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Blade Guard and Crosscut Sled

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Forum topic by Dougan posted 01-01-2016 09:34 PM 553 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dougan

14 posts in 757 days


01-01-2016 09:34 PM

My table saw (craftsman 315) has a splitter/blade guard that is unfortunately difficult to take on and off. I’m going to be building a miter sled and I really like having that splitter/guard on there for safety reasons. All the crosscut sleds i’ve seen rely on you taking the guard off. That would be fine for me for crosscutting if it didn’t take me 10 minutes to reinstall and realign it every time I switched from crosscutting and ripping.

From what I understand, in a traditional crosscut sled, the “handle” that goes on the front end of the sled is only there to provide structural stability and connect both sides of the sled. I’m thinking about using a 1×10 for this and cutting out a large area so the entire splitter/blade guard assembly can pass through.

Again, the goal isn’t for safety during the miter cut—it’s so I don’t have to take the darn thing on and off all the time. Is this crazy talk? Would it work?

Image of my model saw’s blade guard attached:


8 replies so far

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clin

514 posts in 464 days


#1 posted 01-01-2016 10:20 PM

There’s another simpler type of sled that can work with a blade guard. Think of it as a one sided sled. Meaning it is only on one side of the blade and uses just one of the miter slots.

It really is nothing more than a plywood or similar panel with a miter slot guide on the bottom and a lip or small fence on the back (or is it front, I never know which is which). There’s not necessarily a reason to have the fence reach all the way to the edge of the panel (cut line), so even it doesn’t need to interfere with your blade guard.

Norm shows one in this video, though not with a blade guard.

https://youtu.be/L4-MztOKl2M?t=714

I agree with using a guard as much as possible. I happen to have a SawStop and they make it super easy to switch between the blade guard/splitter and a riving knife. No doubt it would be pretty easy to decide to just chuck the blade guard if it is tedious to remove and replace it.

-- Clin

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Dougan

14 posts in 757 days


#2 posted 01-02-2016 04:15 PM

Thanks for that—I might go that route.

Is this type of sled considered a safety concern though? I always figured one of the main benefits of the sled is that both sides have s block to push against so the wood can’t move. I’m thinking that the wood could hypothetically rotate counter clockwise with this setup and cause a kickback. Although I suppose that is also true with just a traditional rip fence. Am I overthinking?

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clin

514 posts in 464 days


#3 posted 01-02-2016 04:58 PM

I agree, these types of sleds have some down sides. As you pointed out, no support for the off cut. Similarly, since the one side is not supported, you don’t get the benefits of a zero clearance to prevent chipping.

But every situation is different, so it’s just an option to consider or try.

I also think your original idea has merit, though obviously that front edge support sized to allow the guard to go through it will make the whole thing heavier and more bulky. That support will also have to be very stout. The issue is the support bridging the two sides is much higher up. So for the same amount of bridging structure, it will be flimsier.

But since the miter slots keep things aligned, being a little flimsier may not matter once it is in place on the TS.

While I think you could give the large wooden support a try, if it doesn’t seem strong or stiff enough, you might cut the top off and bridge it with something like steel tubing. But again, you don’t need to solve that problem until you actually have it.

-- Clin

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johnstoneb

2150 posts in 1640 days


#4 posted 01-02-2016 05:03 PM

That guard is adjustable. You can adjust the mounting shaft in and out so you can take guard off and reinstall without having to adjust it everytime.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Dougan

14 posts in 757 days


#5 posted 01-02-2016 06:34 PM


That guard is adjustable. You can adjust the mounting shaft in and out so you can take guard off and reinstall without having to adjust it everytime.

- johnstoneb

I’m not sure that’s the case. I don’t really see any good way to get the blade guard off of the riving knife. Even if I could, the riving knife is still like 6 inches tall so I still would have the challenge clin is describing with having my support higher up so the riving knife could pass through.

The riving knife is attached directly to the table saw through a hole in the throat plate as well as the back mounting shaft, and these two mounting points are where the adjustment occurs. So it seems like to remove, I have to remove the throat plate, remove the riving knife, reattach throat plate, do my cuts, and then remove the throat plate, reattach the riving knife, align the riving knife, and then reattach the throat plate.

Here’s a manual picture of the guard http://www.manualslib.com/manual/32826/Craftsman-315-22839.html?page=25#manual

Here’s an ebay listing with some pictures of the guard
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371500498428?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I’m worried you’re right and I’m just missing it—Do you think you were mistaken or is there something I’m missing here?

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Dougan

14 posts in 757 days


#6 posted 01-02-2016 06:40 PM


I agree, these types of sleds have some down sides. As you pointed out, no support for the off cut. Similarly, since the one side is not supported, you don t get the benefits of a zero clearance to prevent chipping.

You know, I suppose I could extend the rear fence (is it still called a fence?) like 6 inches to the other side of the saw. If I used stiff lumber for it and kept it 3 or 4 inches tall in that spot, that rear fence could extend over to the other side of the blade (and have a 2 or 3 inch slit for the blade) and still provide some support on the left side of the blade. I don’t do a lot of crosscuts that are like 24” on each side—usually I’m doing my rough crosscuts on my miter saw and then trimming off 1 or 2 inches on the table saw for accuracy.

Can you think of any downside or danger to that? Obviously it’s still not as sturdy as a traditional miter sled but it might help with my concerns there.

Either way I think I’m going to build something similar to what you linked to start out with. It’s the only option I see that is safer than the miter gauge against the rip fence while not requiring me to spend 10 minutes messing with the riving knife for every cut.

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MrUnix

4247 posts in 1667 days


#7 posted 01-02-2016 06:52 PM

Maybe a telco distribution ring (used for running/securing cable) would work for the purpose:

They come in all different widths and heights. A quick google will find you a bunch.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#8 posted 01-03-2016 01:13 AM

You will also need to remove it for making dados or grooves.

Personally, I would take that monstrosity off and hang it from the rafters just in case you sell it.
Here’s why:

It is not a riving knife its a splitter and it functions poorly as one.
You will find the the kick back cauls will eventually cause you trouble when making stop cuts.
As you’ve said they can be a PITA to take on and off.
Essentially, they are pieces of junk and on there to satisfy the lawyers.

I recommend a Microjig or homemade splitter.
If you gotta have a guard, get or make an overhead model that can be retracted out of the way.

You don’t want a one sided sled it won’t be as accurate.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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