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Doug
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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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.

Jerry
 

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Doug
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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Doug
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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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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Doug
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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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.
 

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Doug, Looks like there is enough steel to mount a swing down out feed table using 3 1/2" door hinges mounted to the angle iron and an angled support to the base of the table saw instead of legs to the floor. That way it is always parallel with the top...no matter where you move the saw, and can be folded down when you need more floor space. I made one for my dewalt dw746 saw and its angled support is made from an old walker (medical aide). If your interested I can post photos.
 

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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.
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.

Jerry
 

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I agree with Jerry's well made points. Safety is always of prime concern around the shop and I wouldn't recommend not using the blade guard either. In addition to the Gripper I also have a splitter mounted in the ZC insert.
 

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I agree with Jerry's well made points. Safety is always of prime concern around the shop and I wouldn't recommend not using the blade guard either. In addition to the Gripper I also have a splitter mounted in the ZC insert.
Yeah, that little MJ splitter is extremely important and should always be in place if your saw does not have a riving knife.

Still, the best safety tool is one's brain and knowledge of what causes accidents along with being able to stay very focused and concentrated on any cut.

This is, in my opinion the best advise that that anybody can give, especially to a person just beginning.

Jerry
 

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Doug
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Stage 1 done

I had some time after Church, so I cut the new piece of angle, rounded off the sharp corners so I don't catch myself on them, and gave it a quick coat of white to blend in with the original pieces a bit better.

The arm is very rigid, but I may replace the existing melamine wing with a trapezoidal piece (mocked up in orange) to give it a little more support against twisting. I am also toying with adding a leg under that edge, but not sure.

Now I have to wait until I need to go up north and get a piece of 2 inch flex hose so I can hook up the dust collection.

The outfeed table will probably happen in the next week or so, I am liking the setup Gary posted. I will have to see what time and materials I can scrounge up to fit it in.

So far, it's working pretty well.
 

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Looking good Doug. I have the same 30" JET and am intrigued with the mounting. Definitely food for thought.
 

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Doug
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Scrounging up supplies

I am kind of kicking myself for tossing out the melamine top of an old table I had, it would have been perfect for the outfeed table. I ran over to the Habitat store to see if there was anything I could acquire for that purpose. While there I was surprised to find the wierdest looking 'walker' I had ever seen and grabbed it to copy Gary's design. I also ran into a 35 foot loooong length of swimming pool cleaning hose that has the exact same fitting as is on the Beisemeyer blade guard. This will allow me to snake the hose out of the way and tie it into the DC fitting. (I still have to wait for Amazon to deliver that). I also got a length of black vacuum hose (15 feet) that was my backup plan, but it's too small of a diameter (and has a crack or two in it).

I still was happy with my score, everything for about $35, and it goes to a good purpose and not the landfill. I still need to find a table top, but I have an email out to someone else with a drafting table they want hauled away on Craigslist, so there's hope. I need to add about 2 lbs of counter weight or additional spring pressure to the blade guard to make up for the heavier swimming pool hose, but that's not a big deal.

Running the saw with just the blade guard suction on from the shop vac does an INCREDIBLE job of grabbing the dust. Hopefully the flow will be as good with it tied into the 4 inch line of the dust collector.
 

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Doug, If you mount your table using door hinges as I did, My advise to you is to mount the table first, dado the slots (a little deeper and wider than you miter slots) then work out how you will support it. I thought you might be able to use the walker upside down, but it looks like if you mounted it that way you would have to lift the table...fold out the legs...then you would have to extend the folded out legs to support the table. With mine you lift the table...set the legs onto the edge of the mobile base...then lower the table. The only drawback with my design is when my table is down, I must store the walker legs separately...not a big deal.
 
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I saw a setup for a dust collection system that attached to the top of the blade guard. A rectangular piece was cut out of the blade guard and had a piece of Lexan glued to the blade guard. There was a hose adapter glued to the Lexan. Can't remember where I saw it but it was a neat idea. A search might come up with the DIY collector.
 
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