Accurate Panel Rips

      Tips for obtaining clean, accurate results when ripping panels to width. October 13, 2005

When ripping 4'x8' sheets on my table saw all day, I find it hard to get accurate and consistent cuts. I'd like to know if a powerfeeder would solve the problem?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
I tried that once with disastrous results. I still think that it can be done, but for me I know that it would require a minimum of 5' of in-feed fence and the same for the out-feed side. I would probably use 2 power feeders also. If I ever build additional square footage onto my shop I may give it another try.

From contributor N:
I don't think a feeder will help you with sheet goods, but a sliding table saw certainly will.

From contributor W:
Save your money. A sliding table is the only answer, but without one, properly located feather-boards keeping the sheet pressed onto the in-feed fence will be as good as a second pair of hands.

From contributor F:
Power feeds aside, there are other tricks to getting accurate rippings. If you need 4 rippings 11.25", rip the sheet in half or rip to 22.75" first. Now you have lighter pieces to hold tight to the fence plus both factory edges to reuse to get a straight rip.

If you really need accuracy, even shops with beam saws sometimes rip oversize to allow the material to relieve its stress, and then cut to final width. With no beam saw or slider myself, my favorite method is a 9 foot 2x6 that I have made the edges straight and parallel on.

I will place the hollow edge of sheet good rippings or solid stock against this board, shim the center of the gap between the two with laminate scrap if the subject piece is limber and then hold the two pieces together as I run them against the fence and through the saw.

From contributor T:
I have a pair of board buddies on an Excalibur fence. These hold the sheet to the fence quite well. My jointer is to the left of the saw and I built a long box that fits on top of the jointer with a row of ball rollers on top that are level with the saw table. This supports the sheet overhang. A big out-feed table takes care of the rest. I always make my first cut a bit oversized so I can eliminate the beat-up factory edge.

From contributor J:
To the original questioner: Do you still have a splitter installed? Everyone removes them not realizing how much it improves a cut and keeps the boards pressed against the fence. Plastic pop-in splitters work ok also.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: General

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article