Tips and Jigs for the Shop #13: Making the job of being safe, very easy. Contractors Saw Original Guard Mod.

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 11-15-2010 01:11 AM 1689 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Project Table Top........misconceived, but it is a birth defects....(-: Part 13 of Tips and Jigs for the Shop series Part 14: Radial Arm Saw Dust Collection...Precision Control of the Dust...... »

I realized after I did this, that Martin has reduced the size of the width of photo you can use, so the photo isn’t centered, but you can see everything.

Yesterday I made a very quick modification to my original equipment Delta Contractor Saw guard. All the parts were in the shop, serendipitously, so it took me less than 30 minutes.

I had placed a wing nut on the back bolt for the splitter nearly a year ago. But this time, I actually modified the mount so that there are no nuts or bolts that are loose when I take the mount off.

Here are the parts I used, with a ruler for perspective:

Now I can put the guard on or off in 20 seconds.

I put a slot in the back part of the splitter so the back bolt stays in place, on or off, and you can slide it on and then tighten what used to be a nut, now it is a plastic and brass 5/16 jig knob.

Here is a picture of the slot I cut with a hack saw. The side you put the slot on may or may not be important. But if you put the slot on the other side, if somehow, the whole thing got loose, I can visualize the wood and the guard going forward together because of kickback pressure through the pawls. The upward position of the slot makes it even less likely to move.

The front one always was a slider, but it had a bolt fitting into a purposefully sloppy nut mechanism. I put a 5/16 inch T bolt through the wrong way and tightened it, and now have a plastic and brass 5/16 jig knob there also. Any kind of bolt would work, however.

It used to take me just under a minute to put the guard on or off, and I had a bolt and nut to replace when I put it back on, and it took a wrench to tighten the front bolt.

Now I have it down to 20 seconds, and there are no loose parts and no tools needed. Just making sure the job of being safe is very easy. I use both hands and tighten or loosen both knobs simultaneously.

Of course I plan to replace the whole guard system, and I have already purchased some items, although the shark guard sure is tempting. The saw dust collection needs to be addressed in the next 3 months.

But in the meantime, I use the guard because it is easy, and it helps keep me safe.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

10 comments so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3780 days

#1 posted 11-15-2010 01:15 AM

Nice idea, Jim.

I like the idea of not needing a wrench to tighten down the bolt. I’ll have to see if this will work on my saw. Mine’s a real pain to remove/reinstall the splitter.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3589 days

#2 posted 11-15-2010 01:50 AM

That looks like it is pretty secure, nice upgrade Jim. Glad to see you found some shop time today ;)

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#3 posted 11-15-2010 02:07 AM

Timbo and Lew
Actually I overdid it yesterday, about 7 hours, and I was tired at the end and had done a bunch of other physical things. Today I put in about 5 hours, and my wrists are complaining. I have surgery tomorrow. So, like I have said before, I will never be a big hand tool man. Hoping I get an update on my two sleds out today also. I have a lot of fun shop projects going on. I was thinking about making a real project for Christmas. But….....hold on to your hat, I need a real band saw for that. Don’t think that will happen before Christmas.

I am going to buy one that will be my last bandsaw, so it has to be a good one. I am looking at the two Grizzly’s reviewed in FWW Tools and Shops Annual Issue. I will never have great access to wood, so I suspect my choices will be limited, and I will buy in bulk, resaw, make my veneers, etc. But I am old, and my shop size is limited. So the 17 inch is tempting, but I just don’t know. It will have to be mobile, and that means big stable wheels with locks. The larger, essentially 19 inch beast is just too much, I suspect. One of the things I have noted, though, if you have a monster bandsaw, you start doing ripping and all sorts of things on it. That means I wouldn’t ever have to upgrade the TS, which would be a big savings. Actually, all along, I thought I could get along with this TS. Just need to fix the guard and the dust collection.

Nothing more fun than talking about planes, and bandsaws…........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 11-15-2010 02:09 AM

Great idea! I’m checking my setup to see if I can do this to my saw.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#5 posted 11-15-2010 02:14 AM

I know you have the Vega fence (which I love, and you have said good things also), and I kinda assumed you had the Delta Contractor Saw. If so, this mod should work, and it is super easy. Need some knobs, I used 5/16 and that fits the front bolt, and the back slot as well. I had everything in the shop, so it was a no brainer. I had the inspiration in a flash, primed by Rand’s (lilredweldingrod) safety blog item. I couldn’t believe it when I put that bolt in backwards on the front and put on the knob, two minutes, why didn’t I do that before? I think will be OK with different blade angles etc. Now it is super easy.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#6 posted 11-15-2010 02:20 AM

Hey Dan, nice to hear from you again
I noticed in your buddies list you had John Nixon, and I am about to blog an update to my super sled, which is really his design… least I will blog it if I ever get off of this post…............(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3131 days

#7 posted 11-15-2010 02:21 AM

I wish my old Ridgid would allow that upgrade. Way to go Jim. Rand

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#8 posted 11-15-2010 02:38 AM

Rats, oh well, use you imaginative noggin and figure out your own way to make it easy… there is a way. I would not have done it except for the nudging from your post…........

Thanks buddy….........

You have made me a little safer, and my day a little brighter…........


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3359 days

#9 posted 11-15-2010 01:38 PM

A really good improvement Jim. All those little conveniences add up when you are working on a project. They also encourage the use of safety devices because of the ease in remounting. Well done.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#10 posted 11-15-2010 05:09 PM

This was so simple, I am amazed I didn’t try it earlier. Rand made a safety post, and that just triggered my brain to look again. 20 minutes later I had the new setup. This truly was quick and easy.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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