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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am relatively new with a table saw. My saw has a splitter a guard and anti kick back fingers. I notice a lot of the professionals do not use the fingers. They use the splitter with a blade guard only. Is that safe? Does the splitter by itself eliminate kick back?
Thanks
 

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The splitter eliminates some kickbacks. Keep the antikickpack pawls on. They've saved me a few times from taking a board to the stomach.
 

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kickback fingers

By the time the fingers come into play, a kickback is already in progress.

The splitter is designed to do 2 things, the first is to prevent the work from moving away from the fence at the rear of the blade... it can't because the splitter plate is in the way. The second thing it does is prevent the blade from closing up on the rear of the blade...pinching it and propelling it up and over back at you. It can't pinch the blade signifcantly because it's just a hair thinner than the kerf.
With a proper splitter, kickback is minimized. At least in my experience, I've not had one using it and several without using one.
Thicker workpieces can have internal stresses and close OR open after the kerf is made. Thin work pieces can lift up because of the blade rotation and they have little weight of their own to keep them in place on the table. This may cause a kickback.

When making a "test" cut you may want to just see how the kerf aligns with your measured mark and or rip a test piece. You CANNOT back the work out with the fingers engaged. I don't need them or use them. :thumbdown:

Safety is also in the operators mind set as well as in the safety equipment in use. Some things are included in the equipment because the liability engineers and lawyers want to cover their collective ass..ets.

Another issue is with narrow rips between the blade and fence. The fingers end up straddling the piece or getting hung up in between and your push stick won't work with them in the way.
 

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There are reasons for them and not just because of lawyers. There are plenty of people who use the same lawyer theory about blade guards. Watch the DIY shows any of them, they have no splitter, riving knife or blade guards most of the time. Evidently they don't have the same lawyers because they are always showing unsafe practices with a table saw.


Now as I said they are there for a reason, so are the blade guards but both get in the way at certain times. Although they get in the way sometimes it is usually just an inconvenience type thing. It les happen rarely that the guard needs to be removed for certain cuts, same is true on the splitter with kick back prawls. Older saws were difficult to change out so people left these safety devices off, however newer saws have gotten much easier to change out these things.

Power tools are dangerous even with the safety equipment but they get exponentially more dangerous with each safety device not used. Using experience as a reason to remove a safety devices does not eliminate the risk. Even though experience does give you better odds then little to no experience it still increases.the odds of an accident compared to using the safety devices.

Leave them on unless physically impossible and even then remove or disable them for that process then activate them again, especially since your new to this. Even with years of experience things can and will still happen if your not using the safety devices so why increase the odds of it happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like them. They make me feel safer. I am going to buy the BORK splitter with the dust collector guard. It does not come with kick back fingers. I am a machinist by trade and I think I can figure out a way to attach them to my saw.
 

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Let me put it this way.

When I bought my UniSaw, I paid an extra $140 for the riving knife (a.k.a. Splitter) with the pawls. I don't cut without it except for non through cuts.
 

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The problem with my new saw was once I added a zero clearance plate (factory plate) nothing will fit back on the saw. There is no way to use the riving knife of guard.
 

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The problem with my new saw was once I added a zero clearance plate (factory plate) nothing will fit back on the saw. There is no way to use the riving knife of guard.
If your using a factory zero clearance plate and the riving knife, guard or splitter wont't fit. Stop and call them maybe even write a letter. If you cut your hand off they and everyone else will try and say its your fault for not using the guard, riving knife etc.. Either your missing something, have the wrong plate or the design is flawed, so solve that problem now before something happens.
 

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I have an older saw with only the factory guard and no splitter.
Between these two choices, which is best?
1) Micro jig splitter on a zero clearance plate.
2) bork ripping knife.
 

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fire65 said:
The problem with my new saw was once I added a zero clearance plate (factory plate) nothing will fit back on the saw. There is no way to use the riving knife of guard.
You need to run a kerf into the back of the zero clearance insert to accept the splitter, it doesn't need to be a zero clearance. I make mine a quarter of an inch wide on the router table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ended up ordering the Bork splitter with the dust collector blade guard. Bob the owner of the system was a big help. I think it will work great for me. I may try to mount the anti kick back fingers I currently use to the system. Thanks for all the good advice you guys have given me.
 

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Is kickback preventable ?

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt...ting+kickback+on+table+saw&rs=1&fr2=rs-bottom

There may be times where the use of a splitter/riving knife, push block, a properly set up saw and fence doesn't prevent it, but not in my experience when cutting panels or sheet goods. Mine have all occurred because of a lack of a splitter/riving knife on my saw or operator error on my part. However, they may also occur when ripping lumber, since it can move or curve into the fence after being cut.

There are certain circumstance where a kickback can be expected:

1. Occasionally very thin rips may sit there along the fence and a rotating blade for a while and creep back slowly. A properly set up fence will not cause them to project rearward.
2. Sometimes a piece may "move" as it's being ripped and curve away from the fence and be projected rearward. :eek:
3. I've also had the loose piece from a 2 cut rabbet projected back at me ...no fault of the saw setup or operator (me) and I fully expected it :yes: and was prepared for it by standing far enough to the left of the blade. There is a "No Standing" area behind the saw where no one is allowed for this very reason. In a one man shop that's not as much of a concern as in a production shop or in a school setting where there are others present.

So, no not all kickbacks are preventable, but you will learn when to expect them and how to avoid them.
 

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There may be times where the use of a splitter/riving knife, push block, a properly set up saw and fence doesn't prevent it, but not in my experience when cutting panels or sheet goods. Mine have all occurred because of a lack of a splitter/riving knife on my saw or operator error on my part. However, they may also occur when ripping lumber, since it can move or curve into the fence after being cut.
Lumber can also curve away from the fence and bind on a riving knife or splitter.





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I covered that here

see post 3
Thicker workpieces can have internal stresses and close OR open after the kerf is made. .
Lumber can also curve away from the fence and bind on a riving knife or splitter.






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If it binds on the splitter, that's better than binding and closing on the blade which will cause a kickback. :yes:
 

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see post 3
I did read post #3, and what you said wasn't very clear...at least to me...

The splitter is designed to do 2 things, the first is to prevent the work from moving away from the fence at the rear of the blade... it can't because the splitter plate is in the way. The second thing it does is prevent the blade from closing up on the rear of the blade...
Sounds confusing.

Thicker workpieces can have internal stresses and close OR open after the kerf is made.
Yes, the kerf can close or open. That doesn't explain what happens. The wooid itself can "walk" towards the fence, which can cause the bulk of it to be forced away from the fence. Or, the stock could just "walk" away from the fence towards the splitter/riving knife, at least this has been my experience. Which way it moves has little to do with the actual kerf size, but rather what the wood decides to do.

Thin work pieces can lift up because of the blade rotation and they have little weight of their own to keep them in place on the table. This may cause a kickback.
Workpieces should be held down to the table no matter what their weight.






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