Stupid Ideas/Buys of the past (so far)... #21: Splitting headache in splitter setup…

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Blog entry by LittleBlackDuck posted 02-29-2020 03:03 AM 1316 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Custom builds for the not so weight conscious. Part 21 of Stupid Ideas/Buys of the past (so far)... series Part 22: Super Hoarding fettish.... »

Boys and Girls,

We all like to brag about our achievements and sweep our failures under the carpet… well, my carpet has run out of space so I’ve decided to group my failures and mistakes under Stupid Ideas/Buys of the past (so far)….

To be fair to any product(s) mentioned, this is not a review per-se, but my impression, be it through bad judgement, misuse or just too much cheap vino.

When I bought my contractor’s tablesaw all those many years ago, it came with a detachable blade guard that was mounted to the tablesaw by what was referred to as a riving-knife/splitter.

The first thing I noticed was that the cheap Anti-Kickback pawls fitted to the blade guard had a propensity to mar the hell out of softwood and while new, leave a nice little black paint streak on hardwood. Needless to say it was tied back and never got the opportunity to wear off the black paint.
I also found that I had the need to make far too many non through cuts so the blade guard was off more times than on… which even with my newbie forehead tattoo, made me realise that this was not the most optimum practice.

This saw being my first major “real tool” purchase (used to have the Triton Work Centre) I wasn’t too imaginative for customisation… and back then the brain hadn’t been slowed down by too much alcohol so my creative juices (without SketchUP… oh horror!) cut in.

The blade guard was mounted to the tablesaw by the Splitter that had elongated bolt holes to permit adjustability in accordance with blade kerfs which made “perfect alignment” far from perfect.

It had to be configured/adjusted using squares and whatever alignment tool you had in the workshop.

I came up with this mounting templated

It was slipped against the blade

and held in place to the tablesaw by mag-switches,

The splitter was then pushed against the upright part of the jig

and held in place by more mag-switches,

Then I had to quickly move around the back and tighten the bolts to hold the splitter in place and pray like hell that it doesn’t get bumped out of place through the elongated retaining bolt holes… an act that was far too often exercised accidentally (and maybe deliberately through several fits of rage).

Then I did something far out of left field and performed that blasphemous act of reading… I stumbled across the MJ Splitter on the Internet.
Not being available in Australia, I ordered from the States and when it eventually arrived proceeded to install it.

The rest is history as I have never looked back (had a sore neck) and my original splitter has probably been morphed into a beer can ring-pull through the metal recycling process.

The Stupidity was not in removing the original splitter/riving or in tying back the kickback pawls… was not even in my inaptitude to customise with a more practical solution. It was in making up a jig (though it was practical) that never really got used... and it cost me a fortune buying 4 new and expensive mag-switches that were at the time, a new addition to my workshop extravagance…

PS. I’d like to provide a link to my uses of the MJ Splitter, however, to find the links I’d have to read which is an activity I’d prefer not to subject you to me complaining about.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

5 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile


4165 posts in 3625 days

#1 posted 03-01-2020 02:50 PM

Interesting.never heard of themj splitter. See if i can find it

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View JCinVA's profile


245 posts in 2173 days

#2 posted 03-02-2020 07:33 AM

I have the same style of factory guard on my Delta and agree it has issues. I do like the MJ splitter setup though.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


8704 posts in 2163 days

#3 posted 03-02-2020 08:30 AM

... I do like the MJ splitter setup though.
- JCinVA

Unfortunately the MJ doesn’t tilt JC’, however, it’s better than continually fitting the splitter, which I eventually ceased… but then again I usually use a sled for bevel cuts.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View splintergroup's profile


6391 posts in 2565 days

#4 posted 03-02-2020 08:33 PM

Yeah, I still have my MJ in the package, never got a-round-tuit.

Maybe next weekend will try installing the bugger!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


8704 posts in 2163 days

#5 posted 03-02-2020 11:20 PM

... never got a-round-tuit….
- splintergroup

Now you have one… no more excuses.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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