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Table Saw: I sliced into my rip fence


nothandyman

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I recently purchased a new Ryobi RTS20 table saw (see my recent post). When making a trimming cut - maybe 1/16 or 1/32 inch - I sliced into the rip fence (see attached photo). I'd like to know whether that reflects my carelessness or whether that shouldn't be possible. I didn't slice all the way through the fence, I just sort of trimmed part of it when I trimmed my wood. As far as I could tell (I checked), the blade was true, and I locked the fence where the rule said I should, and I checked it visually to make sure there was space between the blade and the fence before I started the cut. I'm thinking that a fence shouldn't be able to lock into a position directly over the blade, but I don't know. FWIW, my cut came out fine, so the blade couldn't have actually been touching the fence 100%. I'd appreciate any feedback, because if this shouldn't have happened because the saw isn't designed properly for this situation, I'm going to return it. If it was my fault, I'll probably keep it. It still works, but I don't like the gouge in the fence. Thanks.

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Most table saw you can place the fence anywhere and make a cut, even directly over the blade. So my guess this is just a beginers mistake, we have all wrecked tools or done something, thats how we learn. Before you made the cut, you probably saw a gap and that was the case. On less expensive saw and even some nicer saws, you never get a true cut. When a motor starts, you might get minut wobbles naked to the eye, but because of the deisign of the motor and maybe even a blade, you will always get some wobble. My guess is you were trying to be to precise and just made a mistake. No big deal. In the future if your trying to get that close or take off only an 1/16 or 1/32, I would suggest either using planner. if you don't have one, use a bandsaw, if you don't have one use a router. You can actually turn your table saw into a router table. If you don't have a router, you a sander. You really only want to use a tablesaw for cuts greater than 1/2", maybe a 1/4", but that is pushing the limites of a tablesaw.

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Hey, thanks Carp! Fortunately, it's just a gouge in the fence that won't impact my future cutting. I appreciate all the advice, and I'll follow your suggestions. I don't have a planer or bandsaw, but I do have a router I've been meaning to learn how to use.... I really appreciate the time you took to explain all this to me.

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Good overview carp. A router is great for design work, but I also use mine to remove small amounts of wood. Just make sure if it is hardwood, get a good bit as cheaper bits will dull rather quickly and put more stress on your router. As carp said you can turn your table saw into a router table, if your table actually extends. If not, you can build or even buy a router table. Lucky the rip fence is just minor sctratches, a battle wound, a nice reminder of when you where a beginer. Everyday you get more experience and will have something to look back on and laugh. At least your learned by cutting into the rip fence and not a body part.

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Amen to that! Thanks to you too, homer. I got my router used through an intermediary. It came with a table which I've been trying to figure out how to set up. I'll figure it out. I appreciate the tip about using quality bits - any suggestions on manufacturers?

P.S. Re looking back and laughing - I've got enough already that I'll probably die of a heart attack! ;):rolleyes:

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Hmmm - didn't think of it that way; it sounds like a great idea, especially if you use a thick laminate. With the kind of cut I was doing (basically shaving the wood), the blade is so close to the fence that you really have to keep your eye on it, and every little bit would help. I stopped doing that kind of cut anymore, though, per the advice of carp.

Ultimately, I decided to return the saw. Ryobi has a 30-day satisfaction guaranty. If it was only the rip fence (my fault), I would have kept it, but the saw didn't cut through 2-bys as easily as it should have (with the included blade), and really struggled with 4-bys. It also had a decent-feeling table, but it was pretty lightweight for its size, and the extensions weren't stiff. The miter gauge was wobbly. Basically, probably a fair saw for the price, but I've used so many other peoples' saws that were better that I decided to upgrade to a better saw myself. Now, if I mess up, I'll damage something expensive.

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