Using tablesaw to make straight cuts?
I have a confession to make: I can’t rip a straight line on a table saw for the life of me. To be more precise, I can’t make repetitive rip cuts. I’ve been woodworking for a long time. I have tuned my saw with a steel straight edge, feeler gauges, caliper, and dial indicator. I have no burned edges, no chattering saw marks, my feed rate is consistent…everything on the saw is parallel or square. I cut with a Forrest WW set parallel a Bies fence.
I am making a torsion box with MDF, which requires repeated rip cuts to make the grid. I find that every pass I make on the saw with my MDF (for anything longer than…say…2′), the sawn edge (on the cut-off side) develops a concavity, effectively ruining subsequent cuts. So I get one good cut, then subsequent cuts get worse. This is MDF, so there’s no case-hardening, or anything funky like that.
This forces me to cut wide, fix the edge, and recut to final width. Am I the only one with this problem? Every book I’ve read on the topic of table saws never seem to point this out…for sheet goods anyway. I’ve always take it on faith that if my saw is tuned, I can make these types of cuts and get consistent results.
…can I get a witness…?