Like Jerry I've been running without a blade guard for years and the addition of the grippers has certainly been a plus. Having said that, I have often looked at above the table dust collection but to date haven't come up with a reasonable solution that doesn't cost a fortune.
I really appreciate this discussion accordingly.
I probably should not have said what I did in regard to why you need the guard. Anything that can lead to a safer procedure is always a good idea. Like Jon, I have often pondered how to make an ablove the blade DC system. But since I haven't come up with an idea and can't install the one that came with the saw I have had to learn to be careful and form the habits that I expressed in my ealier post.
I have watched Mark Mueller do his demos for the Incra Positioner and since he does not have a guard on his saw, I felt that it would be alright if I learned to be careful.
I did learn the hard way however after a couple of serious kick backs and one instance of getting a finger into the blade just enough to break the skin. These things caused me to stop and pay attention. I was just lucky and should NEVER encourage anyone else to not use a guard.
In regard to drilling the holes in the ZC insert, that works when making cuts that required the ZC insert.
It appers as though you are headed in the right direction Doug, will be watching for what you end up with.
Of course when ripping or cross cutting when the holes are covered up, the holes are of no value. I suppose that a person could just revert to the standard insert with the wide opening for such cuts, I never have and do deal with the dust in my face just like evrery one else. The dust is not a problem, I suppose that I have just gotten used to it and figure that it's just the way it is.
As I recall, there have been posts that sort of suggest that a lot of folks are like myself in regard to not using the guard, but that is no reason to discount the value of having and using one.