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General 350 manual riving knfie

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Review by DalyArcher posted 01-15-2020 07:34 PM 2208 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
General 350 manual riving knfie No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have been running table saws since I was 15, closing in on 25 years! Outside high school, I cannot recall any saw having a fully functioning, proper guard. I thought with my 7 year old spending more time in the shop, I should set a good example. When I was shopping for a new table saw, I did weigh the option of buying something new so I could experience the benefit of a riving knife. I found a great deal on a beast of a saw and just could not pass it up. I found a used 5 hp General 350. This particular model did not have a riving knife but utilized the Merlin splitter, which was actually missing anyway.

I contacted Ron at Shark Guard looking for a splitter package as I knew they had not been able to successfully develop a riving knife for the 350. Ron informed me that in the year or so since my initial research, he had developed a manually adjustable riving knife for the General 350. I ordered a knife and guard for full kerf set up with a small dust port and it arrived on Christmas eve.

Opening the package it was immediately clear that this is a well thought out, beautifully machined piece of kit. The installation required some modification of the saw, purchasing some new cap bolts and a bit of grinding on the back part of the riving knife. I emailed Ron before making any modifications and he replied within a day to troubleshoot and offer suggestions, even offering to alter the knife if I sent it back to him.

The knife is easy to adjust with a quick ratcheting lever, easy to adjust to align with the blade (once you get used to it) and adds a significant measure of safety to the machine. I made some tongue and groove panels the other night and was delighted by the fact that the knife can be adjusted close to the blade and provide for non through cuts.

The guard removes super easily for non through cuts or narrow rips along the fence with two turn knobs and slides out of the mating notches on top of the knife.

I did learn that my exchange-a-blade melamine blade is NOT full kerf and is a couple thou thinner than the riving knife. Guess that means I have to buy a new FS Tool Melamine blade, oh darn ;)

The knife and guard are excellent, the machining is top notch and the customer service is among the best I have experienced. I would recommend the Shark Guard to any one looking to upgrade the safety of their existing saw.




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DalyArcher

147 posts in 1972 days



6 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5474 posts in 1674 days


#1 posted 01-16-2020 01:58 AM

Love the concept of a riving knife that moves with the blade. The fact that you’ve found one that fits your saw makes me green with envy. You are lucky you can liaise with the manufacturer about modifications (if/as required).

As you mentioned that the rk (riving knife) is easily remover/re-attached, would there be any chance of the manufacturer supplying a thin rk... might be cheaper than a new blade and you’ll be able to maintain the versatility of thin kerfs…

Must admit that while I’m a “fan” of the benefits of a dust hood (more on the line of safety than dust collection), often they are more a hindrance than a benefit (I do say that with reservation), mine is attached to my spliter so when I take off the hood, I also removed the spliter… a separate 3rd. party spliter on a shop made ZCI was my compromise.

Still, great example for the nipper.

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

View NormG's profile

NormG

6506 posts in 3857 days


#2 posted 01-19-2020 10:01 PM

Great safety feature, thank you for the input

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View eruby's profile

eruby

97 posts in 3627 days


#3 posted 04-22-2020 08:24 PM

Wanted to fully concur with this review. I finally got around to setting up my table saw again after moving and upgraded the guard from stock to this for my Delta 36-979. The part that takes getting used to is adjusting the height of the knife manually anytime I need to change the blade height. The knife does not travel up and down with the blade. Customer service was top notch.
They do offer separate knives and I am considering getting a thin kerf knife so I can use the setup with my thin kerf blade.

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View Shark_Guard's profile

Shark_Guard

3 posts in 126 days


#4 posted 05-23-2020 01:54 AM

Thanks for the kind words guys. Let me know if you all need a thinner knife and we can make it happen. With all of the covid shutdown we got slammed with emails and calls. So much so that some emails didn’t go through I am finding out, and even the phone system failed us numerous times. To say the least, communication issues have been tough the last few months but I think it is all sorted out. If anyone doesn’t get a speedy reply, look on the website and text me at that number. If I’m vertical and have a signal I’ll answer right away. Lee and I have toiled over the past few decades to build a quality product that can help these old saws be safe and collect the dust. We had our own kickbacks and dust issues at one time as well. This was built out of necessity. I haven’t looked at the reviews in the past few months but I’m glad I did. Totally uplifting. Our customers’ feedback is what helps us improve. Thanks so much for supporting our family.

Ron

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Shark_Guard

3 posts in 126 days


#5 posted 05-23-2020 02:06 AM

Oh and I am envious of the 350 by the way. If I could find one locally I would buy it in a heartbeat. The closest one I have found to tinker with is in Atlanta over 300 miles away. They are very rare on the gulf coast to say the least. The General 350, Older Delta Unisaw, and Powermatic 66 are by far the most well built and simplest machines out there today and none are being produced anymore which is a shame.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6276 posts in 1427 days


#6 posted 08-13-2020 11:30 PM

Insane. I am here every day, and didn’t see this, and didn’t know a RK had been made for the 350. I had Lee, bless his soul, make me a Shark for it back when I got it, and back then there wasn’t a RK, save Bob Ross’s RK, bless Bob’s soul as well. I’ll have to get Ron to making an RK for me.

Belated thanks DalyArcher for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

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