Bork or Sharkguard for Unisaw. First Kickback

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Forum topic by PatrickIrish posted 08-30-2016 05:12 AM 741 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 1468 days

08-30-2016 05:12 AM

Got my new used 36-945 Unisaw running after building the guide rail and extension table.

Mine has the Biesemeyer quick splitter quick release attachment BUT it did not come with one.

I’m trying to decide on either the BORK or the Sharkguard and thin or full kerf.

The BORK is a riving knife AND I can get both thin kerf and full kerf. The Sharkguard would require I order two sets if I want to get thin and full kerf sets.

The BORK would be about $240 shipped for both thin, full kerf and the blade guard with dust collection. Spendy add-on. I do plan to sell either an excalibur over arm dust collection or the Bessy T-gluide over arm dust collection that came with my saw. Re-coop some funds that way. Not sure I want to mount either of them. I only have a ridgid shop vac so it may not even be powerful enough for the Excalibur.

Blade wise, should I go with a thin kerf or a full kerf? It’s a 3hp Unisaw. I have a nice thin kerf diablo and brand new thin kerf 8 1/4” Freud 24t ripping blade. Plan was to use that on my Bosch jobsite but I’ll be selling that saw.

Here’s a link to my 2nd pass on the Unisaw using a Gripper. Not sure what happened but it was certainly a small kickback. It was just pine. Could be an example why I quickly need either a splitter or riving knife?

10 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4032 posts in 1621 days

#1 posted 08-30-2016 05:38 AM

Mine has the Biesemeyer quick splitter quick release attachment BUT it did not come with one.
- PatrickIrish

If you can live without the pawls, the splitter is just a piece of sheet metal cut to shape. Even with minimal metal working skills, it should be pretty easy to make one from an old saw blade. Since you already have the quick release, it would be a shame to get rid of it. Either way, it would not have helped with what you showed in the video – the wood didn’t even make it past the end of the blade.


PS: Another alternative would be a Delta disappearing splitter if your saw is right tilt (which I believe it is).

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

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1824 posts in 1411 days

#2 posted 08-30-2016 11:12 AM

It would be best to stand off to the side when you are ripping and not in line with the piece coming off the saw.

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1039 posts in 1411 days

#3 posted 08-30-2016 11:45 AM

A splitter or riving knife won’t help with what happened in the video. Appears you twisted the front of the wood piece away from the fence while in the cut, but it’s hard to tell.

View HokieKen's profile


1536 posts in 560 days

#4 posted 08-30-2016 12:06 PM

To address your question, you can use both blade kerfs with a thin blade splitter/riving knife. If you buy a full kerf splitter, you’re stuck with using full kerf blades only. But with a 3 HP saw, unless your cutting really dense, thick wood you probably don’t really need the thin kerf anyway.

But, as everyone else pointed out, a splitter wouldn’t have helped you anyway. It’s hard to say for sure but, my best guess is that your fence isn’t parallel to the blade but is closer at the back of the cut. I would check your fence alignment and make sure that it’s not pinching the wood at the back of the blade.

Good luck!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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672 posts in 1405 days

#5 posted 08-30-2016 01:23 PM

You might want to use a non-twisted piece of wood, it holds alot of tension and when you slice in it can pinch that gap. I don’t know how dry that pine is you were cutting but you might want to at least joint it to flat it out.

-- Nick, "Choking to death on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover." - JG

View PatrickIrish's profile


62 posts in 1468 days

#6 posted 08-30-2016 04:04 PM

Thanks guys. I’ll check my alignment again. I used a tape measure and it was spot on in several locations from either side of the fence to the miter slots. Also square from the fence to the blade. I’ll use a combination square and check again.

Dont have a jointer yet, next purchase or dusting off an old craftsmans in my dads shed.

Going with a thin kerf splitter or riving knife sounds like a good idea. I was really comfortable on my bosch 4100 the past 4 years. Never had an issue with binding or kickbacks. I also used the riving knife.

I’ll look into making one the that can slip into the biesemeyer quick release the next day or so. If it’s a pain in the arse I’ll looking into the BORK or sharkguard.

The MJ splitter looks easy. I’d likely want to mount it closer to the blade though from the photos I’ve seen.

View HokieKen's profile


1536 posts in 560 days

#7 posted 08-30-2016 04:31 PM

Thanks guys. I ll check my alignment again. I used a tape measure and it was spot on in several locations from either side of the fence to the miter slots.

- PatrickIrish

No, no… and some more no ;) You absolutely cannot properly align a fence with a tape measure with any kind of reliability. A combination square is okay, a caliper is better and a dial indicator is the best. Remember that if it angles in toward the blade even a little bit, you’re burning your wood on the back of the cut at best and getting injured from a kickback at worst. And, a splitter will make it even worse because the fence will be pinching against the splitter even more than at the back of the blade.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View AandCstyle's profile


2540 posts in 1679 days

#8 posted 08-30-2016 10:00 PM

Patrick, I have a SharkGuard (SG) and like it a lot. I got the full kerf model and wish I had gotten the thin kerf one. My TS is 3hp, but sometimes I want to use a thin kerf blade to not waste expensive stock. One draw back to the SG is the time from placing your order until your SG arrives, IIRC mine took about 3 months. FWIW

-- Art

View Luthierman's profile


157 posts in 509 days

#9 posted 08-30-2016 10:20 PM

The first thing I noticed, and has already been mentioned, is the wood you are trying to cut. Trying to rip cupped and twisted wood will do that, almost every time. One other thing, on big saws such as yours it has been recommended to make the fence a degree(ish) away from parallel to the blade. You want the space to be slightly larger behind the blade to avoid pinch which can also cause kickback.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View jbay's profile


705 posts in 321 days

#10 posted 08-30-2016 11:30 PM

Besides the warped piece of wood, the first thing I saw was the gripper started to slip and then you let up on the pressure. That’s when the wood started bouncing and the kickback happened. Can’t be of much help other than saying you need to hold the material down better and choose better material. Maybe check the gripper surface and make sure it’s clean. Also as said above, fence needs to be in alignment.

-- Many times my “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct.--

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