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Thread: Ripping on the sliding table saw - use original fence or 3rd party parallel?

  1. #1

    Ripping on the sliding table saw - use original fence or 3rd party parallel?

    Hi everyone --

    I've never used a sliding table saw, but will be getting one in the next year. I've read a lot and been in touch with at least one equipment vendor, and am designing a new shop layout.

    I hardly use sheet goods, except perhaps for some jigs/fixtures, and in that case, I'd be using smaller pieces. My interest in a slider is related to safety, accuracy, and repeatability.

    Since I'll be handling lumber 99% of the time, I wanted to ask members with more experience than I, what approach they take for ripping lumber on the slider. Some say that when dealing with long pieces and/or requiring pieces that match exactly, that the original fence is preferred. There is also the issue of binding when using the original fence.

    Others state that the original fence can flex, get sawdust near it, etc., and so that the fence is not that accurate, and they prefer either shop-made or 3rd party parallel fences, i.e. on the sliding portion of the saw. Then there is the question of how you get that first straight edge if you're only using a parallel fence.

    I think the original fence will have a wider ripping capacity than add-on parallel fences, but that's probably not an issue for me, since you can still get out to 24" to 26" with a parallel fence from a vendor such as Lamb.


    Thanks in advance --

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    53,231
    Most of my ripping on my slider uses the wagon...straight lining first followed by parallel ripping using a Fritz and Franz jig. I do rip some smaller stuff or quickie things that don't need the cleaner edge that comes with using the wagon using the rip fence, but I prefer to use the wagon and it keeps my hands farther away from the sharp, spinning, hungry thing...

    I treat my slider as a slider and try best not to use it like a North American style cabinet saw which is is not.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    If you're ripping solid lumber, parallel cutting attachments (whether OEM or aftermarket) aren't going to be that much help, since the lumber is usually narrower than the width of the slider. Where parallel-cutting devices ARE useful is for sheet stock that is narrow, but long. In my experience, assuming the rip fence is adjusted correctly to the main sawblade and not toed-in, you won't experience any of those issues when using it to rip solid stock. Things like Board Buddies are helpful there. Hope this helps,

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  4. #4
    Straightlining is typically independent of any fence although you can use the stock crosscut fence and a parallel jig on the other end of the carriage for reference. A ripping shoe and/or clamps are handy at this stage.

    I rip on the carriage sometimes, more now that I have a Fritz and Fans setup with scales and stops. Fritz, Frans, ripping shoe.jpg I tend to use the standard rip fence most often out of habit and for simplicity. It's the only option when ripping pieces longer than the carriage. I set it back to the center of the blade when rough ripping lumber to allow for deflection/ stress relief. My carriage is only 11" wide so it's a bit easier to lean over it than some saws.

  5. #5
    Thanks very much to everyone who replied - really appreciate it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southeastern PA
    Posts
    136
    I recently upgraded from a 5'6" slider to a 10' slider and when I did, I built a Fritz and Franz jig thanks to the suggestions from this group. Since then, 99.9% of ripping is done on the sliding carriage. When I had the shorter slider, there were too many boards I couldn't rip on the shorter table, so I used the rip fence. I can't think of a time where I needed to rip anything longer than 10'. My F&F jig is 16" wide but I'd say 90% of the time I'm ripping with it, the boards are 6" or narrower.

    If I have anything wider than 16", I usually just put it against the normal fence on the outrigger table, given that 16" and bigger gives me enough length to get me a good cut using the outrigger fence.

    In the year I've had the 10' saw, I remember ripping on the rip fence once. I can't remember the reason why I had to do it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,564
    I have an 8 1/2' slider. Most of my shorter/smaller rips are done with a F&F jig, and longer rips are done using the width stop on the crosscut fence at the top and a parallel positioner at the rear. My PP is made from an Incra LS positioner. I do use the rip fence occasionally, but not often. If I have an oddball rip I'm not comfortable doing on the slider I'll generally use the PM65 cabinet saw (for example, a rabbet with the dado stack, or a long groove).

  8. #8
    I rip using either the sliding table and the rip fence, depending on the work flow. You can make you own parallel rip guide for the sliding table with DIY wooden T-nut, scrap woods, etc. before you spend money on a 3rd party parallel guide.

    Clamps are very helpful.

    For sliding table rip operation, either a flip stop + a parallel guide or 2 parallel guides, clamp down the work piece, and rip. Rinse and repeat. Small pieces get the F&F jig, which acts as clamps.
    For rip-fence rip, lock the sliding table, and rip standing facing the side of the blade (not at the in-feed end) and use push stick. As work piece exits the blade, left hand can stabilize the piece against the out-feed side of the rip fence. The blade is covered with the overhead dust hood, so no fingers wandering near the blade. I use this method for shorter pieces.

    Oh, straight line rip rough stock is with the edging shoe and the sliding table. Clamps if necessary.

    For thin stock rips, I use the band saw then planer to get to final thickness or sacrificial push stick and the rip fence.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    53,231
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    If you're ripping solid lumber, parallel cutting attachments (whether OEM or aftermarket) aren't going to be that much help, since the lumber is usually narrower than the width of the slider. Where parallel-cutting devices ARE useful is for sheet stock that is narrow, but long. In my experience, assuming the rip fence is adjusted correctly to the main sawblade and not toed-in, you won't experience any of those issues when using it to rip solid stock. Things like Board Buddies are helpful there. Hope this helps,
    I rarely take issue with anything you say, Erik, but here my personal experience is that ripping with parallel guides/Fritz & Franz is very effective and provides a nearly "perfect" edge compared to use the rip fence. Yes, for long narrow rips like sub-two inches, the fence is a bit easier...I'll agree with you on that...and using the guides isn't as fast as using the rip fence. But I try to rip for quality rather than speed since I'm creating components with the saw...I don't tend to go back to the jointer as a result of that quality cut on the wagon..
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Jim,

    This is exactly what I'm trying to sort out, partially because the slider I'm considering requires 14' side-to-side in its largest format. I'm trying to see if I can reduce that footprint by getting a smaller outfeed table, or not using one at all. I've got 11.5' to work with, so it will be pretty tight.

  11. #11
    I decide how every rip is done on a case by case basis. Pulling the fence forward of the blade will eliminate binding and make clearing the blade much safer. As said earlier, thinner rips are usually better done with the rip fence. More unwieldy stuff usually gets clamped to the carriage. The biggest problem I've seen, imo, are guys treating the saw like it's just a cabinet saw with a big miter gauge. It's almost embarrassing watching two guys struggle to muscle larger panels over the top of the cross cut fence because they refuse to learn a better way.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ouray Colorado
    Posts
    956
    I have a straight line rip so my slider gets used for mostly solid wood joinery work. I use the parallel fence when high precision is needed on mitered pieces or parts that cannot be sized at the planer. To me the parallel fence would be too much setup for every rip. I use a simple F&F for a lot of rips using the rip fence pulled back as a bump stop. Here is a Instagram post showing ripping out small 5mm X 5mm glass beads using this method. Swipe right to see the ripping.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B5nULujg...d=au6fnuttkeh4

    Narrow and wide mitered parts can be done using the parallel stops. Here is cutting some thin mitered barnwood edges for a door.
    E44CE3D6-35A6-469F-8513-5D9F30D1892D.jpg
    5F839266-A790-4D2C-BC47-508249F87D49.jpg
    014A88EE-3AD3-4E18-B262-462141910525.jpg
    Last edited by Joe Calhoon; 07-03-2020 at 6:00 AM.

  13. #13
    That’s a great idea with the fence as a bump stop on the glass beed.

    I’ve always just used sliders to cut two clean edges, I then use rip fence to get my width then back to crosscut to get my length, on big parts or sheet stock that is. On small stuff like that mitered door skin I can usually just pull that off on a regular cabinet saw with or without feather boards or the slider form that matter not on the carriage. And or the shaper but that’s a lot of work for a few rips..

    I may be not in the know with the parallel fences having never used them but it seems like way to much setup for something that can be done by just using the rip fence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Calhoon View Post
    I have a straight line rip so my slider gets used for mostly solid wood joinery work. I use the parallel fence when high precision is needed on mitered pieces or parts that cannot be sized at the planer. To me the parallel fence would be too much setup for every rip. I use a simple F&F for a lot of rips using the rip fence pulled back as a bump stop. Here is a Instagram post showing ripping out small 5mm X 5mm glass beads using this method. Swipe right to see the ripping.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B5nULujg...d=au6fnuttkeh4

    Narrow and wide mitered parts can be done using the parallel stops. Here is cutting some thin mitered barnwood edges for a door.
    E44CE3D6-35A6-469F-8513-5D9F30D1892D.jpg
    5F839266-A790-4D2C-BC47-508249F87D49.jpg
    014A88EE-3AD3-4E18-B262-462141910525.jpg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    53,231
    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Otter View Post
    Jim,

    This is exactly what I'm trying to sort out, partially because the slider I'm considering requires 14' side-to-side in its largest format. I'm trying to see if I can reduce that footprint by getting a smaller outfeed table, or not using one at all. I've got 11.5' to work with, so it will be pretty tight.

    I cut my outfeed table down by 16" because the 50" or so caused a space issue in my shop because of an unfortunately located stairway. Once I did that, I could keep my outrigger on full time and not have to crawl under it...which is not something I enjoy with my knees/hips at this point in my life. (Note: this panoramic photo makes the shop space look a LOT more generous than it really is...)

    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    10,036
    As others have said the conventional rip fence works well and can do long/short and low/high.

    I also use a F&F jig or an edging shoe for straight line rip and parallel or non parallel ripping......Regards, Rod.

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