Importance of crown guard?

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Alasdair

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Hi there learning a lot on here and just wondered is a crown guard really nessecary. I have one fitted to a large saw but find it awkward to use. Its clear plastic but makes it very difficult to see blade etc when using. The dust extraction is at the base of this saw. I always wear goggles etc when using it but I admit I have been using it raised up a fair bit to see but I noticed on another post mention of it being important.
 

Lazurus

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It is a solid barrier between and fast sharp spinney thing, and soft pink digits, yes very important. Unless in the USA where they seem not to use them much, It may be a little awkward at times, but so is loosing some fingers. Think hard before you remove and maybe look for alternative guards or a stand along crown guard.
 

Jacob

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It's the single most essential and effective safety feature on a table saw.
Clear plastic is a bit pointless as the thing will be dusty all over in no time, you soon find you don't need to see the cut if you've set the thing up properly in the first place.
 

Doug71

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It is very important!

The obvious one is it stops your fingers making contact with the blade.

An important one people often don't realise is it helps stop kickback. The up spinning teeth at the back of the blade can lift the wood and fling it back at the operator, the crown guard stops this.

Lastly it's a good place to fit a hose to improve dust extraction.

People often say they don't use them as it blocks their view of the blade, I have never understood why people need to see the blade and the cut being made :dunno: It's best to have the blade covered up as much as possible.
 

Alasdair

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Thanks for the replies. This is a large site saw which I generally use for ripping long lengths. I will keep it in place and try and work with it unless cutting to a line without the fence. I always use push sticks and thought it was there to stop debris being thrown at you. The height is not that easy to adjust but will have a look into making it easier.
Cheers for the replies
 

sneggysteve

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" unless cutting to a line without the fence."

I always thought this is also very dangerous - others with better knowledge will confirm or otherwise
 

Kicked Back

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At the end of the day it's just probability. If you're already doing everything right (push sticks, riving knife, properly set up fence, correct blade height etc.) then it's very unlikely you'll ever _need_ a crown guard. But if you add a crown guard, injury is even less likely. Maybe it saves you that one time you have a brain fart and do something stupid like reach for an offcut without thinking.

It goes the other way too. You could have a crown guard but be at _more_ risk than if you don't have one, if everything else you do is dangerous.

Personally I'm lucky to have a saw where swapping between the crown guard riving knife and unguarded knife takes like 10 seconds. So I use the crown guard most of the time but will remove it for the occasional awkward cut, and just really concentrate... that's a level of risk I'm happy with.
 

Alasdair

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I will be leaving the crown guard on as recomendations. The only time I cut to a line without the fence is for tapered cuts on long lengths of timber which I am very careful and make sure I am not interupted or distracted.
Alasdair
 

Vann

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I wonder if a small modification to move your crown guard back a tad, might be possible. Just enough to enable you to see the start of the cut - while hopefully not enough to allow you to cut off too many fingers.

I'm not an experienced operator, I maneuver myself so that I can see the start of a cut (5-10mm), withdraw the timber to check the measurement, then reposition myself to a safe position and carry out the cut without watching the blade (using pushsticks).

Cheers, Vann.
 

Jacob

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I wonder if a small modification to move your crown guard back a tad, might be possible. Just enough to enable you to see the start of the cut - while hopefully not enough to allow you to cut off too many fingers.

I'm not an experienced operator, I maneuver myself so that I can see the start of a cut (5-10mm), withdraw the timber to check the measurement, then reposition myself to a safe position and carry out the cut without watching the blade (using pushsticks).

Cheers, Vann.
You can set the cut against the line with the blade up a touch, then lower it to do the actual cutting. Normal practice.
 

Orraloon

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I will be leaving the crown guard on as recomendations. The only time I cut to a line without the fence is for tapered cuts on long lengths of timber which I am very careful and make sure I am not interupted or distracted.
Alasdair
Thats a habit you really need to break before you have a nasty accidient. You never ever free hand cut on a tablesaw. No matter how careful you are sooner or later it will go seriously wrong. Always use the fence to rip and the miter gauge to crosscut. Make a taper jig for tapers that runs against the fence. It will also be a more accurate taper than you can freehand.

Cut Long Tapers on your Table Saw, Quick, Easy & Cheap - YouTube
Thats a very simple one but works just fine. youtube has hundreds of taper jigs if you want something more up market.
Regards
John
 

Inspector

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I always enjoy a good post with potential for the Darwin award

What do you think they are dangling in front of the blade that would get a Darwin Award? 😦 They are awarded to those that take themselves out of the gene pool before reproducing. Unless Alasdair is squatting sans pants on the saw table using his member as a push stick I don't see how it could possibly happen. 🤔 Gives new meaning to "Siting on the fence." though. 🤣

Pete
 

Alasdair

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Points taken cutting without fence. Its generally odd one of cuts like pieces of sarking when replacing odd shaped boards in my old steading roof. Not so much a habit but will be very careful.
 

Keith 66

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" unless cutting to a line without the fence."
I always thought this is also very dangerous - others with better knowledge will confirm or otherwise

I have done this on occasion, always with long pieces of wood with long shallow curves like planks for boats etc. But if you have a bandsaw you should never need to!
 

Alasdair

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Have an old elu bandsaw which I am also reconditioning. Its not the best as it was cheap and one of the later elu/black and decker models. Been reading on here re tough saw blades which I intend to get. Made a heavy base for it a while ago but never used it much due to the crappy blades it came with. Thanks for the idea of bandsaw though. Something else for me to take apart.
 

Oakay

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It's the single most essential and effective safety feature on a table saw.
Clear plastic is a bit pointless as the thing will be dusty all over in no time, you soon find you don't need to see the cut if you've set the thing up properly in the first place.
Riving knife even more important imho. I have after thousands of hours experience sometimes omitted crown guard in some considered situations but I would never omit the riving knife. Risk assess always.
 

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