I left off last week ready to make my first cuts with my table saw.
I had purchased maple and walnut that I was ready to crosscut because the table saw is small, and my confidence in ripping (cutting with the grain) was lower than my confidence in crosscutting (against the grain). I figured that ripping smaller pieces would be better in the even of drift.
Should I have practiced with wood I didn’t care about so I could preserve the wood I needed? Probably! Did I? No.
And how could I not use the 3D printed crosscut pusher my cousin printed for me?
I went with the maple first. It was thinner than the walnut, so it would just be smooth going. I practiced a few times with the table saw unplugged to adjust the blade and make sure the pusher moved easily. Then it was time to plug it in and cut.
And then I sustained my first injuries. I knew they were happening, but there was little I could do before it was too late.
I was out for vengeance.
I got my vengeance and some of my blood back.
With that mosquito eliminated, it was on to the cutting.
Hooboy was that fun! My first two cuts were smooth and easy with the pusher. Of course, without a crosscut sled, the small table is better suited for smaller pieces for crosscutting.
Crosscutting walnut was more challenging.
The walnut boards were slightly thicker than the cutting depth of the blade. No matter, I had figured. I would just cut through all the way one way and then flip over and cut off the other side.
But I ran into an issue pretty quickly: The riving knife-cover assembly doesn’t provide clearance for a board to pass over it only partially cut. I hadn’t foreseen this. I don’t know how I hadn’t, but I hadn’t.
So it was an exercise in flipping.
When I ran out of room to cut through a board, I flipped it over back and forth and back and forth to cut the newly accessible parts. Absolutely it was sketchy. Using this small setup and the blade guard and everything, it was lower risk of big injury.
While I was proud of myself for the success I’d had, after crosscutting the two boards, I didn’t want to go through that process again.
So I moved to one of my favorite tools.
I took a little bit of material off with the plane at a time, and that took a while. But the alternative was trying to rip and flip and rip and flip. I had zero interest in that.
Finally I got the boards to proper thickness, and I ripped away.
I was proud of the consistency of my ripping work as a first-time solo user of a table saw.
More next week.