Annoying Woodworking Math Problem Solved


Cisco the Harwich Spirits Shoppe blogging cat here… Bet you didn’t know that we cats like to do a little woodworking from time to time. (Then again, look at your chair leg, and you’ll probably be reminded of some of our handiwork.) But it ain’t all scathing and fur balls for us… Nope! Occasionally we like to get behind a table saw and rip ourselves some wood proper. But therein lies the rub — when you need to rip a board into numerous equal widths, how do you calculate the distance from fence to inner side of blade with the least waste? (If you’ve done any woodworking, you’ve no doubt run up against this problem too.) Here we go…

Take a look at the quick drawing I did on a piece of scrap wood… That represents the essence of our hassle  — how do we rip a 1 X 6 (actually five and a half inches wide) into four equal pieces using a blade with a 1/8″ (.125″) kerf?

Alrighty then… The issue boils down to adding up four unknown widths (I call them each, “X”) and three .125″ kerfs. So, 4X + .375″ has to equal 5.5″… Put another way, taking into account the kerfs, we’ve got to split 5 & 1/8″ (5.125″) four way. And that equals 1.28125″/strip.

Greatttt… I can’t exactly set my fence to 1.28125″. So what is 1.28125″ in fractional lingo. The table below should probably help…

Yup, set your fence to 1 & 9/32″ and that will do it. (Actually, I’d set my fence for 1 & 9/32″ minus a hair — have to take into account blade wobble, edge cupping or bowing, gremlins, etc.)

And that’s it… It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to get four equal strips out of a 1 X 6, or seven sticks out of a 2 X 12… The math never changes — just know the number of strips, accurately take into account the kerf, draw out your board with cuts, do the math, figure in the gremlins, and away you go…

Two cats, covered in sawdust, by the racks blogging…

Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


One Response to Annoying Woodworking Math Problem Solved

  1. BedFrames says:


    […]Annoying Woodworking Math Problem Solved « Harwich Spirits Shoppe Talk[…]…

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