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Thread: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

  1. #1

    Default How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    On my first instrument I used a thin rip guide and a "glue line rip" blade on my table saw. The result was fairly consistent; I think I ended up with 0.100" thick pieces that stood up to all of the sanding that came later. But there was some scorching of the maple.

    Since then I have inherited my dad's Laguna 14bx and used it for a lot of resawing. So it is certainly capable of doing the job. But I'm worried about blade drift and getting less consistent thickness from the ripped pieces of wood.

    Just curious how the rest of you do it. Thanks.

    Mark

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    I cut mine on a bandsaw. Probably cut a little under 1/8". Then they go through the drum sander. .100" is probably too thick. I think you'll find that coming down to .080" will do you well.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Thanks, Dale. Unfortunately I do not own a drum sander (though it's on the list!). But I will see what kind of results the bandsaw gives me.

    Do you happen to know the final thickness on your ribs once assembled/sanded?

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Just assume the bandsaw is going to wander a bit and you’ll need sanding or planing. Usually, for thin cuts, the idea is cut one slice off your board, then plane the board surface flat again, and repeat. Then you have slices with one good side that are easy to plane or sand. Thin stuff should be double-side taped to a carrier before being run through a machine. You can then thickness a whole bunch of strips at the same time, to very consistent spec.
    I know that, for smaller items, I’ve heard of using a vacuum hold down on a drill press and the Safe-T-mill or a sanding disk. Slightly tricky and I haven’t tried that. And, of course, adjust the bandsaw guides, roller or friction, above and below the table. The guides should just reach the tooth gullets.
    A fillister hand plane with a depth shoe also can work.

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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    No drum sander...?

    Do you have a drill press.?

    There are small drum sanders that can be chucked up..
    Make a fence from wood scraps and a couple clamps.. good to go.

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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    I bought a cheap oscillating drum sander from Harbor Freight and put an ad-hoc fence on it. It worked well for thinning sides in a controlled manner.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    I also use an old Craftsman Oscillating sander with a fence. It works great, It makes a perfect drum sander for parts up to around 4 inches + the sander is one of my most used tools. I sand the inside of mould forms, Peghead sides at an angle using a jig, even neck heels.
    Rob

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    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Slice and dice on the bandsaw, then the strips go through my DeWalt portable planer. I can get them down to about .090".

    I then use a long block of walnut with sandpaper glued to one side and hand thickness to .080".

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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    I can only speak about the sanding end of things subjectively, because I have a drum sander. It's not an expensive one. It's not a TimeSaver to put it mildly. But it gets the job done. You can not run curly maple through a planer and not expect complete tear out. Possible exception would be if the planer was a rare one with a spiral cutter. The wood has to go through a sander if it's a highly figured wood. If you're going to build, cut up a bunch of beautiful wood on the band saw, then if you don't have the sander, find someone who does. It will be time and money well spent.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Do it the old-fashioned violin maker way: a block plane and a cabinet scraper.

    Plane flat. bandsaw. plane to very close to thickness. scrape with a sharp cabinet scraper.

    Yes, I have for years used the drum sander chucked in the drill press, just be aware that it will on occasion shoot the piece back at you, so stand to the side...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    For several years. I cut ribs with the table saw and it was fairly consistant with thickness.. But with 3/4 inch boards, the best I could get was about three slices per board..Even with a narrow kerf blade, it seemed to waste so much wood.. And lets don't talk about kickback when cutting those thin strips... So I started using the band saw with as wide (1/2 inch) a blade as would fit on my saw.. With the right setup, resawing works out pretty good.. My saw is a Craftsman (yea I know) and I'm always adjusting on it, but it just keeps going.. The blade does drift a little, but with practice and watching closely with feeding the boards, I am still able to get about 6 ribs from a 3/4 inch wide .. That's twice as much as from using a table saw, and no worry about that kickback.. I've been offering rims to other builders for about 10 years now with a whole lot under the belt.. As for using a drum sander, I just touch up a little with a table top belt sander and just go with it.. With thickness, I try to get to about .080, but a little thinner is okay too.. The rims around the blocks and points can run even thinner because they support each other anyway, and are a lot easier to bend with heat and water.. Bending rim parts is the fun part of building to me...….
    kterry

  12. #12

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    band saw , planer, thickness sander, but I have done it by hand with a hand plane and scraper, which is a good alternative just takes more time ,but not that much more really, and good practice on a hand plane

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Having owned a Shopsmith for 40+ years, I bought one of their conical sanding disks. Being conical, it only sands along a narrow line. Combined with a table set to match the angle of the disk, it makes a great thickness sander, large enough to do bookmatched tops and backs.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Thanks for all of the great replies. I'm looking forward to trying out my bandsaw for ripping my ribs.

    A number of you have suggested an oscillating sander as an option for thicknessing the ribs down to a final dimension. I have the Ridgid Oscillating Edge Belt/Spindle Sander that is so popular. Could that be used for this purpose?

    I also have a drill press, as well as the Safe-T-Planer.

    And I'm not beyond sanding by hand. In fact, I was planning to make a special holder and jig this weekend for this very purpose.

  15. #15
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Here's someone who set up their sander like yours as a thickness sander:

    https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...-thickness-jig

    That might be your best bet, though the Safe-T-Planer works for this in a pinch.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    I am just a hobby builder, but I have been very happy resawing ribs on a band saw to about 3/32", then taking milling marks off with a jack plane, and then getting down to final thickness with the Veritas string inlay scraper from Lee Valley. It's like a cabinet scraper that can be set to leave a particular thickness of wood remaining. It's too small for guitar sides, but it works really well for mandolin and violin ribs as well as for thicknessing wood binding.

    I've tried the oscillating spindle sander with the adjustable fence method but found that I still needed to do a fair amount of work with a scraper afterward. I prefer the jack plane and thicknessing scraper for my (amateur/non-production/personal fun) needs. YMMV.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Quote Originally Posted by amowry View Post
    Here's someone who set up their sander like yours as a thickness sander:

    https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...-thickness-jig

    That might be your best bet, though the Safe-T-Planer works for this in a pinch.
    I’d add an adjustment screw to the thickness arm of this otherwise good jig, as sneaking up on a final thickness probably involves several passes. Going in too thick (one pass) likely is a wood-throwing or jamming event. That is, the depth stop should be screw adjustable. And feed against the belt direction, using a pushstick. And maybe switch off the belt oscillation if it moves the wood up and down, or add a vertical stop on the fence.
    The Safe-T, IMHO, is too likely to catch on edges of small stuff and tear it up. I used one in my milling machine, which does have a very controlled downfeed, and it still liked to catch on edges. Better if you put many pieces side-by-side, and held or taped down. Same for handplaning

  18. #18
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    Agreed, the Safe-T-Planer isn't great for thin wood. To avoid blowing out the edges you can use a very narrow climb cut at the edge before proceeding with conventional cuts across the rest of the face.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    For sanding I was just going to make a piece of wood about 28" long and 4" wide with a dadoed groove down the middle that one side can rest in--about 0.080" deep and 1 7/16" wide. A single rib can be laid in that, then I take a sanding block with say 100 grit or so sandpaper and thickness it by hand until it's even with the block. But all of your other suggestions are good, too. I will think on it and see what I come up with.

    The biggest help is hearing that most people use the bandsaw for ripping. Thanks for confirming!

  20. #20

    Default Re: How do you rip the wood for your ribs?

    I would think if you get that Laguna tuned up well and adjust your fence for blade drift, you should be able to get very consistent resaws off of it. Just run the stock over the joiner after each cut so you always have one clean face. I have an older Rikon (I wish I'd spent a little more to get the Laguna) with a wood mizer blade, and I get cuts where you can barely see the scratches from the blade. A good, sharp blade that's made for resawing, properly tensioned, is the secret.

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