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    How to Crosscut on the Tablesaw

    By Kelly Mehler

    Cut boards across the grain on the tablesaw using a miter gauge to support the board. Never crosscut boards by pushing boards up against the long rip fence (the one that is parallel to the blade).

    The most common crosscut is made with the miter gauge set at 90° to the miter-gauge slot, resulting in a square cut.

    1. Keep the board away from the blade (an inch or two) before starting the saw. Push
    the miter gauge with your right hand, feeding the board at a steady speed. Stop pushing after the cut, but continue to hold the board against the fence.

    2. To avoid having the spinning blade touch the cut edge of the board when the miter gauge is pulled back to the starting position, possibly causing a little extra splintering, it’s best to shift the board away from the blade slightly.

    3. While holding the board against the fence, pull both the board and the gauge back to the starting position. Then shut off the saw.

    Drawings by Jim Richey

    Excerpt from A Tablesaw Primer: Ripping and Crosscutting from the 2004 Tools and Shops issue (FWW #167).