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Thread: First time got perfect crosscuts and rips

  1. #1
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    First time got perfect crosscuts and rips

    I know it's not much but it did make me very happy so wanted to share.


    Last year November my workshop finally got completed. Post that I have been spending most of my time on painting and doing DIY updates to the house. In parallel I started building a TV cabinet. Decided to make it out of maple. Glued and flattened up the panels and reached the stage where I have to cut them to size. Console is going to be 48"x18"x16". My normal way of cutting panels to size is rip the long sides on table saw (previously had a jobsite saw), and then making them straight using a hand plane. Then I use a circular saw to crosscut the panels to length, followed by truing them up using a hand plane. I dread this part. As part of shop build, I upgraded to a SawStop and I expect it to do everything for me (10x the price of the jobsite saw it replaced).

    Started with ripping the panels and quickly got disappointed with the quality of the cut. Edges were all burnt. Switched from the blade that came with SawStop to Freud Premium Fusion, and cuts became a little better. Switched to Glue line rip blade and cuts became way better. Tried few more test cuts and realized I was pushing the wood too slow, and that's what was causing the burning. Got the panels ripped and checked them with straight edge - that was the first moment of happiness - edges were true and clean. No touch ups with hand plane required to make them straight.

    Then came cross cuts. Short edges of panels were uneven after glue up. Thought to make them straight and true using a circular saw and hand plane. This is the part I dread most. Then there was the problem of cutting the panels to 48" width. My SawStop is of 36" capacity. Tried fiddling with cut using miter gauge, but the bar is 18" so that did not work. This is when I decided to try a cross cut sledge. Previously I tried a sledge on jobsite saw but cuts were never perfect. Threw together a simple sledge with scarp MDF. Intent was to make sides as close to good as possible and then hand plane them to straight and square. Did the cuts, and this is when next moment of happiness came. Sides came out perfectly straight and square to sides. I did not take pictures but Premium Fusion left the edges smooth and mirror-like-ish.

    Work that used to take me few hours was done in less than an hour including all trial and errors with rip and making the sledge.

    Will digress a little here. Originally I was gluing up panels with book matched boards (had to put new band saw in use ). Ripping the thick board into book matched boards, gluing them and flattening them went pretty well. After that I left the panels for ~ 2 weeks, stickered in shop. When I restarted working on the project, I found them all badly cupped (1/4" over 18"). Tried adding moisture on cupped side. It flattened them back but they went back to cupped after a day. In retrospect I should have let the ripped board acclimate for a few days before gluing them up. Right after I ripped them, they started cupping but I ignored the signs. I will re-rip them and use them them else where now. I ended up gluing up new panels from scratch for the project (no book matching this time though).


    Anyway, some photos of my primitive sledge. I will most likely make a nicer looking one at some point of time.


    PXL_20220120_044724978.jpg

    PXL_20220120_044839190.MP.jpg

    PXL_20220120_044732592.jpg

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Anuj Prateek View Post
    Will digress a little here. Originally I was gluing up panels with book matched boards (had to put new band saw in use ). Ripping the thick board into book matched boards, gluing them and flattening them went pretty well. After that I left the panels for ~ 2 weeks, stickered in shop. When I restarted working on the project, I found them all badly cupped (1/4" over 18"). Tried adding moisture on cupped side. It flattened them back but they went back to cupped after a day. In retrospect I should have let the ripped board acclimate for a few days before gluing them up. Right after I ripped them, they started cupping but I ignored the signs. I will re-rip them and use them them else where now. I ended up gluing up new panels from scratch for the project (no book matching this time though).

    Congratulations on your moment of happiness. As John "Hannibal" Smith would say, "I love it when a plan comes together"

    I've had similar problems with wood movement. Wood is under compression and tension based on the twist. When you do milling, its releasing some of that and some of the moister contained within. As you stated, waiting some time allows it to reform to its new final shape. The wood is going to move no matter what, you just want to minimize its movement.

    What I do now is make my initial cuts and let the wood rest for a few days. Make my secondary cuts (if needed due to depth of cut), and then rest, then mill to final size. I am usually waiting a week between but I believe a few days is sufficient. If I'm going to be gluing, I try to make the final cut and then immediately glue.

    Hopefully that offers some help.

    download.jpeg
    Last edited by derek labian; 01-20-2022 at 2:11 PM. Reason: diagram added

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    Congratulations on your moment of happiness. As John "Hannibal" Smith would say, "I love it when a plan comes together"

    I've had similar problems with wood movement. Wood is under compression and tension based on the twist. When you do milling, its releasing some of that and some of the moister contained within. As you stated, waiting some time allows it to reform to its new final shape. The wood is going to move no matter what, you just want to minimize its movement.

    What I do now is make my initial cuts and let the wood rest for a few days. Make my secondary cuts (if needed due to depth of cut), and then rest, then mill to final size. I am usually waiting a week between but I believe a few days is sufficient. If I'm going to be gluing, I try to make the final cut and then immediately glue.

    Hopefully that offers some help.
    Yup lesson learnt. Have few thick boards that I have to rip. will leave them alone for a week or two before processing them.

  4. #4
    I've been pushing wood daily for decades and I still find a nice clean cut extremely satisfying.

  5. #5
    Congrats. I'd make a Sister Sledge to this one that rides in both slots if you will be doing longer panels frequently.

    As for ripping thick boards, moisture is not the only culprit. Tension can also cause problems. If you have a bandsaw, a safer, more predictable (albeit more involved) process is to 'rough rip' the board on the bandsaw, roughly joint, then rip to width on the table saw.

    Long, thick (>6/4) boards - even sawn and dried properly - rarely come off joint worthy from the table saw for me. YMMV

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    Congrats. I'd make a Sister Sledge to this one that rides in both slots if you will be doing longer panels frequently.

    As for ripping thick boards, moisture is not the only culprit. Tension can also cause problems. If you have a bandsaw, a safer, more predictable (albeit more involved) process is to 'rough rip' the board on the bandsaw, roughly joint, then rip to width on the table saw.

    Long, thick (>6/4) boards - even sawn and dried properly - rarely come off joint worthy from the table saw for me. YMMV

    Thanks Prasun!

    I will be making a both sided sledge after this project. Saw the need while cutting a longer board.

    You are right, cupping was due to tension. Book matched boarded cupped in same direction. One away from center and other towards center. In future, not going to process them right after ripping.

    I haven't tried gluing up boards off saw. My normal mode is to plane edge of two board together and then glue them up. I will actually check if the edges are glue ready, that could save some time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anuj Prateek View Post
    I haven't tried gluing up boards off saw. My normal mode is to plane edge of two board together and then glue them up. I will actually check if the edges are glue ready, that could save some time.
    I tried it today. Had to make two inner panels for the TV console. Cuts came out straight and smooth.

    Edges looked glue ready but putting them together I can see gaps in sections on one side. Gap is miniscule but visible. Enough that I can't live with them.

    On other side it's a different story. There is very narrow gap across the length. Maybe it will get better if I fine-tune the table saw blade angle.

    Ended up planning them usual way. Panels are are now glued and drying.

  8. #8
    I have a sled for my PCS but I prefer to crosscut with my track saw. Much easier to move the saw when the workpiece is big. But if your way is working, no need to change.

    I have also had good results from a Freud Fusion including rips. But I have a Freud rip blade also and also a 50 tooth combination with 40 atb teeth and 10 flat top rip teeth. Not sure yet about the fusion, it has given me fuzzy rips sometimes too. But the 50 tooth blades have been giving me good results for decades.

  9. #9
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    It is amazing how much better it can be when you have a good quality tablesaw, after you've been having to do workarounds with undependable equipment.
    Hobbyist

  10. #10
    Occasionally for a cross cut to square a wide panel, I have attached a runner that overhangs an unsquared end and rides against the fence. Before double stick tape, it was attached with end blocks screwed to the runner and a pair of wedges driven from opposite sides. This is a less good solution than a sled because alignment depends on positioning the runner square to the workpiece’s reference edge, but it is an expedient method if your sled is not wide enough or has not yet been built.
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 02-06-2022 at 7:33 AM.

  11. #11
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    Anuj, that’s a great experience! I have upgraded and added saws to my shop over the years and now have three saws; a full size slider, an old iron short stroke slider, and my old 10” cabinet saw.

    I can’t bring myself to part with that cabinet saw mostly because of the sleds and other accessories I’ve made over the years. It was such a step up having cross cut sleds. Next on your list should be a tenon cutting rig that rides the rip fence.

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