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Thread: Rip Capacity

  1. #1
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    Rip Capacity

    Hey guys,

    I often see information regarding the rip capacity of various fence systems for table saws.

    The current capacity of my Ridgid fence system is 24 inches on the right side and about 12 on the left. I've never made any cuts with the fence to the left of the blade so I don't know what that is all about.

    I am getting ready to install a 30 inch Biesemeyer fence system.

    My question is why would I need anything greater than this?

    If I want a 36 inch piece off a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood, I would set the fence at 12 inches and the leftover will be 36. I think I could do this with the fence on the left or right side depending on the clearance I had at each side.

    Anyway, I am trying to figure out why folks want 52 inch rip capacity on table saws.

    Thanks,

    TJ

  2. #2
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    The biggest reason is when you wanna cut a sheet of plywood in half, I think. That'd be a 48" cut. Some might call it a crosscut because it's not lengthwise, but in plywood, it's all the same to the blade.

  3. #3
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    The biggest reason is when you wanna cut a sheet of plywood
    in half, I think. That'd be a 48" cut. Some might call it a
    crosscut because it's not lengthwise, but in plywood, it's
    all the same to the blade.


    Bingo! I have 53 inches right of the blade and have occassionally cut plywood in half lengthwise. Depending on the cutlist, sometimes it can help economize on the plywood used.

    That's also why my outfeed table is the full width of my tablesaw and right side extension. ;)

    Cody
    Tyler, TX


    He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.



  4. #4
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    The common justification is the half-sheet cut... but BOY that wants a bunch of attention, & extra effort, too. I like to cut 'em on 2x4's, on the floor, with my handheld circular saw & a straightedge.

    -- Tim --

    I'm a
    HOARSE
    WHISPERER.


  5. #5
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    So you are taking a full size sheet of plywood and cross cutting it using only the rip fence?

    I thought it was taboo to use the fence in any situation where the workpiece is wider than it is long which would be the case if you are cross cutting a full sheet.

    For example, would you use the fence to rip a piece that was 12 inch wide and 6 in long?

    I guess I'm confused because I was taught to use a sled if cutting a piece that was wider than it was long.

    Thanks for the responses. At least I understand a bit better now.

    TJ

  6. #6
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    I cut pieces all the time that are longer than they are wide and I cut them against the rip fence. The criteria I use is whether I feel the piece is wide enough to keep one edge firmly against the fence, regardless of length.

    Cody
    Tyler, TX


    He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.



  7. #7
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    Ok, got it (she said confidently :).) That makes sense. I was thinking the workpiece would tend to pivot but that would only be the case where the piece was not very wide.

    Thank you for indulging me and for your patience, Cody.

    I thought for sure I was missing something not being able to think of a project that would require that rip capacity.

    TJ

  8. #8

    RE: Rip Capacity

    Uhhhh - Mee tooo.

    Using a guide with a circular saw - the cuts come out downright nice. I feel a lot better obout it too.

    I don't even like to rip a full sheet of plywood. I just don't feel comfortable with it. Even with that said - I do rip full sheets on the TS.

    Not sure I would want to crosscut a full sheet.

  9. #9
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    I have the newer version the 3650 which has 36" to the right (and 12 to the left)

    I agree with the other comments, there are times when cross cutting a full sheet is useful but it's not a lot of fun unless you really have a good system for infeed and outfeed. You are probably better off using a circular saw with a straight edge. I find that even if I can just break it in half I'm in pretty good shape on the TS.

    That said, there are times where 36" hasn't been enough and I really would have liked the 50" rails.

    For example, going back to your suggestion of cutting 12" off the piece and leaving the desired 36" width on the waste side. I've done that but you need to take into account the blade width which is one more thing for me to screw up. More often though the situation that's burned me is where I setup for the cut and through some screw-up end up being a little bit longer than I wanted. Normally long is good because you can just recut. Setting the fence at 1" and leaving 36 inches for the "waste" isn't a fun cut. Even less fun when it's only a 1/4" that you are off. Just no way to take a little more off.



  10. #10
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    RE: Rip Capacity

    Biggest thing is not to usse the miter gauge on one side of the blade, and the fence on the other. If they are on the same side it's ok.

    wm

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