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Best Option I've Found

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Review by EarlS posted 01-07-2018 01:41 PM 2214 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I read an article written by a hand surgeon for Popular Woodworking.

“In the hundreds of table saw injuries I’ve seen, I’ve yet to see an amputation from a table saw with an appropriate blade guard and splitter. There have never been many good reasons to remove the guard; now with better-designed saws, guards and riving knives, there are even fewer. I’ve seen woodworkers injured on the “backstroke” as they bring a hand back over an unprotected blade after a cut, those who didn’t see the teeth as the blade slowed and some who just pushed their hands into the blade as the work lifted, fluttered or started to kick. It is gruesome – use your guard.”

After reading that I decided that was a pretty convincing argument for getting one for my table saw.

I’ve been using my Sharkguard SK1 with the 2-1/2” dust port on my Delta, left tilt, table saw for 5-6 months now and I have to say I do really like it. At first it seemed like I was constantly having to take it off because I was ripping a board, or changing the height of the splitter for a thicker piece of wood, but those activities have become part of the set up routine when making a cut on the table saw.

Pros:

The Sharkguard SK1 does a good job with dust collection and a better job of keeping my fingers away from the saw blade.

It is easy to remove the shroud when ripping narrow boards or making cuts that don’t go all the way through such as when using a dado stack

Visibility is quite good inside the shroud so you can see the wood and the blade.

The shroud easily raises as the wood is pushed into the front of the the shroud at the start of a cut.

Cons:

Thin waste pieces can and frequently do get wedged between the blade and the side of the shroud. I haven’t had a waste piece catch on the blade though.

The waste side is open so any chips or dust that would come off that side will not be pulled into the shroud.

My miter bar (Woodhaven) hits the right side of the shroud when I am cutting on the right side of the saw (normal operation). I will likely get a new miter bar at some point.

You have to check the clearance of the wood underneath the clamp assembly. If the clamp assembly is too low the splitter has to be raised which entails removing the zero clearance plate and loosening the ratchet handle, then raising the splitter, tightening the handle, replacing the zero clearance plate, and reattaching the clamp assembly, and finally putting the shroud back on the clamp assembly. I keep mine set at about 1-1/2” or so since most of the wood I’m cutting is less than that thickness.

Details:

I tried building my own, several different versions, but none of the raising/lowering mechanisms worked well. They were also really cumbersome.

Lead time was a couple of months, as Leeway Workshops was very busy with orders. Right now, according to their site, lead times are 1-2 weeks.

Set up was extremely easy. Following the instructions, I removed the factory mounting bracket and installed the one from Leeway. The adjustable splitter attaches to the mounting bracket (red piece).

The clamp assembly is held in the 2 notches on top of the splitter.

The dust hood is then slid onto the 2 pins and the retaining bracket is pushed down to secure it.

I have a separate 2-1/2” DC hose for the Sharkguard with a blast gate on it. I close the gate when the Sharkguard is not on the saw such as ripping narrow boards.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"




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EarlS

1519 posts in 2463 days



18 comments so far

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Redoak49

3450 posts in 2104 days


#1 posted 01-07-2018 02:16 PM

I agree with you about the injury issues but some will take exception stating they work so safely no accident can happen.

I think the Shark Guard is an excellent piece of design and great for after market safety and dust collection.

Thanks for the review.

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EarlS

1519 posts in 2463 days


#2 posted 01-07-2018 02:52 PM

The Shark Guard isn’t exactly cheap, but neither is a trip to see your friendly local hand surgeon. I’m all for safety when it comes to rotating equipment. I guess the continual emphasis on safety at work is starting to soak in.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2250 posts in 1338 days


#3 posted 01-07-2018 03:01 PM

It looks like a nice accessory Earl.

The only question I have is dust. I know anything plastic will act like a dust magnet when connected to a DC. Do you get any dust buildup issues which mess with blade visibility?

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EarlS

1519 posts in 2463 days


#4 posted 01-07-2018 04:01 PM

Splinter – actually, dust build up isn’t too bad. I was worried about static as well but it really hasn’t been an issue. Maybe the air velocity keeps the dust moving well enough that it doesn’t build up? Maybe the plastic is grounded enough from the metal touching it that it doesn’t build up a charge? At any rate, it isn’t really an issue, even as dry as it is with the super cold weather we are having here in Iowa.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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AandCstyle

3147 posts in 2372 days


#5 posted 01-07-2018 10:30 PM

Hey, Earl, I have been using a SharkGuard for years and agree that it is well worth the money. I do have some dust on the shroud but I can see the work well enough. Of course, I have never cleaned it in all the years I have had it. hmm

Lee always has a heavy backlog of work so his wait time is usually 2-3 months.

-- Art

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sepeck

351 posts in 2256 days


#6 posted 01-08-2018 01:36 AM

What thickness did you go with for your riving knife? I am seriously considering getting one of these.

-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1519 posts in 2463 days


#7 posted 01-08-2018 01:18 PM

Steven – I went with the thinest one so I don’t have to worry if I use a thin kerf blade. Lee is also very helpful. If you aren’t sure about the specific configuration that you need, drop him a note with your details and ask for his recommendation.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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jonah

1835 posts in 3414 days


#8 posted 01-08-2018 04:10 PM

Isn’t that the ARK model? I thought the SG1 was the old model.

Yours looks like mine, and I definitely have the ARK.

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2755 posts in 3131 days


#9 posted 01-09-2018 12:40 AM

put a delta ark on my 30 + yr old contractors saw and love it. What a great aftermarket add on. Very pleased with mine

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EarlS

1519 posts in 2463 days


#10 posted 01-09-2018 02:42 AM

Jonah – I’m not really sure which version I have. It might be the ARK. I told Lee what table saw I had and he sent the correct version.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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Leeway

39 posts in 2591 days


#11 posted 01-22-2018 07:54 PM

Hi Guys.
Just to confirm. Earl does have the Delta ARK adjustable riving knife version and his guard version is the now older SG3D. We replaced the plastic latch parts in the images with bent stainless steel parts in Dec. This week we are shipping an even newer version with a spring loaded nickel plated latch instead. It will still be called the SG3D SS as the latest version.

-- Lee

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1519 posts in 2463 days


#12 posted 01-23-2018 02:45 PM

Lee – thanks for clarifiying things. I thought it might be an ARK but I couldn’t find the receipt to be sure. I do know it helps with the chips and dust and definitely keeps my fingers out of the way of the blade when I’m using it.

The spring loaded latch will be a nice improvement and should make taking the guard off a one hand operation.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View d38's profile

d38

104 posts in 377 days


#13 posted 02-05-2018 03:20 AM

I got the ARK version as well a couple months ago for my Delta Contractor saw.
I got the 4” hose option and have a blast gate on that for when I want to dial down the air flow.
I ordered the “thin kerf” knife even though I’m using full kerf blades. Gives me the thin kerf blade option in the future, and made setup a little easier.
Overall, it works great. The 4” hose creates huge suction thru the guard. When using my one-sided sled, dust will get below the right side board. But it isn’t too bad.
Mine shipped the week the forecasted when I placed the order, so he’s good at knowing his lead time.

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

9450 posts in 2408 days


#14 posted 02-05-2018 03:42 AM



Hi Guys.
Just to confirm. Earl does have the Delta ARK adjustable riving knife version and his guard version is the now older SG3D. We replaced the plastic latch parts in the images with bent stainless steel parts in Dec. This week we are shipping an even newer version with a spring loaded nickel plated latch instead. It will still be called the SG3D SS as the latest version.

- Leeway

Is it possible to get those parts as a replacement kit? One of the 3D printed parts broke on mine, and has rebroken twice after gluing. Just not a good place for 3D printed parts it seems

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View Leeway's profile

Leeway

39 posts in 2591 days


#15 posted 02-05-2018 08:43 AM

Guys, any 3D printed parts are warrantied for life. It is extremely rare that any break. The ones that I have seen fail were actually due to one of our printers doing something odd. It is a dual extrusion printer and it was printing the support material in with the Pet G making it weaker than normal. This support material is Hips. Kind of like a soft foam. Pet G properties are strong, but flexible. The Hips intrusion made them brittle. I did not catch this as quickly as I would have liked, so some did make it out the door.
I am pretty flexible on replacement parts on the rest of the guard as well, so just let me know if you have any issues at all, and I will take care of them.

-- Lee

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