So among the few shotcuts that were made by providing the R4511 at the market price was the fact that it only came with a splitter+integrated blade guard but no additional low profile riving knives (for non through cuts). for the price this saw comes at – one can’t complain, and the fact is- it does have a riving knife mount system which is a good base to start with.
solution: homemade riving knife made out of 1/8” plate of 6063 aluminum: EDIT: If I’d do this again, I’d go with material which is 0.090” in thickness to match the factory material thickness
the height of the knife is lower than the 10” blade by 1 tooth height and fits perfectly without a need for tools in the slot for it:
To make it I got a 6”x12” plate of aluminum ($13) that would yield 2 riving knives (if anyone wants the 2nd one…lol). made a template of the original splitter on cardboard (easiest to work with, and replace if screwed up). then I transfered that template to a couple of hardboard scraps I had lying around (masonite) which are more ridgid and would then be used to transfer the shape to the aluminum. I did a couple of the masonite templates just so that I can play around with different shapes, heights, etc. I ended up sticking to the “simple” square edge shape – cause it was less work:
for the aluminum work, I used a dremel type tool (the bosch version) to cut the aluminum first to rough shape, then closer to the masonite template, and I ended up using a file to finesse the shape and smooth out the lines- followed by some 400grit and 600grit sand paper to smooth it out to the touch and clean any burrs.
Fits like a glove, and works great!
P.S. working with aluminum (and previously working with phenolic (see previous blog)) just reminded me how much I like working with WOOD, how forgiving it is, how easy it is to work with, and how nicer it is to the touch and smell…
Edit: I was asked about how to cut the opening for the riving knife in the zero clearance plate, so here goes:
I cut the opening for the riving knife using a jigsaw (I used a file to clean it up as well)– safe no danger operation – and no kick backs.
this also leaves the back of the riving knife in tact, and not split in 2 like factory supplied plates are, which makes their back less rigid.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.