Rip Saw

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For any kind of woodwork that requires a quick cut that also maintains a fairly smooth finish, the rip saw is the appropriate tool of choice. A rip saw has fewer teeth on its blade than a crosscut saw, but it is still capable of producing a fairly fine finish. A rip saw cuts with the grain of the wood, powering through the material quickly with its lower number of teeth per inch. A crosscut saw may produce a finer finish, but its high TPI also means that it cannot go through material as quickly.

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Rip saws come in a variety of forms, with everything from simple handsaws to the monster blades that you would see mounted on a saw at a lumber processing plant. In both cases, however, a rip saw is designed to do essentially the same thing. With fewer teeth, a rip saw can dispose of excess material faster than a crosscut saw is capable of. A crosscut saw’s many fine teeth may produce a high finish, but it is also susceptible to binding up if too much material is fed into it. The fewer, larger teeth of the rip saw can easily tear into material as it is fed in.

A hand rip saw will typically have 5 teeth per inch, with a blade that is around 26 inches long. When you begin cutting with a hand rip saw, ensure that your cut is roughly along with the grain of the wood. To begin cutting, make short strokes at first to get the cut started. When the blade has settled into the cut, you can begin cutting in force, pushing and pulling vigorously with the length of the blade. Make sure that the piece you are working on is securely fastened so that it will not rock or move while you are cutting. Also be careful as you near the end of the cut that the excess will not splinter off or otherwise cause damage.

Operating a table rip saw follows the same principles, but with a blade that is run via a motor instead of by hand. When working with a powered rip saw, be sure to wear eye and ear protection. Make sure that your cutting blade is sharp as well, to prevent any possibility of a bind up or other accident.

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