Home>Discussions>TOOLS & PRODUCTS>Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!
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Brenda40
Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

I'm so confused! I am trying to build a basic cold frame for my garden. The boxes are built and now I'm working on the lids or "lights" as they are referred to. These lights are 48 x 24 frames with 46 1/2 x 22 3/4 glass panels inserted. I'm using plexiglass instead of tempered glass.

My problem is the instructions state that I'm to use 2x2 stock wood 4 feet long and I'm to cut a 3/4 inch deep slot with a table saw (called a kerf) down the length of the each 4 foot piece. Sounds simple to me right? wrong!

First I dont own a table saw so I went to our local Home Depot and asked the "tool" guy what I could do instead on the cheap. I ended up purchasing a router for $59.00 and a bit for $17.99.

My problem with the router was its too powerful for me to hold still to make a straight cut. Then I got the brainy idea to bolt the router to some boards to hold it still and run my wood through, like a table saw. Well that didnt work either and I broke the bit. I forgot to pull the board out before turning on the machine and it broke. So back to Home Deopt I go to buy another bit and they dont have the right shank size for the router I bought. They're sold out.

So, I went to my handyman neighbor for advice. He suggests that I could use his table saw, but I had to buy a "kerf blade" as he does not own one. OK I thought no problem. I'll give it to him as a gift. I called my local Home Depot to inquire how much they sell kerf blades for.

The tool guy informs me there is no such thing as kerf blades for table saws and that my instructions refer to a cut rather than a type of blade. He says I should drop the blade on the table saw to 3/4 inches and run my board through and I should be fine.

My handy neighbor is telling me they're wrong there is such a thing as a kerf blade and I need that blade to finish this project.

So I dont know what to do? Can I use a standard table saw without that special blade or is the Home Deopot guy a fool and dosent know what he's talking about. I really do need that blade.

I did google kerf blades and I found some for sale on Ebay. They're going for around $100.00 (ouch!) I cant spend that kind of money - I'm into this project already for about $800.00 (I'm making 16 lights for 4 boxes (4 lights per box)) or should I go back to the router and try using that again?

Can anyone help me on this????

Thanks
Brenda in CT

Gizmo
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

LMAO..God bless you for trying......lol
You can use the table saw. Is the plexiglass going to sit inside the so called kerf cut the same way glass is in a window sash? If so how thick is the glass compared to your neighbors saw blade.
Kerf blades are thin,there the same as planer blades as far as I know.
Use the table saw........

BigWalt
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

Hope this link helps....
http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/industry-news.asp?sectionID=1476&articleID=501002

FYI...I'm not 100% expert on saw blades but I do know that more teeth on the blade gives you smoother cut while less teeth gives you quick and rough cut.

Brenda40
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

Thanks Big Walt and Gizmo for replying right away. I now know which direction to go.

Sincerely,
Brenda in CT

A. Spruce
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

Kerf refers to the width of the sawblade cut, there is no "kerf" blade. What your neighbor was probably referring to is a dado blade set or a wobble blade. Both of these implements do the same thing in different ways, and that is to cut wide slots. Dado blades are a series of stacked cutters to achieve the width of cut desired. A wobble blade is exactly what it sounds like. It's a blade that is set between two wedges, as you rotate the wedges in opposite directions, the blade starts to tilt over in relation to its axis, causing it to "wobble" when it spins. This wobble cuts slots of whatever the desired width.

But you don't need ANY of this stuff to cut a dado or slot into your pieces, a few passes through the tablesaw will result in the same thing. The typical saw blade is 1/8" wide, all you do is make multiple passes through the material until you've reached your desired width. I do it all the time for a few pieces because it's faster and easier than setting up the dado cutters or the router table. BTW, to cut dado's with a router, you need to mount the router into a table with a fence, even if that fence is just a board held on with a couple clamps.

Good luck with your project, report back your resolution. :cool:

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

All saw blades cut a kerf. A kerf is the width of the cut. Standard table saw blades have a 1/8" kerf while thin kerf blades have a 1/16" kerf.

If it were me I would use the 2X2, then nail a 1X1 on the side, set the fiberglass in and hold in place with quarter round (see the drawing below). That way you can change the glass is it is damaged.
Jack

Gizmo
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!
canuk
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

Brenda .... forgive me for chuckling .... it sounds like your handyman neighbor is adding to your confusion.

Brenda40 wrote:

I'm so confused! I am trying to build a basic cold frame for my garden. The boxes are built and now I'm working on the lids or "lights" as they are referred to. These lights are 48 x 24 frames with 46 1/2 x 22 3/4 glass panels inserted. I'm using plexiglass instead of tempered glass.
Are the plexiglass panels 3/4 inch thick ?

My problem is the instructions state that I'm to use 2x2 stock wood 4 feet long and I'm to cut a 3/4 inch deep slot with a table saw (called a kerf) down the length of the each 4 foot piece. Sounds simple to me right? wrong!
This is the depth of the slot

First I dont own a table saw so I went to our local Home Depot and asked the "tool" guy what I could do instead on the cheap. I ended up purchasing a router for $59.00 and a bit for $17.99.

My problem with the router was its too powerful for me to hold still to make a straight cut. Then I got the brainy idea to bolt the router to some boards to hold it still and run my wood through, like a table saw. Well that didnt work either and I broke the bit. I forgot to pull the board out before turning on the machine and it broke. So back to Home Deopt I go to buy another bit and they dont have the right shank size for the router I bought. They're sold out.

So, I went to my handyman neighbor for advice. He suggests that I could use his table saw, but I had to buy a "kerf blade" as he does not own one. OK I thought no problem. I'll give it to him as a gift. I called my local Home Depot to inquire how much they sell kerf blades for.
Don't worry about wasting your time looking for a kerf blade.
As already mentioned here ..... kerf is the width of the cut the blade produces.

The tool guy informs me there is no such thing as kerf blades for table saws and that my instructions refer to a cut rather than a type of blade. He says I should drop the blade on the table saw to 3/4 inches and run my board through and I should be fine.
The tool guy was correct in describing to set the height of the blade to produce your 3/4 inch deep slot.
How wide the slot is supposed to be is different .... perhaps.

My handy neighbor is telling me they're wrong there is such a thing as a kerf blade and I need that blade to finish this project.
I'm not sure what this guy is trying to describe ..... it may very well be as A.Spruce mentioned .... a dado cutter

So I dont know what to do? Can I use a standard table saw without that special blade or is the Home Deopot guy a fool and dosent know what he's talking about. I really do need that blade.
Yes.... the guy is correct you can use a table saw
Unfortunately the guy that sold you the router was an idiot ..... sure it will do the job .....you don't need it for this simple project.

I did google kerf blades and I found some for sale on Ebay. They're going for around $100.00 (ouch!) I cant spend that kind of money - I'm into this project already for about $800.00 (I'm making 16 lights for 4 boxes (4 lights per box)) or should I go back to the router and try using that again?

Can anyone help me on this????

Thanks
Brenda in CT

The description of the plans seem to indicate a finished look buy having the glass inserted into the frames.

If it doesn't need to be a fancy finished look then you could follow Jack's suggestion.
Or .... simply lay the plexiglass on the top of your 2x2 frames and fasten them down ........... drill pilot holes and use round or pan head screws being careful not to over tighten to prevent cracking the plexiglass .... this is where using a manual screwdriver works
If you want it weather tight then lay a bead of exterior caulk down on the frame first ..... then lay the plexiglass down and fasten.

2 cents worth. :)

NEC
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

I'd go buy a cheap $100.00 tablesaw from Ace hardware or the like. Use the blade that came with it and cut the slot in the cold frame tops.

You will have the little tabletop saw for any other projects in the future and you can always buy a better blade.

How wide can the cut be to hold some plexiglass?

Sten
Re: Kerf cut / kerf blade are they the same? Help!!

Do like JLMCDANIEL says and you can replace the plexi glass if needed, seem sto be the easiest solution. My 2 cents :D Good Luck!!! :)

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