Here are a few pictures of the overhead guard on my JET contractor's saw.
This version mounts to the ceiling straight up from the blade - it's fairly
recent, but I think I'm gonna like it.
First a shot looking at the back of the saw:
Then a closer look:
The guard itself:
The guard is 3/8" polycarbonate (Lexan, I think, but maybe a different
brand) solvent-welded. The shape is like Gordon Sampson's, but a little
longer because I wanted to "capture" the Biesemeyer splitter. The support is
3" and 4" Schedule 40 PVC. The height adjustment is just a 3->4" adapter
that allows the lower 3" section to slide up into the upper 4" section. The
3" section is solvent welded to a 3/4" square of PVC, which is then bolted
to the guard itself. There is a branch out that will eventually connect to
the dust collector, and then a closet flange lag-bolted to a stringer on the
Total cost, including a $20 piece of polycarbonate from eBay, was about $40.
I initially tried an upright PVC post at the far end of the extension table
with an arm running the length of the table. Didn't work; way too much
flex/sag in the six foot horizontal length of four inch Schedule 40. This
one seems like a better design. Hope this gives you all some ideas!
Well this confornts the question, does one need to have some pivot
mechanism of some sort -- as every other such guard I have seen has? As I
sat here thinking about it, I think perhaps not. Set the right height
using your high-tech height-setting mechanism to clear whatever stock you
will be cutting and then saw away. I'll be interested to see others'
comments. -- Igor
One way to look at the function of the blade guard is that the guard should
not be free to ride up over the wood being cut, but should stay down to hold
down the wood and keep your fingers from following the wood under the guard
and into the blade. This design does that; when it's tightened down, I can't
raise it with a prybar.
That's one way of thinking about it but in normal use the
types that "ride up over the wood" will be there where your
fingers contact the guard first thus sending a signal to the
brain that indicates back to the hand and arm that they
shouldn't go there. Under normal use (in a non-drugged
state) this system runs fairly flawless.
The problem I see with the use of the guard as a hold down
is we (1) have a tendency to not want to be constantly
adjusting things. Eventually a person could find themselves
setting it for an optimum height and leaving it there thus
foregoing some safety aspects as well as lessening the
effectiveness as a collector of dust particulates.
As always, Your Mileage May Vary.
On the other hand, I do like the fixed down tube (my saw
(1) We might just be me but from the early data collected
there are a lot of we around.
UA100, who wishes Lewis would clean his damn shop or at
least the top of his saw (with a nod and a wink to Mark &
Me, too! Actually, I needed toget the saw positioned in its
preferred-but-not-permanent spot relative to the garage door, etc. Now I can
figure out where the jointer, planer, and drill press go. Once I get them
set, a major cleaning will ensue. Well, that's the plan, anyway...
Lewis -- Even in close-up, I cannot quite figure out what that dark piece
of plastic is that the 3" PVC is connected to and how it is connected. My
best hunch is that that piece has a hole cut in it and that the pipe is
somehow glued to it -- to then connect the pipe to the guard. Could you
provide some more details aboyt that? What is that square made from and
how is the pipe connected to the square -- solvent/glue? TIA. -- Igor
That square of gray plastic is 3/4" PVC. It has a round hole cut in the
center that is exactly the outside diameter of the 3" PVC pipe. The PVC pipe
is glued into this square, which is then bolted to the polycarbonate guard.
The polycarbonate is only 3/8" and I didn't think that was enough surface to
glue to, so I added that block of 3/4" PVC.
Lewis, very nice looking guard. I have been pondering building an
overhead guard for my saw for a while now and really like your design.
There was a similar one in the Methods of Work section of FWW a while
back that looks interesting but I think yours is a bit better (and I
have the same "problem" of needing to capture the Biesemeyer splitter).
Couple of question for you though if you could spare the time to
answer. The PVC tubing is quite large - in use, does it get in the way
of you seeing your work piece? How close can you get your rip fence to
the blade before the guard has to be raised out of the way? Although
the problem does not present for you as you have your saw on a really
nice looking mobil base (shop made?), those of us with our saw fixed in
one position will likely need to make it so the whole works can be
moved out of the way to do cuts on any stock of appreciable length
standing on end - as with cutting tennons with a jig.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.