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Thread: Resaw with table saw?

  1. Resaw with table saw?

    I am new to woodworking, and I just finished my first project, a router table. I purchased a 10" table saw for the job, so these are my only two pieces of equipment at the moment. I would like to try building small boxes before moving to furniture, as solid wood can be quite expensive. I am wondering how to get wood that is the correct thickness, as it is not sold this thin, and I am not sure that I could cut thicker wood to this thickness. Also, most of the hardwood that I have seen is rough, and it is my understanding that I would need a planer and joiner to prepare such lumber. Is this correct? I am basically asking how I would get or prepare hardwood to build a small box. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Some lumber suppliers sell 1/4" and 1/2" wood of various widths, however they charge based on 3/4" since they say it is milled from that stock. I would not recommend resawing on a table saw even though it can be done. It is risky and difficult.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    You can resaw a limited amount on a table saw, but it is tricky since it usually ends up with a fairly thin piece of wood between the blade and the fence, which without a splitter and good jigs to keep the board upright and to push it through the saw blade. Resawing is much more safe with a band saw. And, you are right preparing rough sawn lumber is handled with jointer and planer if you want to use power tools. There is some merit for a newcomer to woodworking to dress lumber by hand. You would need a hand plane--a Bailey number 4 from Ebay would be the economical starting place. You would also need a way to sharpen the blade--preferably water or oil stones, but you can use sandpaper adhered to a flat surface such as plate glass or a granite tile.

  4. #4
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    Safe way to resaw with a table saw

    When I resaw with my table saw, I am careful to saw slightly less that half way through the board. I then flip the board over and saw slightly less that half way on the other side. I complete the cut with a hand saw. I recently resawed 5 inch oak with my 1.5 hp contractor's saw. It's best to use a sharp, thin kerf, ripping blade.

  5. Most of the hardwood I buy here in California is surfaced on two sides, and ripped straight along one edge (S2S 1R is how I think they refer to it). I can true it up on the table saw using the factory ripped edge, so it works for me for my limited tools in my shop.

    You can resaw on the table saw. Use chalk or a piece of masking tape to mark one side of the stock, raise the blade about 1/2", and run the stock through on edge with the chalk or tape against the fence. Flip the stock end for end and cut the other edge, again with the chalk or tape against the fence. Stop, raise the blade a half inch, and start again. Cut this way until you are almost through, then work very carefully, as the kerf can close on you as you reach the "cut through" point. I find this easier than the bandsaw, which I can never control well enough to resaw hardwood.

    Binding happens to me if I'm trying to resaw a board wider than about 3 - 4" on the table saw. I use small wood wedges gently pressed into the kerf when I get close to sawing through, and you have to be careful that the piece between the blade and the fence doesn't catch and kick back. The stock usually isn't "ready to use", as the combo blade will leave ridges in it. So you'll end up planing the surface or using sand paper to make it smooth.

  6. #6
    Andrew, resawing with a TS can be done, but as others have said it can be tricky and somewhat dangerous of you don't know what you're doing. (I've done a fair amount of it, but I did some pretty stupid things on the way to figuring out how to do it safely.)

    As Cecil mentioned, you might want to look into suppliers that carry stock thin enough for the projects you have in mind. I know my local Rockler has 3/4", 1/2", 1/4" and 1/8" hardwoods (cherry, maple, oak, purple heart, and a few others). The thin stuff ain't cheap, but it's handy. You don't mention your location, but if you let us know, perhaps someone will have some specific recommendations for your area. You can also purchase a lot of this type of thing online.

    - Vaughn

  7. #7
    Andrew...
    Elliott here. my advice to you, seeing that your knowledge base is limited, would be to take some classes, read books, visit woodworkers in your area etc..., etc....
    Woodworking tools are very dangerous machines if you don't know the ins & outs of them. Tablesaws are notoriously dangerous (possibly most dangerous) of all the power tools in our shops. A much over-looked danger is a phenomenom called "Kick-Back" Think about Nolan Ryan throwing a 4"x2"x3' board at you from 4-5' away from you as hard &fast as he can throw it. Ouch ! A TS kicks boards back just as hard if not harder and last time I checked, flesh and bone is alot softer than wood.Alot of people lose digits every year and they are usually novices who watch TV programs thinking that that looks simple , I can do that. Well, you more than likely could or can but... you need to educate yourself on how to use the equipment first.
    A tablesaw is a very productive tool with the proper jigs & fixtures used with it. Without these jigs & fixtures, it is a dangerous beast just waiting to bite your fingers or worse, your hand off! You need crosscut sleds for startrs or at the least a 3/4"x4"x12" board fastened to your mitre gauge to crosscut safely and accurately.I won't go into the types of jigs you need. Thats what the books and DVD's and classes are for.
    I am not in anyway trying to scare you or turn you away... Far from it. I just want to let you know that you need to know how to use the proper techniques so that you can show off your skills through your projects...not showing everyone your lack of digits.

    A few weeks ago ,we...my family went garage saleing in Gainesville,FL on a Saturday morning and saw a sign that said "Tools for Sale" Naturally we went to check it out but they were already cleaned out except for some back issues of WW magazines. I bought most of 'em and asked the woman what they sold and why. She said they sold a TS, BS, router & table and various hand tools, accessories, etc...
    When I asked her why....she said her husband cut his right hand off on the Tablesaw. That was so sad. He is about 30 years old or so. He has a good paying job and got a bug to get into WW and went out and bought all the tools without first learning how to use them. Thats a hard way to learn your lesson.
    Anyway... if you want to re-saw wood..... go out and get yourself a BANDSAW equiped with a GOOD re-saw blade. 3-4 tpi. That is the tool for the job. Nothing else can do that like a BS. Re-sawing on a TS is iffy at best and down right dangerous at worst. A novice shouldn't even try that if he doesn't know how to do it properly.Read books(Kelley Mehler's 'The TS Book '), watch DVD's etc... Educate yourself on proper techniques.
    Don't write-off the basic handtools as being old fashioned or obsolete either. There is not a machine around that can duplicate the smoothness of a board that has been shaved by a well tuned old Stanley #4 hand plane. Alot of antique furniture is still around that was made with nothing but hand tools. Hovvff patience..young grasshoppaw (in a BAD chinese accent ) Hahaha...
    Good tools are extensions of a craftsman but are dangerous machines in the hands of a novice.
    Now go out and edumacate yourself,man. Who knows........you might be the next Norm !

    Elliott FLA....USA
    Last edited by Elliott Cameron; 09-06-2005 at 4:23 AM.

  8. #8

    safe way to re-saw on a tablesaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Frambach
    When I resaw with my table saw, I am careful to saw slightly less that half way through the board. I then flip the board over and saw slightly less that half way on the other side. I complete the cut with a hand saw. I recently resawed 5 inch oak with my 1.5 hp contractor's saw. It's best to use a sharp, thin kerf, ripping blade.

    Shame on you Don. This man is an ADMITTED novice and you go and encourage him to do something the vast majority of seasoned WWer's would even think of doing on a Tablesaw.
    Holy Moley !!

    If you get offended by my chastising...so be it. You need it for encouraging him to try that.

    Elliott

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Hagan
    Most of the hardwood I buy here in California is surfaced on two sides, and ripped straight along one edge (S2S 1R is how I think they refer to it). I can true it up on the table saw using the factory ripped edge, so it works for me for my limited tools in my shop.

    You can resaw on the table saw. Use chalk or a piece of masking tape to mark one side of the stock, raise the blade about 1/2", and run the stock through on edge with the chalk or tape against the fence. Flip the stock end for end and cut the other edge, again with the chalk or tape against the fence. Stop, raise the blade a half inch, and start again. Cut this way until you are almost through, then work very carefully, as the kerf can close on you as you reach the "cut through" point. I find this easier than the bandsaw, which I can never control well enough to resaw hardwood.

    Binding happens to me if I'm trying to resaw a board wider than about 3 - 4" on the table saw. I use small wood wedges gently pressed into the kerf when I get close to sawing through, and you have to be careful that the piece between the blade and the fence doesn't catch and kick back. The stock usually isn't "ready to use", as the combo blade will leave ridges in it. So you'll end up planing the surface or using sand paper to make it smooth.
    Same goes for you !! What kind of advice is that to a novice ?

    If you are having problems re-sawing on a BS you need to check that your blade guides are adjusted properly as well as the thrust bearings as well as the blade tension. You should also use a fence. You shouldn't have any trouble re-sawing on a properly adjusted BS. Thats what it is for.

    High fives and pats-on-the-backs to Cecil and Steve for discouraging re-sawing on the TS. Vaughn you did good too.


    Elliott FLA....USA
    Last edited by Elliott Cameron; 09-06-2005 at 4:46 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Thomasville, Georgia
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    1,144
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Hagan
    ... You can resaw on the table saw. ... I find this easier than the bandsaw, which I can never control well enough to resaw hardwood.
    ...
    I agree that one CAN resaw on a tablesaw -- after one has a lot of experience using it. It wastes material, though. A bandsaw is the best (only?) way to resaw correctly. If a bandsaw isn't doing a satisfactory job of resawing, the operator needs to fix what's not working correctly.

    Bill Arnold
    Membeer of MENSA USA
    Citizen of Texas residing in South Georgia.
    Ignorance is only skin deep, but stupid goes all the way to the marrow!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Woodway Texas
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    Andrew, best to just buy your lumber dimensioned; until you have a band saw and thicknesser it's just too risky. Yes it is an expensive way to buy lumber, that's one reason you’ll end up with these tools if you choose to stick with this long enough. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o>

  12. #12
    I do the same thing as Don does...just finished a 1/4" cut last nite for a drawer bottom out of solid Maple on my 1hp Craftsman TS....not a bit of a problem. Of course I used a push stick for control.

  13. Thanks for the advice everyone. It seems that there is a consensus that I should not try using the tablesaw to resaw a board, so I will try harder to find dimensioned lumber. I can appreciate the danger posed by a tablesaw, and for that reason I have the Biesemeyer overarm blade guard on my saw. I am close to Richmond, VA, so if anyone knows of a store that would have a variety of dimensioned lumber, I would be very appreciative. Thanks, Andrew

  14. #14
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    You can resaw using the table saw as stated. Further, you can even resaw "wide" material with the table saw...make your kerfs on both sides (they will not cut through as the blade is not tall enough) running the same side of the board along the fence for both passes. Complete the cut with a hand saw. (Rip tooth configuration) The table saw kerfs will help to guide the hand saw. Then use hand planes to surface the board smooth.

    Would I want to do it this way? No...I prefer a band saw for resawing. But it's certainly an option.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

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  15. Well, chastising aside, I really don't see how resawing is any more dangerous than anything else you do with a tablesaw.

    Perhaps what we should be telling novices is "Don't use a table saw; its dangerous".

    Resawing on the table saw, if done the way I've described, keeps the blade "buried" in the wood, with the blade no higher than 1/2 the width of the wood. Incrementing the depth of cut by no more than 1/2" at a time doesn't over-tax my saw. The only slightly dangerous part is when you cut all the way through, and the possibility of binding or kick back is present. As long as you are aware of that, you can prepare for it and avoid it.

    A quick Google search shows that its referred to fairly frequently:

    http://grip-tite.com/difficult.html
    http://www.workbenchmagazine.com/mai...ne-extras.html

    If someone can tell me why resawing is so dangerous, I'll gladly change my mind. Until then, I'd rather give advice that helps someone make up his own mind than blanket statements not backed up with the "why" that a novice is likely to ignore anyway.

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