How to Resaw on the Table Saw

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This is How to Resaw on the Table Saw. This post, I’ll show you a sweet little trick that will help you get the most resaw capacity out of your tablesaw. Enjoy.

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Resawing on the Table Saw

How-to-Resaw-on-the-Table-SawMost table saws only have about a three or four inch depth of cut. That’s really not super great when it comes to milling pieces of lumber from larger stock. Re-saws are expensive, but you can actually use your tablesaw a little bit more than you might think.

I learned this trick when making acoustic guitars. The backs are made from a couple pieces that are 8 1/2 inches wide. You have to split them open, and that would require a tool with a 9 inch depth of cut.

Not having something like that in my shop, I had to improvise. That’s where I discovered a little trick for the tablesaw that I’m going to pass along to you.

See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker

Blade Height Limitations

The biggest issue with re-sawing on your tablesaw is that the blade on the tablesaw only goes up so high. On a 10 inch table saw you may only have about 4 inches or so sticking out beyond the table top.

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That’s definitely not a lot of resaw capacity. However, if you double that amount, it’s actually not too bad. In most cases, this is enough to help you mill larger boards into smaller boards for your projects.

The way that you double it is simply by flipping the board over after cutting one side to full depth. This lets you make two cuts, one from either side, effectively doubling the cutting capacity.

See Also: 19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Woodworking

Safety When Resawing

It’s really important that you follow all safety recommendations, and you be extra careful when you’re working on your tablesaw. This goes for making normal cuts as well as milling larger boards down to size.

The techniques that you are about to learn are very commonly done on a tablesaw, but you still want to make sure that you’re being extra safe, and that you do a little practice if needed.

Also, it’s a good idea to make several passes, adjusting the blade height further up each time. This will give the blade a much easier time at making the cut, and you’ll have a lot less chances of the blade catching and throwing the piece back at you.

See Also: 9 Trusted Tips on How to Laminate Wood

Making a Taller Fence

Another thing that can help with taller pieces of wood is to create a sacrificial fence that’s taller than your standard fence. This gives you a much wider plane to press the wood against, and that can lead to less tipping and twisting.

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It’s pretty easy to make a fence like this, and all you need to do is attach a piece of wood to your existing fence that you set perfectly parallel with the blade. This will give you a much bigger area to press against as you are cutting, and that’s helpful.

I recommend that you make the fence about the same height as your total re-saw capacity on the tablesaw, which is basically twice the length of the exposed amount of blade when it’s fully raised out of the table top.

See Also: Tall Table Saw Fence for Re-Sawing

Step by Step Resaw Instructions

When it comes time to actually do a to resaw on a piece of wood, here’s the way you do it:

  1. Set the fence to create a piece of the proper width after the cut.
  2. Set your blade height, and again I recommend doing several passes until the blade reaches full depth just to make it easier on the machine and on you.
  3. Saw the piece of wood with it held carefully against the fence, and make as many passes as you need to reach the full blade depth.
  4. To make the second cut, flip the board over, but ensure that when you run it through, the same face that was against the fence originally is also against the fence again. This time however the cut you made previously will be facing up instead of down.
  5. Adjust the height of your blade again to allow yourself to make several passes instead of one very deep pass that removes a lot of wood. Make several cuts, and the last should separate the two boards.
  6. Pay attention on the last cut, because you want to push your two boards beyond the saw blade so they do not make contact and kick back.

See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking

Tips and Tricks for Table Saw Milling

Here are some tips and tricks for milling wood on your tablesaw that will help you be a lot more successful, and a lot safer.

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  • You definitely want to make several passes. I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but it’s definitely worth repeating. Trying to make a full depth cut in one pass is very hard on the machine, and it also encourages burning, and potential safety issues.
  • It’s worth the time to make a taller fence, because it’s actually kind of difficult to hold a piece of wood against a lower standing fence. This can result in twisting and binding, which can throw the peace back.
  • When you saw, advance the piece only as quickly as the saw blade can easily remove material. This keeps the blade cool, and prevents the machine from slowing down.

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know how to resaw on your table saw, it’s time to get out in your shop and take action. If you’ve been paying too much for milled wood, it’s time to save a little bit of money by doing it yourself.

I recommend that you start practicing with a piece of Pine, or something inexpensive in order to get down the technique. It doesn’t even need to be super tall, you just need to practice flipping the board properly so the same face rides against the fence for both cuts.

This will help train you on the process, and how this two-step milling process actually works on your tablesaw. Once you have it down, it’ll be a little bit easier when it comes time to do a larger piece.

If you have any questions about resawing on your tablesaw, please post a question and I’ll be happy to answer them. Happy building.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
Buy My Books on Amazon

I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post.

 

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