Table Saw Splitter

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Introduction: Table Saw Splitter

Make a splitter for your table saw if it does not have one or you are dissatisfied with your current unit. This is an essential safety mechanism. My saw came without one and I soon learned the hard way, (wood shooting like a bullet across the room) of its necessity. A riving knife serves the same purpose, only it moves with the blade, whereas the splitter remains fixed in place.

Step 1: Steel

I have a Delta Model 36-678. There is a splitter attachment bolt inside the insert opening. Cut a piece of metal stock to the appropriate height and fit into this space.

Step 2: Drill

Drill a hole for the attachment bolt.

Step 3: Shape

Cut out a section of the stock so that the splitter is of the desired width.

Step 4: Kerf

Remove metal from the surface to match the kerf of your table saw blade. Test the splitter in place so that it holds the trimmed stock against the saw fence and allows the larger stock to pass all the way through.

Step 5: Attach

Adjust the splitter and tighten in place.

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    6 Comments

    0
    WyattS
    WyattS

    1 year ago

    Never use a table saw without a riving knife. Honestly, the splitter depicted here is too far away from the blade in most safe cutting heights, and thus will fail to prevent kickback in some cases.

    The goal is to ensure that there is an absolutely minimal chance of any stock coming into contact with the back of the blade after it has been cut.

    Re bulletin's about riving knife: by 2014 they became required equipment if a manufacturer wished to be UL listed (link below). If one has been removed from your saw, you should purchase or make a new one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f8VWwtaudU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUx8oTIALmg

    https://www.woodmagazine.com/tool-reviews/tablesaws/splitter-or-riving-knife-what-s-the-difference

    0
    djpolymath
    djpolymath

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey Wyatt, thanks for chiming in and posting some good resources. Table saw safety is important for those that are unfamiliar. I will disagree a bit with your statement that a table saw without a riving knife should never be used. I think a better caveat would be to never use a table saw without a riving knife, in cases where it will fail to prevent kickback. The table saw I built this splitter for has great quality, but unfortunately it was engineered without the option of attaching a riving knife. That doesn't mean it should be sent to the dust bin. It is still great for a variety of cuts with a miter gauge and also for heavier and larger stock where a riving knife does not have added benefit over a splitter.

    0
    drewscreen
    drewscreen

    Reply 1 year ago

    It's a shame that it took so long for the riving blade to be mandatory on tablesaws. Our old shop had a refurbished 70s-era Craftsman that was really solid and ran great, but really required extreme care and proper body positioning to avoid personal damage from kickback.

    0
    drewscreen
    drewscreen

    3 years ago

    This is nice, and well documented. Any suggestions for what to do if your saw doesn't already have the built-in mount behind the blade?

    0
    WyattS
    WyattS

    Reply 1 year ago

    Purchase a different saw that has provisions for mounting a riving knife.

    0
    Myfootsasmokin
    Myfootsasmokin

    4 years ago

    Mine is the same way. I have always wondered if maybe a bulletin came out saying remove the riving knife. Bought it used. I think I'll make one and install it.