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Current thoughts on table saw splitters

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Forum topic by tvrgeek posted 02-06-2020 11:46 PM 1138 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tvrgeek

1054 posts in 2526 days


02-06-2020 11:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

Searched these and other forums and find nothing but ads for the little plastic jobs ( been there, done that, tossed them) or products long obsolete. I have an old Ridgid so the splitter is unuseable. Not buying a new saw just to get a riving knife.

So, one can cut a slot is each of their plates and install an aluminum or plastic fin filed to some magic tolerance, or I saw pictures of an obsolete pin on an eccentric. I like that idea as I can see how to make it adjustable in height. What I was wondering, is there some guidance on clearance, if it should be dead center or an thou to one side or the other? I can see how a tiny offset to hold to the fence might be an advantage. (my fence is better than a thou strait so I can use it on either side. )

So, what are the current thoughts on adding a useable splitter to an old saw?
Guidance on width
Guidance on offset if any
Guidance on length. I have seen from a pin to a long fin.
If one did get hung up and it did try to lift, does that imply your plates should be firmly attached? Mine have always been lose.


33 replies so far

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MrUnix

8230 posts in 3075 days


#1 posted 02-06-2020 11:51 PM

I have an old Ridgid so the splitter is unuseable.

Why is it unusable?

Cheers,
Brad

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

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pottz

11624 posts in 1861 days


#2 posted 02-07-2020 12:09 AM

i assume your talking about the micro jig splitter (little plastic jobs) ive had those on my saw for several years now and they work great,as long as there set up properly.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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tvrgeek

1054 posts in 2526 days


#3 posted 02-07-2020 12:20 AM

Too flexible, to hard to line up, too tall, too far away, one size fits all ( too thin) does not work with my outfeed table. Basically everything wrong including the total garbage guard it came with. I enclosed it totally so virtually no dust and it performs very well. So no upgrade to a full cabinet this year. I have been running with nothing for about 10 years, but as I am fixing up things in my new shop and have a lot of projects saved up ( just retired) , trying to upgrade everything I can.

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tvrgeek

1054 posts in 2526 days


#4 posted 02-07-2020 12:23 AM

Yes the micro jig. All I wound up with was holes in several plates in the wrong place. Seems success is about 50-50 from others I have talked to.

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sansoo22

1156 posts in 531 days


#5 posted 02-07-2020 12:32 AM

Only guidance I can offer is from my DeWalt manual. Riving knife width is 0.087” (2.2 mm) minimum kerf width is 0.094” (2.4 mm) with max blade body width of 0.067” (1.5 mm). You probably don’t need the metric but that’s verbatim from the manual. Near as I can tell riving knife is dead center behind the blade.

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PaulDoug

2394 posts in 2580 days


#6 posted 02-07-2020 01:27 AM

After a serious kickback, and almost severing tendons in the back of my hand,,, I went with Shark Guard and splitters on my Steel City saw. I love them and the guard. Should have purchased them years ago. They cost less than what I had to pay for the emergency room visit after my insurance paid….!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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BattleRidge

150 posts in 1092 days


#7 posted 02-07-2020 03:09 AM

You might consider creating a zero clearance insert for your table saw with a piece of hardwood glued in place as a splitter. You can also make a couple of different heights to match your most common wood cutting thicknesses. The ZCI will also help limit chipping while cutting. James Hamilton (Stumpy Nubs) has a video that is worth checking out. I’ve made a couple throat plates using the hot glue method and they turned out great (I used 1/2” Baltic Birch in lieu of 3/4” plywood).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzdF-bLXc8Q

-- ~Art~

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Woodknack

13503 posts in 3256 days


#8 posted 02-07-2020 08:27 AM

I removed the splitter 20 years ago and put it back on once until I needed to cut a groove, it came off again and stayed off. It means I have to be more careful and stop if I feel any binding but I’ve developed strategies to work around it. One way is cut halfway through, flip and cut all the way through. The kerf pinches after the first cut and the second cut widens it. It shouldn’t work but it does. Also my saw is 1.5hp which is manageable if a board binds. Lastly never stand behind the board when ripping, always stand to the side, and never put anything inline with the blade you want in one piece.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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tvrgeek

1054 posts in 2526 days


#9 posted 02-07-2020 11:25 AM

Systems like the Shark Guard do not work on the Ridgid ( Emerson/Craftsman) type saw. There is no boss to mount it to. I asked them many years ago. Overhead guard only which is not my problem.

Yes, I use zero clearance inserts. A pile of them. I currently have one with a small fin that fits my thin kerf blades in it but was looking to see if there are better ideas.

The Dewalt specs help. Clearly for a thin kerf blade. (.091 or so) If I remember back, the MJ big features were different thickness and different offsets. So by their thinking, centered is not optimal. I could be miss-remembering and it could be for different blades.

Thinking about it, I only use my .124 blade for box and cheek cuts where a splitter would be in the way anyway. Any bevels I cut are usually in a jig, so maybe one insert set up for a thin blade is all I need. I kind of like the pin on an eccentric idea but as it is no longer on the market, makes me wonder. Both the woodworking stores in the area no longer carry the MJ, so that makes me wonder too. Maybe all the old saws already either have something or run without?

I guess not much new.

Of course, even a new Powermatic is cheaper than a trip to the ER.

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EarlS

3999 posts in 3224 days


#10 posted 02-07-2020 12:32 PM

I would check with the folks at Sharkguard again. They are very helpful and willing to adapt their splitters to work on virtually any TS.

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

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tvrgeek

1054 posts in 2526 days


#11 posted 02-07-2020 01:14 PM

Yea, I will contact them. Not much help on their WEB. All about their guards.

Looking at the MJ instructions, seems they suggest a bias to hold against the fence, so their clearance in the slot is to the outside, tight inside with about 10 thou clearance.

I was looking at my old Leecraft throat plate. Seems over the years it has “migrated” a bit wider, Might fill it with some JB Weld and start over. Ordered a HDP cutting board to see if it makes a better insert material. Cheaper than even decent 5-ply.

I can envision making a sturdier lower throat plate rigidly mounted with a steel block where I can mount a splitter and use shims to get perfect offset. Snugness of fit would be critical. Kind of like the eccentric pin idea, but like many things, intuitive does not always work out in practice. One could use drill bits to get a very precise diameter.

Yes, I overthink things. My other hobby is rebuilding little British cars where second guessing and solving a lot of small problems is SOP.

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HokieKen

15148 posts in 2015 days


#12 posted 02-07-2020 04:51 PM

I insert splitters into my throat plates. I make them them slightly narrower than the width of the blade and align them with the fence side of the kerf. I have an insert for each size blade. My splitters are just pieces of hardwood. Basically the same as the micro jig but with a wood splitter instead of plastic.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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MrRon

5940 posts in 4120 days


#13 posted 02-07-2020 06:22 PM

All the years I have been doing woodworking (about 50), I have never used a splitter. In all that time, I can only recall experiencing one or maybe 2 kickbacks. I don’t stand directly in line with the rip alley and I use positive pressure on the work. As long as I keep the work pressed firmly down to the table and making sure the fence is properly aligned, I don’t fear what I am doing. I think most kickbacks happen because the person is not keeping firm pressure on the work. Instead they apply light pressure to the work being fed into the blade.

Try feeding a piece of wood into the blade and stop feeding when half way through and remove your hand from the work and see what happens. Kickback will happen.

One of the most dangerous cuts you can make is ripping a 2×4. As the cut is progressing, internal stresses in the board are released and bad things can happen. That is the only time I wish I had a splitter. I do have an anti kickback device on my RAS and I have ripped 2×4’s and other dimensional lumber without a kickback.

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fivecodys

1657 posts in 2513 days


#14 posted 02-07-2020 06:36 PM


After a serious kickback, and almost severing tendons in the back of my hand,,, I went with Shark Guard and splitters on my Steel City saw. I love them and the guard. Should have purchased them years ago. They cost less than what I had to pay for the emergency room visit after my insurance paid….!

- PaulDoug

Big fan of the SharkGuard

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

8230 posts in 3075 days


#15 posted 02-07-2020 06:48 PM

One of the most dangerous cuts you can make is ripping a 2×4. As the cut is progressing, internal stresses in the board are released and bad things can happen.
- MrRon

I can remember when I first got into woodworking, I had an old $80 Ohio Forge POS portable saw that I used and abused. For ripping 2x’s, I would sit it on the floor of the garage and start feeding the 2x into it from the opposite end. About half way through, I would basically be chasing the saw around the garage trying to keep it cutting. No guard, no splitter, just me and the machine in a one on one death match :)

That was over 30 years ago, so I guess I won!

Cheers,
Brad

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

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