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First General table saw with a riving knife

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Forum topic by Guswah posted 04-23-2019 03:18 AM 413 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Guswah

34 posts in 829 days


04-23-2019 03:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: riving knife riving knives table saw table saws

Maybe there is no such thing considering that General appears to have changed ownership and that old-world quality has gone out the window—or so they say.

Still, since I haven’t been able to find the answer, I’m wondering which model or models of General table saws were first to appear with factory-included riving knives.

At the very least, which models emerged with provision for an after-market RK.

I’m grateful for any answers.

-- A woodworker's skill is usually proportional to the number of clamps he possesses.


8 replies so far

View Carlos510's profile

Carlos510

270 posts in 734 days


#1 posted 04-23-2019 03:58 AM

Not enough info, model #, blade size, etc.
The 2009 General 350 had a Riving Knife Conversion Kit.
If you want to do a little more investigation this is where to start.

http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=363&tab=3

-- "If time is money, then I need a loan" , http://www.hobbyworkshopprojects.blogspot.com/

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Guswah

34 posts in 829 days


#2 posted 04-23-2019 04:44 AM

No, there is no model number. I’m thinking of making my system a little safer after a few near-misses on my old Unisaw. So to pursue something older with a riving knife, it would be helpful to know when those models came into production.

I like Generals generally, so I’m thinking that I could shop for an older General with either the RK or the capability of upgrading neatly without major surgery.

-- A woodworker's skill is usually proportional to the number of clamps he possesses.

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MrUnix

7359 posts in 2561 days


#3 posted 04-23-2019 04:49 AM

So to pursue something older with a riving knife, it would be helpful to know when those models came into production.
- Guswah

Pretty much all saws you will see, unless very, very old, came from the factory with a splitter. Riving knives, which are just improved splitters, became mandatory in 2009 in the US.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: If your Unisaw is right-tilt, you can use a disappearing splitter which is the next best thing.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Carlos510

270 posts in 734 days


#4 posted 04-23-2019 05:04 AM

MrUnix thats probably why General introduced it. I know that the 59 up to 71 250’s and 350’s didn’t have them.Beyond that Guswah you would have to pick it up. Vintage Machinery, the link I posted has a whole page of General saws.

The Unisaw is legendary but if I had to choose between a Unisaw, a General, and a Powermatic I think the fight would be between the General and the Powermatic, and not just because the General was made in Canada. I think all three are now made in Asia so the point is mute. I don’t know enough about any of them now.

-- "If time is money, then I need a loan" , http://www.hobbyworkshopprojects.blogspot.com/

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2611 posts in 936 days


#5 posted 04-23-2019 09:36 AM

I have and love my Canadian made General 350, (pre RK) not sure if they had a Canadian made saw with RK? I also have it fitted with a Sharkguard, and using the low option for a splitter it’s a really rare day when doing a non through cut causes me an issue at all. So if you buy a Shark, get all 3 heights of splitters offered, and you will be plenty safe. I image you would have to be looking for trouble if you used a Shark, or it’s accessories, and had a safety issue.

Last Fall/Winter I considered getting a newer Griz with an RK, but after looking closely at what I already had, I came to the opinion I was best staying with the saw I knew.

Simply based on a price, versus bang for buck appraisal if it were a General International saw, made in TaiChinese I would buy a Griz offering same choices for less $$$$.

-- Think safe, be safe

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therealSteveN

2611 posts in 936 days


#6 posted 04-23-2019 09:42 AM

The Unisaw is legendary but if I had to choose between a Unisaw, a General, and a Powermatic I think the fight would be between the General and the Powermatic, and not just because the General was made in Canada. I think all three are now made in Asia so the point is mute. I don t know enough about any of them now.

- Carlos510

I’ve owned a TS or 3 since 1964. I have owned/flipped a lot of Uni’s in my day, but the saws I kept for myself to use were always PM 66’s, until I got my current General. I have had several Jet, Grizz tools, a few PM’s beside the 66’s, but I have to say the TaiChinese tools I have owned and kept were all Grizz, and really only in the last 10 years. In the past it was too easy just to pick up an older American made tool. Today between Ole Iron hunters, and folks who never heard, used costs 50% of new, have made buying older American machines a tough market. Too rich for my blood. In most cases you can just go buy a new Grizz for what some crazy thinks an old Uni or some such is worth.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Carlos510

270 posts in 734 days


#7 posted 04-23-2019 02:28 PM

I am with you there Steve many years ago I was getting good deals at auction on older machines that I always dreamed of having but could never afford. Heres a post I did with some of those machines.

https://hobbyworkshopprojects.blogspot.com/2017/04/machines-i-have-rebuilt-repurposed-or.html

Some just required a single phase motor conversion and new paint, others were more involved rebuilds, the Rockwell/Delta lathe for instance got a new single phase motor, the variable speed drive was completely out of service with bent parts and broken cables, I did the rebuild without buying a single part, I even had new bearings to fit the headstock, now runs like new. The big General 20” bandsaw was something I had always wanted, I remember looking through a Toronto dealers catalog some 35 years ago and wishing I could afford the close to $3500 price tag. I changed out the motor on my $450 auction acquisition, repaired a damaged corner on the table, realigned the frame and it was ready to go, it will get a new paint job, but the old one is not that bad yet.

My third table saw is a Delta 2000 series special edition, I am very happy with this saw, love the big cast iron table and nicely ground table extensions, the large extruded aluminum fence system works great, that said I am always keeping an eye out for a older Unisaw, General, or Powermatic, but I think I waited to long for that game, like you said the prices have gotten really stupid in the used market, probably because since production moved overseas they are not making any more of those old classics.

-- "If time is money, then I need a loan" , http://www.hobbyworkshopprojects.blogspot.com/

View Guswah's profile

Guswah

34 posts in 829 days


#8 posted 04-24-2019 01:37 AM



I have and love my Canadian made General 350, (pre RK) not sure if they had a Canadian made saw with RK? I also have it fitted with a Sharkguard …. Last Fall/Winter I considered getting a newer Griz with an RK, but after looking closely at what I already had, I came to the opinion I was best staying with the saw I knew.

Stephen, if you were once prepared to move to a Griz with a RK, then I’m wondering why you didn’t consider putting the General 350RNK retrofit onto your 350 instead of the Shark Guard splitter. As far as I know, that kit is only designed for right-tilting 350s, and maybe that’s what you have.

-- A woodworker's skill is usually proportional to the number of clamps he possesses.

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