Tool Tip #13: Cutting roof ridge capping on the Table Saw

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 08-01-2014 06:59 AM 1756 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Liquid Hide Glue expired no good Pt 2 Stress test results Part 13 of Tool Tip series Part 14: Wood Polishing »

In Dec 2013 I made a wooden Mower Shed from recycled materials.

In that construction I did not make or fit ridge capping to the roof.

I have just completed the second “Mower Shed” and due process has taken place and I have made some improvements.
Namely the fittment of custom made ridge capping.

This is how I did it:

First up select some suitable material for your Ridge Capping.

The standard roof pitch here is 20 to 30 degrees, so I chose 22.5 deg as my roof pitch angle.

So first up I set my table saw to 22.5 degrees.

As we are going to make non through cuts and also working with small material the saw guard and splitter was removed.

You will not see it in the pictures but I replaced the saw guard with a face shield, which was on my head!

A word of warning to those not familar with the dangers of timber off cut projectile effect.

This process presents a danger to the operator if that if the position their body is in line with the saw blade and fence as the off cut timber trapped between the blade and the fence is produced it will eject with enough force to injure you!
One of the perils of a right tilting saw blade.

I am not saying it will completley penetrate the operator and come out the back but not lets have any any injuries please!

Stand to the side, or the back of the saw when using this process.

OK with the safety aspects covered here we go.

The first cut, The height is set by measuring a half way point on the timber, and setting the blade height, and be aware after the first cut this may have to be adjusted to ensure correct positioning, so you may choose to use a test piece first up.
Secondly the thickness is determined by the amount of stand off of the blade in relation to the distance to the fence.

A note: Cut 1 and 2 present no projectile hazard situations and are safe for all operators, its cut No 3 and No 4 where care must be taken.

After cut No 1 is completed commence cut No 2 by simply inverting the material.
Upon commencing cut No 2 verification of the correct height must be conformed otherwise over cutting or undercutting will occur.

Undercutting: Requires the blade to be raised and the process repeated.

Overcutting: May ruin the material at the finished product.

As cut No 2 is completed the waste material will simply fall away in position.

Its a bit obsqured but I am using a push stick to move the material.

After resetting of the saw blade its time for Cut No 3 and No 4. Dont be surprised if the blade may be in the fence.

Cut No 3 is commenced.

Cut No 3 requires some table saw compentency skills here now as the operator will be at the back of the saw in part of the process.

This serves two purposes:
1 It removes any possible risk of operator impailment, and allows
2 Management of the process.

As the material is fed into the saw the operator moves from the front of the saw to the back, this allows control of both the Ridge capping being cut and the hazardous off cut.

Now at the back

Dependent of you being left or right handed the hands will change to suit.

Once the No 3 cut is complete invert the material again and repeat the process for cut No 4

Its the base material that has not been cut which maintains the stability and accuracy of the cuts.

Keeping this in mind and the fact that the operator is standing to the rear or side of the saw there is a possibility the very end of the ridge capping will/may have a taper in it, if the material is over length to start with simply just cut it off.

Remember the projectile hazard!

In closing if you have any concerns in making Ridge Capping using this method do not do it.

Go buy some from your local timber supplier.


-- Regards Rob

4 comments so far

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 3411 days

#1 posted 08-01-2014 11:07 PM


View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 08-03-2014 08:35 AM

This looks very good Robert. Another method for those who are not comfortable cutting this on the table saw is to nail the edge of a board of the appropriate length to the face of another board about 1/2” below the edge of the face board. Rain can’t get into the joint that way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View robscastle's profile


6362 posts in 2716 days

#3 posted 08-03-2014 10:21 AM

Thanks Mike,

its a bit of a complicated process and I had reservations on posting as well but in the end it’s Just another job the humble table saw can do !!

-- Regards Rob

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10739 posts in 4564 days

#4 posted 08-04-2014 12:34 AM

Very good!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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