Welcome to Woodworker’s Safety Week 2009 where we will start by taking a look at one of the most dangerous tools in the shop – the table saw. All saws come with two basic pieces of safety equipment – a splitter or riving knife which keeps the wood being cut from closing behind the blade or being accidentally pushed into the back of the blade should you make an error in feeding and pull the board away from the rip fence.
Manufacturers also include a blade guard, which helps to prevent your hand from hitting the spinning blade. The blade guard also deflects sawdust and wood chips away from you, and many models also feature a sawdust collection port which can be hooked up to a dust collector.
While the stock blade guards and splitters or riving knives are effective, there are many after market models out there which can offer even greater performance.
So, this week’s question – when you use your table saw for typical cuts (NOT dado or non-through cutting), what is the most frequently seen set up on your saw? Do you use stock equipment, after market stuff or nothing at all?
3 thoughts on “Quick Poll”
I think that you should have added an “other” category. For crosscuts, I use the stock riving knife and blade guard. For rips, I use the riving knife and a pair of Grippits™.
Great poll Tom.
And speaking of splitters, if anyone out there wants a good, cheap, tablesaw safety solution, check out this video about making a custom tablesaw throatplate with a shopmade splitter:
Happy safety week everyone and I look forward to reading more of your posts this week Tom!
I don’t use the stock splitter/blade guard on my Ridgid Contractor saw because it is of poor design which I feel actually makes me less safe. The guard attaches to the back of saw and wraps around the top resulting in a great deal of play. I’ve measured 1 to 2 inches on the leading edge of the blade guard.
Because of this excess play, I’ve actually had the blade guard make contact with the side of the blade, resulting in a shower of plastic shards. Fortunately I was wearing eye protection.
I use the safety features on my other tools, just not the table saw.