Use of Power Tools for Cutting Wood to Rough Length and Width

Use of Tools for Cutting Wood to Rough Length and Width

The first step in any woodworking project is to cut the wood roughly to the dimensions required for surfacing, shaping or joining. The initial cuts will also produce boards with straight edges and eliminate many defects that could cause problems later.

Using Power Tools for Cutting Wood

There are many works of different woodworking tools for cutting woods. You can use a normal saw, table saw or an oscillating tool with sharp blades to have tough cut. Here are some examples of the uses of power tools for cutting wood to rough length and width.

  • Lathe
  • Japanese Saw
  • Oscillating Tool
  • Rip Cut Saw
  • Band Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Hacksaws
  • Chainsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Tree Loppers
  • Coping Saws
  • Bow Saw
  • Fret Saw
  • Crosscut Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Two-Man Crosscut Saw
  • Pruning Saw
  • Chisels
  • Plane
  • Jointer

The list can go endless. Every tool has special kinds of uses. However, we will discuss using oscillating tool and table saw for wood cutting.

Table Saw for cutting woods

Whether you are working with milled boards from a lumberyard, old barn siding or chunks cut from logs, a table saw, is the best tool for cutting boards to the width (by ripping) and length (by cross-cutting).

A typical home model, with a blade 10 inches in diameter, can cut through boards up to 3/4 inches thick. Two saw accessories, the rip fence and the miter gauge, enable you to cut milled lumber to precise widths and angles, and easily made plywood jigs (opposite) will hold irregularly shaped pieces of wood in position for cutting straight edges.

Oscillating tool for woodworking

An oscillating tool is perfect for cutting and also make the surface of the wood smoother.

Oscillating tool for woodworking

You can use it as a secondary tool after cutting the sharp edges of the table saw cut. For using it on multipurpose, people call it as a multi-tool also.

A perfect oscillating tool can do grinding, sanding, scraping and sawing different wood and other kinds of materials and deliver a finished surface.

Carefully cutting with oscillating tools

Careful selection and careful cutting will enable you to use wood economically. For example, if you are cutting an irregular piece that tapers from one end to the other, you will get the most from it by cutting it to rough lengths before ripping off the edges. Then, you can then cut wider boards from the broader parts of the piece.

Also plan your cuts to eliminate knots, cracks or other defects in the wood. When sewing around problem areas, use extreme caution. Knock out loose knots before sawing, to prevent their being thrown by the blade. Sawing through cracks can cause a wedge of wood to pop out with great force.

Using Table Saw Properly

You can get the best results with a table saw if you use the correct blade for the job at hand. A table saw commonly has a combination blade, which can be used for either ripping or crosscutting. However, a blade ground specifically for one job will give a smoother cut on that job.

Cleaning the saw blade

You can improve the performance of any blade by cleaning it periodically with a resin solvent such as turpentine, to prevent binding.

Vibrations from normal use can cause small alignment errors in the adjustable parts of a table saw. The tilt of the blade and the angle of the miter gauge should be reset before each project.

Check the alignment

You should also periodically check the alignment of the saw table with the blade. To do this, unplug the saw, raise the blade fully and mark one tooth with a crayon.

Then rotate the blade by hand so that the marked tooth is even with the table surface at the front of the blade slot.

Measure from that tooth to each miter-gauge channel. Then rotate the blade until the marked tooth is at the back of the slot, and measure again.

If the front and back measurements are not identical, adjust the table top according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then follow it with tapping the tabletop with a rubber mallet until the alignment is perfect, then tightening the bolts.

Align the rip fence

Use a similar technique to align the rip fence before each ripping job. Position the fence so that the distance from the fence to both the front and the back edges of the saw blade. See if it is exactly the width of the planned cut.

Align Table Saw Properly

Measure to the inner point of a saw tooth closest to the fence. Now Lock the fence in place.

Aligning the Saw for Precision Cuts

Adjusting the blade and miter gauge. To check the vertical alignment of the blade (top), unplug the saw, extend the blade fully and set a try square on the table, its tongue vertical against the blade. Use the saw’s tilt mechanism to bring the blade flush against the square.

If the blade does not move easily, check the track of the tilt mechanism for obstructions. When the blade is perpendicular to the table, adjust the pointer to 0° on the tilt mechanism’s indicator scale.

For a 90° angle on the miter gauge (bottom), hold a try square’s tongue against the miter gauge and its handle against the saw blade. Pivot the gauge to bring the square’s handle flush against the blade, then tighten the locking knob.

Smoothing the Wood Surface for Better Finish

Whether you have cut the wood with the oscillating tool or table saw, you need to make the edge surface smoother. And also, you should give it a better finish. A finished wood edge will last longer and look better.

It doesn’t matter if you are making it for door or drawers, you need to make the surface smooth if you aren’t planning for burning it. You can use an orbital sander for sanding and then paint it from outside.

2 thoughts on “Use of Tools for Cutting Wood to Rough Length and Width”

  1. Great Article. I really liked the second point that you mentioned in the third paragraph. I am a very beginner in this topic and today i stumbled upon this article. Very informative and helpful. Thanks. I have bookmarked your website, probably will come again to check out more articles.

  2. Pingback: Dealing with Home Improvement Hazards – Tips and Tricks

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