Gang Ripping on a Moulder

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Tips for making short work of multiple rips. February 27, 2005

I will be getting a 6 head moulder soon. I will make thousands of 1/4" and 3/8" thick battens 7/8" thick 8' long, mostly from red oak. Can I gang rip the blanks on my moulder? What tooling do I need? I want to use the narrowest blades possible to minimize waste and maximize the moulder's 15 hp. I will then set up the moulder to clean up saw marks and ease two corners. How much oversize will the blanks need to be?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
You can rip on a moulder, but you are required to have an anti-kickback device on the machine. I suggest that you use a customized pressure shoe to help control the work pieces.

With 7/8" thick material, you should be able to use 3 or 4 blades.

The kerf (width) of the saw will depend on the type of material that you are using. If you are running basswood, you can use a thinner blade than with maple.

Oversize of the wood will include the total kerfs of the blades, plus at least 1/32". I normally use 1/8" to 1/4" over, depending on the material condition. Is it straight, bowed, twisted, etc? These will also be factors to consider.

If you will reprocess the wood as I believe you will, then add at least 1/32" to the thickness. This will allow you the minimum cut that will not burn up the tools. You may want to add a little extra to assure a clean cut.

From contributor J:
I rip on the moulder, too. If you want to save a little money instead of buying a special pressure shoe, buy some resin board and screw it to the bottom of your existing shoe. Raise the blades up so they just cut into it. I would probably leave everything oversized about 1/4 because, as you know, ripping relieves stress and the strips will most likely need some straightening with your second pass. Unless that's not an issue… You might be able to leave your thickness 1/32 over and run your table at 0, but you gotta watch out for feed wheel marks.

From the original questioner:
Thank you. I will be ripping 7/8" - 1" thick red oak for these battens. How wide should the blades be? Where can I buy the blades and spacers? (1 13/16" arbor.) What is resin board and where do I buy it?

From contributor J:
There is a company called STS (Super Thin Saws). I believe they were once called Shultz or something. I use the spacers that came with the moulder. I usually have to add a few color coded shims to get the exact width.

Resin board never wears out. I don't remember where we got it. Phenolic resin board? Don't remember the exact name.

From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
You can also check with High Point Grinding in WI. They have excellent products. They can advise you on the kerf of the blade.