Riving Knife (aftermarket) - for old Delta 34-600

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Forum topic by skess posted 01-18-2022 08:36 PM 456 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 123 days

01-18-2022 08:36 PM

Hi guys,
I posted about the bearings on my 34-600 in another topic. I figured I would make a separate thread here since this is a safety concern.

I’m new to table saws and I’ve been reading that you should use a riving knife or a splitter to help prevent kick back. Well, this saw didn’t come with one. I was thinking if purchasing an aftermarket one. What do you guys think? It’s a 3/4 HP 9” saw. Should I look into getting one? Or, is it unnecessary if I’m very careful?
Thanks, Steve

2 replies so far

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101 posts in 2123 days

#1 posted 01-18-2022 08:59 PM

A true riving knife is mounted so that it moves with your blade, both rising and lowering at the same time in perfect alignment, and tilting while staying in alignment. If your saw does not specifically come with a riving knife, I don’t know that you can mount one safely that will perform like a factory designed one will. Splitters are very good, but they are stationary; they don’t rise and fall, they don’t tilt. That said, they are far better than not having anything at all. I have an older Powermatic, I had a Delta 36-5000 that came with a riving knife, I really came to appreciate the peace of mind using the saw, but it was underpowered to me, so the Powermatic fit my needs, so I splurged and spent serious money for the Shark Guard system. Three different heights of splitters (low for non-through cuts, medium for most cuts, and tall for 8/4 or so), blade guard with dust port incorporated. I have learned to live with this system even though for 30 years I never used a splitter or blade guard. And I have to remove everything if making beveled cuts due to the nut/handle holding the splitter in place doesn’t have clearance under the table insert, I just make sure to be careful when cutting without the splitter. Bottom line, what ever splitter you decide on, you will be safer, and I really don’t think you can jury-rig a true riving knife on an older saw unless you happen to be an engineer with welding skills. Good luck.

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8992 posts in 3650 days

#2 posted 01-18-2022 11:43 PM

That saw left the factory with a splitter and blade guard, and those are usually the first things that get tossed. You can find an OEM one, buy an aftermarket alternative, make your own, or just leave it as is.

A riving knife is just a splitter that raises and lowers with the blade. Both will tilt with the blade, but splitters have to be removed for non-through cuts, which is why they frequently go missing. Some aftermarket splitters, such as those that embed themselves in the throat plate, won’t tilt and have to be removed for bevel cuts as well.

If you can find an old splitter/guard assembly, they are easy to modify into just the splitter (and anti-kickback) portion. Or of you have any metal working capability, they are pretty easy to make. Old table saw blades make great stock for making a splitter. Heck, here is a video showing one being made from a common shelf bracket: Free Tablesaw Splitter


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