im done with using a table saw. you need to have the blade way high to hit the tip and tail unless you try to get tricky with lifting the tail as you feed which is just asking to waver the cut. and if you do waver the cut, both the up-side and the down-side of the blade chew into your board.
best straight edge material ive found has been 1/8 thick aluminum. it can be clamped right to the base all the way over the tip and tail curves.
i posted recently that the best cut i did was with the 18v skill saw, but i remember more clearly that it was actually with a jig saw. even though it was basically freehand on a chalk line, the lack of laser straightness didnt really matter because the halves still fit tightly together. this cant happen with a table saw or even skill saw because of the previously mentioned fore and aft cutting action of the circular blade.
most people will probably hag on the jigsaw idea, but these were my experiences after cutting three boards. one with the jigsaw, and two on a jig thru a tablesaw. i will still try the 18v skill saw down the road, just for kicks though.
ive never done it, but if you plan to put in steel edges, i'd imagine that a straight cut is more important.
_________________ Libtech Emmagator 165 (retired) Never Summer Legacy 161 dynasplit
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:44 pm Posts: 79 Location: Talkeetna mountains, ak
If you plan to just split one board a skill saw would be the most economical and convenient way to cut a board, For sure one of your buddies has one laying around. I would stay away from a jigsaw, seems like a bit of a junk show.
No inserts down the middle, but there is a metal medallion(Ride Yukon) I imagine I'll need to cut by hand or remove entirely.
Just pop the medallion off and use a dremel or hacksaw to cut it in half and then after the cut epoxy it back on. Way easier this way!
If budget isn't too much of an issue and there is a local shop available, I just got my board back from the water-jet cutter and compared to the board I used a skilsaw on, the waterjet cut is much, much better. Perfectly centered, straight and incredibly clean, with practically no material lost to the cut. I paid $60 to have it done.
edit: just to add, I borrowed the circular saw and it had a terrible blade. If I already owned my own skilsaw or table saw with a good blade I probably wouldn't have paid for the waterjet service. The difference in cost for me was minimal since I would have needed to buy stuff if I wanted to get my own skilsaw and blade + saw horses, so I decided the few extra bucks was worth the water jet service.
I've cut 4 boards down the middle, and had success w/ a skillsaw (aka circular saw) and half dozen clamps:
1. Find an old door, piece of plywood, anything that has a rigid straight edge, and is longer than yr board, and thin enough to clamp yr board to.
2. Clamp the straightedge onto the base of yr solid board, positioned such that it will guide the edge of your skill saw.
3. Clamp the board/straight edge, to a table or workbench, depending on yr setup, so that you can safely and comfortably do the entire cut in one pass, without stopping the saw.
4. Administer whiskey, as per Voile instructions.
5. Cut it with a proper sharp blade on yr skillsaw, and with a sense of commitment.
6. Sand, and throw a coat of varathane (or whatever clearish woodstain is on hand) on the new edge, and you're good.
Admittedly, the curvature of tail and nose could compromise the straightness of your cut, if the saw loses the edge, but wasn't an issue on any of my cuts. My jigsaw wouldn't leave as nice an edge as my skillsaw.