Where's Norm's TS spliter

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slew
out
I'm not trying to persuade for or against the use of them - like I said in my previous posts, use 'em if you like 'em... but as a side conversation, these kinds of things seem to take on a life of their own. Certainly, they come about only because there really is an underlying issue (kickback), and at some point the solution (splitters) gets introduced. Generally, if the solution works more than it inhibits, it gains a foothold. After a while it seems there develops a certain urban legend nature about them. Not that they don't add value, but the degree of value tends to get exagerated and a whole generation comes to honestly believe that work can't practically or safely be done without them. It really does not present such a big problem for that misunderstanding to exist, so it's not such a big deal, but that belief is bigger than the reality of the matter. What tends to be forgotten is that the accident rate associated with these things is not dramatically different before and after the acceptance of them. But... since they look like such a good idea what quickly follows is the belief that before the things came about, everyone was killing and maiming themselves in large numbers. It does do something of a disservice though if that belief is perpetuated. It creates a false security in the safety device and can (note... *can*) result in not learning the more important cause and effect issues associated with using the tool.

Not completely. Lots of things are out there today only because of the public's perceived value. Remember that a big part of manufacturing a consumer product is producing what the consumer wants. Not that there is always any good reason for it.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
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I never use guards on my tablesaw but I always use a splitter. The one I use I made myself and does not have anti kick back teeth. The only thing I care about is that the wood on the backside of the blade does not move over and touch the blade. So my splitter is made from 1/8 inch brass stock 3/4 inch wide and two inches high. It attaches to the single stud behind the blade. I do have to use a wrench to get it out for dado cuts but I have never had a kick back with this splitter. max

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"Woodchuck" wrote in message

consuming
I
It is apparently a well known fact that "pro shops" don't use splitters, and culturally speaking, we are convinced that all pro's have big pricks and large cojones, therefore yours will somehow gain "pro" stature if you also refrain.
What's missing is the fact that most "pro's" learn early the necessity to physically control the wood throughout the cut, something a weekend woodworker may not learn, except the hard way.
(it's also amazing how fast your heretofore manly parts shrivel with blood pouring out of a far removed appendage)
Enter the "well designed" splitter, usually aftermarket, and not the POS that came with the TS.
It is inarguably a good thing for a weekend wooddorker to use one ... it may well protect your appendages (as well as those of a "pro" in the throes of a brain fart) that _one_ time in 40 years of woodworking that it was needed.
Just get/make one that encourages use by being easy to install and remove, that stays.in good working order, and that is not so flimsy as to be an actual danger and therefore better than none.
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throes
You gave one of the most rational, calm explanations I've seen. I'd guess that there are a goodly number of "non-pro" workers in this conference and your advice applies well to them (and me!). Some guys who are pros seem to think they have a god-like status in what's right for everyone. The can take a leap off their pedestal anytime they feel like, as far as I'm concerned.
Bob
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I've probably been in a couple of dozen shops over the last thirty five plus years that would be considered pro shops and used a ten inch tablesaw somewhere in their operations. In some cases, like mine, it was the primary sawing tool in the shop and in the others it was a much used secondary tool because those shops used sliders as the primary.
I honestly can't recall any instances where the guard and splitter that came with the saw were in use. In those cases where a guard was used, it was usually the type that provided dust extraction, particularly in shops where a lot of MDF was cut; and it was positioned so that the blade could be clearly seen during the cut. In other words, it was not acting as a guard.
I can't speak to the size of their pricks and this is surely a topic for another thread - if not another newsgroup.
They were/are, without exception, deca-digital wooddorkers.
The reasoning behind throwing away the OEM splitter/guard is almost always the same:
1.    The OEM splitter/guards are poorly designed rubbish. 2.    The operator wants to see the blade and the area immediately before and after the cut, so that he can react to what happens during the cutting operation. 3.    The operator wants to deal with the wood, the blade and the fence - without other variables being introduced by the alleged safety devices.
That said, there are a number of caveats that must be explored in order to account for these pros continued ability to count to ten without recourse to their pedestrial appendages.
Stock Preparation:
When I worked as a carpenter I would often see a future organ donor try to feed a twisted, bowed, crooked, waney-edged piece of material into the angry part of a poorly set up, underpowered, dull-bladed widow maker of a machine that could only be called a tablesaw by analogy.
These were the sorts who eventually wound up trying, ineffectively, to clear nasal blockages with a phantom limblet.
The pro would avail himself of those tools which would render the stock into a condition where it is fit to be fed into the saw, ie: with a flat face produced on the jointer or careful use of the thicknesser; with the faces planed parallel, the edges trued straight on the jointer, and the twist eliminated or ameliorated via jointer or cross cutting of the stock to eliminate the worst of the twist.
Anything less than this is Sawicide.
Artful Dodging And The Careful Management Of Fear:
"Fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration." Frank Herbert.
The pro who seeks to protect his continued ability to disseminate inseminating solutions never stands in a direct line with a potential projectile. He stands to the side and addresses his saw with respect, but without fear. Standing in the possible path of a piece of ash that might be propelled towards the famous Italian Airline (Gen-Italia) at a speed governed by a c. 3450 rpm, 3hp motor is an exercise in Darwinism.
Fear and Foolish Inattention are what gets most infrequent users of the tablesaw injured. Let us now explore Fear - Foolish Inattention comes later.
I've seen them push the wood into the sawblade without sufficient downward pressure on the table or sideward pressure on the fence - this is the greatest cause of kickback. They proceed in a tentative fashion and their fear is the cause of the feared result. It is as though they do not want to commit the aligned force of their hand and body pressure towards the spinning amputator - and this is good - to a degree.
The solution is to be a student of the Bee Sting Theory.
The Bee Sting Theory states that: "One should never push on a piece of material in such a way that - if a bee stung them on the ass - any body part would naturally move towards the amputator."
The downward force is applied well prior to the intersection of the blade and the material, as is the side pressure; and this pressure is always applied in such a way and at such an angle to the amputator as to make the body parts unavailable to the amputator under conditions of surprisingly stressful events, ie: bee stings, earthquakes, naked women springing quickly and unexpectedly into the field of vision, etc.
Ahem...
Although the pro may adjust the height of the blade to project above the material to various heights, in order to gain the advantages of blade/tooth geometry - I would not recommend that an inexperienced user do this. This user should only allow the teeth to barely stand proud of the material - and he should do all of his cutting this way until he is used to how the saw and the wood react.
When he gets used to cutting, his fear will leave him - but his respect should remain.
Useful Appliances And Their Result In Use:
Although most small shop pros may eschew the use of the OEM alleged safety devices, this is not to say that they use no safety devices at all.
To whit:
They often make use of hold downs and feather boards. It is always the case when I am attempting a glue line rip and is most often the case in repetitive rips that pros use hold downs and featherboards.
These devices provide safety in the regard of appropriate pressure in the appropriate direction, as well as providing a superior cut. They also do this for you without occluding your line of sight to the blade - a great benefit.
Deca-digital professionals also make constant use of push sticks. My personal favorite is a 1/2" thk simulacrum of a female leg (magic markered in replication of mesh stockings is optional in most shops, but required in mine), with a spiked heel at the end to encompass the woody material - ymmv on this.
On stock of such width as to make use of the GamStick (tm TW) impractical, I resort to the use of an icepick. This is an old patternmaker's trick but provides enhanced enjoyment to Kubrick fans.
Foolish Inattention:
This category begins with sawblades. Not to put too fine a point on it, but - combo blades suck.
If you are going to do much ripping on the tablesaw you need to get a ripping blade. Some ripping blades will give a rough cut but a good glue line ripping blade will provide a wonderfully smooth surface, suitable for glue ups without further treatment on the jointer.
Using the wrong blade for ripping results in a kerf that is too small to assist in the prevention of kickback.
You must also be attentive to your saw setup. The blade must be parallel to the fence. The blade should not toe in or out.
The blade must be parallel to the fence. The blade must be parallel to the fence. The blade must be parallel to the fence. The blade must be parallel to the fence. The blade must be parallel to the fence.
Can I get an Amen!
Properly prepared stock in a saw that is properly set up, with a blade of the proper type, operated by someone who respects the saw without fearing it, will result in safe cuts - with the following provisos:
Understand Your Stock:
During the process of stock preparation you should have discovered a good deal about the properties of your material. You should be able to determine the grain direction along the proposed cut line and you should be able to see if you are dealing with reaction wood, rather than mild stock.
I like to feed wood into the ripping blade with the same attention to grain direction and slope as I would use with when feeding the thicknesser or the jointer.
By being mindful of this you can eliminate the production of pointy- sticks-headed-towards-your-nether-regions to a great degree, as well as keeping at bay the explosive surprises contained within some highly figured and interlocked-grained woods.
Don't Be Stupid:
If a piece breaks off between the blade and the fence - shut the saw down.
If the blade starts to bind on your material, even though you have taken all of the above precautions - shut the saw down.
If someone walks into your shop while you are ripping, because you foolishly neglected to lock the doors - shut the saw down.
If the song on the 400hp shop music device is sounding so good to you that you start to get Happy Feet - shut the saw down.
If you decide that you would like to have the first Pina Colada of the day in the middle of a rip - shut the saw down.
Remember - Be Like The Pros
Because Pro-made
Is Better Than
Ho-made
and much safer.
Regards,
Tom.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker, ret. tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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"Tom Watson" wrote in message

and
also
Yabbut, you left out the pertinent part of my post:

throes
Got a kid just old enough to be in the shop?
If so, there's a damn good way to dipstick your level of commitment to NOT using safety devices like splitters and guards. Put your non "pro" loved one _alone_ in the shop with 100 bf of lumber to cut, then think real hard beforehand whether to use splitters and blade guards, or not.
You will then know, at gut level, the strength of your commitment.
Most of us, while not foolish all the time, will do a foolish thing now and again ... and that's when we, and even the "pro's", need all the help we can get to remain unscathed.
Besides, why not?
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You started out with turning it into a dick measuring contest and now you've moved on to child abuse.
Congratulations.
The point, which you have so deftly ignored, is that it is your brain that must be your primary safety device.
Regards,
Tom.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker, ret. tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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"Tom Watson" wrote in message

NOT
one
LOL!
So, answer the question. Would you insist that your own kid use a splitter and blade guard until they were old enough to make up their own mind?

Quite the contrary ... considering some using tools these days, ignoring any safety devices is arguably the product of a disengaged brain. You forget what century you're in? ... there ain't no more shop classes in junior high school.
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Spooky... As I was mulling over Tom's first posting, I scribed your last two posts in my head. The first one tossing around the notion that if you want to be a pro you gott'a ditch the (alledged) safety device. The second one is what would I do if it was my kid in the shop.
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"patrick conroy" wrote in message

two
My point was not that "if you want to be a pro you gott'a ditch the (alledged) safety device", but was, in fact, spoofing that very idea/concept.
>The second one is

IMO, the answer to that question speaks volumes as to whether _safety_ is the real issue in some folk's minds.
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Anybody can be a pro, not every one can be an expert.
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Your question is foolish.
It presupposes that I would allow a child to use a saw if they were in any way less capable of using it safely than an adult.
I would not.
Regards,
Tom.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker, ret. tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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"Tom Watson" wrote in message

splitter
It is damned foolish to think otherwise.

I clearly stated "old enough to be in the shop". "Child" is your spin.
It's a perfectly cogent point/question as it speaks directly to the issue, removes the "pro's don't use them" argument, and illuminates your true feelings regarding the matter ... providing you answer it honestly, that is.
If you would insist that your kid use these particular safety devices in the shop, and you don't use them, then there is clearly an issue _other_ than safety involved.
We already know by accident statistics that a good many folks are just too damn lazy to avail themselves of safety devices like splitters and blade guards, and then condescendingly justify it with the macho bullshit that the "pro's don't do it".
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enough to convince me that he is operating at a diminished capacity.
OK Swing, you've made me change my mind.
For those who present the sort of cognitive deficit evidenced by your poor reading comprehension skills, I would suggest the following as appropriate safety gear for any work in the shop.
http://www.febeltex.be/persfoto 's/crackjac.jpg
Regards, Tom.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Tom Watson wrote:

No dust mask. Heheh
-- Mark
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"Tom Watson" wrote in message
"Swingman" wrote:

A perfect damned ad hominen example ... of the pot calling the kettle black!

So, what's a picture of a modern day bull rider got to do with it?
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Thank You!
Regards, Tom.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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"Tom Watson" wrote in message

Hell, as long as we're completely ignoring context, I am glad you finally agree.
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<g> I'm glad that you two finally agree on this matter. TWS
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"TWS" wrote in message

LOL!
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