Rip Thin Strips Safely Many projects require thin strips: bent laminations, splines, edge banding, to name a few. Here's an approach that makes it easy to rip the strips on your table saw and keep the guard in place. Gotta love that.
The key to safe ripping of thin strips on the table saw is a simple jig. Note: There is a Photo showing a woodworker standing in front of his tablesaw with the guide in place, a board on its left side and he is ripping multiple pieces since four strips are already laying on the tabletop.
You can make the jig from any material. Mine is melamine. The most important features are the width, which is a perfect 10", and the hook at the back corner. The jig is 24" long, but length isn't critical. I screwed a worn-out push pad to the surface so I'd have a good handle to grab onto. I also wrote the width of the jig on it for the sake of my failing memory.
The hook should be 1/4" thick and 1-1/2" long. Hardboard works great. Glue it to the back left corner. Don't use any fasteners, just in case you nip it with a saw blade.
Using the Jig
Set the fence to 10" plus the thickness of the strips you need. If you cut strips that are less than 1/4" thick you'll cut into the hook, but that's OK, the hook is replaceable.
Note:A photo shows The cursor on the tablesaw fence is set right at 10 and one-quarter inches. The 10-inch wide board gives you a zero reference from the zero in the 10, so the woodworker has moved the cursor an additional one-quarter inch beyond the 10 inch mark.
Position the jig against the fence and the material against the jig. Seat the material against the hook.
Note: There is a photo showing that the Woodworker is positioning the end of the work piece just above the hook on the 10-inch spacer board. The blade guard is covering the blade. The work piece is about 4 inches wide. I would recommend that a feather board always be used.
Apply a little left-to-right pressure with your left hand and move the entire assembly forward.
Note: A photo shows that everything is now set up for the cut. The 10-inch wide spacer board is snug against the fence , the woodworker's right hand is on the handle, the work piece is snug against the left edge of the spacer with the end of the work piece tucked against the hook, and the woodworkers left hand applying pressure to the right to be sure that the work piece and spacer are kept snug against the rip fence. Once the board engages the blade you can reduce the pressure from your left hand. Push the board and jig past the blade.
Note: There is a photo showing the cut is about half-completed. The woodworker has his left-hand little finger and ring finger tucked in the lef t hand miter slot as a means of keeping his hand away from the blade.
This simple jig allows you to easily cut even the thinnest of strips. Eventually, if you cut into it, you'll need to replace the hook, but the body of the jig should last forever.
Edited from an article in woodworkers journal © submitted by Larry Martin
© 2012 Woodworker’s Journal