For some reason, I'm not seeing any of your posts unless they're included in
other people's comments. Honest - I don't have you kf'd. I just went out
to Google and saw a bunch of your posts so here's a couple of comments in
reply to questions or points you raised...
At one point I said...
And then you said...
To which I say...
Correct - without safety devices like splitters and blade guards. Like I
early on in this discussion, my saws never had them. No - I do not insist
these devices. They wouldn't get any work done if I did. They do however
to watch for the things that cause kickback etc. They know how to use the
The tools are still dangerous, but they know how to use them and they
caution. Beyond that I can't guarntee no accidents. The best I can do is
and instill good practices. Fortunately, they follow those.
Then, at another point you said...
"Leon" wrote in message
Well, nothing protects you from harm all of the time. I do advocate
practiced awareness over blind reliance on "safety" devices though. As I've
said repeatedly, I'd never suggest someone should not use a splitter, or a
any other device. In fact, I've never said I would never use one. I'm
something that will actually work on a saw and I look into these frequently.
what I've seen though is more gadgety than useful. What I do think is
is exactly what I referenced before - blind reliance on these things. A
breeds statements like "not using a splitter is just stupid". Statements
like that only
reflect that the speaker does not understand much at all about the way table
have been used for decades, but is suddenly an expert because of what he
in a newsgroup. That type of person is more dangerous than my 10" saw with
guard. You've got to admit - those comments are frequent here.
Our positions are not so very far apart. Mine is that one should invest in
one's environment. Yours does not deny this. We both question the general
of common sense.
I can't understand why? ... must be the manifestation of that paranoia of
mine from getting old(er). ;)
I am glad that you recognize that, Mike ... and I respect both your actions
with regard to the splitters and the reasons for that action. You've
obviously given the issue some thought.
I never once advocated that any answer to my question would necessarily be
correct, just that honestly answering it would get at the underlying reason
of why folks either use, or do not use, a device like a splitter.
Some folks obviously don't like to look that deep into the reasons for what
they do, or worse, advocate what other's do.
great post! The point about keeping the wood ON the saw and AGAINST
the fence is one of the main reasons I remove the splitter most of the
time. I get much more leverage by having the blade just above the
workpiece so I can have a push block that rides over the blade if
necessary for narrow cuts rather than struggling with how to push
through that last little bit of projectile that got hung up between
the blade and the fence. For wider cuts I use roller hold downs that
are anti-kickback devices and these work well if the blade isn't
lifting the workpiece and twisting it out of the grip of the roller,
again, the long push block helps this situation. Both of these
situations are worsened by the commercial splitter/blade guard.
If wood is going to close down it will start closing down immediately
after it leaves the blade and is going to pinch the blade anyway even
with a splitter. The worse case scenario is if the wood closes down
enough to hit the leading edge of the splitter that is several inches
behind the blade. It seems to me that a splitter, to be useful on the
gnarly wood that tends to close down quickly, is only useful if the
splitter is slightly less than the thickness of the cut AND is
positioned immediately behind the blade. A splitter that meets this
requirement would need to be repositioned based on the blade height -
a very complicated mechanism and one that is either unreliable or very
I do use the splitter/guard for some cuts. When I am cutting wood
that is splintery (like plywood) or lots of dust, like MDF, then I use
the guard to keep the little 'bits' from flying all over the place. I
also use it when I am ripping long boards (where I am positioned
relatively far from the saw) simply because I am not comfortable to
have the blade running 'free' when I am not near enough to prevent
something from striking it - I'll admit that this might be less
logical but it reduces my fear, which, as you aptly point out, is
debilitating. But, again, I am using it as a guard, not a splitter in
For me, the best safety devices, besides the brain, are the
anti-kickback rollers, the push block, and featherboard.
No matter how you slice it (no excuse for the pun) a TS is a dangerous
piece of equipment that requires careful and knowledgeable practices
to use it safely. Reliance on safety devices that don't improve
safety but provide over confidence is more risky IMO.
Also, it's a good idea to learn to use the tablesaw drunk. That way,
when you're sober, it feels no more dangerous than watching
(remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
I use the Delta Removeable splitter that comes with the Overarm Guard,
orderable as a service part for less than $30. I've had several
experiences that remind me to put it in, whenever I'm done with the
crosscut sleds. I also seem to get better results on the materials I use.
One evening last week, while watching an older NYW on the TiVo, my eldest
son was giving me unmitigated crap for 'instructing Norm on technique',
while he built some project or another.
Do things the way that makes you comfortable. Be willing to learn from
others. Smile as you enter, and leave, your workspace.
On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 08:42:26 -0500, "Woodchuck"
My impression was that hardly anyone in the USA used them. Here in
Europe we're beyond splitters and into riving knives.
My own saw just has several inserts. Some have splitters, some are
short ones, some are penetrating splitters with a guard on top.
I don't think that's true ... I know a number of "pro" woodworkers/cabinet
makers of many years experience and it may surprise you to find that a good
many of them use splitters on their cabinet saws in the shop. And just about
everyone I know with a cabinet saw in their garage/ship uses one.
Where I rarely see a splitter is on a contractor's saws on a job site.
Bought my TS about 16 years ago, and removed the splitter after about a
month or so. Felt it was more hinderance than help - and besides, Norm
never uses one!
If I see the wood closing up even slightly, I power the saw down and
put a little wedge or 10 penny on the cut side. This happens a few
times a year, but I don't use it every day like a pro.
Now, after disclosing this, I will likely get "beaned" on my next cut.
I was going to post about how it happens to me more than half the time, but
then I remembered that I got a deal on a load of roughcut red oak tubafors,
which is what I've been using to build the workbench stand and frame some
shop stations. Now that I think about it, just about all the pieces that
immediately bent back in towards the blade were from that batch. That's
what made me so glad to have that homemade splitter. Perhaps it won't
happen so often with the next batch.
I have never seen a splitter/guard on David Marks TS either.
Here's a proposition. I have an older Rockwell contractor special 1 1/2
hp TS. It is used quite a bit and I don't use a splitter or a blade guard.
This may sound crazy to some, but I'm perfectly comfortable running it that
way. On rare occasions, I have cut a board that gets wild and either wants
to spread apart or close together and pinch the blade. Whenever a board has
gotten squirelly, I have been able to put firm pressure against the board
and keep it there, the motor will bog down and i can shut the saw off and
hold it there until the blade stops. HOWEVER, if the saw had, say 3 hp, I
don't think this would be safe, as the motor wouldn't bog down as easily.
In this case, I think a splitter would definitely be warranted. At work, I
use a portable TS regularly. Same situation here-no splitter as it was
integrated into the worthless guard. It's not unusual for construction
lumber to be "case hardened" and get crazy when ripping. That saw will bog
down real easy and will trip the breaker.
That said, and keep in mind I use a TS on a regular basis, I don't feel
a splitter is necessary on lower hp saws. Higher hp saws definitely. BUT,
keep in mind the TS is probably the most dangerous tool in the shop. If you
are somewhat skittish running your saw by all means, get a splitter and use
your guard. Ultimately, it's your fingers, and how comfortable you are
having them around a spinning blade. --dave
Just the opposite here. My TS has older 50" vega fence that has very slight
concave over the legnth. Just enough to make glue joints have a noticeable
gap. Light pass over jointer fixes this. In fact, i've been toying with
the idea of running my TS fence through the jointer at super light setting
to fix the fence problem. Sounds crazy, but may work. I'm just waiting
until the jointer blades are close to needing replaced to do the
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