Tips & Tricks Issue 83: Small Strip Ripping Tips

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This article is from Issue 83 of Woodcraft Magazine.

small strip ripping

My instrument making often involves ripping very narrow strips of wood for use as bindings and inlay, among other things. I find that the safest way to cut these tiny strips is on the bandsaw, using a low profile fence. This allows setting the blade guides very low to keep the blade on track and prevent deflection. For a fence, I use a self-clamping aluminum straightedge, which is quick to set up, and which can be angled as much as five degrees or so if necessary to accommodate blade drift. Using a 6 TPI blade, I can accurately rip strips as narrow as 1/32". When doing this, just make sure to tape a thin underlying piece of wood to the saw table to serve as a zero-clearance throat to prevent your rippings from disappearing down the saw’s throat.

—Bil Mitchell, Riegelsville, Pennsylvania


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