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First cut on a straight line rip1/8
First time poster, long time reader. I've heard from several folks that the first cut on a SLR (when dealing with rough lumber) shouldn't be up against the fence, but rather should be guided using a laser to get one straight edge on the material? Why is this? Why couldn't the fence be used to achieve the first straight edge?
We use the SLR mainly to rip the T&G off old flooring and turn it into blanks, so for my first cut, couldn't I just set the fence to a width that would take off the tongue, put the groove side tight to the fence, and go to town? Send all the stock through, and then adjust the fence to take off the groove. What's the advantage to floating the piece without the fence, using the laser to guide you? Any insight is much appreciated! Thanks,
You are not cutting rough lumber so that could work. Rough lumber has defects on that edge that must be removed. Either edge likely won't be straight so if could bind or jam.
In your case it probably makes sense to use the fence.
Thanks, Bill. Besides the T&G, we mostly cut old rough sawn lumber (2x and 3x) and 1x roof decking and barn siding. All this stuff was milled long ago so it has/had something that could pass for a straight edge, but would we better off putting a new one on by floating it through the SLR without using the fence? And then, once we've got the straight edge, use the fence to rip to width? Thanks for your input.
When you float the pc using the laser on the wood you are going for a straight edge.
When you want to rip to width you use the fence.
If you use the fence on a board with a curve on it, it won't take the curve off properly and leave the straight edge.
I would usually think the SLR is used mainly for production edging of rough lumber that has just been planed. Using it for cutting widths isn't always the most accurate because it grabs the board hard and if you're off by just the slightest angle it'll taper your board. If you are skilled with the SLR you won't run into this problem. Newer users will have to get use to the grab.
A rough analogy is the fence is a planer and without the fence is a jointer. If you put a crooked board in a planner you get a thinner crooked board. Also depending on the crown of the board it could bind, damage the blade or the fence.