What is the proper tool to make long cuts?

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by farmerjohn1324, Mar 30, 2018.

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  1. Apr 27, 2018 #21

    farmerjohn1324

    farmerjohn1324

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    Or maybe I should use my jigsaw.

    I have this bifold, then a 36"x80" exterior fiberglass door to "practice" on before getting to the French doors.
     
  2. Apr 28, 2018 #22

    mabloodhound

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    Jigsaws never give a nice smooth, straight edge. A skill saw is the correct tool.

    Dave Mason
     
  3. Apr 28, 2018 #23

    farmerjohn1324

    farmerjohn1324

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    Do I need a special blade to cut fiberglass?
     
  4. Apr 28, 2018 #24

    mabloodhound

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  5. Apr 28, 2018 #25

    farmerjohn1324

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    Here's my attempts on the bifold door. The left side was the jigsaw. It was a little tough to cut, but seems straight. The right side, I started with the circular saw. It was hard to cut, and went off center and had some kickback. So I finished the right side off with the jigsaw.
     

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  6. May 19, 2018 #26

    zepper

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    There's no reason you can't use a circular saw for ripping (cutting wood along the grain) as long as:
    • Your blade's sharp.
    • You've set up a good straight guide.
    • The wood's well supported (taking into account the shifting weight of the saw).
    I vastly prefer a table saw, though; the built-in ripping fence makes it so much easier.

    I have a portable TS like the one in CallMeVilla’s (wow, is it really him?) post. I made a little rolling stand for it, similar to this one, with some two-by-fours, a couple of pieces of 3/4” plywood, and some locking rubber wheels—it's as easy to move around the shop as a circular saw.

    If you need to support long boards while ripping them, these roller-topped stands are cheap and easy to use.

    Finally, if you want your rips to be particularly accurate, try using a featherboard. It's an angled piece of wood with parallel notches cut into it that form flexible "fingers" to press against the wood you're ripping. You can clamp it to your table saw, or add an adjustable base—as you can see here, some people get very fancy with them.

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. May 19, 2018 #27

    rokosz

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    And this is what happens if you don't pay attention using a tablesaw. Not so much not paying attention to the round spinny thing but the 5-fingered appendage on whatever hand is _moving_ (and not holding the piece (of wood) or the pusher). I've done this twice. First time just 6 or 7 skin stitches onthe back of my thumb. This was techncially an amputation (I took a tiny bit of bone off the tip). Luckily I didn't take the entire tip saving some sensitivity. Only one stitch -- through the remaining nail out to the underside of the tip and then back to draw the tip up and over the cut.
    It took some thought about _why_ have I ended up in the ER twice with this tool? Because: most tools your hands are static. both hands hold a circular saw. both hands hold a chainsaw (but watch the legs). With a table saw. one hand is kind of static, holding and pushing wood. In my practice my 2nd hand is helping _pull_ the piece and so passing by the blade. Both cuts were on pulling my hand _back_ past the blade after completion.

    I hadn't (ever) installed the blade guard. Oh! there is a guard. Amazing I still had it. . Problem with the guard is that it can't be used for smaller fenced cuts -- and that's just when the hands are most likely to get (too) close to the blade.

    So now, on the deck is "Do you want stitches?" in sharpie. And constant, out loud or to myself, repetition of "Pay attention. Focus". It took a while to get over the fear of the possibility of the blade jumping out and off of its spindle to attack me.
     

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  8. May 19, 2018 #28

    Gary

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    rokosz, I'll see your finger and raise you 1. I've been running power tools all my life (65). This was the first contact I've had with a blade while it was still moving. All it takes is not paying attention for a nano second.
     

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  9. May 20, 2018 #29

    bud16415

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    You guys might benefit from a sawstop system.


     
  10. May 21, 2018 #30

    rokosz

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    Bud16415, after my amputation, my wife was on me about "no more". Of course I don't hear those words -- but it did motivate me to look into the aforementioned bladeguard -- and the idea of the sawstop. friend of my son's had them in HS woodshop. He said they worked great but it took "20 minutes" to reset the unit. Still, 20 mins of hassle or 2 -3 hours of ER waiting?? That vid seems like it'd be more than 20 minutes -- and you need spare parts (kind of like shear bolts for a snowblower). Feel like it could've been a great Cheers episode: Cliff and Norm dare each other to test the sawstop -- with their own appendages.
    I'm still using the dewalt mangler. somone say live and learn?

    Gary, how the heckum did you manage to nail (sorry, pun) both fingers? I know it happens quickly. I really wish you couldn't've "one more"d me. That kind of damage is not an easy recovery. I spent time trying to figure out what the orientation of my hand was (in both incidents). The thumb was pretty easy - when you reach out (pull back) the thumb is naturally on the low-side but the backs of fingers? that takes a little twisting (or maybe the back side of the blade)
     
  11. May 21, 2018 #31

    bud16415

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    We all come at safety from a different perspective. I started getting interested in wood and metal working around 5th or 6th grade and we had wood and metal shop in high school. I found out recently things like shop and drafting are no longer options in most public schools.


    My dad built his own home and he made a table saw from a Sears and Roebuck kit. All it was a spindle with bearings and a pulley and a 10” saw blade. He took a old dresser and cut a slot in the top and mounted this thing below. The idea was you got a motor off a old washing machine and rigged it up with a belt. The blade stuck up about 4” and no adjustments. If you needed a fence you clamped a board to the top. he built a whole house with this buzz rig.


    One day around 7th grade I was eyeing this thing up sitting in the corner and he must have seen me. After dinner he was out in the garage and tore the whole thing apart and smashed up the dresser. I asked him why he was doing that? He said the house is done we don’t need it and I need to keep my fingers attached to my hands.


    I went on to do a 4 year tool and die apprenticeship. And they really stressed safety. The key component to all that safety training is never be in a hurry. I still to this day being retired catch myself wanting to take a short cut.


    Take the time, make the setup correct, think thru each step before doing it.


    As great as I think these technologies are stopping and retracting a blade in an instant, in some ways they are like these new cars that slam on the brake for you and all this stuff attached to my push mower keeping me safe to the point I can barely cut my grass. Our brain is the greatest safety device ever built we just have to never shut it off for even a split second.


    Learning to mow grass as a kid my dad went over the basics and then before starting it he stuck his foot under the deck, saying see it fits right under there, do that when its running when you pull it out your toes will be gone. I think it was even a bit more graphic of a depiction. Then he said same for fingers. Told me if you ever need to get under there stop the mower pull the plug wire and no way will it start up. Simple steps and logical and I still follow his advice.
     
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  12. Jun 2, 2018 #32

    Flyover

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    Amen, Bud. The best safety technology is a good habit.
     
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  13. Jun 12, 2018 #33

    Mastercarpenty

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    Tons of hours done on a table saw, but each and every time I use one, I come to a complete stop first, thinking and looking at everything which might go sour for me on that cut. I call it the most dangerous tool I own for a reason! And I stress that with anyone I teach about using one.

    Smaller parts need a push-stick. Most guys just happily push it along, never thinking "what if it breaks or my hand slips?" So when I make cuts, at least one finger drapes over the fence or rides in a slot to act as a hand guide keeping you from slipping into the blade. That contact stays rigid while the material or push-stick moves along; if something slips or breaks my hand and fingers won't slip toward the blade.

    When I came into this business about 40 years ago there were no safeties on anything beyond blade guards on skilsaws. Many power tools were ungrounded and had bare metal cases- just touching it could possibly kill you! My mentors told me that anyone who needed a safety device was not qualified to use that tool. I've lived by that rule because a well-functioning brain is the best safety device there is, and nothing is safe without that. Think every possibility through completely before you start and know what to do if something goes wrong. Tools and materials can be replaced but no part of your body is expendable. It costs nothing to stop and think but the cost can be high when you don't!

    I'll leave the story of how well my thumb grew back after being cut off down to the bone by me for another time. I was very stupid that day

    Phil
     
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  14. Jun 12, 2018 #34

    elbo

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    saw table 003.jpg I'm coming into this discussion late but I saw some talk about safety so I'm putting my two cents worth in . My table saws switch is below the table and was hard to find without taking my eyes off the work and sawblade, so I made this device that allows me to hit the switch with my knee without having to hunt for the switch. Above the stop pad is a smaller hole that is used to hit the start button saw table 003.jpg saw table 003.jpg saw table 003.jpg saw table 003.jpg saw table 003.jpg saw table 003.jpg
     
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  15. Jun 12, 2018 #35

    elbo

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    I dont know why all those photos were attached, they're all the same, please excuse my ignorance
     
  16. Jun 13, 2018 #36

    bud16415

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  17. Jun 14, 2018 at 2:47 PM #37

    Elizabeth Lynn

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    That's true. It really depends on your comfort level with the saw.
     

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