Ripping the strips (6 hrs)
Written by Tom Steenbergen   
donderdag, 10 april 2008
Saw fenceAfter some hesitation and searching, on the 7th of april I finally bought the wood to build my Black Pearl. And I did not buy a set of already ripped strips, but instead I bought 10 fir boards of 4,8m length by 15cm wide and 1,8cm thick.
Than I face a boring and timeconsuming chore, ripping these boards into strips of appr. 5mm thick. I am using a handheld circular saw that I run (I am walking) along the board time after time.
Because the standard saw fence is very small and because the saw base has two holes just placed right, I screw a piece of wood (see photo) at the right distance to be the fence. This results in almost evenly thick strips.
To hold the boards in place they are nailed to a large beam, made of the planks that will soon form the strongback. A stable platform for ripping all the strips. This works so well, that every once and a while I only have appr. 2cm of wood left that cannot be ripped further.
Ripping all the strips took me about 6 hours.

Remarks -
I have been searching for 2cm thick and 6m long boards for a long time, but the regular diy stores and lumberyards do not seem to have it. So I have eventually settled for 1,8cm thick and 4,8m long boards. This means that I will have to make joints in the longest strips the Black Pearl requires. A pretty daunting task that turns out to be not that difficult. I have chosen to make straight joints (butt joints) and temporarily back them up with a little piece of leftover strip using hot glue. These joints are only needed for appr. 10% of the total strips, the rest is shorter than 4,8m.

ripping the stripsSafety:
Because of the small setting of the fence, 5mm, and the wooden fence on the saw, the safetycap on the circular saw cannot move down. This will probably be the case with many handheld circular saws. When using a saw like this, you have to be aware of the extra danger this poses. Because after removing the saw from the wood at the end of a cut and cutting the power, the saw blade will continue to spin at considerable speed at which significant injuries can still be caused. It is therfore important to stay alert and focussed while using the saw.
Last Updated ( donderdag, 24 april 2008 )