New guard designs

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After reading the "Oops" thread I saw in American Woodworker magazine that there is a series of new blade guards coming out for table saws. They incopororate a riving knife and some even have dust collection capability. One of the criteria is for the guard to be easily removed and replaced too, an incentive to use it.
It got me thinking, after reading about an accident, if you had a better design, would you put the guard back on?
Yes, I would. I use the present guard too, most of the time.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Yeah, that cracks me up. I scanned through that thread, and maybe I missed it. I saw a lot of people saying they, "learned their lesson," but none who the put their guards back on. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Some of us have managed to cut ourselves (or worse) with the guard *on*. There is no end to a human beings capacity for stupid behaviour, ........ of which I'm a typical example.
diggerop
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diggerop wrote:

I agree that our stupidness can conquer any attempt we take to make things safe.
However, I saw a lot of people talking about how kickback pulled their finger into the blade and the guard would've prevented that.
I also agree that making them easier to put on/take off would help matters. I'm thinking of using wingnut fasteners for the back end of mine, and a cam-nut for the front end. Seems like having to dig up the proper wrench can be the deterrent that results in a trip to the ER.
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kickback pulled their finger into the blade." I didn't. Makes me wonder if my newsserver is showing all posts. Maybe I'd better contact my ISP and complain.
diggerop
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diggerop wrote:

I'm sure your reader/server is fine.
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-MIKE-

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diggerop said:

Funny. My observation is that if kickback is pulling your finger into the blade, you're putting your fingers too far behind the blade to begin with. I never touch the wood at the rear of the blade. I use homemade push blocks that not only push the wood, but press it against the table top, yet leave my hands clear. An old 2x4 can be fashioned fairly quickly into something usable if need be. I quickly discovered that the classic "push-stick" design included with the instruction manual with many saws was totally inadequate for holding the wood against the saw table. I noticed that reaction wood or pressing too far right of center would cause the blade to grab at the wood being cut.
I do use a splitter wherever I can, however. Even the homemade zero clearance inserts I use have a removable splitter pin carefully adjusted to prevent the wood from contacting the rear of the blade. I have several lengths which can be used. Not perfect, but works so far.
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/TableSawInserts1.jpg
FWIW,
Greg G.
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I can. My original TS which I still use for its absolute accuracy and wide range of options has a splitter and a guard that can be removed/replaced in seconds. My cheap 12' chinese ripsaw has a guard that comes off/ goes on in seconds. The splitter, which rises & falls and tilts with the blade, is also independently adjustable for height, which means when ripping beyond the 4" depth of cut of the blade and flipping over for a second cut to splt the piece in two, the splitter can remain in place, - just adjusted a fraction lower than the blade height.
To diverge a little, that saw has given me much pause for thought. Had I not already had a TS that did most of what I needed, I wouldn't have considered it. Too cheap. I did end up buying it on the basis that I really only needed it to split 7" x2" boards into 7 x 3/4 or 7 x 1/2. I was prepared for a fair amount of wastage and cleanup effort to achieve that , seeing as how it was so cheap. Had low expectations.
The reality is, that it is accurate. Dead accurate. Set it to 90deg on the dial, - that's what you get. set it to 45 deg, cut two mitres on adjoining faces and a square across the two faces shows no daylight showing anywhere. Even the imitation Biesmeyer fence sits perfectly parallel to the blade. Locks securely. Blade cuts beautifully, good enough faces to glue.It also came with two extension tables, plus a roller table and dust extraction ports top and bottom. The whole thing cost me AUD$650 with 3 years warranty.
So, am I trying for a gloat? No. I'm concerned. I live in what is arguably the most expensive nation on earth to purchase tools. Yet the Chinese produced this thing, it was shipped to Oz, went through a distributor and then a retailer (whose prices are generally 25% to 50% higher than you pay for exactly the same thing in the US/Canada) before it got to me. What concerns me, is what does that mean for the future of manufacturing and associated employment in the western world. How do we compete? We've always done that with quality. But if China emulates the Japanese and South Koreans in that regard, delivering quality, as they seem to be getting better at year by year, what then?
I don't much like the answer I come up with.
diggerop
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Back when Japanese products were considered junk (in the US), I lived in Japan. You could buy products there that were as good, if not better, than anything made anywhere. Of course, they also made cheap crap. The cheap crap is what the American importers were buying as it had the best profit margin on resale. No one would pay near US prices for things that had always had the reputation as junk. As people got more used to Japanese made items, the importers started bringing in higher quality (and higher priced) products as people were becoming willing to pay for it. I would bet that China is at the same point now. Quality products made in China probably are available but the importers buying it go for the low end. Remember, Americans have been in China teaching them manufacturing for years.
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Ed, are those after market or only being offered with new saws?
The problem with most guards is that they get in the way of using proper procedure in many set ups. Tough with most to cut 1/2" and shorter pieces and narrow pieces. In some cases more likely to cause kick back if a small piece of cross cut wood gets caught between the guard and the blade.
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Leon wrote:

Rather difficult to use many kinds of jig with them as well.
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Absolutely and totally agree.
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Leon said:

Precisely my dilemma. And they are generally a floppy, poorly designed thing that reeks of cheapest design possible. A pain to install and remove. An overhead makes far more sense, and yet I've not bothered to build or buy one either. Complacency is the death of many a digit.
Greg G.
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Exactly. That's the same with any power tool or any tool for that matter.
"I don't need to 'call before I dig.' I remember where they buried that electric line." :-)
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Evidently that complaint was noticed. The new requirement is that the guard comes off and is replaced easily so after that dado cut, no excuses when it takes seconds to replace it. I keep my guard in place, but when I do have to take it off, it does not go back or right away. With a snap fit it would.
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Ed Pawlowski said:

Hi, Ed. :) An example of market forces working, the entry into the market of saws like the Saw Stop, PM2000, etc. have forced companies like Delta to rethink their views of what will sell. I also noticed that after a brief stint in China, they are now hawking the new Delta Unisaw, "assembled" in Tennessee, with all the bells and whistles, safety wise, that I complained to Frank about two or three years ago. The blowback must have been considerable from the move overseas. I have no doubt the castings are made in China, but every little bit helps, eh? I've not seen it in person because most of the venders in this area stopped selling Delta after the B&D assimilation, but it looks sharp. A real moving riving knife, venier tilt, better blade guard. Unfortunately I can't afford but what I have...
The cheap import benchtop saws are still problematic, however, and much of what is used on construction sites.
Greg G.
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From what I read, even the cheap saws will be better than in the past. If you are spending though $1000 and up, way up, for a good saw, it should be fitted with a guard that is sensible, workable, safe, and actually encourages use.
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Ed Pawlowski said:

If importers would stop buying the cheapest stuff available to fill the big box stores it would have already improved. As diggerop mentioned, there are some interesting pieces out there, we just don't see them on these shores much/yet. And for the few importers that actually have any input into the manufacturing process, it's not rocket science - stop being so damned cheap and lazy. The Taiwanese, Indians, and Chinese sure won't be - they're hungry for your dollars.

You would think. That was one of the big disappointments of the Unisaw. I think it went 20 years without any major upgrades - other than a trendy, yet dated X splashed across the front and in the model number. Heavy, reliable saw, but the guard and splitter were a joke. The Powermatic2000 and SawStop upped the ante in the saw market.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Yep. I tried my best to keep that blade guard installed on my Unisaw, but it's just an utter piece of crap and I can only put up with so much of that. I opted instead for a good phenolic zero-clearance insert with a relief cut in back to allow the installation of a collection of splitters (riving knives, really, of my own design that I made in about five different heights, each of which hug the blade as closely as possible according that that particular blade height). Couple that arrangement with a good crosscut sled, a pair of GRRR-Rippers and various featherboards and I'm about as safe as I can be without have a blade guard or Saw-Stop to protect me the rest of the way. Being deathly afraid of the machine and following a calm calculated process helps too. I've had my Unisaw for about 10 years and it has yet to bite me (knock on wood...).
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OTOH, that's exactly why I bought my Unisaw. Well, that and the price.
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