TS Blade Guard - is it on? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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TS Blade Guard - is it on?

While I have my Rife and my Anti-Kickback Pawl always on, I seldom have my Blade guard on.

I think once I get the guard set up for dust control, it will be on all the time.

So, is your guard on all the time? Be honest please.
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post #2 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 03:59 PM
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It's on unless I'm making non-through cuts, like dadoes or grooves, or when I'm ripping very narrow strips so I can keep pressure down on the workpiece.
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post #3 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 04:04 PM
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Any time it can be on, it is.

My table saw is a little older so it takes a wrench and a minute or so to install, but if I hurt myself because I didnít take the extra minute to put it back on Iíd kick myself for a being an idiot. It isnít worth the risk. Even experienced users can have a moment where they loose concentration, especially when making lots of repetitive cuts. Recently someone posted a video where one of the regular YouTube contributors just cut the ends of two fingers, and he didnít think it would ever happen to him.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 05:32 PM
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Never had a guard on any of my table saws. The only time I got cut on a table saw was on an old home made table saw my dad built.
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 06:09 PM
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not always, not a yes or no issue.

I have experimented with blade guards or covers for 40 plus years. I've made some that incorporate a dust collector, others that don't. My latest is just a 3 piece sandwich made from 1/4" thick plywood with an 1/8" in the center so it will pivot on the splitter bolt. It's a friction fit, so I can angle up and out of the way or press it down right on top of the work piece. There is enough room under it for all but 3" thick stock to pass through.

The first rule of table saw safety is ....
Never place your feeding hand in direct line with the blade.... unless you are 12" or so away then change to a push block. The Red Zone on the throat plate means "Keep Your Fingers Out".

The second rule is:
Feed using downward, forward and lateral pressure inwards towards the fence.

The third rule is:
Always have your splitter or riving knife installed unless the operation will not permit. This is to prevent the workpiece from coming away from the fence at the rear and causing a kickback.

The forth rule is:
Do Not Violate the first three rules! :smile3:
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 06:28 PM
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A lot depends on the skill level and experience of the saw operator. A novice shouldn't operate a saw without a guard unless he is being instructed on how to safely operate the saw without it. Myself I didn't use a table saw very much before taking woodworking up professionally. The first shop I went to work for the guy spent a great deal of time showing me how to avoid an accident.

It was about 18 years ago the last time I bought a new saw. The guard that came with it is still in the factory packaging up on a shelf. It's never been on the saw.
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 08:30 PM
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I taught junior high and high school woodshop for a few years so safety is very ingrained in me. But the type of work I do on the TS, I would spend most of my time taking safeties on and off. I donít keep a safety on my table saw.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-31-2017, 11:11 PM
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I do spend a lot of time taking the safeties on and off, and I am trying to figure out why. Simply put, I always use the guard, the riving knife, and the anti-kickback pawls EXCEPT:

(1) When making non-through cuts, such as dados and rabbets.

(2) When I use the GRRR-Ripper push blocks, which straddle the blade. In that case, I can leave the riving knife in the half-raised position, but I can't use the blade guard or anti-kickback pawls.

It is the second case that gives me the most trouble. There are times when the GRRR-Ripper push blocks are the best, safest solution, but often they don't seem right for a given cut, so I put the blade guard, riving knife, and anti-kickback pawls back on. It seems that I spend a lot of time putting them on and taking them off, depending on whether I use the GRRR-Rippers. I don't mind trading time for safety, but I wonder if there is a better way.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 06:44 AM
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No.

George
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 07:04 AM
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We could ALL say NO, like George did here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
No. George
QUOTE:
So, is your guard on all the time? Be honest please.

All the time? NO. and that's the issue with the question. Unless, you get specific as to why and under what circumstances is it "OFF" or is it never "ON" .... it's a one word reply.

If you really want to get to the bottom, of this issue, start a POLL:
Is your table saw safety guard ON?

Always ON
Always ON, except for rare operations.
Usually ON
Seldom ON
Rarely ON
Never ON
Don't have one.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-01-2018 at 07:11 AM.
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post #11 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 07:41 AM
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Only off for non through cuts!
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 08:07 AM
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SawStop ....yes
Unisaw.......No
Powermatic 77.....No
Powermatic slider.....No
Altendorf WA8.....Yes

The Sawstop and Altendorf always have the guard on at work when I use them, but the Unisaw at home does not. I cant use guards when making patterns either..
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 10:56 AM
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Look at it this way .......

Assume you are using your blade guard. Suddenly, you find you hand/fingers bumping the guard. Why did that happen in the first place? Your hands/fingers were in the wrong place to start with.... :frown2:

Now, assume the blade guard is not ON in the same instance, proper hand/finger placement would prevent any blade contact. This means keeping them away from the "red zone" on the throat plate at all times.
It also means using proper push blocks/shoes/stick and knowing when to use each type. Each type applies forces in a very different way, and those forces are necessary to feed the workpiece ALL the way through and past the end of the blade. Those forces also need to keep the workpiece pressed against the fence for the entire cutting operation. WHY?

Kickback occurs when the far end of the workpiece loses contact with the fence at the rear and rotates up and over the spinning blade, sending it back towards the operator. I've had it happen more time than it should, so I know now what causes it. It mostly occured on plywood panels, and careless feeding techniques. The use of a splitter will prevent most if not all of these issues.

Usually, the blade guard is attached to the splitter as it was on my Craftsman saws. It often got in the way of the push shoe when ripping narrow stock, it was totally frustrating. So, I drilled out the rivets that secured the plastic blade cover and the anti-kick back pawls which also impeded certain ripping operations, so they were GONE! That left just the vertical splitter plate remaining and that's all I use now, except for the pivoting plywood cover I mentioned above.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-01-2018 at 11:02 AM.
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post #14 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 11:12 AM
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I'll have to find it first. It's buried in the mess somewhere. I got my first kickback a few months ago- first in 40 years. Got a small skinned pack on my forearm. Nothing major. The blade guard wouldn't work as the piece of wood was too high for it. It was too short for the riving knife. I figure I'll be 110 when I get my next kickback.
It's interesting- I sold custom and factory cabinetry. The custom shop got a black mark by the state inspector when the business was sold. The guys never used the blade guard or riving knife. Most of them had worked there for years and were aware of what they could do and not do. The shop also had to put in a small water heater as they didn't have hot water in the restroom. The shop was in business for over 35 years.
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 11:36 AM
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I never did use them,then had the bad kickback then I started using them but it got to be such a PITA I quit

I plan on making a better splitter, but the guard that came with my Unisaw is pretty hard to use for a lot of cuts
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 11:46 AM
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Can you .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catpower View Post
I never did use them,then had the bad kickback then I started using them but it got to be such a PITA I quit

I plan on making a better splitter, but the guard that came with my Unisaw is pretty hard to use for a lot of cuts
Maybe you can keep the splitter portion and remove the blade guard? If I remember, it's a bar type linkage kind of affair? Like this?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-01-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Maybe you can keep the splitter portion and remove the blade guard? If I remember, it's a bar type linkage kind of affair? Like this?
The one that came with it is pretty much a POS,it is plastic, and if you cut anything less than about 1 1/4 you have to take it off, or hold up the plastic with your third hand

I am going to draw up a slitter/riving knife and cut it out on my CNC plasma cutter
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post #18 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 06:43 PM
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Never used a guard on any table saw I have ever owned, however that was my decision, so when I moved and downsized my shop I passed my contractor saw on to a young friend of the family "with a guard installed". Now it is his decision.
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post #19 of 31 Old 01-01-2018, 07:03 PM
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Never had the guard on any saw i owned, and it's been 55 years now.
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post #20 of 31 Old 01-08-2018, 08:47 AM
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Found a similar thread

I found this thread which asks the same question. There are some better photos of my experimental dust collection/blade cover here:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f7/ho...ble-saw-20201/

This shop made guard/blade cover is dirt simple. It fits on the splitter on my older Craftsman table saws. I realize the newer saws do not have splitters in some cases, so it may not work for yours. It is made from 2 identical pieces of 1/4" plywood, but it could be Lexan also. In between is a layer of 1/8" thick material, or at least as thick as your splitter plate. It's bolted on at the rear such that the friction keeps it in any position you choose. You want it down right on the workpiece, then just lower it down. You want it up and out of the way, then swing it fully upward. There is still enough clearance under it for all but the thickest rips.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-08-2018 at 09:19 AM.
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