any blade guards that will work while using a dado set?

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Old 10-24-09, 12:14 PM
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any blade guards that will work while using a dado set?

I have a Craftsman table saw (10", model 315.228310) and just installed a Freud dado blade set (SD208).

I had to remove the original blade guard as it wasn't thick enough to use the dado blade (set at 3/4" dado width).

Does anyone know of a blade guard that will fit a Craftsman tablesaw that would work with a dado set?

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 03:00 PM
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You will probably get responses from both posts, so hang on. We as a forum cannot advocate not using the blade guards, as they are a safety feature installed by the manufacturer. Now with that disclaimer out of the way, dado cuts don't go through all the wood, so the blade is not exposed except to the ends, where your fingers should not be any, and a blade guard won't keep you clear. I don't use the blade guards, but it is a personal thing that I accept the responsiblity for. If you note on the TV shows, they are operating without them. They used to give disclaimers that it was for "photographic clarity", but you can see through that, right? For dadoing, I would remove the guard, do the dado cuts and replace the guard to keep everyone smiling.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 05:17 PM
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Hi Chandler,

Thanks for the reply. You're a lot more experienced at table saws than I am so I need some kind of guard when doing these dado cuts-----I'm a little klutzy too!

I'm working with 2x2's and doing a dado cut 3/4" wide so there isn't much left for me to hold onto. The boards I'm dadoing are up to 5' long so they really need some support from all directions when going through the blade.

I was looking at that gizmo sold by MicroJig. It looks nice but too expensive for my occasional use. I'm thinking of taking a one-foot long 2x4 and rabbeting out an entering length of one edge, attaching a metal handle to the center of the 4" side and using that as a fancy push block. Maybe make two of them and have my helper have one too. Then our hands would be much further away from the blade and the block would be pushing the 2x2 down and towards the fence at the same time. If I could figure out how to have it really stick tight to the 2x2, then it would make pushing the 2x2 forward easier too.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 06:39 AM
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I'm another of the guys that doesn't use a blade guard or an anti kickback device. I still have all my digits. As Chandler said it's a matter of personal choice and having enough experience to know how to avoid a dangerous situation with the table saw.

I may be misreading your description of the push block you want to use, but as I read it, it sounds more dangerous than simply feeding the stock by hand. You can't center the 2X4 push block on the stock so it will not be stable.

When making a stopped cut like this, the blade will not be exposed. You can practice the cut by exposing the blade in increments until you feel comfortable with your technique.


You mentioned correct terminology in your post. FWIW a dado is a cut perpendicular to the grain of the wood. A groove is a cut parallel to the grain.

The most important piece of safety equipment in a shop is the space between your ears. Most woodworking accidents happen when people quit paying attention to what they are doing. This is especially true when making repetitive cuts on a table saw. I once saw a guy ripping 2X4s cut his thumb off. He was pushing stock on a table saw while yakking with his helper (me). He forgot to move his thumb as it passed the blade.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 10:13 AM
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For proper support at the blade, get some zero clearance inserts and drive your dado blade through it. Since you are at 3/4", that will be the most common cut, anyway. This will allow just the blade to stick through and you will have a level playing field all over.
Any push system you use should be long enough and tall enough for you to exert forward pressure on the piece of wood, not just pushing pressure. An example is here: Power-Hands Safety PushStick, Saw Blades & Saw Accessories, Power Tool Accessories - McFeely's
 
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Old 10-25-09, 03:59 PM
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If it makes you feel any safer, don't push your 5' board all the way through! Use a 6' board and when you are a foot from the blade, turn the saw off. Then cut your boards to an exact length later.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
If it makes you feel any safer, don't push your 5' board all the way through! Use a 6' board and when you are a foot from the blade, turn the saw off. Then cut your boards to an exact length later.
Great idea. That's what I have been doing in for your type of cuts for years. Much safer.
For what it's worth, I stopped using blade guards about a month after I used my first tablesaw - about 35 years ago, and I still have all my fingers. That is not to say that an extreme amount of care should be taken when pushing wood through it. Push sticks and/or pads should always be used when your fingers are going to be anywhere near the blade.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 11:53 PM
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Thanks for all the tips guys. Very helpful for my future tablesaw adventures.

What I ended up doing for this project was to take a 4x4, about one-foot long. I rabbeted out one edge of it so it fit almost completely over the 2x2 that I was doing the dado on. (I am doing a 3/4" dado in the center of 2x2's that are 8' long).

My partner held the 4x4 with both hands right over the area where the blade was while I slowly pushed the 8' long 2x2 forward. His focus was on dowward and towards the fence pressure.

It worked pretty well and fully covered the blade area (of course the 2x2 was fully covering the blade itself since we were doing a dado right in its center but the 4x4 gave a lot more protection).

Had a kickback happened, I think his holding the 4x4 would have avoided any flying wood. Also, nobody's fingers were anywhere near the blade using this approach (well, I guess his fingers were not that far away but there was a 4x4 and a 2x2 under his hand).

It took a few passes of the 4x4 over the dado blade to create a rabbet of the correct size to cover the 2x2 but fairly easy to do.

I did stop pushing the 2x2 after about 7' which kept my fingers a foot away from the blade (and I used a little push stick too).

Thanks for all the helpful ideas everyone.
 
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