Normally when ripping relatively narrow stock I stand to the left of the
blade and push the stock through between the blade and the fence (using
a push block more often than not).
What is the proper technique for ripping when using an overhead guard?
Do you just push the piece through under the support arm and then let go
of the piece? What if the outfeed support isn't enough to hold the
piece by itself?
I've never used an overhead guard, so I'm curious about proper technique
It's gonna vary a little bit. I have the Biesemeyer overhead
guard and it requires some minor adjustments in the way you do
On a "typical" rip, I stand to the left of the blade
and push it with my right hand. I have a very large saw and
my table top is quite large (38x48) and I have a very full
outfeed, which I strongly recommend.
By creating an outfeed table, you will greatly reduce a number
of "problems" that come up with ripping.
Plywood is MUCH easier to deal with ,as are all wood products.
The addition of the outfeed table is quite remarkable and you
will wonder what the hell you were thinking when not having one.
Here is an older picture of that saw...
You will notice that the entire outfeed is NOT up... In that picture
I had the lower 3 feet lowered down.
Here the is the full setup.
That's over 98" from the front of my saw(operator side) to the end of
The overhead guard was not installed at the time of these pictures.
Chris Friesen wrote:
I don't know that there's necessarily a single "proper" technique, if
you can do it safely and it works with your setup, it should be fine.
For my system, I have my workbench behind the saw to serve as a big
outfeed table and I have rollers available if I need to support it off
the side. I made a long pushstick that can easily push a piece past
the blade and onto the bench without having to reach all the way
around the guard support. I stand to the left, like pretty much
everyone else, push one side with my left hand and use my right hand
with the pushstick to push the other.
I really prefer the overhead guard, you never have to cut without a
guard, even when you're doing dados, etc. Mine is home-made, ceiling
mounted and adjustable, it sticks at whatever height I set it at, or I
can loosen it a little so it automatically drops down to table height
whenever nothing is under it. I have blade inserts with integral
splitters for when I need them and I just switch out the insert for
one without when I'm running dados.
You'd really have to try hard to come into contact with the blade.
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