By Kelly Mehler

on the following pages, hut here arc some general observations:

Mounting the Guard—It only takes a half hour or so to mount these guards to your saw, but note that some of the guards are designed to mount on a right-side extension table which Isn't provided. so you'll have to add a table if you don't have one now.

Crosscutting Capacity—The Brett-Guard Model 10A-L offers limited cross-cutting capacity to the left of the blade (just 17 in.). :ts does die Delta Uniguard No. 3»-8K5 (25 in. on boards over 24 in. wide), so if you frequently crosscut long, wide boards, you might want to consider one of the other units.

Outfeed Tables—-Whichever guard you buy, I strongly recommend you use it with an outfeed table to prevent wood from tipping and striking the guard as it leaves the saw table.

Using Splitters—Some of these guards come with splitters (your only protection against kickback) and those splitters van- in effectiveness. I'd recommend the Delta "disappearing" splitter (Model 34-868. $46.60) for all these guards.

Recommendations—All the guards are well-made, but my favorite was the Bicscmcycr. It was the lightest and the easiest to get used to using. In my opinion, the Delta Deluxe Uniguard is the best value for Delta saw owners because of its price and the fact you won't need to modify* brackets or drill and tap holes to connect it to the saw.

I my tablesaw with-JL out a guard today, it wasn't always that way. Like many woodworkers, I found that the stock guard which came with my tablesaw was clunky and impossible to use for some cuts, so 1 removed it.

Then a shop accident that required surgery on my finger shocked me into realizing the importance of a blade guard. I tried an aftermarket guard and found it pmtcctcd my hands and eyes wliile letting me make cuts like rabbets and dadoes that were impossible with a standard guard. And the payoff went beyond safety: Aftermarket tableau* guard* protect your hand*

' . . . . . during manv tvpe* of ruts where a standard guard

My productivity increased . • ,i * J * J gets in the way.

because I could concentrate more on my work and worn- less have blade covers that are suspended about losing a finger. over the blade. You can move the cover side to side to accommodate Aftermarket Advantage bevel cuts or when ripping narrow-

To understand the advantages of stock. Also, you can easily swing the aftermarket guards, first you have to blade cover out of the way when you look at the shortcomings of standard want to use a cutoff box or other setup guards. Most stock guards combine a that requires more vertical clearance, blade cover, a splitter and anti-kick- Finally, since these guards operate with back fingers in a single unit that bolts or without a splitter, you can use diem behind the blade. While they provide when making non-through cuts, safety, these guards compromise the use of push sticks and make it hard to Testing, Testing, Testing... cut narrow strips near the fence. And There arc currently six aftermarket since you can't make non-through cuts guards available. To sec how the)' pcr-

with the splitter in place, you have to form in a real shop setting, I tested remove the entire guard to cut rab- each one on my Delta Unisaw, which bets, dadoes or tenons. is equipped with a Bicscmcycr fence

In contrast, aftennarkel guards attach ;uid outfeed and side extension tables, to die saw table or an outfeed table and The specifics of my evaluations appear

Why Buy a Guard?

If you always work carefully and use

• » m push sticks when cutting narrow stock, you may not think you need to invest in a good guard. But safe sawing alone-won't always protect you from an accident. If the wood kicks back in the middle of a cut. your hand can end up in the blade in a split second. A good guard will serve as a last line of defense between your hand and the blade. As I discovered the hard way, it's a cheap investment compared to the cost of visiting a hospital after cutting yourself. A

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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