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Walnut Acres Woodworking Blade Guard for the BORK Riving Knife

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Review by knotscott posted 11-17-2010 05:16 PM 12743 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Walnut Acres Woodworking Blade Guard for the BORK Riving Knife Walnut Acres Woodworking Blade Guard for the BORK Riving Knife No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

A few weeks ago I added this blade guard to my Shop Fox W1677. Even though I’m aware of the risks, I’m admittedly one of those who finds most stock blades guards to be cumbersome and even somewhat more dangerous because they severely obscure my view of the cut. (I realize that viewing the cut isn’t necessary, but I’m much more comfortable when I can see it) However I am a strong advocate for using a good splitter or riving knife, and have had the BORK riving knife on my saw nearly constantly for over 2 years….very happy with the BORK BTW.

The BORK Blade Guard (BBG) is by far the least cumbersome of any guard I’ve used, which includes the stock guards for my Delta 36-600, GI-50-185, Craftsman 22124, a BT3000, and even a prototype Shark Guard for my 22124. The BORK guard is small, light, and transparent, and barely obstructs my view at all. AFAIK, it’s made from Lexan…I’ll make a correction if I discover I’m mistaken. It slips on and off the BORK riving knife in seconds, and can also be easily flipped out of the way while still attached. It works beautifully during cuts and is barely noticeable. To hold the guard in place, the BBG requires a custom slotted knife that installs in the original BORK attachments. It’s slightly longer than the original and rides farther over top of the blade, which doesn’t allow for thru cuts, but the original can be easily substituted in a few seconds for those operations.

All in all, I’m a happy camper, and am now part of the “blade guard” user club! The BORK guard is great, as is the proprietary riving knife that comes with it.





Here’s the original knife installed:

The BORK and the guard are from Bob Ross at Walnutacre Woodworking and are available at TheBORKStore.com for ~ $160. To add just the guard to an existing BORK is only ~ $60. AFAIK, the coupon code “Lumberjocks” will get a discount, unless it’s expired (check with Bob).

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....




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knotscott

5517 posts in 2066 days



12 comments so far

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HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2419 days


#1 posted 11-17-2010 05:38 PM

Blade guard aside, what is the benefit of using the BORK splitter instead of the stock splitter? What does the $120 get you that the stock knife doesn’t provide. Aren’t they just a piece of steel (or aluminum)?

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knotscott

5517 posts in 2066 days


#2 posted 11-17-2010 06:19 PM

The BORK is a riving knife, not just a splitter. It rises, falls, and tilts with the blade, whereas the stock splitter is at a fixed height. The original knife can be adjusted relative to the height the blade so it’ll allow through cuts without removal, but it also goes on and off in seconds unlock the stock splitter. The BORK also sits in closer proximity to the blade than a stock splitter, which helps prevent pinching of reactive wood.

The blade is aluminum that’s fitted to a bracket that mounts to the arbor swing arm.

Here’s my review of the original BORK riving knife.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2419 days


#3 posted 11-17-2010 06:39 PM

I see. I thought you showed a picture in your post that said “original knife” but I can’t find it now. I must have misread. That had me thinking you had upgraded from one riving knife to another and I couldn’t figure out what was better about the newer one. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for the response.

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 1945 days


#4 posted 11-18-2010 02:05 AM

Thanks for pointing me Bob’s direction knotscott. We’ve been passing emails back and forth to see if the BORK will fit my saw. So far, looks like I may FINALLY have a splitter / riving knife for my saw.

cc

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 1945 days


#5 posted 11-18-2010 02:07 AM

Hokie: If you look at the last picture, the knife doesn’t have the “slot” cut into it for the guard. I think that’s the difference.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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Beginningwoodworker

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#6 posted 11-18-2010 02:13 AM

Thanks for the review.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

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USCJeff

1044 posts in 2759 days


#7 posted 11-18-2010 03:40 AM

I’d like to say safety is a huge priority, but I can’t as I too haven’t seen my factory guard since taking it out of the box. I did an overhead that had some pro’s and some large flaws I should’ve designed to be handled. I am always shocked when seeing Euro standards vs. mine in the States. The Euro req’s are so much safer and the price isn’t extremely different. I forger the #’s, but I know that a requirement is to be able to remove and install a blade guard in seconds, not minutes. The blade must stop much faster after the saw is powered off. Just a few. I need to do this, but anytime I have the $160 to spend, a more glamorous tool shows up.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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Cato

641 posts in 2003 days


#8 posted 11-18-2010 01:52 PM

Looks like a clean set up Scott. I am probably in a minority, but I always leave my blade guard on for normal ripping or crosscutting.

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stephen

58 posts in 1741 days


#9 posted 11-18-2010 07:58 PM

I always leave mine on for normal ripping and crosscuts too. I have the old style splitter and use a featherboard for all my ripping. I know its not supposed to be the case but with the splitter I feel safer when the saw blade is at full height because the distance between the back edge of the blade and the splitter is much less. Thats why I’ve been thinking about a riving knive but didnt think there was an option. If it fits onto the arbor directly then its a great solution.

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BlankMan

1487 posts in 2044 days


#10 posted 03-21-2012 03:37 AM

Wow. Am I glad I stumbled on this. Scott you never cease to amaze me. :-) And here I thought I couldn’t get a riving knife for my Unisaw. That’s what everybody said. I never looked real hard at mine to see if it was doable or not but I guess it is. And a quick release guard too! Thanks!

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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knotscott

5517 posts in 2066 days


#11 posted 04-17-2012 05:04 AM

He’s made a couple of nice updates to the BORK and the blade guard recently too. I’m going to post about them in the forum.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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knotscott

5517 posts in 2066 days


#12 posted 05-10-2012 03:44 PM

Here’s a video of the latest version in action.
http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b202/bacsibob/?action=view&current=BORK-BBG-Hinge-3-10-12004.mp4

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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