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Thread: Situations where a Riving Knife would cause problems?

  1. #1

    Situations where a Riving Knife would cause problems?

    I have been reading up on Riving knifes for a while. My understanding is that they are permanently installed and canít be removed Ė correct me if I am wrong.

    Despite itís anti kickback features, can anyone think of any woodworking situation where a riving knife would either reduce functionality of some operations of a table saw? Either that or just cause problems in some situations?

    If money was no object, would you buy, or avoid a table saw with a riving knife?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    If the riving knife can't be temporarily removed or lowered to the height of the saw blade stack, it would preclude the use of a dado blade setup

  3. #3
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    I've never heard of one that can't be removed.

    In europe, removal is a part of the regulation - they specify ease and quick removal/replacement.

    If you leave one on, using any blade that is smaller than the designed size will be impossible. This includes dado blades (unless you have a full-sized one!).

    But again, i've never seen one that couldn't be removed. Have you? If so, where?

    About the only cut a riving knife would be a problem with a normal blade is one you shouldn't be doing to begin with: Plunge cutting. Just don't!

    When my table saw needs replacing, the next saw MUST have a riving knife. A true one that sits just below the top of the blade is the only way I will go.
    Last edited by Jason Beam; 10-23-2008 at 11:55 AM.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post

    When my table saw needs replacing, the next saw MUST have a riving knife. A true one that sits just below the top of the blade is the only way I will go.
    I really want a Riving knife, sad thing is I could not find a cabinet saw under 1700 bucks (a grizzly) that comes with one.

  5. #5
    I agree with Rob. If the riving knife extends above the height of the blade and cannot be removed, then you can't perform non-through cuts. My Ryobi BT3100's riving knife extends well above the blade (a design reason that I do not understand) but it can be removed along with the blade guard when cutting dados.

    For your second question...for me, personally, a riving knife is an absolute requirement for any saw I'd consider. One of the reasons I haven't yet upgraded from the BT3100 is there aren't a whole lot of affordable saws out there with riving knives standard. That'll change in the next few years as the new regulations kick in.

  6. #6
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    A new cabinet saw with a warranty and everything for $1700 isn't a horrible price to begin with.

    If you can settle for contractor saws, there are a few coming out lately that would be priced a bit lower than that. I think grizzly has one (or will soon?). I haven't shopped yet, for two reasons: I don't need a new saw yet, and I wanna let the new feature mature and get all the bugs out.

    Do you currently have a saw? If so, I might consider riding it out a little longer to see where the dust settles. This is the year all "new models" had to include the riving knife on in order to get UL listing. Surely there will be some bugs to work out on these first generation saws.

    The technology may be sound, but a budget-minded execution may have unforseen challenges, so I would wait a year or two, just to see who shines brightest. Of course, I can say that: i already have a saw that works fine and can afford to wait. But if you're someone looking for a new saw, you may not have that luxury.

    Even benchtop models have 'em - they're not what I consider "True" in that they stick up well above the blade to allow for those silly kickback pawls and a blade guard to attach. Plus, they're aimed at the construction market, not so much the furniture building market, really.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post
    A new cabinet saw with a warranty and everything for $1700 isn't a horrible price to begin with.

    If you can settle for contractor saws, there are a few coming out lately that would be priced a bit lower than that. I think grizzly has one (or will soon?). I haven't shopped yet, for two reasons: I don't need a new saw yet, and I wanna let the new feature mature and get all the bugs out.

    Do you currently have a saw? If so, I might consider riding it out a little longer to see where the dust settles. This is the year all "new models" had to include the riving knife on in order to get UL listing. Surely there will be some bugs to work out on these first generation saws.

    The technology may be sound, but a budget-minded execution may have unforseen challenges, so I would wait a year or two, just to see who shines brightest. Of course, I can say that: i already have a saw that works fine and can afford to wait. But if you're someone looking for a new saw, you may not have that luxury.

    Even benchtop models have 'em - they're not what I consider "True" in that they stick up well above the blade to allow for those silly kickback pawls and a blade guard to attach. Plus, they're aimed at the construction market, not so much the furniture building market, really.
    I just bought one on ebay, the grizzly 1023SL for 750 bucks after the microsoft cash back deal. BUT, I have not sent grizzly the money yet, still waiting for pay pal to get the money so I could always change my mind.

    Your idea has merit - the first of anything can easily have design flaws, I know that well from PC software and operating systems...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Hillmer View Post
    I really want a Riving knife, sad thing is I could not find a cabinet saw under 1700 bucks (a grizzly) that comes with one.
    I just purchased a Steel City Granite saw with a riving knife. It's listed as a hybrid, but the trunnions are cabinet mounted. It comes equipped with a riving knife and was $1300. It even came with a Forrest WWII blade.

  9. #9
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    I'm not aware of any inherent limitations in a riving knife.

    Fortunately, getting a new TS is not on the horizon these days, so by the time I am ready to buy one, riving knife equipped TS will be more prevalent. Eventually, every TS will be required to have a riving knife. Right now only new designs or models are required to have a riving knife. I believe that by 2014 all TS will be required to have a riving knife regardless.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Strebler View Post
    I just purchased a Steel City Granite saw with a riving knife. It's listed as a hybrid, but the trunnions are cabinet mounted. It comes equipped with a riving knife and was $1300. It even came with a Forrest WWII blade.
    Where did you buy it?

    What's the model number?

  11. #11
    I picked it up at my local Woodcraft. It's a 35900G.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=21026

  12. #12
    What about installing a high quality splitter instead? Would it provide as much protection as a riving knife would? Any disadvantages of a splitter compared to riving knife?

  13. #13
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    Depending on the thickness of the knife, it may limt the use of blades to that of a certain minimum kerf. PM2000 I can't go less than 0.125". Thin Kerf and BORG blades are out. Other knives may be thinner.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Hillmer View Post
    What about installing a high quality splitter instead? Would it provide as much protection as a riving knife would? Any disadvantages of a splitter compared to riving knife?
    Most splitters do not raise and lower with the blade. I use an MJ Splitter with great success as they are easily removed for non-through cuts and 99* of my TS cuts are at 90*.

    There are riving knives that exceed the blade height but these are no better than many American version splitter / guard assemblies that come on American saws, at least for me. I would want my riving knife to meet these criteria for greatest usefulness to how I work, YMMV:

    - Should sit just below blade height in all blade positions.
    - Should be easily removable for convenience during dado use or blade changes.

    That's all it has to do to make me happy.
    ďIf liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.Ē -- George Orwell


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Hillmer View Post
    I just bought one on ebay, the grizzly 1023SL for 750 bucks after the microsoft cash back deal. BUT, I have not sent grizzly the money yet, still waiting for pay pal to get the money so I could always change my mind.

    ...
    ...daniel,
    I believe you can achieve a large portion of what I consider the safety feature of a riving knife - namely a reduction of kickbacks because a piece of wood gets 'caught' on the rear teeth of the blade - by fashioning several zero insert plates out of wood and epoxying in a simitar-shaped splitter/riving knife at the rear of the plate, with a couple or more plates having the homemade knife at different heights to accommodate different thicknesses of wood being sawn while the "riving/splitter" is still in very close proximity to the back and top teeth of the plate..... I make these riving/splitter knives out of phenolic material (cast off circuit board material) which is very tough yet not 'harmful' to carbide teeth.....

    .... I could also make zero insert plates with such a homemade riving/splitter to accommodate common bevel cut angles, say 45 degrees but so far I have not done so as I do bevel cuts infrequently.

    ...I acknowledge that "true" riving knives rise and fall with the height of the blade as well as follow the blade when it is tilted for a bevel cut......

    .... I am NOT saying that factory installed riving knives being mandated on new models of tablesaws is not a step in tablesaw safety but am saying that with ingenuity and a little labour you can achieve a signficant measure of the functionality of a riving knife on a older tablesaw such as you are thinking of buying .......

    ....btw, to my mind, the safety feature that really works to virtually remove the hazard of finger amputations is the Sawstop but, as you as a new purchaser and many prior owners of otherwise perfectly fine tablesaws have realized, it is a significantly bigger price step ...again, I'm not saying it is not worth it and I haven't read no personal account of such a tablesaw accident not saying that such an upgrade wasn't in their future, after considering the pain, cost and sometimes limits on their finger manipulation
    ...


    good luck

    michael

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