Overhead TS blade guard mounting question

I'm planning to build a variant of the Brett overhead blade guard for my Jet X-acta saw. It'll have a locking Lexan box which will be movable both horizontally (perpendicular to the blade) and vertically.
I've seen a number of web pages detailing how to build one, but have not seen one detail specified: how does the guard get mounted to the saw? It seems that mounting to the extension table, and/or the rear fence rail, would induce some distortion that might affect the fence (fence rides on front rail; front rail and back rail are both bolted to the extension table; mounting a heavy cantilevered guard to the back rail would twist the whole shebang).
If anyone has built one (or owns the actual commercial Brett guiard) I'd appreciated hearing about how you mounted the guard.
Thanks,
Andy Barss
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On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 05:43:51 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

I don't recall how the Brett mounts but the ones I've seen are cantilevered off a post to the (usually) right side of the saw, or cantilevered off the ceiling above the saw. IOW, the thing isn't actually fastened to the saw framework at all. If your saw is on a roll-around, you can do as a friend of mine did and weld (bolts would work) the post to the frame of the roll-around, and bolt it to the edge of the table to provide a little more stiffness.
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I'm not up to speed on the Brett guard but Biesemeyer offers the instructions and detail pictures which should get you started.
http://www.biesemeyer.com/installations.htm
The Brett appears to be a carbon copy of the Bies except for that snazzy movement handle.
http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fida46&gift lse&0pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D10000%26Tree%3D%2CDepartments&1pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1049%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CShop%20Safety%20%26%20Accessories&2pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1116%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D1%2CSafety%20%2D%20Power%20Tool&Giftlse&mscssidj807CF9E88F450A819B9B4EA7F37453
PS:
I would look into buying over building...
Andrew Barss wrote:

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: I'm not up to speed on the Brett guard but Biesemeyer : offers the instructions and detail pictures which : should get you started.
: http://www.biesemeyer.com/installations.htm
Thanks.
: The Brett appears to be a carbon copy of the Bies except : for that snazzy movement handle.
: http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fida46&gift lse&0pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D10000%26Tree%3D%2CDepartments&1pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1049%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CShop%20Safety%20%26%20Accessories&2pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1116%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D1%2CSafety%20%2D%20Power%20Tool&Giftlse&mscssidj807CF9E88F450A819B9B4EA7F37453
: PS:
: I would look into buying over building...
How come?
    -- Andy Barss
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That particular overarm arrangement could be done by a home grown welder, but the guard assembly is gonna be a pain to fabricate.
The amount of time playing with a item that is to be a major league safety feature would concern me. Design errors could be very costly.
The ability to be able to lift and move "very easily" is gonna be the big hitter in the design.
An overhead guard requires a fair amount "adjusting" during the course of a "typical" day in the shop.
Here is an excellent write up on all the major players in the splitter and guard game:
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00130.asp
Joe at Plaza machinery might even have a "deal" on a Biesemeyer. I got mine for $200 and love it.
It is a very substantial piece of equipment.
Andrew Barss wrote:

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: That particular overarm arrangement could be done : by a home grown welder, but the guard assembly is : gonna be a pain to fabricate.
Looks pretty straightford from the plans I've seen -- I'm going for a thick lexan box, mounted to a locking scissoring type adjuster.
: An overhead guard requires a fair amount "adjusting" : during the course of a "typical" day in the shop.
And the main reason I don't like the Biesemeyer is the problem noted in Mehler's article below -- to do horizontal adjustment you have to walk around the saw.
: http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00130.asp
It's also $500 with dust extraction (though thanks for the tip to Plaza).
    -- Andy barss
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After having the overhead guard for about six months I have found:
(a) Very safe guard (b) Easy to install (c) Pain in the ass to use (d) Much better than a standard guard by miles and miles (e) Does not allow ripping of small pieces with guard. Anything less than 6" requires removing guard. (f) Seems to get "in the way" during certain operations (g) I'm glad I bought it and will continue to learn how to use it for every operation possible. (h) The Bies "pop up" splitter is another very nice device and has been a real improvement but again, it requires a "re-learning" process. Pain in the wazooo to install but when finally right, provides a much better cut.
Contact me for a part that might things easier...
Andrew Barss wrote:

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On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 15:27:12 GMT, Pat Barber
In line response...(s) BUT I can not understand why yours is a pain in the ass to use...? ===============================>After having the overhead guard for about six months

===================I have had my overhead guard for close to if not more then 15 years and I sure do NOT think it is a pain in the ass to use...if anything it is extremely easy to use..

Ya lost me with this statement... I have absolutely no problem ripping and size stock...

The only time I have to MOVE..NOT.. REMOVE the guard is for doing tenon cuts if the stock is long enough to hit the rail that holds up the guard... the guard and the rail slide out of the way in under 3 seconds..so I can stand the board up on end and make my cut IF the ceiling does not get in the way...

Have to agree. as all my zero clearence inserts required me to make my own splitter for each and every insert.... been thinking about the Bies splitter...just to cheap to buy one I guess at this point as my home made splitters work...
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I'm not sure which overhead guard you have, but a Biesemeyer guard can not be "in position" when you are ripping stock thinner than 6" or so.
If the guard is positioned next to the fence for a very narrow rip operation, there is no way to push the stock through the blade using a push stick or any other safety device.
Biesemeyer tech folks admit this short coming.
Perhaps you have found another way to handle that ???
Bob G. wrote:

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: I'm not sure which overhead guard you have, but : a Biesemeyer guard can not be "in position" when : you are ripping stock thinner than 6" or so.
: If the guard is positioned next to the fence for a : very narrow rip operation, there is no way to push : the stock through the blade using a push stick or : any other safety device.
Pat --
    Can't you move the baskt slightly away from the blade, and use a narrow pushstick right next to the fence, and a featherboard to keep the stock tight against the fence?
    -- Andy
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OK... I went out last night and played with the guard some more.
(a) Move the guard as far to the left as possible so that blade is VERY close to edge of guard but still covered.
(b) Positioned the fence several times and attempted to "push stock through" using a standard push stick.
I overstated the problem by a wee bit. The smallest piece of stock I could push through using a push stick was 2" , not 6" as I stated yesterday.
I was also "whining" a bit about using a guard, as many people do, I am using the guard cause it's the right thing to do, but I want to think it's in the way during certain operations. It requires a slightly different method to use rather than having no guard at all.
I bought the guard cause I think it's the best thing to do and I want to end up with all ten fingers at the end of the day. My thoughts on guards changed in the last year or so and I'm now a believer in all safety devices.
I wish there was a easier way to attach featherboards or anything else to a Biesemeyer fence... Of course when you attempt to clamp the featherboard to the fence at the proper place, it tends to get in the way of the guard...
I continue to work on ways to use the guard and keep the whining down to a minimum.
Andrew Barss wrote:

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On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 18:41:32 GMT, Pat Barber

[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ The overhead guard I use is an Excalibur ...
Mine was purchased almost 15 years ago and does not look much like their current guard... I stopped looking at these guards the day I installed mine so I am not at all current on what Biesmeyer or other manufacturers offer...
Bob Griffiths
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snipped-for-privacy@WORLDNET.ATT.NET says...

Pat,
I disagree completely with your assessment. I used 1/4" Lexan for the guard box, and it works perfectly. My guard adjusts up and down, left to right, and forward and backward. And it locks firmly in whatever position I need.
When I need to dado or perform some other action on the saw that requires more room, the guard is easily removed.
I built the guard with less than $80 in materials and had enough angle iron and box channel left over to build the rolling cart for my Unisaw. The Brett and Bies may be commercially built, but they offer no additional functionality or safety than my home grown unit.
Rick
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How about some pictures in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking of your setup?
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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com says...

Will do - as soon as I move all of the leftover equipment from the SE WI Tool Sale... :-)
Also, the guard is off the saw now, as I'm building a new rolling cart. This one will be a little bit larger, and will allow me to configure and build a folding sliding table on the left.
Stay tuned...
Resto Rick
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I would like to see what you did...
By your description, it sounds like a welder was involved ???
How did you construct the lexan box ???
If you can do them that cheap, you might want to look into going into the business.
Rick Chamberlain wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@WORLDNET.ATT.NET says...

Pat,
Yes, I welded the main upright and overarms using square box channel. But I could have just as easily drilled holes and bolted it together. The guard is adjustable left to right (allowing for narrow rips if desired) by using a smaller box channel sliding inside the larger overarm.
The Lexan was easy - got a number of off cuts from the local plastics house and used polycarb adhesive. Stuff works great. I took a hose adapter for a DC system and glued it to the top of the Lexan box.
I've seen people screw the Lexan together instead so they can replace a broken piece, but the way I see it, if Lexan breaks, it shatters. And if that happens, I most likely have a blade that exploded or a bad kickback. In either case, I'll be taking a vacation afterward and will replace the entire assembly with something stronger... :-)
If I thought I could make a jig and found enough interest, I'd probably do it on the side. Fabbing the material is pretty easy - lots of straight cuts and stitch welds. Shipping the welded unit would be tough, so I'd probably have to bolt the overarm and uprights instead. And then, I'd have to decide on a paint color. :-)
Rick
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snipped-for-privacy@basil.u.arizona.edu says...

Andy,
I mounted mine to the rolling cart I made for my Unisaw, and supported the upright by attaching it to the right hand table extension.
I did this my bolting a small section of angle iron to the upright and then screwing the angle to the underside of the table. Works well for me, and if I ever decide to change the configuration of my cart, table, or fence, I can easily change the upright layout.
If you don't have a rolling cart, I'd weld a plate to the bottom of the upright and bolt the upright to the floor.
BTW, I don't have any problem with the fence distorting.
Rick
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