Making of a Shopmade Splitter...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by DeLayne Peck posted 08-17-2012 03:49 AM 1854 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There was something fishy when I negotiated the price for Delta Contractor Saw, a 34-410B, on Craiglist. The splitter was missing. But, at $250, it was an affordable step up and a project saw that was in really good starting condition.

Encouraged by a video demonstation of kickback, I tackled the safety issue today. I cut a piece 1” x 1/8” steel to rough length. After several hours of angle grinding, filing, and polishing with my spindle sander, I was able to match the thickness of the knife to my thin kerf saw blade. The leading edge of the knife is beveled. Reassembly and alignment went way smoothly.

I used my new Ridgid Spindle Sander to flatten and polish the it after grinding and filing. You can shoot a piece of steel a looooooong way down the driveway in belt sander mode!!! After amusing myself with repeated shots, I figured out how to set the stop on the sander. Ignorance can be a lot of fun.

I am pleased with the result. Here’s the project in pictures:

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

2 comments so far

View dbhost's profile


5736 posts in 3285 days

#1 posted 08-17-2012 04:11 AM

Not to pick nits, but that looks like a splitter. A riving knife rises, lowers, and tilts with the blade…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

548 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 08-17-2012 05:39 AM

Thanks, dbhost. Obviously, I wasn’t aware of the distinction. For any others with the same affliction, here’s how Wikipedia explains the distinction:

Splitters Table saws are sometimes equipped with some kind of “splitter”, a stationary blade of metal or plastic that holds the kerf open behind the blade.[6] It prevents the slot cut into kerf from closing behind the blade on a rip, or allowing the stock that may bind between the blade and fence from getting caught by the teeth on the back of the blade.

Riving knives A riving knife differs from a simple splitter in some important ways:[7] It doesn’t need to be removed from the saw when cross-cutting or doing a blind (non-through) cut as it doesn’t extend above the top of the saw blade. If it isn’t removed, the operator can’t forget to put it back on. It sits closer to the back edge of the blade, making it much more effective – less space for the stock to shift into the path of the blade
It provides some additional protection for the operator – blocking contact to the back edge of the blade – in those situations where the stock is being pulled from the outfeed side of the saw It’s independent of (and won’t interfere with) other blade guards and dust collectors

The way it achieves all of this is that it is mounted on the same mechanism that mounts the blade, allowing it to move with the saw blade as it’s raised, lowered and tilted. To work properly, the knife should be just slightly less than the width of the blade, and is just slightly shorter than the blade.

As well as table saws, riving knives are also fitted to hand-held circular saws, and to cross-cut saws (“chop saws”).[8]

In 2009, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) will require that all new table saw designs include a riving knife.[9]

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics