Grrr-Ripper ordered! (safest way to rip thin strip off small boards)

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CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy

UPDATE - OK, you don't have to beat me with a 2x4; well, not that many times... :rotflm:
I was swayed by the consensus and the missus even jumped on board for an immediate purchase when she heard it was a safety device that I was making do without.



I just got a bunch of spindle blanks that I will use for whistles and flutes. While many are about 1.5" square, most are bigger in one or both directions, but not much.

What I would like to do is rip them to squares. It makes it easier to center them properly and I won't have to do so much bulk removal at the the lathe. In fact, I will probably take them down closer to an inch as long as I am cutting them.

Thinking about feeding in boards with an inch between the blade and fence set off the stupid idea alarm :elvis: so I am considering alternatives.

When I mount the blanks on the lathe, I will have them cut at between 13" and 19". So one alternative I am considering is to build a sled that holds them against a fence that is part of the sled and can only handle lengths up to 19" - I would have to cut them to length first. I have an older Craftsman bench top TS, which will make that a little tricky, but I think it could handle it.

Other (better) ideas??

Thanks!
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Set your fence for whatever width you want (down to 1/8") and use this

http://www.microjig.com/products/grr-ripper/index.shtml

I put full faith in this device and use it a lot.

George

That's pretty nice and with less of a sticker shock than I expected.

51S4Y2jMsOL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


But I am not sure I understand the point of the fence when the jig is in the track. Can you use it without the fence? In some cases, I might be shaving a kerf width or less off one side.

I also got an offer to look at another jig locally that I am following up on.
 

Leviblue

Kevin
Corporate Member
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Andy,
I've got one of these and it's pretty neat. The gripper doesn't use the mitre slot, but slides along the rip fence controlling the wood between the fence and the blade and is capable of controlling the off fall piece opposite of the blade. The videos are interesting and go against the most safety protocals I was taught about table saw use. But then again, I didn't have one of the little devices around then either.

Kevin
 

Mark Gottesman

New User
Mark
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

A sled with a couple of kwik clamps will do the job nicely. You can also bore a series of holes in the sled to act as width guides. Just drop in some pins and go to town.

If you do not have a crosscut sled then this would be another good tool accessory to make.

Another thought is that you could also make a cradle to attach to the sled to turn the squares into octagons, but I'm not sure that would really save you anything.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Bandsaw, this is for turning, you don't need a perfect cut. A bandsaw will do the job safely.

While you are at it cut the corners at 45° and save a lot of rough turning.
 

manfre

New User
Manfre
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

If you have a planer, you can assembly line the blanks through and get them square much safer than you could with the TS. Mark a vertical line on one end of each blank you want to square. Set the planer height to 1.5" and then start feeding the machine with the lines vertical. Repeat with the lines horizontal. You bring all of the pieces down to 1" in steps of 1/8" or 3/16" (depending on your planer), but that'll require a lot more passes.

Turning them down to size on the lathe is probably the fastest route when you factor in all the time investigating other solutions.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Bandsaw, this is for turning, you don't need a perfect cut. A bandsaw will do the job safely.

While you are at it cut the corners at 45° and save a lot of rough turning.

'cep'n I got no bansaw... :rotflm:

If I make a lot of whistles, another advantage to making square blanks of a specific dimension is that I can make a headstock chuck that is basically a square frame on a waste block for drilling. The guys pushing the bigger bits pretty much require that. With my little 0.55" self centering bit, I am getting enough accuracy to come out inside the headstock spindle without touching it. :eusa_danc
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

If you have a planer, you can assembly line the blanks through and get them square much safer than you could with the TS. Mark a vertical line on one end of each blank you want to square. Set the planer height to 1.5" and then start feeding the machine with the lines vertical. Repeat with the lines horizontal. You bring all of the pieces down to 1" in steps of 1/8" or 3/16" (depending on your planer), but that'll require a lot more passes.

Turning them down to size on the lathe is probably the fastest route when you factor in all the time investigating other solutions.

No planer, either. I have a few sizes of stock to rip this way. Some will rip into multiple blanks. As far as time, maybe if I were only doing a couple that would be true. I plan to make a lot; I have stock on hand for probably at least a couple of hundred. Hopefully I will get good at making whistles by then. :)
 
M

McRabbet

Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

I concur with others about the GRR-ipper. I have a pair of them, including the 1/8" side option and strongly recommend them. In the photo you posted above, the gray piece over the miter slot is a stabilizer piece that drops down the thickness of the stock to the tablesaw top and is locked in place to provide a stable pushing unit. Also notice the tunnel created by the wide center piece (position adjusted by the black knob) and the piece against the fence -- this allows the blade to pass through without cutting the jig. The narrow side piece is against the fence to control thickness of the cut. Since both the main stock and the ripped strip are held in place firmly as they pass the blade, there is virtually no chance for kick back and the strip is cut cleanly. I swear by mine.

I also suggest you check out their videos.
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

+1 on the bandsaw! If you want you can run a bunch through my mine.
But I personally don't get squeamish about 1" rips on the TS. I do of course use a push stick-like thingy. If all your stock is consistent to start with then using a feather board helps too.

If you want them perfectly square for your funny faceplate/insert thingy: bandsaw, jointer, planer set at 1".

Salem
 

sushinutnc

New User
Mike
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Hey, Andy... if you happen to find a good deal (incl. S&H), could you post your source? I noted there are two models. The GR200 looks to be around $70. The GR100... about $60. I just randomly selected a few of their suppliers and noted Klinspor sells the GR100 for $50.

There was another thread on the GRR-Ripper about 6 mos ago, and I was tempted to buy one but didn't get around to it. If you happen to spot a deal and want to combine orders & split the shipping, PM me. I'll run some cash over to ya. :cool:

Others who have the GRR-Ripper-- did any of you make a specific choice between the GR100 and GR200? Comments/suggestions?
 

KenOfCary

Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

You know, with as much of that wood as you have to do, it might be worthwhile to look on Craigs List for a small bench-top 9" or so band saw. They are only about $150 new at Sears so you should be able to find one on CL for about $50 I would think. I've seen them listed several times, but don't remember any pricing.

I do believe a band saw is the way to go though. Quick and safe. You can even use it to rough them to octagon shape so there's less roughing to do on the lathe. It can also be used to trim them to length.

Just my 2 cents worth. Later...

EDIT: Looked on CL and found:

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/tls/2334564148.html

Not sure if it is any good. Looked in good condition for $50 though.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Hitting to a few fields...

One concern I still have about the Grripper is that it appears it would not shave a kerf width or less to give me an "exact" size, and the TS should be "exact" enough for a template to drive square stock, if I ever need one (if I go to a bigger bit).

Even if I don't use the square template chuck, I need them square shaped so the inner jaws of my bowl chuck can hold them and have them centered. It is pass through and is what I have been using when I drilled into the head stock spindle without touching it.

I currently have a small space for a shop and I got rid of one of the little 9" bandsaws not all that long ago. I will have to admit that at times I have wondered if I might be better off with a bandsaw instead of the tablesaw, but if I make a jig that needs a right angle...
 

ehpoole

Moderator
Ethan
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

If I were making these narrow cuts from a larger piece, I would set a stopblock (can even be a featherboard) to the CUTOFF (usually left) side of the blade, 1-1/2 inches out (the stopblock should be ahead of the blade). I would then place the wood flush against the fence and slide the fence to the left until my wood reaches the stopblock/featherboard, make the cut, then advance the fence to the left again for the next cut. The stopblock allows you to make multiple cuts exactly the same width (just like when you reference the blade against the fence) even though your board is getting progressively narrower. The fence then becomes a cutting aid rather than a measurement aid (in more typical use it would be both).

Done this way, you can always keep the largest gap between the blade and fence for your pushstick or pushblock (I use a plastic Kreg pushblock just 1/4" wide when things get really tight). Once your piece is less than 3" wide, set those pieces to the side -- those are the only pieces you will need to cut with the FENCE referenced 1-1/2" from the blade.

Given the 1-1/2" widths, you will likely even find that you can use your splitter/guard for most if not all cuts, except possibly the last. That should help keep you feeling safe.
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Andy, +1 for the Gripper.

HOW has used it quite a bit to rip down things as narrow as an 1/4". Very safe and versatile tool.

Normally, I'm on the cheapskate side of things, but these are well worth the money.

If you can swing it, a pair of Grippers really does help a lot. Being able to over hand feed long strips is very safe with a pair.

Jim
 

gator

George
Corporate Member
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

Hitting to a few fields...

One concern I still have about the Grripper is that it appears it would not shave a kerf width or less to give me an "exact" size, and the TS should be "exact" enough for a template to drive square stock, if I ever need one (if I go to a bigger bit).

The Grr-ripper has no affect on the size of the piece being ripped. You still set the fence where ever you want it. If you make a cut and need to shave the edge and smidgen more, just move the fence. The Grr-ripper is a sophisticated push block that controls the work piece both to the right and left of the blade letting the operator safely push the work piece through without getting close to the blade. It might be good if anyone near you has a Grr-ripper and you could visit and see it in action up close and personal.

George
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Corporate Member
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

I picked up a GRRRipper back in December. It is a little pricey, but it is well designed and does the job very well. I have not picked up another push block or stick since. I give it 4 stars. 5 if was about 30% less.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Re: safest way to rip thin strip off small boards

This thread is starting to remind me of the thread I started quite a while back about wanting to get a really good jigsaw. I now own one of the Bosch barrels that about 9 out of 10 posters recommended. I will have to watch for a good deal, but since I just spent my allowance on the wood, it will probably be a month or two...
 
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