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Straight line Rip Saw3/17
It is very difficult to maintain a tight tolerance on a rip off a SLR in my experience. You will also have to clean up the saw marks.
Have you considered getting S4S material for frames? If you do the math on the amount of time you save sawing and sanding I think you will find it is a good investment. You also know your cost.
An SLR is for prepping molder blanks or prepping edges for gluing. It is a rough mill machine, not suitable for finish work. Even the milled faces of the feed chain may dent finished lumber.
I would suggest a table saw with a power feeder and an S4S machine like a Quattromat. The saw will rip to rough width, then S4S in one pass with the 4 head Quattro. You will find 1,000's of other things to use the Quattro for, and never look back (T&G, v-joint, moldings, bullnose, stiles and rails for cabinets, etc).
Most shops prep either rough width first, or rough length first, depending upon what they are making.
I too was considering a SLR saw for my shop but I was running out of space. I ended up putting a feeder on my 14" table saw and it's worked out well. It's not only faster, with better results, it's safer too. In conjunction with my molder, we get perfectly dimensioned stock in a fraction of the time it used to take.
I have found the rip saw will do glue line with a good blade but if you try to go from ripsaw straight to finish, you'll end up sanding a ton. If you have a good planer but not the molder, get the rip saw anyway. Rip your stock 1/8 wider than final and then gang stack your material through your planer. You will get good edges, not a lot of sanding and fixed dimensions. For door stile and rail we used to go from the rip saw with 1/16 over final, Mill inside edge detail with an outboard fence to get fixed dimensions. I now have a molder so I rip for that instead in bigger batches so it's ready to start cutting off the rack.
Thanks for the reply guys, much appreciate the tips.
Bill: We're already dealing with the saw marks right out of the table saw with FF parts, not with door parts, cause we clean one side at the shaper and the outside we clean at the edge sander when fitting the doors. getting S4S material, will be a no no, our kitchen FF varies a lot, on a average kitchen we have 3 or 4 different widths of parts, plus blanks for crown, base, light rail, etc.
David: How is to chance widths on the Quattro, example you have a project that requires 4 different size material, how time consuming is to go from one size to the next? Thanks David
Dustin: I did the Gang plane one edge in the past, it worked good, but than we switch to gang sanding. we do the same thing for door parts, we let the cutters clean the inside edge and the edge sander does the outside at the fitting stage.
There are two types of Quattromats: one has hand cranked heads with a digital readout on each, and the other has servo motors to move the heads.
Not counting the other products you can make with it, the payback is easy. Two hours labor savings a day will easily pay for a new machine. There should be good used on the market. Weinig has used equip in their site. Sintex by SCMI is a similar machine.
David care to post a link to used equipment on wenigs site? I can't seem to find it?
for 30+ years we have been producing a glue joint on Diehl SL-52 saws- a very good one at that.
In Diehl manual:
"Chains preset at factory for the machine to cut a .002" hollow joint on a 4 ft long board"
I'd have to say if you are ripping with a table saw that adding a SLR will be the difference between night and day. You might have to work at it a bit to get FF rips but you aren't getting them now so this will be an improvement. Taking out the saw marks will require edge milling or sanding but again, you are doing that now. If you can get a small molder like a Quattro it will turn FF stock manufacturing into something that is almost too easy. Adding the SLR is the first step in increasing your ability.
Most saws on the used market will not cut a glue line quality. For this to be true the saw had to be taken care of well or not be that old.
We had Diehl come and go through our saw. They said the key was to swap the chains left to right so they wore evenly. We are religious about swapping the chains, not the most fun job but not too bad.
In my experience a rip saw glue line is better than a jointer and MUCH faster.
If I were looking for a SLR this looks like it might just do the trick. My experience with Fukami is that the were well enough made. I had a Lobo SLR which was a better saw than my new Powermatic, dealer convinced me I needed to upgrade. Most of these small saws didn't get much use.
I have to say that if you are currently using a table saw withOUT a power feed, an SLR will be a couple orders of magnitude up from there.
Have you ever used a TS with power feed? We used to run ours at the max speed of 81 Feet Per Minute. It was a constant competition between the Jointer Man and the TS Man as to who was going to win. Wider pieces and the TS Man would be "sitting around" waiting for the next piece, whereas with narrow rips it would be the Jointer Man piling up boards.
I bet that with a little practice/training, an operator can put out 2-3 times the volume with a power feed than without. That's a pretty extreme increase. Do you need/want/can-you-justify more?
An SLR does the power feed, plus eliminates the potential bottleneck of the Jointer. Sure, sometimes you can straighten that board in one pass, but I bet the average is somewhere around 2.4 times over the jointer to get a straight edge. An SLR is always just once (as long as you have a laser line to show you the cut line, and let me tell you - you want that, although I did see an interesting and fairly effective low tech alternative once).
Want an upgrade at minimal additional expense? Get a NorthTech Twin Rip Saw. It's an SLR with a second blade that is adjustable for width up to about 8" by a simple hand crank (or a computer/foot pedal if you want to spend quite a bit more). First pass you get a straight edge and one ripping. Second pass (using the indexing fence) you get two pieces. Kind of like a baby gang rip, except you can change the width in about 4-6 seconds.
Or you can go all out and get a moving blade gang rip with optimizing infeed system. Cost: up to a half million, or maybe even more. Bottom line is, speed costs money - how fast do you want/need to go??
I build my own single rip saw with Makita Circular Saw, two rollers and a 3Hp electric motor with gear reducer. .. work perfectly straight same as jointer.