(First, nothing bad happened to me, I made my "tests" with the power
Hey All, I had purchased some Forest blades - including their blade
stabilizer/stiffener -after seeing an in store demo at the local
Woodcraft last year. I hade used the blades in my table saw with no
problem but I wanted to try some new set-ups last week with them and
this is what I discovered;
First, I had a need to make some 45 degree cuts so with the saw
unplugged I tilted the blade to its extreme angle while the blade was
at its highest setting. I was mildly surprised to see the metal table
insert begin to rise as I approached 45. The stiffener was pushing
against the insert. Had I not gone through this exercise and instead,
tilted the blade when it was low, I could have had a tremendous
accident if I brought the blade up while running. I simply removed
the insert and returned to making the bevel cuts with no problem.
My next discovery, again with no power, was when I wanted to use a new
blade with stiffener in a zero clearance insert. I made the relief
cut with a 7&1/4 inch blade but before I finished the process with the
10 inch, I checked the measurements to see how much blade could go
through before the stiffener touched the underside of the insert. I
was going to lose an additional 1/2 inch of cutting height to keep the
stiffener from touching.
I know that some of you have negative opinions of inserts and I am
skeptical about how much benefit they add. The Forest Monkey
(translated= rep) stated that I am limited to 2 inches of cutting but
I should use the stiffener as much as possible when not cutting
thicker material. I'm not that hung up on using the stiffener along
with the insert and I could still make a relief cut for it by
reversing the placement order of it and a 7&14 blade on the arbor.
Anyway, this post was not intended to be a rant against stiffeners,
just a reminder to check all new set-ups at there extreme settings
before you turn the power on. I'm glad I did, and this will continue
to be one of the many safety rules I follow when I'm in what my wife
calls my "Play Station".
Be safe everybody.
Good reminder on the safety. Always good to take a moment and think.
Regarding the stabilizers, I have kind of gotten away from using them.
I like the concept but it seems the Freud and CMT blades like a glue-
line-rip, etc wih the little vibration reliefs do such a clean job I
just haven't done the stabilizer thang that much any more.
Why should that be surprising? My tablesaw cuts more than 3 1/4" with no
tilt. A 4" dia. stiffener, their smallest, will protrude at 3". I have a 6"
stiffener. You do need to be aware of the possibility when it's installed.
Groove it a bit deeper with the dado set. I use store bought phenolic
inserts. They came pre-grooved to about half depth, about 1/2" wide. They
also have a steel pin in the rear to hold it down in case the blade grabs
it. If you make your own, consider very seriously doing the same.
Maybe get some help? You're a scary sounding fellow.
The zero clearance insert helps keep small pieces from getting trapped
against the blade and being thrown back at you, along with helping to
prevent excessive tear out on the bottom of the cut.
I don't like stiffeners at all for the reasons you mentioned. With a
regular kerf blade you really don't need them and when you really need them,
on deep cuts, you can't use them.
Now, something else to look out for, DON'T tilt the blade when you are
using a zero clearance insert. DAMHIKT.
I found this out the first time I tried it. Power off. I had made a
bunch of wooden inserts when I made my first zero clearance insert, so
now I have one labled "45 degrees" and one "22 1/2 degrees" They
change in a sec. Just lower the blade to install or remove.
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