In Session 6 of the ongoing Maple Trestle Table build, I needed to cut two stretchers from a slab of maple and my sliding table saw was the best tool for the job. Note that I used a riving knife for every cut.
I first crosscut the slab to length using the crosscut fence and outrigger for support. The crosscut fence, which was much longer and more solid than a mitre gauge, was secured to the outrigger and sliding table. The workpiece sat directly on the outrigger and sliding table so I didn’t lose any depth of cut. Together, the slab, sliding table, outrigger and crosscut fence glided past the blade on ball bearings.
Once the stock was cut to length, I turned it length-wise to rip one edge straight. I butted one end against the back of the crosscut fence and positioned a cam-action hold-down at the other end. I positioned the workpiece where I thought it needed to be to rip a clean, straight edge (I could have also measured to be more accurate). Then I secured the slab with the hold-down and pushed the sliding table and slab through the blade. Because the slab wasn’t perfectly flat, I also applied downward pressure to the forward end.
With one straight edge established, I then needed to rip two pieces of the same width. I positioned the rip fence the appropriate distance from the blade and retracted the fence to the short fence position. In this position, the fence terminated where (or slightly before) the stock was parted by the blade. This way, the material was never trapped between the blade and fence which could cause burning, binding, and/or kickback.
I recorded the whole process, including set-up, in this video. (Duration – 6:11)
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