LumberJocks

My table saw has no riving knife/ splitter,no blade guard.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by distrbd posted 03-18-2015 03:17 PM 5374 views 0 times favorited 141 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1911 days


03-18-2015 03:17 PM

After reading Ocelot’s thread(kickback incident on table saw) and gfadvm’s (Andy’s) post(#22) I started wondering how many of us are still using a table saw without a guard or a splitter? I see all these table saw accidents with gory pictures and the most common advice to the injured operator usually is,:” get a sawstop and save the rest of your fingers”,or “invest in an aftermarket blade guard and riving knife/splitter”.
I admit I don’t use my table saw as often as I could because of not having these basic safety features BUT, I found out I don’t always have to use a table saw as my first” go to” tool to do most of the cuts.there are other ways around using it.

I have invested on a few other cutting tools ,tools like circular saw with a shopmade track,straight edge clamps,bandsaw,jigsaw,etc. but still there are times that I must use a table saw,those times I rehearse the cut with the saw off a couple of times,then very carefully do the cut using my push stick,make sure every move that I make during and after the cut is a calculated/ deliberate one :

Of course I would love to own a sawstop or even a batter TS with all these safety features but if I eliminate the number one cause of table saw accidents(operator error) I think I can go on using my good old table saw.
There’s nothing more demoralizing or deflating than shop accident for me,I know I had a minor mishap last year with my router (My fault),but I’m not sure a blade guard is the answer.
A splitter,maybe.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada


141 replies so far

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#1 posted 03-18-2015 03:24 PM

I ll throw my self under the bus. I dont and wont have either. In my mind they distract from the cut and make things harder to see. Not to mention a false sense of security. I have never used a knife or guard for any prolonged period of time. One of the first thing I did to my Dewalt 12” chop saw was remove the guard because I kept using my thumb to keep the darn thing out of the way.

Still have all 10 digits. I am sure there are guys with knives and guards cant say that. Its called paying attention. If I get too scared I ll take up knitting as a safer hobby.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#2 posted 03-18-2015 03:27 PM

I’ve never been much of a fan of most stock blade guard assemblies and splitters/riving knives, but I usually had at least a riving knife in place (or splitter if that’s what I had). My current riving knife is a “BORK” that’s retrofit to my 2008 Shop Fox W1677….since the BORK blade guard (BBG) is small and allows me to see the work piece, so that’s usually in place too. Even before I had the BORK, I had a custom made splitter in place for my Cman 22124 hybrid.

At a minimum, I’d suggest folks use at least some sort of splitter/knife. Splitters like the Microjig work well, are affordable, and don’t get in the way. It’s pretty easy to make a basic fixed splitter too.

BORK:

Microjig:

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

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6474 posts in 2063 days


#3 posted 03-18-2015 03:33 PM

I do not have any of those items in place either. The blade guard holds no interest to me, looks like it would block site lines and be in the way of certain cuts. However, upgrading to a saw with a riving knife seems logical. Is there a reason not have a riving knife? Kickback seems to be more frequent than blade to skin contact.

View jmartel's profile (online now)

jmartel

6572 posts in 1615 days


#4 posted 03-18-2015 03:36 PM

Not using a splitter or a riving knife is asking for trouble, IMO. Only time my splitter comes off is for non-through cuts or when I use my crosscut sled.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

116 posts in 1100 days


#5 posted 03-18-2015 03:42 PM

I have to admit that I do not currently use either as well. I have been looking at the microjig splitter and will most likely install that on my zero clearance insert soon. Because of not having a splitter, I keep a wedge near by. I wedge any long rip that seems to want to close in on the blade. I am very careful doing this, but it does not feel safe and I dont like that.

View NoThanks's profile

NoThanks

798 posts in 994 days


#6 posted 03-18-2015 03:46 PM

Nodda for me, 30 years and have only cut off 3 fingers and a thumb in 4 accidents, so I really don’t see the need for any of those. LOL

J/K about the fingers and accidents. Still have all 10.

I believe in the “operator error theory”.

Experience is the thing that keeps you safe.
Knowing what your cutting and expecting what can happen as you cut, and being prepared for it if it happens.
Again experience is the key. I can’t remember the last time I have had a kickback.

I think the biggest reason for kickbacks is that people let go of the wood at the first sign of anything going on, and they don’t push the wood completely past the blade before letting go.

When something happens, wood vibrating or shuttering or hitting knots, I have learned to pause for a millisecond and determine what has happened before just letting go.

If you don’t let go and keep pushing how does the pc kickback?
Unlike Ocelot’s mistake of pushing the off cut into the blade, (just a careless mistake).

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1059 posts in 1455 days


#7 posted 03-18-2015 03:46 PM

TS gets used when possible. Blade guards and anti-kickback pawls are a PITA, and are immediately removed. Since using a TS with a riving knife, I won’t use a saw without one. Wood just has a way of sometimes releasing stresses the wrong way when ripped, and a riving knife deals with it very well. Knife stays in place even with a sled. Not a single kickback with the riving knife while several occurred without one. Now, a knife won’t completely protect idiots, but dothey need protecting….......something about survival of the fittest

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#8 posted 03-18-2015 03:47 PM

In the past I have had a legit reason where a splitter would not work. Raised panels for the ends of cabinets. We would cut a 45 degree where the toe kick would tie in. Well the saw tilts only one way then you have to actually have two guys, one on the operator side and another on the saw in front of the blade. The guy on the saw would feed the raised panel backwards towards the guy in the operator location. Very, very, very slowly.

Sure, this was rare. Happened once a month.

Does this negate having a splitter? No. But old dawgs and new tricks and all that. I grew up on old saws and if I got one with a splitter I may use it but I wont go out of my way to get one.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#9 posted 03-18-2015 03:49 PM

Ken
I’ve found that having a guard has not been an option for me given that there are so many operations that the guard gets in the way and putting on and taking off a guard is just to time consuming and difficult. As far as an aftermarket splitter or riving knife I’ve never installed one either. I feel both riving knives and guards have their place and I would encourage those who are willing to take the time to install and or install and remove guards to use them.
An important point to be made is if you’re using a table saw without a guard or riving knives is to always stand to the side of the path of any possible kick back when sawing. I would strongly recommend purchasing a Saw Stop if your budget will allow it,so far my own budget will not allow it,but I have used them at the high school where I teach my adult woodworking class and they are fine saws,plus the fact of their safety features.
Unlike Sirirb I would never use a chop saw without a guard

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2356 posts in 2462 days


#10 posted 03-18-2015 03:53 PM

The most dangerous thing while cutting on a table saw. is ANOTHER PERSON involved, thinking they are helping, pulling the wrong side of the board I am cutting, offering opinions of what I am doing wrong while I am trying to concentrate on what I am doing.
I am comfortable with the saw I use. I know my limits on it. HAving someone walk in the door 1/2 way through a cut is dangerous.
My wife once came out to shop and insdtead of talking she FLICKED the lights on and off to get my attention. WE HAD A TALK about that, I explained how dangerous that really was. She meant well, things turned out okay, BUT it could have been a disaster.
Whether I use a riving knive or blade guard is my business.
Today I will buy still buy a table saw without those attachments.
Today I will NEVER buy another radial arm saw…......I thought they were dangerous.
Its all about OUR comfort zone. Don’t use it if it feels wrong.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#11 posted 03-18-2015 03:59 PM

I agree with the radial arm. Hate them. Guard or no. I just hate them.

Due to the circumstances involved with my previously mentioned cut involving 2 people, it was safer to have 2 guys do it who had done it before and who had worked together doing it before. But i agree with you that 99.9% of the time (then, when I did it professionally) it was all me on the saw. Now I dont have a choice, I am solo.

I hated that guard on my chop saw. It was really bad.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View NoThanks's profile

NoThanks

798 posts in 994 days


#12 posted 03-18-2015 04:00 PM

Sorry Jim, not singling you out, but I have heard this so many times from so many different people.
I have to disagree with standing to the side. (This could actually lead to a kickback)

You have to stand wherever you are comfortable making the cut you are making.
You should not jeopardize the operation trying to contort your body to the side, just in case you have a kickback that shouldn’t happen in the first place.

This is just my opinion,
I’m not going to tell anyone how they should do it, but it doesn’t work for me.
I don’t have kickbacks so I stand where I need to.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View NoThanks's profile

NoThanks

798 posts in 994 days


#13 posted 03-18-2015 04:02 PM

I hated that guard on my chop saw. It was really bad.

- SirIrb

LOL, I have a 15” Hitachi chop saw, guard is long gone. Safety is in the head, you have to use your head.

Love my 16” radial arm saw (I keep that guard on) Set up for cross cutting 25” width capacity..

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6474 posts in 2063 days


#14 posted 03-18-2015 04:04 PM

Kickback can happen outside of user error, no? If the internal stress of the board dictates the kerf begins to close beyond the blade, that can happen in a millisecond and you got issues? I could be wrong here. I know sometimes you can feel the wood become harder to push as the kerf slowly closes. But, it would also seem that it is subject to a quick change in stress as well.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#15 posted 03-18-2015 04:08 PM

Iwud4u
We will have to agree to disagree on this one. I’ve made standing to one side for close to 30 years and can not understand how this can create kickback,I’ve never found it that difficult to do. We all have to do what we think is best for us.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

showing 1 through 15 of 141 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com