|Review by GrandsonOfRue||posted 03-29-2012 02:06 AM||6112 views||2 times favorited||10 comments|
I saw these some time ago on a show. New Yankee Workshop, I think.
I, like many others, find myself well, by myself in the shop when it is time to cut 4×8 sheets of ply. While I do have an eager 7yr old it is not safe for him nor I.
These work by pulling the board against the fence as it is fed. The angle of the rollers does the work. The set screw with the eyelet allows you to adjust the level of the rollers based on the board thickness you are feeding through it.
The YELLOW rollers only spin to allow the board to move forward. They will not spin backwards and this is an effective anti-kickback. However, I do not believe it is foolproof. The board can be pulled laterally from under the rollers. So there is still a chance of kickback depending on how the blade grabs the stock.
In the picture below GREEN rollers are present and allow for bi-directional feed.
There are also ORANGE rollers which rotate counter clockwise for fence placement on the left side of the blade.
The rollers them selves are replaceable.
I found these to be incredibly helpful when cutting large stock. Small stock too but the real benefit is the bigger the board the more benefit. Typically in the past when trying to saw a 4×8 sheet any movement as you feed will case the cut line to waver as the board pulls from the fence. Even if it is a 16th of an inch. Leaving a less than straight cut. Not to mention the threat of kick back.
I thought that even with the rollers pulling against the fence I would still see shifting as I stood 8ft away pushing the sheet forward. However this does not happen. It has improved my cuts as well as safety.
This works well on smaller stock also. It allows me to focus on the blade and my push and less on watching the fence for shifting.
These work better than a set of extra hands because that set of hands is sometimes doing things that take the board in the wrong direction. Especially if they don’t know what they are doing when using a tables saw (like the wife, shhhhhhh :) )
The roller mechanisms remove easily. They also adjust easily.
If I have any feed back to the manufacturer it would be the track needs mounting holes on both sides of the track. For some reason they only placed them on one side. Which means when the rollers are under tension the track lifts slightly. This is not a huge issue but I find it aggravating. Granted I am nit picking.
Thoughts on use…......
I have found that you want to place the rollers in a manner that no matter where the board is at during a cut it is under the control of a roller. I found that when a board leaves a roller it jumps if not already under the second roller. This is because as the rollers pull the board against the fence and push it down on the table it creates tension. When the board comes from the front roller it will jump due to your pushing against the tension. This does not happen if the board is already engaged by the second roller.
I also would not use the rollers with in 8-10 in of the blade. There simply is not enough room with the two rollers and the blade. Factor in your hands moving around all of that and you got trouble.
Because the rollers hold the stock you could use a push stick when working closer to the blade if you want to use the rollers. I actually prefer this over two push sticks – one pushing forward and one holding against the fence. It always seems like I am reaching over the blade.
Despite the mounting holes issue, I would give these a 5 out 5. I highly recommend them.