Modifying a Biesemeyer overarm blade guard - Router Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default Modifying a Biesemeyer overarm blade guard

I hate the stock blade guard that came with my saw. It's a pain to use, and a good portion of the time it is off of the saw.

There you have it, I admit it, I sometimes use the saw without the guard.

A beautiful Biesemeyer overarm blade guard came up for sale the day before I went back to sea last time, and the price was too good to pass up. I figured I would be able to modify it somehow to fit my saw (afterall, it has a beisemeyer T square fence on it), and today was the first day I had to look at it.

The guard was designed to fit a 50 inch saw, unfortunately I have a saw that is a little over 30 inches. This means that when the blade guard is in the 'stowed' position, it is still 6 inches longer than I need. This leaves me with 2 obvious options to decide between, and I am curious as to what others might think.

Option 1 is to extend the back rail of my fence an extra 14 inches. This would allow a piece of plywood to fit between the blade and the vertical support. I think I could accomplish this by mounting piece of angle iron on the underside of the back rail and bolt the guard on top. The drawback of this is that my saw is now not as moveable around the shop as it is now.

Option 2 is to cut the tube that supports the head so that it can slide further into the support. The drawback to this is that I would have less room to the right of the blade, but still more than my fence would allow. If I had to, I could remove it if I needed some extra room for cross cuts, but I could also work around that with other tools.

Another drawback is the support tube would be closer to the blade, even if I removed the entire head. I would still be able to work with tall pieces, but only 15 inches from the blade. I don't think I've ever really encountered a time when I've needed that much room in the past.

Just curious to see if anyone has any thoughts I might not have thought of, or past experience.
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Doug
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 07:02 PM
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My first thought has to do with the question, why do you need the guard in the first place.
I probably will hear howls of "what in the H are you suggesting Jerry"?

When I added the Incra fence to my saw, the guard could not be attached in the manner that it had been designed to use. I just made the decision to train myself to be careful and so far I have done so. The MJ Gripper has turned out to be a real good safety tool for me by the way.

So, my question is this, how many of the peple that read Doug's thread and my post use the gauad and how many do not. I am pretty sure that this subject has been visited several times before.

I just never give it a thought any more, but I have learned to stop before making any cut on the TS and think, I sort of go through a check list of what needs to be done and then concentrate on the cut until has been completed. Keeping one's mind on the issue at hand and having learned what can cause an accident is of great value of course.

So, with that said Doug, I have no suggestions that would be of any help to you, but I assure that I will be watching to see what you finally do to remedy your challenge, I am pretty sure that you will come up with a good solution, either on your own or from a suggestion from one of our many skilled and knowledgeable members.

Jerry
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 09:58 PM
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I am looking at the same idea Doug but was not aware of the Biesemeyer setup. My idea was to get a length of 2.5" muffler pipe and get a friend of my son who has a bender to bend it to the configuration I need. I also want to weld a bracket on it to remount the On/Off switch so that when I load a sheet of plywood onto the saw that I don't need a broomstick to start the saw with. The 2.5" pipe matches the size of vac hose available.

THEO- the reason for doing this is that the saw throws just as much sawdust up in the air as it does below the table and most of it winds up in my face, something I want to change.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 10:22 PM
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I found that drilling a series of half inch holes in my zc insert along each side of the slot that the blades extends through allows my DC to take care of most of the dust that is norally trrown up from the top of the table. it's not perfect seems to be step in the right direction.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Jerry,

I am interested in doing this for both the safety and dust collection. I paid almost nothing for this, so if the experiment fails I won't be heartbroken.

I do need to make sure the example of shop safety matches what I am teaching those around me, so if I can have a functional guard in place then I need to.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 08:59 AM
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Doug, I would go for option #1, But I would possibly re-make the rear rail so it is the additional 14" needed to mount it without modification.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
Doug, I would go for option #1, But I would possibly re-make the rear rail so it is the additional 14" needed to mount it without modification.
Gary,

That is actually a tempting option. The rear rail is essentially just a heavy angle iron piece, I could match the holes for the extension wings and add the length. That might make my out feed table fit better. I may have to head over to the scrap yard and see what's available. If it doesn't work out, I can put the old piece back on.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 10:43 AM
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I have the same saw, so I'm very interested in how this discussion and installation progresses.

FWIW, I find the saw under-powered for my use (8/4 Hard Maple rips are a real challenge). I'm now torn between investing more in the saw with secondary problems like above-the-table dust collection and saving my nickels to get a 3hp Saw Stop with improved dust collection next year.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
Doug, I would go for option #1, But I would possibly re-make the rear rail so it is the additional 14" needed to mount it without modification.
Gary,

I was looking to see what time the scrapyard opened, then it hit me that I have a chunk of angle iron in the pile that I salvaged from a store fixture. The fixture was red oak ply and trimmed in red oak, and the angle supported the trim. It was 3 inch instead of 2 inch, but I think it will work (based manly on the price...) I did have to grind off a bunch of construction adhesive and clean off some cobwebs.

The one good thing about the legs of the angle being longer, is I was able to line up the old piece on top of the new and transfer the holes. Since the angle was too long for me to use on the drill press without a ton of effort to support it, I drilled it outside by hand. It took a bit, but drilled pretty easy. I left it long so that I could dry fit it in place and see what worked best.

After the holes were drilled and deburred, I mounted the rail on the saw. I had to remove the post that supported the blade guard, as it would hit the lower rail. I transferred a couple of holes that were in the saw but not being used by the original rail, and will drill those later.

I clamped the support tube to the new rail, and found that I was now about 8 inches too long. I marked where I need to cut, and will go after it either tomorrow or Monday. I will have to shim up the support tube, as the inside of this new angle has a larger fillet than the original. At least the next 4-6 holes for that will only be 1/4 inch instead of 5/16ths.

I have always wanted a better outfeed arrangement, I may keep the original (aka wobbly) table off for now and come up with something a little sturdier. (I will keep all of the original parts in case I need to remediate someday)

Next step is cutting to final length, safe ending all corners, and a quick shot of paint to keep the corrosion down. Hopefully I can finish in the next few days.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 01:00 AM
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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.

Jon
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