I've seen so many ads for splitters that I can't recall which ones I've
liked. I recently saw one in a magazine that looked promising. It seemed
that it completely sat on the table top (without extending over the back)
and was easy to remove without tools. I don't remember the manufacturer.
Does anyone have a favorite?
Delta makes such a product for their saws, as part of the overarm guard
package, or as a service part, which is how I have it installed on my saw.
Pull the throat insert, pull on one knob, and remove the splitter. 15
seconds to crosscut sled. Featured in a Kelly Mehler article in FWW a
couple of years ago, available on their website.
Maybe $30, ordered through the local dealer. First installation took more
time to remove the factory stock device than to install the new pieces.
You could also DAGS on a UnisawA100-initiated thread on making your own
zero clearance insert, with splitter. Cheap project. Funny thread. Watch
out for the tongue in cheek parts, but there's truth in there.
And then you can spend your hobby dollars on some fancy wood...
More Signal. Less Noise. (tmcharlieb)
The problem with that type of "splitter" is it can't tilt with the
The problem with fixed splitters is that they don't do much for you
on shallow cuts - too much room behind the teeth coming up out
of the saw table
Euro machine have a riving knife that wraps round the top rear
quarter of the saw blade - close - and moves with the blade as
you tilt it. Second photo here shows you one. this one's easy
to get on and off - loosen a bolt, pull it out, tighten the bolt
Its a nice theory that requires a machine shop to implement on an american
design saw. Buy a European saw, hire a machine shop, or go with the
practical compromise and use a fixed splitter of some sort.
Recently bought a Beisemeyer for a PM66. Easily removable. Excalibur
is another one that's pretty good. Mounts through the insert to the
main housing and thus turns with the blade. If you want something that
is completely on the top, fashion a wooden insert with a finish nail in
it at the appropriate spot. To cut at an angle, replace the insert.
I also like this splitter, it is no intrusive enough I go out of my
way to put it on, and with board buddies I can literally stop the cut
halfway and the piece to the right of the blade will have NO saw marks
at all with my WWII.
The microjig splitter is also short enough, that I can use it with my
cross cut sled.
The professional advise is don't use one.
If the wood is binding up on your blade, the splitter is just another
friction point. The releasing tension within the wood is going to
produce a warp in either one or both boards, but this can be
alleviated nine times out of ten.
Lift the board out of the saw and restart the cut. The offending
twist is eliminated and the secondary board is effectively
straightlined in the process.
Bad advice is worse than giving no advice. Most instances
of what are called "kickbacks" start at the back of the
blade, when, for a variety of reasons, the stock at the
back of the blade makes contact with the teeth coming up
out of the table. That lifts the stock up into the teeth moving
A riving knife, set close to, and wrapping around the
top rear quarter of, the saw blade significantly reduces
the area where the rear teeth and the cut stock can
come together, and then only during the initial part of
the cut when the kerf has not yet reached the riving
As for the friction produced by the riving knife, it's
less than the friction between the stock and the table
top and the fence if you're ripping.
To stop during a cut, be it a cross cut or a rip, you have
to a) control the stock with one hand while the other
goes for the OFF button and b) shift your attention from
the cutting to the OFF button (OK, so there are knee switches
and we probably should all have one but...). Either one
of those can make a bad situation even worse.
If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure then
a pound of prevention is worth saving a digit or
other extremity. Prep the stock correctly, set up
the blade and the fence properly, use a riving knife
if you can, a splitter if you can't, use hold downs and
feather boards to keep the stock down flat on the table
and against the fence in front of the cut whenever
possible and use a push stick or push block if your
hand has to get with 4 or so inches of the spinning
sharp carbide things.
There are a lot of things that can cause a "kickback".
There are lots of things you can do to minimize
the likelyhood of kickback. The most important
is knowledge. If you understand the causes you
can take steps to protect yourself.
Here's some info that may give you a better understanding
of "kickback" and what you can do about it.
After proper stock preparation, a riving knife, properly set,
is, IMHO, the second best way to reduce the probability of
experiencing a "kickback".
As for tension being released and causing "warp",
it may close the kerf but not likely enough to
actuall warp the board. The possibilities are
cup, twist, crook or bow or a combination that
perhaps you could call "warped" In any event
a feather board holding the fence side down on
the table will keep that side of the cut from
And if your stock is twisted for whatever reason
DO NOT try ripping it. Get the bottom flat, one
edge straight and square to the bottom BEFORE
trying to rip to width or to get the other edge
to parallel the one against the fence.
As for emulating "professionals" Sam Maloof
freehands all kinds of ways on a bandsaw. But
even he warns against doing it because it's
dangerous as hell. And I'm sure there are a
few "professionals" named Stubby one shouldn't
rant mode off
No, the splitter is not "just another friction point." The splitter is there
to keep the board from contacting the teeth at the rear of the blade, which is
the principal cause of kickback.
Boards with significant internal tension are best used for firewood. If one
simply must use one, a bandsaw is a far safer choice for rip cuts.
Dangerous and stupid advice. Lifting the board out of the saw is almost
guaranteed to produce a kickback.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter
by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com
You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
I am going to stand by the advise I gave, regardless of the rant.
Most binding occurs at the beginning of a rip, and the time to pull it
is before the blade has come to a stop, using the leverage that board
length allows, and a splitter would only be in the way. This does
require an ear tuned to the sound of the cut, which experience will
provide. In that regard, perhaps I expect too much of fledgling
I can assure you, Charlie, that after thirty-seven years of trade, I
can still count ten digits. And, I looked at your $6000 beast...it
certainly has all the bells and whistles...with your obvious fear of
the machine and kickback experience, it looks to be the machine for
you. But, until we can all afford the expense of over designed
The splitter will remain, in my not so humble opinion, to be an
unnecessary appendage, that is more apt to interfere with my use of
the machine and create an additional hazard to my safety by such
We all know, that the safety devices provided with every machine are a
matter of litigational coverup. Therefore, when it comes to my
personal safety, I will continue to rely upon common sense and manual
dexterity over device every time...and will rely upon my professional
experience for the production of quality parts.
Not that we don't believe you, but you got any examples of these "quality
parts" you've produced that we can look at .. you know, just so as to add
further credence to your claim of professional experience and why your
professional advice should be heeded?
I have seen some of his work and it is first class. Suffice to say,
regardless of whether you like what he says, or how he says it, he knows his
stuff and 'walks the talk'.
I also hope he posts some more of his work, it's inspiring.
Your word is good enough for me, Greg. But you're right ...the proof of the
talk, is the walk ...and what I do like is to actually gaze upon the works
of professional woodworkers, whether in person, or in picture.
"some more" ... I must of missed that, where?
I am glad to hear that, as inspiration is in short supply around here and,
in particular, at my shop. All the more reason to ask for examples on a
website, or ABPW, or anywhere?
Last year he posted some work he was doing on ABPF. A series of
carvings-in-progress that gave you that "Wile E. Coyote tongue falling on
the ground, hang dog, ain't never gonna catch him" feeling. Similar to
looking at Tom Plamann's work - good for the soul, bad for the ego type
I had a scrounge around my archives but couldn't find it, I was a little
disappointed as I'm sure I had saved it in the Keepers Folder. Imagine when
I peek in there and only found 1 (ONE) post - grrrr. I don't know what
happened to them, I guess I'll spend the next few hours dumpster-diving into
old archives and directories (folders for the non-DOS).
All this assumes daclarke is actually the real DA. It is getting hard to
tell recently, though it seems likely it is him, the trolls are not as
articulate. I hope so, we need a little philosophical discussion every now
and again to broaden horizons and to expand the comfort zones. That is what
he is driving at I believe, even the best of us should continue to learn and
evolve in the craft, there is no single point that we reach where we can
say - "I cannot improve any further". It is not like age, where we can state
"We are as young as we are ever going to get", there are no absolutes and
it's an evolving craft.
Anyway, I seem to have strolled off down another path, so, I'll get back on
track by saying I hope he posts some of his work.
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