Thin Wood Strips Cut on the Bandsaw
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas Edison, Inventor and Scientist (1847 – 1931)
Thin Wood Strips for Wood Inlay Banding
Often times in our woodworking shops we need to cut thin wood strips for our projects and in many cases the table saw is often considered the tool of choice by woodworkers. However, the band saw is proving to be the winner in my workshop especially when very thin wood strips are needed for my wood projects such as wood inlay. The way it is done in my workshop is very simple, safe, and accurate. Plus, less wood becomes sawdust. Join me and learn how to cut thin wood strips on the band saw.
As you can see in the photos there is a band saw rip fence and a Rockler thin rip jig that has a roller bearing. The shop made rip fence is clamped to the manufacturer’s band saw fence and the thin rip jig is secured in the miter gauge slot. For the purpose of this woodworking tutorial we are slicing thin wood strips 1/16″ of hardwood veneer. To do this we first set the roller bearing of the thin rip jig 1/16″ away from the band saw blade. Next, we slide the jig along the miter track so that the bearing is an inch or so in front of the blade. Then we simply turn the knob to lock the jig in place.
Next, we take our surfaced and parallel board to be cut and place it alongside the roller bearing. We then we slide our thin rip fence next to the opposite edge of the board and lock the ripping fence in place.
The Simplicity of Cutting Thin Wood Strips
The beauty of this operation is that it is very simple. The L-shaped rip fence allows for the band saw bearing guide assembly to be lowered so that the saw blade is very well concealed. The rip fence also allows room for a hand or push stick to direct the material past the saw’s blade. As a result, this is a very safe way of cutting thin wood strips. Also, keep in mind that a band saw blade will not kick back like that of a table saw’s blade.
The veneer being cut in this demonstration is being sliced at a uniform thickness because it is sandwiched between the rip fence and the roller bearing of the thin rip jig. The two slices of veneer are about 30″ long. When measured with a dial caliper along the lengths of both veneers the variance was only 1/64″.
Keep in mind that there is also less waste when ripping thin strips on the band saw because the width of the band saw blades kerf is less than that of a table saw blade. As a result, we are able to utilize more material for our wood projects. The real joy of working with this band saw technique is that allows us to work with confidence knowing that we can make repetitive uniform cuts of thin strips safely and accurately.
More Related Videos:
How to adjust for Band Saw Blade Drift