Table Saw Special Operations
here for a printer friendly version of Tip-
Pg. 1-2, Pg
3-4, Pg 5-7
4-8. Coves can be produced on the table saw by passing
the work obliquely across the saw blade. It requires
many passes and the cutting should be done with a combination
blade that has set teeth.
is a unique table saw operation in that the work is fed obliquely
across the blade (Figure
4-8) It is a lengthy process because the shape is achieved
by making numerous passes with the saw blade's projection
increased by no more than 1/16" each pass. Coving can be done
with the table set at 90° to cut a circular cove or with
the table tilted to cut an elliptical cove. If a narrow edge
cove is needed, either cut it on a wide piece of stock and
cut away the scrap when coving is complete or cut the edge
cove from a center cove. Warning: The cutting action is
essentially a scraping one, so trying to rush by using more
than 1/16" blade projection is not safe. The blade will
tend to cut rather than scrape and the action will cause the
workpiece to move away from the guide strip and kick back.
The first thing to do is
4-9. Construction details of a parallel rule that
will be used to determine the position of the guide
strip. Click on image for larger view.
parallel rule fixture that is diagram-med in Figure
4-9. The angle of the cut determines the width of the
cove. Set the distance between the fixture's long legs to
equal the width of the arch you want (Figure
4-10). Next, set the saw blade's projection to equal the
depth of the cove and then place the fixture so its long inside
edges just touch at the front and rear of the blade. With
the parallel rule so positioned, clamp a guide strip to the
worktable at the angle determined by the rule (Figure
4-11). The guide strip must be positioned on the infeed
side of the blade only so the cutting action forces the stock
into the guide strip. The distance between the guide strip
and the saw blade will determine whether the cut will be centered,
off center, or on an edge of the stock.
4-10. The distance between the long legs of the
fixture should equal the width of the arch.
4-11. The saw blade's projection should equal the
depth of the cove. The guide strip's position is gauged
by the parallel rule.
the work by setting the blade's projection to no more than
1/16". Use a push block to hold the workpiece firmly against
the guide strip and make the pass very slowly. Pay special
attention to how you place and use your hands. Warning:
Coving is done without the upper saw guard In place so work
with extreme caution. Use a feather board and push block to
support and guide the workpiece. Never cut edge coves that
will be wider than half the stock width. Avoid placing your
hands over the blade or in line with the cut. After the
first pass, increase the blade's projection another 1/16"
and make a second pass. Continue in this manner until you
have arrived at the arch's depth.
4-12. Edge coves are also possible. Make the passes
very, very slowly.
of cut can be made on stock edges (Figure
4-12), but be sure of hand position and that the cove
is no wider than half the stock width. With all coving operations,
you can clamp a second guide strip to the table parallel to
the first one. The distance between the strips equals the
width of the stock. Thus you have a "road" along which you
move the stock. If you wish to speed up the operation, you
can do so by cutting kerfs to remove the bulk of the waste
4-13. The bulk of the wast removal can be accomplished
by making repeat passes with the saw blade.
4-14. Some of the applictions for workpieces that
were formed by cove cutting.
is a useful technique because it can be used to produce components
like those shown in Figure
4-14. Shapes like those in Figure
4-15 are possible if the coving is done on pieces that
have first been lathe turned. The coves that are formed are
not true semi-circles; this could only occur if the work were
fed across the blade at right angles to it. However, some
work with a drum sander or hand sanding is usually sufficient
to true up the arch.
4-15. Shapes like this are possible by cove cutting
after the workpiece has been turned to a cylinder on
to Kerfed Moldings
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