The Unisaw that I bought has the tongue behind the blade to split/anti kick
back the wood, how many people use this? It would seem it would help keep
the wood against the fence. My dad who has been wood working for ever and
has written books for fine wood working doesn't use one and see's no reason
too. But it seems to me that it would help make a clean cut any thoughts?
Hmm. I presume Dad has all of his fingers.
Kelly Meher (another FWW writer) and is regarded as
a teacher and craftsman, always advises to use
I use a Unisaw at the adult ed. I never cut without a splitter.
I saw the results of a kickback once - no injury, but boy
it was scary enough.
Albeit, there are some, repeat some, cuts that a splitter
doesn't work (like angles and dado's), but that is very
rare and there are ways around that as well.
Vote me as pro-splitter!
The splitter is intended to keep wood from binding directly behind the blade
causing it to be forced up and over the blade - at a pretty dangerous speed.
When cutting wood, stresses can be relieved that force them to start
moving - it doesn't take much to get a kickback and possible serious injury.
I'll bet if you asked your father how many close calls he's had with
kickback you may reconsider what he's doing as an unsafe practice. Doesn't
mean he can't get away with it but the odds are that it will one day catch
him big time.
You stated he has no reason to use a splitter. Not sure I would care to read
what he has to say for fear of picking up some bad practices that I haven't
already tried on my own. He's either the luckiest guy on earth, has some of
the best wood around or doesn't use his tablesaw very often.
A good splitter is not inconvenient to use and being lazy about using one is
putting yourself at risk unnecessarily.
One has to wonder. Your father has written several books (published byTauton
Press) and in the introduction of "Making Heirloom Toys" he makes the
"The projects represent various levels of difficulty, but all require strict
attention to safety. Cutting and drilling small pieces can present serious
safety hazards, and throughout the book I've stressed the importance of
using jigs, fixtures and safe practices to minimize the risk of injury....."
Since I've not read the book, perhaps his comments don't include the
tablesaw -or- if he's always just ripping short lengths for toys, there may
no need for a splitter.
In any case, your father is a lucky man and I don't just mean about not
getting any kickbacks but for still being active in a hobby he obviously
loves doing, writing about it and for having a son that isn't nagging him
about his methods of work (although you should...;-)
You've read the collective comments of the Wreck and now it's your decision
to use a splitter or not. The one you have may be a POS and as I recall,
you're a machinist and have the tools to make one. If you like, I could
post some pictures of what the add-on splitter from Beismeyer looks like for
a Jet cabinet saw and you could then design one for your Uni or spend about
$130 to purchase one. Making one is definitely within your equipment range
and skill set from what I recall of the pictures of your shop.
If you want pics, I can email them to the address you posted. What file size
would you like for each picture?
That would be great if you could send pictures, my email will take a good
size file. I will be out of town after the morning so my PC won't be
downloading for a week. Much of what my father does is very accurate and
smaller parts, the detal in his work is as good as it gets.
> ........................... if he's always just ripping short lengths for
toys, there may
This is when the risk of a kickback is very high.
Once the leading edge of the workpiece passes the centre of the blade, there
is a possibility that even friction with the saw's plate could cause
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
Relying on the splitter to keep the stock even with the fence is worse
than bad techinque; it doesn't even WORK. Try doing a glue line rip
with sloppy technique just because you have a splitter. The results will
Send a perfectly flat, straight, and case hardened piece of wood through
and you will see how a splitter keeps the piece of wood from closing back up
on the blade. With out a splitter the back side of the blades begins to cut
again leaving a rough edge.
If you are careful you do not need a splitter.
Unless you are an awful lot better than me, you are not careful all the
time; so a splitter is a darn good idea. First serious kickback you get
will make you a believer.
The 'tongue' you refer to is actually called a splitter. Yours is
also equipped with anti-kickback pawls and blade guard.
It is not used to obtain a clean cut, but rather to protect you from
the tension contained in most wood. As you cut, the wood may close up
on the blade, thereby causing a kickback - which is a nasty, nasty
thing. The pawls may also help in preventing the wood from being
launched at high speed towards the front of the saw. These may or not
be effective, depending on the design, the cut, and the HP of the saw.
I don't use one for some cuts - MDF and sheet goods for instance
usually don't contain wood under tension. But when ripping long
boards, that poorly designed sucker goes on there - every time!
Dado's are also impossible with the splitter mounted.
The fence, blade, and general tune of the saw determines the quality
of the cut.
wayne mak (in 8Jwaf.19$ email@example.com) said:
| The Unisaw that I bought has the tongue behind the blade to
| split/anti kick back the wood, how many people use this? It would
| seem it would help keep the wood against the fence. My dad who has
| been wood working for ever and has written books for fine wood
| working doesn't use one and see's no reason too. But it seems to me
| that it would help make a clean cut any thoughts?
I pop mine up when ripping - not to hold work against the fence (I use
a featherboard /and/ board buddies for that), but rather to avoid
having a kerf close slightly and grab the blade - which would result
The splitter gets popped back down when I'm cross-cutting - it gets in
the way of my sled.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
That was what I thought until I was cutting some 6/4 oak and it bent
right back into itself as it came out of the blade. I saw it happen and
shut the saw off when it was a few inches beyond the blade, and that
blade came to a stop like it had disc brakes. I had to pull the kerf
apart to get it off. I made a splitter right then and there out of the
blade for an old combination square, and the only time I take it out is
when I cut dados etc.
An old combo square blade works great, by the way. It's just about
exactly 1/8 thick.
I've been working with tablesaws most of my adult life. the first time
I cut on one with a splitter was a couple of years ago when I added
one to my saw.
it is entirely possible to work safely without one.
a poorly set splitter is more dangerous than no splitter.
a poorly set splitter is less accurate than no splitter.
a well set splitter helps resist kickback.
a well set splitter helps keep the wood from drifting away from the
a splitter that is inconvenient to install and remove will soon be
gathering dust in a dark corner.
a pin in the throat plate works well and is easy to set up and use.
Ok this sounds like a peice of table saw EQ I need to know about...can
anyone send me a link to a page where I can look at one, I want to advoid
kickback when I get a my table saw and anything to help do that I'm all for.
Back in highschool my shop teacher actully demastrated kick backs to us and
I know I sure the heck would not want to be behind that thing (hence why you
stand to the side and not directly behind the wood)
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