How to Rip Wood on a Table Saw

Some woodwork tasksrequire the use of a table saw to cut through, ripping wood is one such example. Ripping simply means cutting a long board lengthwise, to build or renovate a door or window frame. Likewise, you constantly have to shave about a half an inch or so from the length of the wood board.

Consequently, it is impossible to make such straight cuts with a circular saw or a hand saw. Sometimes you cannot even make the cut. You would know this if you have done so or tried. A table saw is always the best answer to wood ripping.

However, if you are still new at woodworking, here is a simple guide on how to rip wood on a table saw.

1.     Loosening the Gate

This is a metal guide, which runs parallel to the saw blade on the table saw. You will have to loosen it a bit to ease it sliding. Do not remove it from its positioning, by any means.

2.     Making Markings on Your Wood Board

You can use a tape measure to make the markings on the wood board. Make sure you mark the exact midpoint of the width of the wood board with a clear pencil, no need to draw a whole line, all the way down the board length.

This is because the gate will help you maintain a straight line up to where you want. You just have to adjust its measurements the way you want and trust on the saw to maintain the measurement all the way through, no hassle.

3.     Setting the Gate

To ensure you get the correct cut. Set the board¢s marked end on top of the table saw. Make sure that you adjust the wood, this way the teeth of the saw touches your pencil marks.

After which you move the wood board a bit to the left to ensure you do not make the cuts on the pencil marks. This is because table saws usually chew off the measurements with at least 1/8 inch. Therefore,you need to preserve the wood board.

Lastly, you have to ensure that the gate is snug against the set wood, and then snap it back into place tightly.

4.     Leveling the Board

You can level the board if you have a stand-alone saw. This means you will have to have a leveled working surface area, on both sides of the table saw. Likewise, the surface should level very well with the top of the saw.You can always improvise and use stacks of wood blocks with plywood as a top layer.

However, you can skip this step if you are cutting shorter wood boards of less than four feet or have a table saw that is set into an actual table. Nonetheless, for longer wood boards, the boards will seesaw as you feed it through.

5.     Running the Wood through the Table Saw

Before you run the wood, flip the power switch on, and ensure that the saw¢s safety guard is down. After which you can start to push the board slowly but at a steady rate. Make sure you keep it lightly pressed against the gate.

Keep the wood moving because if you stop or slow down, you will notch some big grooves out of your wood board, thus destroying your straight line.

When you are halfway through, try to concentrate more on the wood that is coming through the saw rather than the one on the feed end. You will have to switch your positioning a bit and maneuver with your foot, in order to stop pushing the wood through and start pulling it.

Another option is to keep pushing the wood through, but remember the more you push the closer your hands get to the saw blade. Nonetheless, you can use a push stick to force the wood board through that last foot.


There you have it, a simple way to rip wood on a table saw. Moreover, you should remember to clear off your working area before you start ripping, to limit any unnecessary accidents. Moreover, always put on your safety gear from gloves, safety glasses, and some tight-fitting clothes to avoid saw hazards.

You should also ensure that the table saw and every component in it, is working properly. Likewise, make sure that you can easily locate the saw¢s safety guard, in case of an accident. 

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