4 table saw safety questions - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default 4 table saw safety questions

I know it's probably better to just have 1 question rather than 4 or 5 b/c they won't all get answered or might be too much for folks to read, but I'll see how this works.

I've got an older Delta Shopmaster (about 2002) that comes with a blade insert that leaves a gap of about 3/4 inches around the blade. I've checked online and can't find any zero-clearance ones (well near zero). I feel uncomfortable cutting wood with that much clearance around the blade and already had wood sucked into the hole and explode and other nasty surprises.

The newer Shopmaster ones I saw have oval ends but mine is rectangular in shape.

I made 3 zero clearance myself but they rise slightly above the table b/c of the design of the insert. This in itself poses safety problems.


Second issue. It would be nice if the plate includes a splitter. The splitter that comes attached to the plastic guard is a couple inches too far back to be really safe. Also, when you remove the guard to do raised panels and stuff, the splitter gets removed as well.


Third issue. If I build a sled, do I still need a splitter or does the sled itself act as one? I've seen about 20 sleds people made and only 1 had a splitter. IOW, are they safe without splitters?

Fourth issue. This involves the plastic blade guard. I read a story from a woodworker who was badly injured b/c he removed it and cut a large sheet of plywood. The plywood somehow got kicked back at him, injuring him badly in the groin. I guess the lesson I take from this is to leave the guard on unless you can't (like when doing raised panels)

Fifth issue (I couldn't change topic title from 4 to 5):

I've had the plastic guard down while cutting and have had wood fly back thru the narrow guard and lodge into my finger. It hurt but healed. I started wearing leather gloves but found the danger there is that it makes your fingers more clumsy.

Thanks!

David Vergun

Last edited by SE18; 11-02-2009 at 01:36 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 05:21 PM
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Hi David,

Splitters can be made in your own shop however, Rocklers, Woodcraft and such sell 'em too. Plain down your next ZC insert.

If you use a sled, a splitter is NOT required.

You may want to contact Delta about possibly getting a new guard for your TS.

Ken

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 06:53 PM
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David,
The answers are in blue...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SE18 View Post
I know it's probably better to just have 1 question rather than 4 or 5 b/c they won't all get answered or might be too much for folks to read, but I'll see how this works.

I've got an older Delta Shopmaster (about 2002) that comes with a blade insert that leaves a gap of about 3/4 inches around the blade. I've checked online and can't find any zero-clearance ones (well near zero). I feel uncomfortable cutting wood with that much clearance around the blade and already had wood sucked into the hole and explode and other nasty surprises.

The newer Shopmaster ones I saw have oval ends but mine is rectangular in shape.

I made 3 zero clearance myself but they rise slightly above the table b/c of the design of the insert. This in itself poses safety problems.

1. You should plane the insert material down to the correct thickness or find a material that is already the correct thickness.


Second issue. It would be nice if the plate includes a splitter. The splitter that comes attached to the plastic guard is a couple inches too far back to be really safe. Also, when you remove the guard to do raised panels and stuff, the splitter gets removed as well.

2. There are after market splitters that you might want to check into. I believe you may find one of them at Rockler.

Third issue. If I build a sled, do I still need a splitter or does the sled itself act as one? I've seen about 20 sleds people made and only 1 had a splitter. IOW, are they safe without splitters?

3. Sleds are safe without splitters, but you could still use one with a sled and be even safer.

Fourth issue. This involves the plastic blade guard. I read a story from a woodworker who was badly injured b/c he removed it and cut a large sheet of plywood. The plywood somehow got kicked back at him, injuring him badly in the groin. I guess the lesson I take from this is to leave the guard on unless you can't (like when doing raised panels)

4. The blade guard was put there for safety reasons. If you choose to remove it you are just asking for trouble. There are times when it has to be removed, but it should always be replaced when the operation is completed.

Fifth issue (I couldn't change topic title from 4 to 5):

I've had the plastic guard down while cutting and have had wood fly back thru the narrow guard and lodge into my finger. It hurt but healed. I started wearing leather gloves but found the danger there is that it makes your fingers more clumsy.

5. Gloves are not recommended, but there is a set of gloves with some of the fingers removed so that half your finger is still open. I got mine HERE.

Thanks!

David Vergun
and that's 5 questions, not 4... ;-)

George
Fort Worth, Texas
City where the west begins.

Last edited by curiousgeorge; 11-05-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 07:06 PM
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David are there no anti kickback pawls on your guard? These should prevent wood from coming back at you.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, yes the guard has kickback pawls, but they are of no use when running raised panels thru as the guard (which also contains the splitter, has to be removed).

I neglected to take a photo of the insert so this morning I drew it up in Photoshop. As you can see, there's a huge gap, designed I'm sure to allow the blade to be tilted. In making an insert there are 4 problems. 1. Notice that there's no ledge on the other side of the blade to even support an insert!. 2. Notice that the only screws are to the far side, therefore, there are no places for screws on the other side of the blade! 3. The 2 screws that are supplied are lowered into the insert as the metal bends downward to the screws (sort of like a countersink), making it harder to make an insert. The screwheads are round so therefore the countersink 4. Also, the insert would HAVE to be made of metal b/c just below the insert is a lip that is nearly flush with the top of the saw table, enabling only thin steel to be used. As far as I can tell, there are NO aftermarket inserts made for this table saw and I believe Delta doesn't even make them anymore. The aftermarket insert would need the screws at the far end only, making it extremely unstable, as wood running thru could push an insert down on the far side as there's no ledge.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 05:19 PM
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Hi David,

If I'm looking at your drawing correctly, are you sure that this is not for a dado blade set?

Something else you might think about adding as additional safety precaution to your TS. Look into "Board buddies". These simply attach to your fence and will help prevent kick-back.

Ken

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlin View Post
Hi David,

If I'm looking at your drawing correctly, are you sure that this is not for a dado blade set?

Something else you might think about adding as additional safety precaution to your TS. Look into "Board buddies". These simply attach to your fence and will help prevent kick-back.

Ken,

My Rigid TS came with an insert that has about the same opening and without a ZCI. I had to order a ZCI after I dang near had a mis-hap. I think the orginal insert is to accomodate blade tilt up to 45*. That may be what we see in the drawing and not necessarily a dado slot. Just my opinion of course.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 07:00 PM
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Hi Bob,

Perhaps this is why I think designers should atleast try their hand in the field first before making their design.

BTW, I do have an old craftsmen TS that has a similar plate design. However, the dado plate is almost identical to the drawing. I have no experience with Delta nor Rigid, just the older craftsmen and my Grizzly.

Ken

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Last edited by Hamlin; 11-03-2009 at 07:05 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
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Hi Bob,

Perhaps this is why I think designers should atleast try their hand in the field first before making their design.
I'm sure there is a pun in there somewhere
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2009, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Ken,

My Rigid TS came with an insert that has about the same opening and without a ZCI. I had to order a ZCI after I dang near had a mis-hap. I think the orginal insert is to accomodate blade tilt up to 45*. That may be what we see in the drawing and not necessarily a dado slot. Just my opinion of course.
IMO not a dado insert, as it came with the TC and allows the blade to tilt 45 deg.

I've yet to see a ZCI that is square like mine with just 2 screws off to the side. I'd be curious where I can find one.

I did build one out of rain gutter steel, but it tends to flap down at the side where there is no lip and no screw holes. The design IMO is very dangerous. BTW, I cut the saw channel by slowly raising a metal cutting wheel in the TS. Made a lot of sparks. I'll try to make a video of what it looks like tonight.

I may try to remedy the situation by turning the TS upside down and machining some holes on the underside where some very long bolt could go up and attach to a ZCI on that side. That's the only solution I can think of.

Last edited by SE18; 11-04-2009 at 06:35 AM.
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