Iím putting my Weinig Profomat to work running trim for builders. My question concerns the most efficient means of ripping the straightest blanks possible.
I'm tempted to go the straight line route because of price, but one thing has me worried. After the lumber is straight-lined and I go to use the fence to rip the blank to final width, I'm afraid if I don't start feeding it just right the chain will capture and wedge it. Is it possible to "guide" the board against the fence as it's being fed? Iíve seen a four foot fence, but I don't know if even that would be enough while feeding a 16 foot board at high speed.
As for the gang rip, is it a pain to change over for different widths? Any other pros and cons of the two types of saws?
Unless you are going to do a lot of lineal feet, stay with the straight rip saw. We have an old Ekstrom-Carlson and it does a fine job. With the gang saw, you still have to hold up against the fence, and it is awful hard to rip away from the defect.
As for straight lumber, that has more to do with the drying than the saw. Some of the lumber you will get in will be case hardened and will bow after the cut has been completed.
For older straight line rip saws, it is hard to beat a Diehl or Mattison. For ripping for moulders, the condition of the chain and race are not as important as for doing glue lines. However, the better the chain and race, the less wood must be allowed.
As for new saws, the Mereen-Johnson is good. Before you select your saw, consider what it will cost to use in the long run.
Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor