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How to cut thin strips of wood on a table saw safely

How To Cut Thin Strips on The Table Saw Safely

| Shane Dennehey

Many of you have asked for ways to cut thin strips on the table saw safely, like the 1/4-inch rips needed to make Layered Crosses. I've always relied heavily on push sticks to keep my hands away from the blade, but I recently came across another method that works great when ripping short pieces.

It's a shop-made jig that is easy to make and has saved me a ton of time over the past few weeks. Its basically a half sled and half push stick setup made with 3/4-inch plywood with a handle and a piece of hardwood screwed to the back.

To make one of your own, cut a piece of 3/4-plywood 6-inches wide by 12-inches long, screw a strip of wood to the backside that's at least 1/2-inch thick by 1-1/2 by 12-inches. Then attach a handle in the position shown in the image and add a 3/4-inch board to the top.
On the bottom side, attach a strip of hardwood that will ride in the miter slot on your table saw top. I add this strip for extra safety even though I always use the fence when cutting with this jig.

The board on top holds the board down while you rip it. If you need to cut stock thicker than 3/4-inch, then you'll need to notch the top board to allow for the height of the wood. I notched mine for woods up to 1-1/8 inch thick.


For the handle, you can use a pre-made one, or make your own with this free template.

Watch a video of the jig in use

This method has improved my table saw safety and efficiency dramatically, but as I watch the video, I see ways it can be improved. Stay tuned for an update soon, maybe with a more useful version of this jig.

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post. I may make a small commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for your support!



  • Posted by Wife of a woodworker on

    I just love these. They speak to me!

  • Posted by Web Behrens on

    Thank you for sharing a safe way to cut the thin strips. A great jig. Keep up the creative process and thanks for sharing.

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