Craftsman 10" Table saw... Still working on it...

Thought I'd share my progress with my Craftsman 10" table saw... Had a few close calls and decided that I really should have a guard on the beastie... Did a little prowling thru the archives and found a link to a good set of plans for an overhead guard made out of lexan :
http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/overarm_guard.shtml
I made a few modifications to the plans but was pleased with the end result inspite of that fact... ;-)
This link takes you to some pics of the saw and the guard and shows the other modifications I've done to it.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/71761029@N00/sets/72157594384387020 /
The guard is made of 3/8" lexan and has an overhead mounted armature assembly that allows you to raise and lower it.
The plans I got from the link had a dust collection port included... I decided to not do that part right now... I have dust collection on the the bottom of the saw and want to see how that works out once I seal up the back around the motor.
The other slight change was I didn't happen to have any 1" aluminium tubing or flat alum. stock laying around, I did have an ash board that wasn't doing anything... So I cut that to the required dimensions and used it for the parts instead. I did use a steel unibrace for the top section where I attached it to the ceiling via brackets and some plywood... (I'll have to include pics of that later)
Besides, (and I mean absolutely no offense to the original designer) it's a wood shop I kinda liked the idea of using wood for it... :-)
A few minor adjustments I still have in mind are... the top armature assembly sticks out right now a bit longer than I'd like. My plan is to cut it down to the same point as the motor sticks out and hang a counter weight off of it to balance the guard. This should also make adjustments easier. I'm also going to get some knobs to use instead of the wing nuts that I used on the adjustment arm... The 1/4" wing nuts work fine, but are a bit small to get ahold of and the knobs aren't that expensive.
So far I have about $50 total in the guard and assembly... the wood and unibrace were free, I just had to come up with the lexan, hardware, and time for it. :-) I got the lexan off eBay and the hardware at the local Tractor Supply.
Now it's on to aligning the bloody thing... I've put that off I suppose for as long as I've been able, but I know it's off. I have looked it over and it looks like my only trouble lay with the trunion alignment... So it's knuckle abuse time to loosen that a bit and "nudge" it back into whack...
Just thought I'd share... If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to ask or share...
Happy New Years to all!!!
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Having a guard, that's up to you but having close calls, that should be a cause for concern. I don't use a guard and don't have close calls. You should really take a look at the problem. A guard is no substitute for good practice.

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I am going to agree with CW on this one. Using a guard is good. I do not use a guard. With proper technique and usage of the saw a guard should never be needed. Pick up a book on proper TS technique and learn to make safer cuts on the saw. Even with a guard you can still get hurt with improper technique. In some instances a guard can be more dangerous.
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bremen68 wrote:

... Bremen68:
I have a similar, but later model saw. While I like the overhead guard assembly you made, I don't see a splitter, shop-made or factory, which I think is probably more important safety-wise than a guard.
By the way, your dust collection will improve considerably if you use zero-clearance inserts. Sears makes an add-on shroud for this saw that collects the sawdust from around the blade directly rather than from collecting it from below once it has spilled all over everything:
See this thread:
http://tinyurl.com/5h8mv (link to old rec.woodworking thread on google)
Cheers! Dukester
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bremen68 wrote:

<snip>
Perhaps I should have been a little clearer with my definitions of what I consider a "close call" and what a few is... I'll start by defining that "few" is just that, a few incidents over a span of nearly 20 years (that's just painful to be able to say that) of working with guardless tablesaws...
The incidents that are fresh in mind are... One where I nipped the blade with a piece that was cut. I was removing it from the table before the blade spun down completely. Stupid thing to do, I realize this. But I'm mortal and do make those little errors ocassionally (you can call SWMBO and confirm this if you'd like) Regardless of technique or practice I for one fall pray to the occasional mistake. Congratulations to those who don't and I honestly hope that you never do.
This guard will not prevent mistakes, however it might help in the event of one and could control the direction of discharge if it kicks. The other thing that comes to mind is more of a recurring item with saw dust and pieces of debris coming up from the saw.
My normaI safety wear consists of my regular glasses, and a face shield. I wear hearing protection as well when I work with any power tool.
I'm stuck with the glasses for life so they're not coming off, but with the guard I will probably stop using the face shield on the TS.
Whether you use a guard or not is a personal thing. Some do, most don't. Nothing wrong with either IMHO. I liked the design of this one and thought building it would be an interesting project and help me in the shop as well.
I have tons to learn and freely admit it... During this little side project I have picked up quite a bit, items on safety, short cuts, tricks, technique, and such.
Duke --- I'm working on a plan for a splitter, I want a riving blade that attaches to the trunion and just haven't got that far yet. That's on the list along with the zero clearance inserts as well... Always something to add... :-)
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bremen68 wrote:

SNIP
breman68,
Thanks for sharing you guard design. I am interested in adding an overhead guard to my TS, mainly to enhance dust collection.
I have looked at both your pictures and the other design you referenced (which I had previously bookmarked for a future project) and I have a question. I would expect that you would want a guard that would lift when you push the wood that is being cut against it. When I look at the pictures (both designs), it would seem to me that you would have to lift the guard up to get it to rest on top of the wood being fed. For the guard to lift by wood being pushed against it, I would expect to see the mechanism reversed from the way I see it in your pictures. For example, imagine feeding the wood from the back of the saw to the front. Wouldn't that stand a better chance of lifting the guard by the wood motion alone? Please understand I am not saying to feed the saw backwards, I am just trying to question the orientation of the guard support mechanism.
Do you understand my question? Comments??
Thanks,
Bill Leonhardt
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Bill Leonhardt wrote:

Hi Bill, I understand... The way this is designed you lift the guard, slip the piece you want to cut under it, and tighten it so that if floats just above or on it. I have wing nuts on the adjustment side right now... they're a little small to be adjusting all the time so I'm going to change them to knobs. Another thing I'm going to do is add a counter weight to the back of the main support limb. My idea is to get the balance so that the guard is just on the heavier side which should pretty much allow me to adjust it almost without tightening the knobs...
I'll have to add some pics of that side of the assembly to show how that works...
Let me know if you have any other questions.
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How bout some info on the fence you installed. I have the same saw and would like to upgrade my fence.
bremen68 wrote:

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Mapdude wrote:

No problem... I love it!!!! It's an Align-a-rip 24/24... Some folks install it as a 12/36 but with my shop size it just didn't work to do that. The rails bolted right on with only minor modifications. (I had to drill out the holes in the wings to accomodate the bolts)
The fence locks square and will hold it. It also is made with slots for easy jig attachment if you want to do that.
The other huge difference was the modifications to the chassis of the saw itself. Take a look at my previous posts, they list everything I did to it.
But I highly recommend the fence for this particular saw.
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bremen68 wrote:

If you want to see a tricked out contractor's saw:
http://home.carolina.rr.com/jayhanig/table%20saw1.jpg
http://home.carolina.rr.com/jayhanig/router%20wing.jpg
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

That's in a whole other league... :-) That your baby Mort?
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bremen68 wrote:

It is. I started out adding the router wing outboard of the seft cast iron wing (instead of merely replacing one with the other). Then I built the foldable outfeed table. After that I added the overhead guard but found it limited how big anything I wanted to crosscut could be. The solution to that was to build another wing, this time adding it to the preexisting right hand cast iron wing and remounting the overhead guard. That pretty much got it to where it is today.
The router wing has a PC 7518 in it. I also have an Incra miter gauge 5000 for it.
One thing I'll say for it; you can stack a lot of crap on top. <G>
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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