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Thread: Ceiling Mounted Table Saw Blade Guard?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2013
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    Ceiling Mounted Table Saw Blade Guard?

    Hi,

    I would like to keep my riving knife in place at all times, and come up with a design that would allow me to use the factory supplied blade guard and anti-kickback fingers at the same time (less the splitter).

    I am thinking I could come up with a design that would essentially make the riving knife a splitter, and use a linkage mounted from the ceiling to hold the blade guard and anti-kick back fingers, in a way that would cause the fingers to dig in and the blade guard to be driven downwards, should a situation occur where the fingers cause the guard assembly to be driven back towards the operator.

    Has anyone done this? I have not thought it out completely, and thought I would ask rather than spend time pursuing a mindless idea.

    Thanks for any guidance!

    Bill
    Too much to learn...Not enough time...So I am just going to do what I feel like...

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    Sacramento, CA
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    I don't like kickback reaction systems to be removed from the machine itself, personally. But I've built a ceiling mounted guard ... here's a quick video i shot of it:



    I really like it because as you say it keeps the splitter in place MUCH more often.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I have a ceiling mounted blade guard, also. No kickback fingers on mine, but I would put them on the splitter if I did. I like this guard arrangement because I can use it with the dado blade, too. The only problem with it is you have to lift it up enough to clear the blade when you tilt the arbor. I don't find that much of an issue.

    IMG_8253.JPG

    John

  4. #4
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    Have you looked into board buddies? I'm not a fan of anti-kickback fingers. I think they are more hazardous than safe.

    I have a shark guard and like it alot. Much easier to deal with than overhead mounted contraptions (of which I've had several).
    Jay St. Peter

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies guys!

    Is a major advantage of your overarm blade guards dust collection? After looking at the guard that came with my Grizzly Saw I see the advantages it may have over something I might make. I was thinking of a design that would incorporate anti-kickback fingers, with a pivot point effectively on the operator side of the blade, using an L shaped (more or less) arm to keep it out of the way.

    Then I got thinking, and realized that the splitter I have, with the kickback fingers incorporated into it, should really only be in the way when making a non-through cut. On this saw it serves the same function as the riving knife, moving up and down with the blade.

    So if I made an overarm guard, it seems like I would gain the elimination of the need to remove the guard/splitter when doing a non-through cut, along with option for above-blade dust collection. I guess the overarm guard would also cover the dado blade when the work was not being cut, so this would be another advantage.

    So now I am reconsidering whether I want/need an overarm blade guard or not...The Grizzly blade guard looks like it would work with a 10" dado set, perhaps with an 8" set as well.

    Is dust collection the main advantage of the overarm blade guards? Am I missing something?

    Thanks for the input!

    Bill
    Too much to learn...Not enough time...So I am just going to do what I feel like...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayStPeter View Post
    Have you looked into board buddies? I'm not a fan of anti-kickback fingers. I think they are more hazardous than safe.
    Jay,

    What is it about anti-kickback fingers that makes you feel that way? I never really thought about it. Do you feel they are ineffective and give a false sense of security? I mean perhaps when needed they might not dig into the wood to prevent rearward movement or?

    I normally use hold-down fingers that mount to my rip fence along with a feather board to hold the piece against the fence...but might consider board buddies at some point.

    Interested to hear your thoughts!

    Bill
    Too much to learn...Not enough time...So I am just going to do what I feel like...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Bill, you're trying to talk yourself out of the correct solution.

    If you make non through cuts, you need an overhead guard, not one mounted on the splitter/riving knife. End of story.

    The second benefit (also available with splitter or riving knife guards) is over blade dust collection.

    The only solution that satisfies both requirements is an overhead guard, either ceiling or arm mounted, and a riving knife or splitter.

    I had an Excalibur overarm guard and Merlin removable splitter on my cabinet saw, fantastic. Now I have a Euro slider with a riving knife, and I need to add an overarm guard for non through cuts.

    Excalibur make both types................Regards, Rod.
    Last edited by Rod Sheridan; 03-18-2013 at 7:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Space View Post
    Jay,

    What is it about anti-kickback fingers that makes you feel that way? I never really thought about it. Do you feel they are ineffective and give a false sense of security? I mean perhaps when needed they might not dig into the wood to prevent rearward movement or?

    I normally use hold-down fingers that mount to my rip fence along with a feather board to hold the piece against the fence...but might consider board buddies at some point.

    Interested to hear your thoughts!

    Bill
    I've had a bunch of cases where small cutoffs get caught up in the mechanism. Also, thick pieces got jammed in my Unisaw splitter. Most problematic is bad wood that releases tension as it goes through. I've had that get caught up in the mechanism and jam things up. Couldn't back out of the cut when I saw it happening so I had to take my hand off the board to shut off the saw which was in a bad way at the time. Bent everythng up. I've had the same situation with a splitter only and it's never been a problem to back the piece out a bit until the situation is OK for me to shut off the saw. I think it's significantly safer without the fingers so I'll never use them again. I like the splitter part, not the fingers. Others may argue, that's fine. I remember a few threads several years ago that confirmed I'm not the only one who feels this way about anti-kickback fingers.

    I found overhead guards a bit cumbersome to use and with ineffective dust collection. So I often pushed mine out of the way and left them there. Shark takes a couple seconds for me to install and DC is great, so I use it. Best safety devices are ones you actually use. Sometimes takes a few iterations to find your tolerance level.

    I've never used board buddies, but they seem like a simpler solution than the complex mechanism you are describing. Though I am all in for over-engineering a solution if it's fun for you.
    Jay St. Peter

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