Time for Overarm dust collector

I'm finally convinced that it is time to add an overarm dust collector to my Delta contractor's saw and the Delta 1.5 hp DCS.
I know about the Excalibur, but I also see the Exaktor which appears to be similar, but allows a splitter to be present, and is appreciably less expensive.
Any recommendations based on experience with either or both? (I don't think I want to build Gordon Sampson's rig although it also looks comparable, and would be less $$ out of pocket.)
Thanks.
George
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I tried the Penn State overarm blade gaurd/dust collection setup and it was a piece of junk. The Excalibur, IIRC, is a similar design, although the materials it is made of seem to be of much better quality. Not surprising. I didn't try that though and went straight to the Biesemeyer overarm blade gaurd for my Unisaw w/50" biesemeyer fence. It was a big chunk of $$ but it works perfectly and is made much better than the others, IMO. If I only knew how to weld, I could have made this for a fraction of the cost myself. Oh well. Safety is worth the cost, IMO.
Mike
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Mike in Mystic wrote:

You and me both, Mike. One of these days I've *got* to learn, and buy the equipment. The latter more than the former has been the sticking point. There's just so much to consider just to get your toes wet.
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On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 14:54:58 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Mike, could you please be more specific. What did the Penn State do or not do?
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my
I have been running an Excalibur (sp) on my Saw for over 10 years and as a guard it functions...nothing fance but it works and gets out of the way in a second..etc...
Now mine is the older model..not really comparable to the newer ones...BUT I did a lot of modifications to improve the dust collection over the blade... moved the pickup point to the front of the guard from the original back...etc... for the last 6-7 years I have used a small dedicated shop vac to handle the overhead guard and only connect my dust collector to the bottom of my cabinet saw... At this point I am happy... BUT if I ever purchased another I personally would not be all that interested in the dust collection abilities...All I would focus on would be how it fuctions as a guard... mine can be adjusted in one second...moved out of the way in 1 & 1/2 seconds.. and works...
Like Mike the Mystic stated however...I could have made one myself much cheaper and I do weld...
I still, after all these years, think the money I spend was.. money well spent...and have no regrets at all.
Bob Griffiths
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I have the Excalibur and it seems to be made pretty well, but i find that about 1/2 the time I have to move it out of the way(no big deal, but defeats the purpose of having it) I do think that having it makes you more aware of where your fingers are- even when it is moved out of the way. I felt guilty spending the $ because I have a machine shop with welding capabilities, but I knew that months would go by before i found the time to put togther the materials and actually make it. I would do it again-Keith
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wrote in

After a close call with my blade - note to self: after you've spent an afternoon at mother-in-law's house, up on the roof cleanging gutters that haven't been cleaned in years and are ice-clogged because it was 19 degrees last night, and you get home and are torn between taking a nap and starting that project that's all ready to go, take the nap!
Anyway, now I know I need a decent guard so I researched. Along with Gordon's rig, I found these two: http://www.homestead.com/ValRoseWoodWorks/index5TOOLSHOP.html http://www.woodisourart.com/tablesaw/bladecover.htm
Whether you buy or build, I think they have some good ideas and I'm trying to come up with a way to combine the two of them somehow, when I build the cabinet for my Griz 1022.
Dan
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On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 14:51:52 GMT, "george"

You should also consider the Biesemeyer. It is a good quality quard and it does a respectable job of dust collection when you add the optional DC hookup. You also need a guard that can be lifted easily out of the way, which the Biese excels at.
Dust collection at the blade works better in some situations than others. For example, if your blade is fully exposed because you are trimming a blade width or less, you are going to get spray out the bottom of the guard because the left side of the guard is not in contact with the material. I've thought about adding a flexible flap to the side of my guard to catch this but have never gotten around to trying it.
I'd get a guard (and a good splitter too) just because you'll be less tense working around the saw. Just consider the DC as a small added bonus when it works. I worked for more than 20 years with no guard at all, and while you can work safely (and nervously) without one, it's just a lot more pleasant experience with a really good guard and splitter in place. There are times when you'll want them out of the way, but the key is you want to be able to put them back with zero effort when you're doing normal stuff, so you'll do it and not just put it off because its too much trouble.
Tim Carver snipped-for-privacy@twocarvers.com
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Do any of the overarms provide protection against kickback?
TomL
wrote:

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I have by now bought the Excalibur plus its splitter, partly because the local Woodcraft store allowed some discount on the combination. The splitter includes anti-kickback pawls.
The splitter installed pretty quickly.
George

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IIRC, The Brett guard does come with a splitter. That's the only guard I've heard of that comes with one.One of the problems with combining the splitter with the guard is that a lot of the splitter solutions have to be customized for different kinds of mounting on the saw. I think the Brett guard also claims some kickback protection just from its design - it is held rigidly above the table, close to the work, rather than floating on it. I really like my Biesemeyer guard and splitter, but they definitely seem to be more expensive than they would be if there were better competing products.
Tim Carver snipped-for-privacy@twocarvers.com
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