Solid Wood Machining

You are not logged in. [ Login ] Why log in
(NOTE: Login is not required to post)

small gang rips or multi-blade moulders?


Gents, one of our projects involves us ripping 50-100pcs per day of some tricky 1/2" x 1/2" sticks that are roughly 12-20" long. Material is HDPE (Starboard) and we're getting good results with common plywood blades.

As things ramp up we may be ripping as many as 300-400/day.

I'm trying to find a safer, more consistent way of ripping these while also getting the best quality cut as possible.

We do use SawStop brand tablesaws, and they are indeed excellent machines, but we still want to find a way to avoid hand-ripping these.

We COULD just set up a tablesaw with a power feeder, and that's option 1.

However, I figured I'd ask around if there are other options. Are there any small gang-rips that can handle such small items? I've never needed a gang rip so I'm assuming most of them are much larger than what we would need.

9/1/20       #2: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...
dustin orth

How accurate of cuts are you trying to achieve? A gang rip generally won't do that short of material, there are ones that will do that. As far as accurate cuts, yes and no. I have a Pinheiro 270 gang rip. Its an older model that I bought on auction. Cleaned up, repaired and modified with laser brackets. Good saw, I like how it runs and because of what I paid for on auction, its already paid for. You can put a pressure plate in between the top feed rolls that would hold the material down better so that the vibration of short material is kept to a minimum but there will still be some. A newer gang rip will probably be better at that but at what cost? With the Starboard do you have to have special blades to cut it? What kind of feed speeds cut best? Do you have the power in your shop to handle a gang rip? They typically have at least a 50 HP motor for the blades. Then add 2-3 HP for the feed system. Add in dust collection of at least an 8" port. I'm not trying to talk you out of one, just explaining the possible minuses. The plus part of this is that you are looking for approximately 500 LF of material, I estimate that it would take about 10 minutes to cut on my saw once the blades and pressure shoe are set. Newer saws also have computer controlled moving blades, way overkill if you are always cutting the same dimension, both in dollars spent and maintenance costs. Don't know if they would allow a 1/2" between blades either. A standard saw with spacer rings, 1/2" between blades is no problem.
I don't have any experience with saw blades on a moulder, so that we have to wait for others to chime in on. I think depending on your budget and shop resources, a gang rip might be a viable option. But the outlay in dollars vs labor costs in your current method, only you can answer that.

9/2/20       #3: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...
Hen Bob Member

Beam saw.

9/2/20       #4: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...

Put a 4 wheel feeder on the saw, you should be able to fit 2 blades and a spacer. It would make you twice as fast if the saw could handle it.

9/3/20       #5: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...
David R Sochar Member

Smithway XL Gang rips show up on the used market occasionally. It has a small footprint and direct drive motor. Load up the arbor with 3-4-5 or more blades and go to town. Be sure the kickback prevention fingers are in good shape - like all ripsaws, it can kick back a piece every now and then.

9/15/20       #6: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...

Gents, thank you all for your replies.

Dustin, these do need to be accurate cuts and I know a standard gang rip is going to be huge overkill (over-cost) for this situation. Thank you for your input here, that helps me understand what's typically available for a gang rip.

Hen Bob, a beam saw won't work in this case. These rips are basically being done using offcuts from nested base CNC. But I do understand why you suggest it.

Bill, I think you're right about the suggestion. We have a saw/feeder set up for a very specific dado. I'm going to have one of our guys revamp it and test for ripping to figure out what blade and feed speed works, and probably just replicate that whole setup with a new machine dedicated only to ripping these items.

David, I'm not familiar with Smithway, I'll keep my eyes open for such, thanks!

9/15/20       #8: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...

A woodmaster might work. I donít know if you can get to 1/2Ē with there blade setup.

9/16/20       #9: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...

Woodmaster was one of my first thoughts as well, but when I spoke with them on the phone they said I'm going to have broken material because the blades are up-cut, and the machine does not have a top platen to give such thin/narrow pieces enough support to handle all the upward force from those blades cutting upwards.

11/3/20       #10: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...
Tracy Yarborough

I've never actually tried this but how about stacking 2 blades on a standard table saw, 1/2" apart and run a power feeder over the top. Blades could be glue line rip blades to increase cut quality. Make sure you make a zero clearance fence to run the parts. If you use a 4 wheel feeder you can set the center of the feeder over the blades effectively having 2 wheels on both front and back of the pieces being cut.
2 blades - twice the production.
Power feeder with zero clearance insert - increased safety.

2/15/21       #11: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...
David Waldmann Member


Be aware, OSHA requires anti-kickback devices when ripping multiples.

I think a simple power feed on an existing saw is the next logical step.

FWIW, we make flooring, and provide 3/8" x 15/16" x 42" stickers for acclimation. We rip these on our tablesaw with a power feed, one at a time. We are trying to come up with a solution to rip multiples on our Raimann gangrip but Weinig has been very slow to respond to making a sleeve for it (normally we use the quick-fix arbor but the minimum rip width is about 7/8" with that). We generally run it with one person, but with a feeder and tailer it could probably be run at 63 ft/min (second fastest speed on our feeder).

At 63 ft/min 300-400 pieces at an average of 18" could be done in 10 minutes. Gang rip is way overkill.

By the way, we use an auxiliary fence for this. Just a piece of 1/2" x 4" stock that lays flat on the table, so that the power feed wheels can fully cover in- and out-feed with enough sideways thrust to keep the piece against the fence.

11/25/21       #12: small gang rips or multi-blade moul ...
stoneaxe Member

We are using a shop made mini gang rip- a 5hp table saw with a custom arbor with 4 thin kerf blades and spacers, a zero clearance insert and splitters behind each blade. A power feed sits right over the blades. We rip 3/8 "x 3/8" strips out of slats.

  • Post a Response to this thread
  • notify me of responses to this topic
  • To receive email notification of additions to this forum thread,
    enter your name and email address, and then click the
    "Keep Me Posted" button below.

    Please Note: If you have posted a message or response,
    do not submit this request ... you are already signed up
    to receive notification!

    Your Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Enter the correct numbers into the field below:

    Date of your Birth:

    Return to top of page

    Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Site Map

    FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

  • Forum Posting Help
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)