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About to buy a Shark Guard - questions

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Forum topic by jamsomito posted 12-28-2018 04:15 PM 683 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


12-28-2018 04:15 PM

I have an old PM 63. I learned woodworking on this saw and have tuned it to cut precisely. No budget for a SawStop, but considering I’m at the highest risk of injury due to being a hobbyist / weekend warrior, I want to do something proactive on the safety front.

I also have a newfound personal war on dust as this saw generates it in biblical proportions. I have a Harbor Freight 2HP DC with Wynn filter that I plan to continue upgrading as budget allows, and a shop vac with HEPA filter and Dust Deputy. Currently, on my saw there is a 2.5” dust port on the shield covering the lower portion of the blade, but there are huge gaps all around and it does effectively nothing with my shop vac. I have plans to rebuild the saw this summer to add a 4” dust port on the bottom, seal it up, get the saw aligned for 45deg bevels, etc, but my understanding is that’s only half the dust issue. So, I’m looking for better dust collection above the blade as well to catch the Fibonacci spiral of dust it throws in all directions.

It seems the Shark Guard is the solution I’m looking for on both of these fronts. Before I pull the trigger I have a couple questions:

1. The stock blade guard is the first thing to go on almost any table saw because it is sub-par quality and generally gets in the way. I’ve heard the Shark Guard is as easy as it gets short of a built-in riving knife. During normal day-to-day use, is it possible to temporarily lock the guard in the “up” position to, say, measure from the fence to the blade teeth, then “unlock” it to move back down for the cut, all with it still attached, or do I need to remove the guard for these adjustments and replace again? I would just hate to spend money on this, find it cumbersome, and skip it occasionally (or altogether), opening me up for a chance for kickback or blade contact when I’m least expecting it. I do understand any guard will require some level of diligence though.

2. With my 2HP HF DC (with some upgrades), what size port should I get on the guard? It seems generally people recommend the 4” port and use a blast gate to reduce suction a tad (Bill Pentz recommends 3”, but hoses of this size are hard to find). I suppose I could run the DC on the bottom port of my saw that I intend to make, then use my shop vac 2.5” port on the top (I would have pity on my neighbors with all three of these tools screaming away though). Or I could jerry rig a 2.5” connection into the trunk of my DC line, but I don’t know if this DC is powerful enough to do much with that. Or, I could run 2×4” lines – one to the saw and one to the guard, both from the DC trunk line, but would this even be effective with my setup? Anyone have experience with this DC and both a saw/guard hookup?

Thanks in advance for any tips.


18 replies so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2721 posts in 2708 days


#1 posted 12-28-2018 04:38 PM

E-mail Lee (Shark Guard) and ask him your questions. He will answer them in short order. He’s a great guy to work with.

I went with 2.5 initially, but switched to 4” with a separate line to the shark guard and a separate 4” line to the bottom of the saw. The 4” to the blade will really keep the dust and chips to a minimum on the blade.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5500 posts in 2853 days


#2 posted 12-28-2018 04:53 PM

I had a Shark on my Unisaw, and it did indeed have a way to rest it high to do the measuring you want, although depending on what fence you have I would just set the fence scale accurately and use it. Anyway, the Shark basket could be lifted up and slid backwards slightly, which positioned it to stay up off the table maybe 3-4”. But my Shark was made for the Bies snap-in splitter mount, and they may be different for other set ups…so the advice to message Lee is a good one. I thought they only came with the 4” port on them now (that’s the one I had) and I wouldn’t want any less. BTW, 3” hose isn’t all that hard to find, Woodworker's Supply and others stock it. Now to the DC. I’m aware that many are happy with the HF DC…but with your newfound personal war on dust I really encourage you to consider a more capable unit….something on the 2 HP+ range with at least a 12” impeller (the HF isn’t really a 2HP motor). Unless you move enough air, all the other stuff doesn’t work so well. One last thing, you mentioned “seal it up” may not be a good idea. When you move lots of air, the replacement air has to come from somewhere…sealing it out only reduces the air being removed; and the chips/dust it carries with it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Mosquito

9725 posts in 2652 days


#3 posted 12-28-2018 05:10 PM

1.) Yes, you tilt the guard up a little, and push it backwards. Then it will rest up about 2-3” off the table with the medium splitter. To put it back down you just pul it back forward and it will fall back to place. Or, you can also flip it up completely, depending on what’s connected to the dust port, and the angle of the blade (when mine’s at 45 degrees I remove the guard, as I usually use the medium height one, and that one’s too short to allow the guard to be used with a 45 degree bevel.

2.) I have the 2-1/2” dust port on mine, to use with a shop vac initially, but later upgraded to a dust collector with 4” line. I’ve had good luck with my 2-1/2” port, connected to my 2HP cyclone dust collector, via a 6” duct reduced to 4”, and then to the 2-1/2”, but do sort of wish I had gone with the 4”, just for more volume of air. Though right now I do not have any below-the-table dust collector

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


#4 posted 12-28-2018 05:13 PM

Yeah I agree on all your points. My post was just getting long already and I didn’t elaborate. I’m aware the HF DC is insufficient, but I decided about a year ago that some DC for a handful of years is better than no DC for a couple years while I saved up for something big. I’m upgrading one part at a time as budget allows until eventually I’ll have my own DIY CV1800. I’ll reuse most of the HF parts for other things as they’re cycled out.

I won’t be totally sealing the saw either. Had planned something like this… Still TBD. https://www.finewoodworking.com/2009/05/01/dust-proof-any-tablesaw

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5500 posts in 2853 days


#5 posted 12-28-2018 05:19 PM



but I decided about a year ago that some DC for a handful of years is better than no DC for a couple years while I saved up for something big.

- jamsomito

No one can disagree with that….good plan.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View eflanders's profile

eflanders

326 posts in 2210 days


#6 posted 12-28-2018 07:06 PM

I have the 4” port on mine an I’m happy I went this way. I run 4” to both the saw dust chute and the shark guard. You will still get some table top dust depending on what thickness material you cut an which knife you use. You get 3 different height knives to maximize dust collection. You’ll understand once you get the system. It’s the best setup going IMO an I’ve tried lots of different ways.

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jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


#7 posted 12-28-2018 07:15 PM

What DC do you have?

I think there’s actually a newer ARK version available for my saw so I’ll have to move it up and down manually with the blade, but it’ll provide a bit better protection being closer to the blade.

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jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


#8 posted 12-28-2018 08:41 PM

I was originally going to go for the new ARK design, but thinking about it a bit more, that would mean every time I change the blade height (a lot), I’d have to take the guard off, take the throat plate out, move the ARK up, adjust the blade height either without the plate, or, add a few steps by replacing the plate, raising the blade, removing the plate, resetting the ARK, replacing the plate, and finally replacing the guard. I’m tired after just writing all of that.

With the splitter design, I don’t need any of that and I can raise/lower the blade within reason without touching the guard. Only replacing the splitter if needed for deep or through cuts. Granted, there is a little more space between the blade and the splitter vs the blade and the ARK.

Thoughts on ARK vs splitter version?

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2721 posts in 2708 days


#9 posted 12-28-2018 08:52 PM

I have the ARK and you are correct about adjusting it, to a point. I leave mine set high enough that most of the cuts I do are thinner. I set the ARK to handle 1-1/2” stock, everything thinner will pass without trouble. It still does a great job with the dust and chips. The only time it gets dusty is if I’m shaving a little off the side of a board. That’s easily handled by making the cut with 1/8” waste.

BTW – it isn’t really that time consuming or difficult to raise/lower the ARK.

The biggest downside is ripping thin strips (<2>) because the of the dust shroud width and the fence. No way to get around that problem with any dust shroud though.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


#10 posted 12-28-2018 09:01 PM

Ah, thanks for that. I never thought about leaving it a tad higher. The videos I saw showed adjusting it for through-cuts when it’s sitting a hair above the blade. I think I’ll go for the ARK still then.

I do a fair amount of thin cuts, but I was already expecting to have to remove the shroud for that. I can still use the splitter/ riving knife though, which is a huge improvement over the none I currently have.

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


#11 posted 12-30-2018 07:25 PM

Question on the splitter mounts on my saw. Looks like 1/4” 20 or 5/16” 18 bracket bolts are the most common on saws that the Shark Guard ARK attaches to. I checked mine with a 1/4” 20 bolt and I couldn’t get it to thread properly – it only went in slightly, and got stuck skewed every time. Both holes. So, at least I know it’s definitely not 5/16”.

What do you think is more possible – bad threads or a smaller thread size? I don’t even know where to start, although it could be a similar size metric thread. Thoughts?

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2590 posts in 934 days


#12 posted 12-30-2018 08:32 PM



I m aware the HF DC is insufficient, but I decided about a year ago that some DC for a handful of years is better than no DC for a couple years while I saved up for something big.

- jamsomito

The bad reviews of the HF DC unit are mostly based on that it is poor in a system where you are hooking it to several machines. I have one, and use it heavily as a single point of attachment to just one tool at a time. I find it to be powerful enough to keep a TS, Jointer, 15” Planer, and or my 19/38 wide belt sander which does create a LOT of dust.

Going to any machine to do a function I hardly ever can walk up to it, and expect it to be ready to go, for whatever work I want it to do. There is always set up to do. I view attaching the DC as just part of that set up.

Using it like that you will see it is completely able to keep up with your TS. The biggest thing you may want to do to make it “healthy” to use it, would be something in a filter, or at least a new bag that keeps up with the really fine dust particles.

Plus I agree that contacting Lee is a great idea.

-- Think safe, be safe

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

431 posts in 786 days


#13 posted 12-30-2018 09:06 PM

Ok thanks. Yeah, I do have a Wynn filter already and it made a big improvement. I also have short runs and only connect to one tool at a time.

I’ll have to ask about my connecting bolts with Lee. I’ve already sent him an email and answered my own question. I’m guessing he’s off for the holidays so I haven’t heard back. I have no issues with that. But I’ll ask about the bolts.

Thanks.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2721 posts in 2708 days


#14 posted 12-31-2018 08:44 PM

I was going to suggest asking Lee but you beat me to it.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View smithfly114's profile

smithfly114

11 posts in 141 days


#15 posted 12-31-2018 09:08 PM



E-mail Lee (Shark Guard) and ask him your questions. He will answer them in short order. He s a great guy to work with.

I went with 2.5 initially, but switched to 4” with a separate line to the shark guard and a separate 4” line to the bottom of the saw. The 4” to the blade will really keep the dust and chips to a minimum on the blade.

- EarlS

I second this, contact Lee and he will get you all sorted out.
I have and use the sharkguard and love it.

-- http://www.youtube.com/c/CCSandSonsWorkshop

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