OT: Ideas for a rip fence/track for rough sawn lumber...... - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    One tip for using a hand held circular saw is very simple. Measure carefully and make a short board the exact offset width of the blade from the edge of the base. Make two while you are at it. Use them to offset the guide rail from your cut line the exact distance needed. Makes setup of the guide much faster and accurate with no measuring.
    Bill D

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    I just tacked a long straight edge on one side then used that against the fence on table saw
    Depending on species and how much it’s likely to move around

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    One tip for using a hand held circular saw is very simple. Measure carefully and make a short board the exact offset width of the blade from the edge of the base. Make two while you are at it. Use them to offset the guide rail from your cut line the exact distance needed. Makes setup of the guide much faster and accurate with no measuring.
    Bill D
    That's the beauty of the simple board that i use. When you make it you attach the very straight guide board to the base at a point further than the cut distance of the saw. Once that is done you cut down the full length and remove a small strip and now the edge of the base board IS the distance from the guide board to the blade. To use you just line up the jig with the line you want to cut and clamp it. No screwing around with a tape measure and doing some math.

    Steve

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    Perhaps a wild idea, but have you considered a panel saw. They stand upright so can take a minimum of room. And they can cut both horizontally and vertically so you can handle full sized sheets of plywood in addition to lengths of dimensional lumber. And the professional models can mount larger sized circular saws for your thick, dimensional lumber. Outboard supports could be added for your 12 foot lengths.

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    If I understand the OP correctly, he is looking for something to rip rough cut 4" X 4" and even 4" X 8" lumber from 8 foot long to as much as 12 foot long. To quote his post, "...4/4 to 8/4(maybe thicker) lumber and lengths from 8'-12'."

    I do not see how very many hand held circular saws will be able to make a cut that is a full four inches deep, much less eight inches.

    Am I reading him wrong? Is he perhaps talking about fourths of an inch so 4/4 = just ONE inch and 4/8 = just TWO inches? If so, then a table saw with a rip fence and a feather board may be the way to go. Or does he mean cm?

    He also says "I don't want a cheesy track saw with short pieces of track." I have a track saw with two 55" lengths of track and they quickly and easily assemble into a dead straight 110" length of track that I can just sit on top of anything up to about eight feet long. The rubber foam on the bottom of the track holds it in place if you are careful and it also allows you to line up your cut exactly at the edge of that rubber foam after the first cut which trims the foam to the exact location of the blade. This is both fast and accurate: A DEAD STRAIGHT CUT. I see no reason why a third section of track would not bring that to a full 12 foot length.

    The track also has slots on the bottom for clamps that can be positioned anywhere along it's length. I usually use them and they are both easy and fast.

    My track saw came with a 180mm blade that will do 1 31/32" deep cuts. It will accept larger blades that will take it to about 2 1/2" deep. If deeper cuts are really needed, then larger circular saws could be adopted to the track with a simple sled. Frankly, this is how I would go in this situation.



    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    I wanna build a fence or track to mount a circular saw for ripping a straight edge on rough sawn lumber. I don't want a cheesy track saw with short pieces of track. What I need will be used on 4/4 to 8/4(maybe thicker) lumber and lengths from 8'-12'. I want to be able to mount a circular saw to a trolley that will ride on the fence. Ease of loading, clamping and sawing boards is what I'm after. Right now I'm just using a hunk of 1/4x3 6061 for a saw guide. I wanted to maybe go with some extruded ali tube, but it's not always the straightest. I would even go as far as using linear rails/trucks for the saw trolley................ I want to be able to toss in a board, clamp and rip................and ideas or know of any designs out there? And no, I'm not buying a straight line rip saw...................they are spendy and I have no place to put it.

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    When working with rough-cut lumber, especially hardwoods, the thickness is referred to by 4's equal to a 1/4". This is the as sawn before planeing thickness. So 4/4 is 1", 5/4 is 1 1/4", 8/4 is 2". The old-timers had different ways of referring to things that are still being used. For example, go into a lumberyard for decking materiel and it is usually sold as 5/4x6, but in measuring it will be around 1 1/8" x 5 1/2" depending on shrinkage. Old wood shipbuilders used a method of calling numbers down for cutting in a way that would not get too confusing; example "Cut me two pieces 8-2-4" that meant 8' 2 1/2" as all fractions of an inch were in 1/16ths. Used on old wood auger bits, they are marked for diameter with a number denoting how many 16ths of an inch they are. An 8 would be 1/2", 12 is 3/4" etc.

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    Well if that's the case, I think we are back to a table saw, a rip fence, and a feather board to hold it against the fence. Oh, and a push stick for the last few inches.

    I really do not see any way to clamp down a 1" x 1" rough sawn piece of wood and then running a circular saw down it's length.

    Actually the most professional approach would be with a planer. That is actually how boards are made.

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    No, here is how boards are made:
    SLR12 Straight Line Rip Saw

    Thats in a small shop. Big mills use big machines with huge throughput.

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    ^^^ agree. A standard circular saw is going to bind as wood releases tension and has limited depth of cut.

    I repeat, the way little guys like me and perhaps the OP do this job best is a vertical band saw. Cheap, simple, and it works.

    L7

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    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    I wanna build a fence or track to mount a circular saw for ripping a straight edge on rough sawn lumber. I don't want a cheesy track saw with short pieces of track. What I need will be used on 4/4 to 8/4(maybe thicker) lumber and lengths from 8'-12'. I want to be able to mount a circular saw to a trolley that will ride on the fence. Ease of loading, clamping and sawing boards is what I'm after. Right now I'm just using a hunk of 1/4x3 6061 for a saw guide. I wanted to maybe go with some extruded ali tube, but it's not always the straightest. I would even go as far as using linear rails/trucks for the saw trolley................ I want to be able to toss in a board, clamp and rip................and ideas or know of any designs out there? And no, I'm not buying a straight line rip saw...................they are spendy and I have no place to put it.
    You posted a pix of your son running your bandsaw mill.
    Why not doo what my neighbor does, restack slabs on edge, and edge them all at once ?

    Oh, and you doo have room for an edger, it sits at the end of the bandmill, outside.

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    ^^^ Ha! A friend does exactly this with a homemade bandmill. He has many more board feet to go thru/year than it sounds like the OP has. All thanks to dutch elm disease and emerald bark beetle. He does get very nice wood though…..

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    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    No, here is how boards are made:
    SLR12 Straight Line Rip Saw

    Thats in a small shop. Big mills use big machines with huge throughput.
    Straight line rip saw is out...............spendy and I don't a room for more toys......................it would be the way to go though...........

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky7 View Post
    ^^^ agree. A standard circular saw is going to bind as wood releases tension and has limited depth of cut.

    I repeat, the way little guys like me and perhaps the OP do this job best is a vertical band saw. Cheap, simple, and it works.

    L7
    Nope.............how do you rip a straight edge? Chalk line and then cut? Not faster than a track and a circular saw................Are you talking re-sawing, making thinner boards from a thick board? I'm edging. ....................not gettin' what you're layin down here? Limted DOC? I'll more than likely be usin' a 10-1/4 circular saw.........that'll get me to over 3".......that's some big stuff...............

    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    You posted a pix of your son running your bandsaw mill.
    Why not doo what my neighbor does, restack slabs on edge, and edge them all at once ?

    Oh, and you doo have room for an edger, it sits at the end of the bandmill, outside.
    Band mill is for rough work......and not buyin an edger.........I'm taking rough sawn,.............runnin' 'er through the planer and then I need to qualify a straight edge.................once to have one side straight it's on to the table saw/jointer, etc......................

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    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    Nope.............how do you rip a straight edge? Chalk line and then cut? Not faster than a track and a circular saw................Are you talking re-sawing, making thinner boards from a thick board? I'm edging. ....................not gettin' what you're layin down here? Limted DOC? I'll more than likely be usin' a 10-1/4 circular saw.........that'll get me to over 3".......that's some big stuff...............



    Band mill is for rough work......and not buyin an edger.........I'm taking rough sawn,.............runnin' 'er through the planer and then I need to qualify a straight edge.................once to have one side straight it's on to the table saw/jointer, etc......................
    Rough sawn thru a planer first? Don’t understand.

    Not my 9-5 but I have done several thousand board feet at a go with one other guy. Snap a chalk line, decent quickly rigged infeed/outfeed tables thru band saw for one edge. Thru jointer for same edge, then table saw for other side, stack em again with stickers, and done. Obviously not what the pro’s do, but I’m just a little guy using equipment already at hand.

    If you use circular saw even with a guide you’re wandering enough you’ll still need a jointer session. Assuming you don’t bind up your saw.

    Do what works for you.

    L7

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    It seems that our OP has considered that and nixed it.

    I was a bit hung up on the dimensions given. I was assuming he was talking about both dimensions, thickness and width. Apparently that is not so. So we are talking about rough sawn boards that are between one and two inches THICK and significantly wider. And he envisions some kind of rails to guide a circular saw. And he wants a straight cut.

    And he is short on both money and space for this. He did talk about using some type of metal shapes for the rails; solids, tubes, etc.

    One remaining question would be; can this rig, which would be fairly narrow but over 12 feet long, be left standing between his occasional jobs or must it be taken apart for storage? So, here goes:

    1. The straightness requirement is mostly in only one degree of freedom. The saw could move a bit up or down while the cut remains "straight". So you can use a guide that can flex a bit in the vertical direction but must be as straight as possible horizontally. To me, this sounds an awful lot like track sections for a track saw. They are manufactured with this precise specification in mind. And, if the rig must be disassembled for storage, track saw track is also designed for that. I have three sections of track for my track saw and they can be assembled in any combination quickly and easily and will be dead straight (wood working straight, not machinist straight).

    2. Your track can be attached to one or more wood base(s). If the rig was to be taken down for storage, it would be necessary to leave openings in that base to reach the connecting links for tying the track sections together. One section of base and track would have the track fastened firmly to the wood base: this would be the center section when the rig is assembled. The second and third end sections would have the track loosely fastened so they can align to the center section when the rig is assembled. The wood bases would attach to the center section firmly and then their track sections would be aligned to the center track section and locked in that alignment.

    3, An SLED would be used to offset the circular saw from the track. This would allow a work area that is removed from the track. The sled would have riders on the bottom to follow the track and the saw would have a variable offset from that area to allow different board widths to be cut. I envision a two piece sled with two scales that allow quick adjustment to different cutting widths. Toggle clamps (below) or plain screw clamps could quickly and accurately lock them together.

    4. The track sections of the wood bases would be elevated two inches above the surface where the rough boards are located and clamped. They would have a fairly straight edge that the rough boards are set against.

    5. I would use some of the toggle style clamps that can be purchased from a number of sources to clamp the rough cut boards down. These clamps would be located BELOW the wood bases of the track sections and would have a thin (1/8" thick), steel clamp on the top side of the bases that pulls down. These two would be connected with a vertical rod that passes through a hole in the higher section of the bases. The sled would ride over these clamp plates.

    6. Spacing pieces could be kept to bring the rough cut lumber up to a standard height of the saw end of the sled. These would be placed under the rough cut lumber, on the lower section of the base. An alternate way of keeping the sled level would be to install a wood rail at the outer edge of the wood bases to support the sled there. But this would limit the width of the rough cut boards that would fit between this rail and the straight edge used to align the boards being cut. It does have the advantage of no loose parts to get lost between uses.

    Here is a quick sketch that I made:



    This could be done two ways: as a 13+ foot long permanent set-up or as three 4' 7" sections that could be taken down and stored in a smaller space. The legs could be removed and the sections stored vertically for additional space saving.

    The use of track saw track does two things: first, they are made to accomplish straight cuts. And second they are probably the lease expensive (depending on the brand chosen) way of obtaining straight track that can be broken down and reassembled into a straight track.

    PS: If you can get an edge of the same straightness as this with a chalk line, you are a better man with a saw than I am.



    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    No, here is how boards are made:
    SLR12 Straight Line Rip Saw

    Thats in a small shop. Big mills use big machines with huge throughput.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    Straight line rip saw is out...............spendy and I don't a room for more toys......................it would be the way to go though...........



    Nope.............how do you rip a straight edge? Chalk line and then cut? Not faster than a track and a circular saw................Are you talking re-sawing, making thinner boards from a thick board? I'm edging. ....................not gettin' what you're layin down here? Limted DOC? I'll more than likely be usin' a 10-1/4 circular saw.........that'll get me to over 3".......that's some big stuff...............



    Band mill is for rough work......and not buyin an edger.........I'm taking rough sawn,.............runnin' 'er through the planer and then I need to qualify a straight edge.................once to have one side straight it's on to the table saw/jointer, etc......................
    Bandmill does make them straight, if you know what your doing.
    Finish and straightness are qty (2) different things, you should know that being a machinist.


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