. You lock the piece on the slider to make the trim adjustment and then cut using the slide mechanism.

    Other than that, any saw with a home built cross cut sled will do the trick.

    I made this on my SawStop, this was my first woodworking project.


  3. #3
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    As Chris stated, any table saw that doesn't have a worn arbor and with a good blade would work. For the sled, I'd got to youtube and view William Ng's table saw sled video. I made one and its accurate, really accurate.
    Ken

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sommers View Post
    I've decided I want to crank out tons of cutting boards.

    I'll need a good consistent way of ripping short lengths of boards all day.

    Would a contractor saw be ok for this or do I need something more on the professional/cabinet level?
    Brian, just curious but I presume you’re going to sell these? There are lots for sale online so I was wondering if you found a particular market for them.

    As others have said any saw will work but a 3 hp cabinet saw will probably stand up to long sessions cutting hardwoods better than a contractor saw.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    If I was going to do this, I'd probably go for a short stroke slider if the budget allows.

    These are nice for allowing you to be a little out of square with your glue ups and then you can trim to square without needing straight edge to work from. You lock the piece on the slider to make the trim adjustment and then cut using the slide mechanism.

    Other than that, any saw with a home built cross cut sled will do the trick.

    I made this on my SawStop, this was my first woodworking project.

    That is beautiful- good job!
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    If I was going to do this, I'd probably go for a short stroke slider if the budget allows.

    These are nice for allowing you to be a little out of square with your glue ups and then you can trim to square without needing straight edge to work from. You lock the piece on the slider to make the trim adjustment and then cut using the slide mechanism.

    Other than that, any saw with a home built cross cut sled will do the trick.

    I made this on my SawStop, this was my first woodworking project.


    Hi Chris
    Ummm.. that's pretty impressive for a first woodworking project,,,and you had a Sawstop at that point...there's more to this story.
    Tom

  7. #7
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    I would like to see a current picture of this cutting board. Also not sure what you are trying to say “and you had a Sawstop at that point.. what does that mean? Your surprised that someone would buy a cabinet saw for their first saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Hi Chris
    Ummm.. that's pretty impressive for a first woodworking project,,,and you had a Sawstop at that point...there's more to this story.
    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Lebanon, TN
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    I have a Shopsmith for about 25 years, didn't really use it for anything significant. I knew the wife would be retiring in the next 3 to 5 years and as she was the major bread winner, I knew it was time to start building a workshop of better tools while we still have the funds. Hence the SawStop purchase (good job I was oblivious to Felder).

    The board was more simple than it looks, just looks a bit of thinking. All the Purpleheart is cut in 1.5" square blocks. I cut the Maple to 1.25" and glued two 1/8" strip of Walnut on each side. Then it was just a matter of cutting it 4.5" wide and a few at 1.5".

    I ran all the piece through my drum sanded to get to the exact 1.5" thickness between the Purpleheart and Maple/Walnut.

    It came together better than I expected.

    The picture above was 1 of 3 cutting boards I made at the same time, This was the second one, but all completed over a two day period


  9. #9
    If your really talking about all day and strips your best bet is a good heavy cabinet saw equipped with a comatic dc70 feeder and a super ridgid fence. No slider or manual saw will ever compete and your hands will be well away from the blade at all time, cuts will be blazing fast and glue up ready straight off the saw. Blade life will be the longest. And so on. Operator fatigue will be nearly nothing.

    And again, you'll have fingers at the end of the week

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sommers View Post
    I've decided I want to crank out tons of cutting boards.

    I'll need a good consistent way of ripping short lengths of boards all day.

    Would a contractor saw be ok for this or do I need something more on the professional/cabinet level?
    Brian

    A contractor saw is more than capable of making some very nice project, and as said with a sled, or combination of sleds, you can make consistent, repetetive cuts, that are as accurate as the amouunt of effort and time you put in to making the sled(s).

    The problem comes with making "tons" of cutting boards.
    How much is "tons"?
    A contractor saw is not a "production" machine,neither is a smaller cabinet saw for that matter. A slider might begin to do it, depending on scale.
    If this machine is going to run for hours per day, and cut thousands of linear feet of material per day, you're looking much, much, higher up the scale. Depending on the value of "tons", you're not really even looking at a "table saw", you're looking at a straight line, gang, rip saw. This machine will start out at $10K and go up. That's just for the ripping operation. The cross cut will be done on an auto feeding jump saw.
    If you have the time, and you're serious, start out on a smaller scale and see where this venture takes you. You're still looking at two cabinet style saws to begin with,minimum. One for the rips, and one for the cross cut. Once you get those saws set up, you won't want to be constantly swapping them over. You'll loose accuracy,
    and waste time.
    That being said, used is your friend. There is no shortage of very powerful machines on the used market in your area. Big, heavy, powerful, machines. Not smaller Unisaws, and the like.

    I have a 25 year old Jet contractor saw, and I've produced some wonderful projects on it. It's not the saw, it's what you're asking of it.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  11. #11
    A SLR and its space, power, and DC, requirements is a long way from someone asking if a contractors saw would do the job lol. Im envisioning pipe clamps, or worse, parallel clamps, in an average shop/garage, trying to pound out cutting boards in the small/hobby shop style. Contemplating a SLR I highly doubt anyone would have the down-stream clamp carousels, glue spreaders, and so on, to handle the through-put an SLR is capable of. For one or two people cranking out boards considering a contractors saw, a good used 5HP cabinet saw with a feeder will bury them in more parts than they have clamps and drying time to put together in just an hour or two of operation.

    $500 for a used PM66 or similar, scrap the fence, 1800 for a feeder an some urethane wheels, a scab of box tubing and two heavy C clamps, $300 for three or four heavy plate full kerf blades to keep in rotation for sharpening, and a dust blower to shoot the material out the door into the mrs' flower beds, and your off to the races. Hopefully $25 in clear profit at least per board and your equipment is paid off at 120-150 boards lol.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  12. #12
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    Mark

    Anything but the smallest SLR is not something I'd expect to see in small shop. It was just to give Brian an idea of where the scale could end up depending on "tons".
    We used to have a large lumber supplier in CT, and they also did "tons" of custom cabinet work. His "bread and butter" though, was making pallet material. His SLR was 3,or 4, times the size of an airport x ray machine and kind of looked like one. Push a board in one end, and out the other end came multiple streams of linear feet of pallet material, or runners. He used to make enough material to process the waste into wood stove pellets, and sell that too. I always liked going up there just to watch that machine run. When that machine was running, and the jump saw to cut to length, it kept three or four guys moving.
    WoodMaster used to make a machine, or machine accessory, that could perform gang rips. I don't know how close the blades could be positioned, or how many it could accommodate at one time, but that's an option for a small operation.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
    Yes, my point exactly. Even a modest SLR is going to take up 36 sq' of space minimum, 3 phase, and may, or may not, produce glue line rips all day long and unless you have the downstream to support it its a waste to even think about.

    That was my point that for the cost of a new contractor saw which will be pitiful and likely cost you your fingers you could likely pickup a used cabinet saw. Add a feeder and youll blow out more glue-up-ready rips in an hour or two than a couple guys can assemble and finish in a day all with a 30a single phase receptacle. But agreed. If there were money in cutting boards Id be glue line SLR, optimizing cutoff, massive clamp carousel, planer, wide belt, and line of mexicans or high school kids and a dip tank of mineral oil and wax.

    The realm of "lots" is pretty well quantified with the contemplation of a contractors saw ;-)
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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