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  1. #1
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    Question Problem rip sawing merbau timber decking

    Hi everyone,

    I'm brand new to Woodworks Forum, so please accept my apologies if I haven't posted this item in the correct Forum Topic (I'm happy for it to be moved to the correct one).

    I'm having great trouble trying to rip cut merbau timber slats. My tablesaw only gets about 25-30cm into the cut before the timber refuses to be pushed any further. I have noticed that the cut end that has passed the blade closes back on itself, which maybe 'clamping' on the blade. I have tried cutting the other end but have run into the same problem. I only have a limited number of slats, so I don't want to try another slat until I have an answer. Has anyone else experienced this problem? If yes, what was your solution?

    My tablesaw has never given me this issue previously, so I am assuming that the problem lies with the grain on the merbau - does/can it twist/clamp closed?

    Just for information, I'm using the merbau decking slats (which have been stored flat in my shed for about 10 months) to replace old/rotted hardwood slats on an old wrought-iron bench seat and the slats need to be cut length-wise to reduce each slat's width.

    Hoping someone can provide a suggestion to my problem.

    Thankyou & cheers.

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  3. #2
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    Welcome to the forum,

    As you are progressing your cut, keep the cut(kerf) open with a few bits of scrap timber, thin wedges.
    I actually use my chiels, but un til your have a bit more confidence just use some scraps.

    A lot of timber when you rip, it will open or close a little bit due to stresses in the timber.

    Cheers Matt.

  4. #3
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    Isn't that what the riving knife should do? Or do you have to use something thicker.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  5. #4
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    Install/raise the riving knife if you have one, and use wedges as mentioned. Also make sure your fence is parallel to the blade, that you're pushing against the fence, and make sure your saw is raised high enough so the teeth are biting down at a sufficient angle.

  6. #5
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    Are you using a rip blade with a low number of teeth of say around 24? If you are using a blade with a high number of teeth and small gullets you won't be able to rip your slats and it will only burn as you are experiencing.
    Dallas

  7. #6
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    Google up “riving knife “

  8. #7
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    I should apologise I didnít even think of a riving knife [emoji3064][emoji3064].

    Cheers Matt.

  9. #8
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    Nowhere near enough detail in the first post, can you tell us what sort of saw your using maybe with a photo.

    I was ripping 140x 2250mm long Merbau decking today for the bench project and what was interesting is that some closed up around the riving knife and some split further apart and widened the gap. Now if you using a standard fence that goes the full depth of the saw table this can lead to binding as well.

    Must say though with a proper riving knife in place the ones that closed up still didn't cause any binding.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
    I should apologise I didn’t even think of a riving knife [emoji3064][emoji3064].

    Cheers Matt.
    No need to apologise IMO. Good advice. Not all table saws have a riving knife or a splitter so the wedge method is an appropriate step until a riving knife or splitter can be added ( if it’s missing)

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lappa View Post
    No need to apologise IMO. Good advice. Not all table saws have a riving knife or a splitter so the wedge method is an appropriate step until a riving knife or splitter can be added ( if itís missing)
    If it hasn't got a a riving knife or a splitter - then perhaps you should not be ripping on it, using wedges or not!

    A significant number of table saw injuries are related to kick back which is highly likely in the scenario you have mentioned.

    If the table saw has a riving knife then fit it before attempting to rip timber.

    Does it have a blade guard?? If so then fit it as well.
    Mobyturns

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  12. #11
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    Merbau moves like a bastard when ripped. You're never going to prevent it, all you can do is work around it.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyturns View Post
    If it hasn't got a a riving knife or a splitter - then perhaps the OP should not be ripping on it, using wedges or not!

    A significant number of table saw injuries are related to kick back which is highly likely in the scenario the OP has mentioned.

    If the table saw has a riving knife then fit it before attempting to rip timber.

    To the OP Does it have a blade guard?? If so then fit it as well.
    There - fixed

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