When you cut a board on a table saw, the wood has to somehow be transferred from one side of the blade to the other. This can cause ripping and tearing as the board passes over the blade.
A Table Saw Splitter DIY (also called parting off) is used to avoid this problem by creating a space between two boards where they can pass cleanly over each other.
What is a Table Saw Splitter
A table saw splitter is a device that attaches to the blade of the saw and is used to create a space in between two boards that can be passed over without ripping or tearing. A table saw splitter can also be called parting off. Splitter means in this case tool that allows to separate two boards from each other.
Most often, it helps to guide the woodworker to feed in the wood in the table saw safely and accurately. Some of the |best table saws in the market| have their own Table Saw Splitter already added as a feature.
Using a table saw splitter is necessary when cutting long and wide pieces of lumber. If you try to cut anything wider than your blade in length on a table saw, the piece will come too close to the blade causing a potential accident or injury. A splitter comes into play here by helping you cut the boards accurately without disturbing the rest of your woodwork.
This guide is for those who don’t have a table saw splitter and needs one for additional cutting precision with their table saw when a miter gauge isn’t enough.
How To make a DIY Table Saw Splitter
- Table Saw or Circular Saw
- Best Table Saw Blade
- Masking Tape
- Plywood – 3/4″ x 2′ x 4′
Duration: 15-30 Minutes
Budget: $30-$50 (USD)
1. Cut plywood into a rectangular box shape (the width of your table saw blade) and enlarge one side to the width of the largest piece you want to split off.
2. Double up on the vertical pieces so that when put together they are able to span the blades width from side-to-side and remain sturdy while keeping out anything that could get caught in between the blades, like hair or fingers. The doubled up pieces should be placed with one of its short edges against one end of top board.
3. The other short edge will be flush with another end of your tabletop.
4. For the inside board, lay it face-up on top of the vertical pieces and mark its length at the tail end and tip of your saw blade. These are critical marks for making sure the splitter will fit snugly between your two boards while leaving enough room to get a nice clean cut.
5. Using masking tape or marker, mark a guideline on each board that is long enough to span the width of your top wood from side to side. Any unevenness in your boards will show when you fit them together and there is nothing worse than marking them perfectly only to find out they don’t line up.
6. When marking the two pieces you want to fit together, make sure you are only measuring where they will be in-between the saw blade. Don’t measure the length of their lateral edges as these will not fit into your splitter.
7. Once you’ve marked both boards, use a 4″ or 6″ square to check if they can be lined up and make sure they are aligned dead center on your breadboard like so (the top board goes on the left and right side of breadboard):
8. When we cut our pieces from plywood, we want them to have high-quality grain direction (longitudinal) and low-quality grain direction (transverse). Since we want to make sure our cut is smooth, the low-quality grain direction should be on the inside of our splitter so that when you sand it, all of the high-quality wood will be facing outward.
9. Using your table saw or circular saw, carefully cut your pieces along your markings.
10. Now that you have your pieces laid out before you and ready to be assembled, double-check that they are still snug on either side of the blade and check that if you place your miter gauge in between them, they don’t stick out past where the blade will make contact with them.
11. If everything looks good, glue the pieces together and clamp them into place. To be extra safe, we put an additional piece of plywood underneath as a buffer in case the bottom wood wanted to push itself out from the one that is clamped above. By adding another one of your pieces, you can make sure it can’t happen.
12. Let your glue dry overnight before using it on your table saw.
13. The first time you use it, test it on a scrap piece of wood to make sure it works properly before using it on something important like a kitchen countertop or bookshelf!
14. There are plenty of ways to mount your splitter and we recommend making your own mount out of insulating foam board or pvc if you don’t want to make cuts in your plywood. Either way, be sure to do a test fit before gluing everything together. You can always take it off and try again at a later date if you find that it doesn’t work for you!
15. Last but not least, before using it on something important (like a wall), make sure to sand down all of those sharp edges as this could result in injury. We would also recommend adding some sort of handle to the top pieces so that you can easily remove them for storing.
16. And lastly, always make sure your splitter is properly mounted before using it on the table saw. Safety first!
How To make a DIY Table Saw Splitter Video
How to Rip Cut With a Table Saw Splitter
Start by laying the side of your stock that you want to be ripped cut on the table saw and make sure it is firmly supported on both sides by a miter gauge.
You don’t need to go through any great lengths to line up the edges of your stock with those of your blade as these will not show when you are done.
One thing that is important, though, is making sure that its thickness (with or without glue) falls right within the thickness boundaries for the breadth and depth of your blade whether you have a standard-sized blade or one that has been customized.
When aligning the edge of your stock with those of your table saw’s blade, it is important to make sure they are squared up as much as possible. This helps to ensure your ripping cut won’t result in any issues like a bad wobble or fence lifting.
Again, this is something that can be addressed once everything is glued up and you have made a few test cuts.
How to Bevel Cut With a Table Saw Splitter
To bevel cut with a table saw splitter, you’ll need to start by placing your stock on the table saw so that it is supported from both the front and back in addition to having one of its edges aligned with the blade.
Note that when you are bevel cutting, you don’t need to worry about the stock being perfectly parallel to the front of your table saw as this isn’t a requirement.
The best way to set up a bevel cut is by aligning the leading edge of your stock with the lower part of the blade and then lining up its leading corner with it as well. This will help ensure that you get everything lined up properly.
Table Saw Splitter Comparison:
Table Saw Splitter vs Riving Knife
A table saw splitter can be used to ensure that your board will cut the same length on both sides. It can also help you make a precise cut when the material being split is wider than the table saw’s blade. A riving knife does not allow for this type of precision and only works on thin pieces of wood, so it is recommended to use a table saw splitter instead.
Table Saw Splitter vs Blade Guard
If you are using a table saw splitter rather than a blade guard, then there is not much of a difference. A blade guard may provide better protection between the user and the blade. You should wear gloves when using either one to protect your hands from the possibility of being cut by the saw.
Table Saw Splitter vs Rip Fence
A table saw splitter is used to help make precise cuts on wood that is wider than the table saw’s blade. A rip fence, however, is used to measure and position wood stock as it moves through the table saw. Although both have the same goal, they are used differently.
Rip fence measurements on a table saw mean that you only need to concentrate on making small accurate cuts with one hand while holding the fence with your other hand. You can’t do this on an ordinary table saw because there would be too much room between cuts for error or injury.
Table Saw Splitter vs Miter Gauge
A table saw splitter is used to help make precise cuts on wood that is wider than the table saw’s blade. A miter gauge, however, is used for cutting wood to length or width. The measurements on a miter gauge are read by holding the tool with one hand and using your other hand to hold it against the desired material.
The main difference between the two is that a table saw splitter helps you rip wood to make more accurate cuts while a miter gauge helps you cut boards at predetermined lengths and widths.
Table Saw Splitter vs Kerf Keeper
A table saw splitter is one of the many tools that can help reduce the amount of damage that comes about from poor material handling. It is used to cut through any material which may be too wide for a standard table saw blade. These are mostly used in furniture or cabinetry shops.
The kerf keeper is a device which is mounted on the front edge of a table saw’s miter gauge and uses two blades or tapers to regulate width and thickness, respectively, when set at different angles across the blade.
This will help make any cuts more accurate by preventing any thinner pieces from being accidentally discarded because they are too thin to cut through without going all the way through the board. By using these devices together, you can successfully.
Table Saw Splitter vs Dado Blade
A table saw splitter can be used when ripping wood to make more accurate cuts while a dado blade helps you cut boards at predetermined lengths and widths.
Of course, learning what size of dado blade for a 10″ table saw will equate to learning how big your table saw splitter is. The bigger the dado blade, the bigger your table saw splitter should be.
Table Saw Splitter vs Push Stick or Jig
The main difference between a table saw splitter and a push stick or jig is that the table saw splitter is used to help make precise cuts on wood that is wider than the table saw’s blade.
A push stick, however, is used for pushing stock through their saw’s feed tables by clamping or pushing it in place first.
A jig will allow you to guide your material halfway through your miter slot and then you use it as a stop block so that you can ensure your second piece of material will be cut to the same length and at the same angle.
Table Saw Splitter vs Dust Collector
The main difference between a table saw splitter and a dust collector is that the table saw splitter is used to help make precise cuts on wood that is wider than the table saw’s blade. A dust collector, however, helps to prevent large amounts of debris from being created during any type of cutting.
Dust collectors are often mechanical devices which are designed to collect and store wood shavings or other types of fine materials by restricting airflow in the direction away from the work piece. They have a fan or blower which quickly removes these particles from your workspace so they don’t accumulate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use a table saw splitter on a portable table saw?
Table Saw Splitter DIY
This ends our How To Guide of Table Saw Splitter DIY.
We hope the knowledge you gained here will help you in the future with your DIY or Professional Woodworking projects. We want you to be sure of that what you get from us are 100% facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to advise us in return with accurate facts.
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