safety guard

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Forum topic by roadguy posted 06-02-2014 04:22 AM 1235 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1479 days

06-02-2014 04:22 AM

Hello everyone. I’m new to this forum. I recently purchased a used Delta Super 10 34 740 table saw for a cabinet re-sizing project. Didn’t pay a whole for it and figured it would be easier than trying to use the 7 1/4 circular saw I’ve been using for 25 years. I look forward to learning how to use this saw safely and effectively for projects around the home.

I have a couple of questions. First of all, the unit didn’t have the blade guard. I’ve noticed that a lot of people appear to take them off their saws – that seems to be more the rule than the exception, at least from what I’ve seen surfing the internet. Is there a reason for this other than personal preference? I don’t mean to open up the debate over safety – I think everyone would agree these are powerful and dangerous machines – just curious more than anything.

Second, I saw a post on this forum from about 2 1/2 years ago about one of the members (Nodak7MM) retrofitting a Delta T2 fence to this particular table saw. Has anyone else had success doing so? I’d like to get some more information on that, if possible.



8 replies so far

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1618 days

#1 posted 06-02-2014 05:15 AM

I can’t help you much with retrofitting fences or tell you a great deal about the blade guard. The only thing I’d like to say is that when I was a young man, some 30-40 years ago I had been working with power tools for some 20 years. I knew everything there was to know, I had never had a serious accident I believed myself to be bulletproof. and owners manuals were written for dummies. Things like blade guards coming off were always my first modifications . After all, everybody know those things are just put on to raise the cost and make the chicken-hearted feel safe. Y’all older guys remember this?
As I got older I got smarter and realized I really wasn’t bulletproof and had skin like everyone else, subject to the same cutting and bruising. The more I worked, the more little accidents and near misses happened and my respect for my machines grew considerably. Now I am old and know the frailities of skin and bone as they relate to woodworking machines. I wish I had the old blade guard back or at least the splitter. Safety has become a real consideration and now I even read the owners booklets. I have been lucky to have gotten this old with all my fingers still there and functional.
What I am saying is the safety devices put on the machines may be in the way and sometimes a nuisance but missing a thumb is a whole lot more inconvenient. Work smart, work safely and remember you can’t have too many guards and such on your machines.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View dawsonbob's profile


2883 posts in 1779 days

#2 posted 06-02-2014 05:33 AM

As a card carrying member of the old guys brigade, I can only second what OldWrangler has said so well. Pay attention to it, and maybe save your digits.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Woodknack's profile


11774 posts in 2404 days

#3 posted 06-02-2014 05:49 AM

Saw blade guards were pretty much junk until recent years. Many, like myself, started with good intentions on using them but they become a constant aggravation and frankly are not worth keeping. Learn how to use a saw safely, don’t work too fast, don’t put anything inline with the blade you want in one piece, don’t stick your fingers in the blade. Remember the blade isn’t coming to you, you have to go to it.

-- Rick M,

View TheFridge's profile


9606 posts in 1510 days

#4 posted 06-02-2014 12:32 PM

Most fences will work with a little drilling. About to put a sawstop fence on my craftsman contractor saw.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3267 days

#5 posted 06-02-2014 05:01 PM

A new T2 fence will set you back over $200. If you can find one used; fine. Otherwise look for an aftermarket fence like the Biesemeyer or Exactor. Make sure you have the front and rear rails or the T2 fence won’t work.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2096 days

#6 posted 06-02-2014 09:11 PM

Guards have to be comfortable and well designed to work. Poor designs are more dangerous to use than keep. In my experience, like a couple of others the guards I have encountered made it very hard to use good technique, the most important safety feature. However, installing a riving knife, or splitter on that saw would be very important in my opinion.

Edit: And I have experienced the many close calls and such that happen, and in those cases my technique has kept me from being injured or losing fingers. Technique includes: understanding how a table saw fails, and using the saw in a way that ‘when’ not ‘if’ it fails you will not be in harms way. To accomplish this involves: body position, hand position, pushing and guiding positions and techniques, the use of proper safety equipment including, eye protection, properly made push blocks (I do not like to call them sticks, it shouldn’t look like one and the one shipped with the saw or in the manual has a serious design flaw) feather boards, crosscut aids, including mitre gauge,and the riving knife. After that you need respect, focus, and humility.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1972 days

#7 posted 06-02-2014 10:23 PM

Its all about technique, and caution. They had one on the TS at the last jobsite. The TS was a ridgid r4512, and the guard was junk. It was flimsy and hazardous. The safety guy was adamant that it was used Even though the flaws and hazards were clearly stated, and proven. There were a couple incidents where the guard caused the material to bind up while ripping at 45*, and the material was launched. after a few holes in the drywall we were granted permission to remove the guard as long as the riving knife was left. I am 32, and hate the hassles caused by a guard. I will say that I have been considering the Idea of an over arm DC/guard system that can be swung out of the way when needed.

View MarcRochkind's profile


12 posts in 1458 days

#8 posted 06-22-2014 08:12 PM

A big disadvantage of buying a used TS is that it’s very unlikely to have a riving knife, unless it’s fairly recent. I’m not sure riving knives are well understood or appreciated by many experienced woodworkers (the ones who advise and/or employ beginners), who haven’t bought a TS in many years, and may never have even seen a modern one with a riving knife.

Unlike a conventional splitter, a riving knife can stay on the blade all the time, even for non-through cuts.

But, there are design issues with riving knives that I hope will one day be fixed by a clever machine designer:

1. Mine works with only blades with a kerf from .1 to .125. I don’t know if a thinner riving knife is available for my saw. I buy blades accordingly.

2. The saw actually came with two riving knives, one that can be used for all cuts, and one that’s much higher and has a guard attached to it. If one wants to use the guard, one has to do a swap. This could be designed away by having only one knife that stayed on the saw, and have the guard attach to it, instead of having a separate riving knife attached to the guard. (Better would be an overhead guard, something I’m thinking about going to.)

3. The riving knife has to be removed for a dado blade.

The above notwithstanding, I would never use a TS without a riving knife. With it in place (and the appropriate blade installed), kickback is almost impossible, and kickback is the #1 cause of TS accidents.

(One comment on Sawstop technology: It protects against flesh contacting the blade. It has no effect on kickback whatsoever. For that, you need a riving knife, just as with any TS.)

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