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Re: cutting 2" rough western red cedar with a 10" Delta unisaw

From: Bruce Lehmann
Categories: Circular Saws
Date: 2/11/99
Time: 9:05:06 PM
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From: Categories: Circular Saws Date: 2/2/99 Time: 8:39:46 PM Remote Name:


I am trying to find our what would be the best and safest way to rip western red cedar (2") using a Delta 10" Unisaw in A HighSchool setting.Most of our cutting is done by first time or novice woodworkers who need to feel comfortable around the tablesaw. Given that Cedar tends to not only gum up the carbide blades rather quickly but produces som burning as a result I need to find a particular brand or style of 10" saw blade that will walk through this typw of stock with little to no problem. Any suggestion will be students await!!!



A few comments:

1. If the boards are long and heavy, use an infeed and outfeed table so the students don't have to worry about keeping the board at the right elevation, only on pushing and keeping the board against the fence. Ideally, I would use powered feed rolls to do the work.

2. You may also want to use paste wax to reduce the friction on the table and fence. Apply liberally.

3. A little more side clearance on the teeth may stop the burning.

4. The blade must be carbide tipped to stay sharp in wet Red Cedar (Stellite would be better at resisting the acids in cedar, but not too available except in sawmills). With inexperienced workers, keeping the saw sharp avoids the frustrations that could cause accidents. You may also consider using fewer teeth in the blade. When hand feeding, the bite per tooth is very small (less than 0.005" - sawmills have bites of 0.040 to 0.060"), which means you're doing more rubbing than cutting, so the teeth get dull quickly (and more heat is created). I have some blades that have 12 (or less) teeth.

5. Using a thin kerf blade, if possible, will reduce the feeding forces. ( You may want to have your students calculate whether they'd get another strip off the board if a thinner saw is used - it would be pure profit to a production shop! - I could provide an example, if you want, from my shop.)

What type of product are you producing? Does surface finish matter or can it be rough?

If the stock were thinner, say 3/4" instead of 2", you might consider putting two saws on the arbour, to increase production.

I hope these comments help. Bruce