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BT3K Rip Capacity

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  • BT3K Rip Capacity

    So, I'm about to rip a piece of 6/4 white oak on my table saw, and I say to myself, can my table saw do this, or am I about to eat oak? I believe this saw isn't underpowered for this purpose, that should kick in at about 8/4. However I thought about asking for some advice. Should I just let her rip the whole thickness of the board, or should I rip it half thickness, flip it over, and rip again? I've heard some say that I should raise the blade higher so there's more downward pressure on the board. Anyway, it's a real pretty piece of oak, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • #2
    Yes, an appropriately tuned BT3K with a sharp ripping blade can handle ripping 6/4 and 8/4 oak. Technique is important; use a steady feed rate, a featherboard to hold the stock to the fence, and the riving knife and guard to provide an extra measure of safety.

    You shouldn't need to rip half the thickness and flip it as you describe. My preference is in one pass, so that you end up with a consistent cut.

    I am presuming that your stock is milled flat, straight, and square before cutting. If it isn't, then that needs to be taken care of first.
    Brian

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    • #3
      It is also of great importance to make sure you are feeding the saw with a single circuit with no other loads on it. If you must use an extension cord shorter is better with 12 ga. or thicker wire.
      Donate to my Tour de Cure


      marK in WA and Ryobi Fanatic Association State President

      Head servant of the forum

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      • #4
        this should be doable with this saw BUT you need to stack the deck in your favor.
        1. proper blade, a 24-tooth ripping blade is best but the 36-t that comes with the saw may cut it. For deep rips a blade with large gullets (the valley between the teeth) should be wide and deep to carry away the cuttings. If the gullet fills up then the blade will ride on the cuttings and keep the teeth away.
        2. Sharp and clean blade - no pitch or resin on it. worn and dirty blades will bind up.
        3. Make sure your saw is fully powered - this means no other equipment on the circuit (e.g. lights, shop vac, refrigerator, etc). And either hefty extension cords (#12 gauge) or none at all. Lightweight cords and other equipment will drop the voltage and make your saw lose power.
        4. Feed rate. At high loads feeding too fast will bind up the saw and stall the motor (may damage motor and or belts). At too low a speed, the wood will burn. Oak and maple are especially susceptable to burning. With deep, long rips, the difference between too slow and too fast is much narrower than for thin rips and crosscuts. Listen to your saw and push as fast as you can without causing the saw to labor and slow excessively.
        5. Rest often between rips - the BT3 can be overheated. I recommend ripping the shortest length you need - by crosscutting first if you can. Allow cooling time for the saw if you are doing multiple rips.
        6 use a feather board to help keep the wood to the fence for consistent thickness. Plan your cut so you can keep the wood moving smoothly, if possible. Think about where everything will end up, esp. if the rip is long..
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 12-13-2011, 09:45 PM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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        • #5
          Loring's post is excellant. I will add that I have ripped 3 1/2 inch oak on my BT3100 so I know it can do this. Do what Loring says and it should go well - but you will not be able to rip real fast. I will add a couple points. If the board warps as you cut it, you may still have some difficulty. I like to rip a little oversize, 1/16 or less so I can clean up any warping that occurs during ripping and also any burning. It shouldn't happen if you do everything right but I do not always take the time to clean the blade or switch to a sharper one. A quick pass taking 1/32 or 1/64 off will clean it up. A micropositioner is handy.

          Jim

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          • #6
            I thought about adding JimD's suggestion , to rip a bit oversize. Feeding and trimming 1/16th off is much easier than making a full cut. Thats allows some leeway for mistake, like burning and allowing a little wobble in the feed rate or keeping against the fence that makes saw marks. Feeding a rip of 1/16th off will go fast and much smoother and allow you to clean up those mistakes. I do this if I can!
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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            • #7
              Take the above advice. I got "impatient" one time and that's all it took to fry my BT motor.
              I'm sure it was a combo of pitch, non-flat material, dull blade, and simple stupidity. My feed rate was much too fast, I'm sure as well.

              Dang, I miss that saw. I still use the flat tables for jigs.

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              • #8
                I cut 8/4 cherry and make it through, with all of the suggestions you read before mine. I hate myself when I forget to check if the dryer is running... But when I rip anything over 4/4 of anything, I switch from my Tenyru .111 to my Freud .0905 thin kerf. The less wood you're cutting the less resistance to the motor and a kerf reduction is the same as cutting thinner wood. It helps, and the blade costs about $40... A good investment over the life of the saw.

                Keep your feed rate slow but steady or you'll spend a little extra time sanding the burn. With that load, also have good feather board support, and have your riving blade installed (preferably the Shark). If you do bind (the BT3 doesn't kick like a 3 amp) due to the cut closing, it can, and will fry your motor ( the BT3 uses a universal motor !!Very Important!! )

                http://ezinearticles.com/?Understand...ools&id=640680

                Universal Motors don't have the life of an Induction Motor like they use on the big guys (Delta etc.)

                Less stalls, or breaker pops keep the saw running longer!!!

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                • #9
                  I have ripped my share of 8/4 red oak, and with a sharp, clean blade, and good technique I got a very clean cut. Follow the aforementioned advice and you won't have any trouble.
                  Alex

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                  • #10
                    Blade and Featherboard

                    That's some great advice; thanks everyone. I went ahead and ordered that freud 24 tooth ripping blade. About the featherboard, should I make it out of mdf, or something harder?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by akronee View Post
                      That's some great advice; thanks everyone. I went ahead and ordered that freud 24 tooth ripping blade. About the featherboard, should I make it out of mdf, or something harder?
                      I wouldn't use MDF, i don't have too much experience with it, but I think that in the thin strips you cut the "feathers" into it would be rather weak. I use a piece of pine wood I had laying around, and ran the grain parallel to the feathers.
                      Alex

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wood_workur View Post
                        I wouldn't use MDF, i don't have too much experience with it, but I think that in the thin strips you cut the "feathers" into it would be rather weak. I use a piece of pine wood I had laying around, and ran the grain parallel to the feathers.
                        +1 Do NOT use MDF. MDF is for "sheet" use, not strips under pressure.

                        Use Solid wood, or polycarbonate.
                        Downunder ... 1" = 25.4mm

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                        • #13
                          Not to be sassy, but I do believe this may be the first time I have ever seen Rod post saying to not use MDF :P

                          Appropriate advice, but never thought I would see the day! hehe
                          I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

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                          • #14
                            Splendid!

                            I used pine for the featherboard, and used the 24tooth freud ripping blade, and it ate the oak for dinner. No problems whatsoever. In fact, I didn't even "feel" the saw come in contact with the board even though I was holding the other end. That's one great blade.

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