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When making Shaker boxes, I built a jig to precisely tear 1/16 ″ thick strips without putting my hands too close to the blade. In fact, I can leave the guard on the saw.
The mask has two parts. First, there is a track that mounts on the saw, near the fence. Two rare-earth magnets embedded in the bottom of the track prevent it from slipping. The track is positioned 1/16 ″ away from the blade, or whatever the thickness of the strip I want to tear.
The second part of the mask is a push block. (I call it a shoe.) Slips into a rut on the track. The shoe has a 1/8 ″ thick sacrificial cleat that hooks onto the rear end of the board I’m tearing. The cleat has cracks, so i can move it up or down to fit it boards of different thicknesses.
To cut a strip, I put a magnetic feather I’m tearing the left side of the board to keep the board snug on the track. Then I manually insert the board into the saw, just like any other cut.
When the end of the board is flush with the track, I put the shoe on the track and push the board the rest of the way through the cut. The front edges of the shoe and cleat are rounded to allow the blade guard to rise and pass the mask. –Joe Scharle
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