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Planer guard modifications

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MikeG.

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I'll come right out and say it........I dislike the English/ European bridge guards, and prefer the American swinging guard. Here's mine:



There are a number of factors in its favour, but there are also a couple of fundamental issues, and this is what I am hoping to address with a couple of modifications. Firstly, and it's not obvious from the photo, but the guard whacks the bottom edge of the fence, and over time, knocks it out of adjustment. I started getting some non-square edges during my long bout of machining of items for my staircase.

The other problem is this. The guard covers all the blade when the fence is over at the far extremity of the table. However, I am sure we all like to vary the location of the wear on the knives, so I obviously move the fence over, like this:



That little bit of exposed cutter block doesn't seem to be much of an issue, but actually, it can be where the machine can chuck chippings or even a bit of a knot out at you. I need something to make the swinging guard work for all fence locations. It also is something of an issue as the workpiece exits the cutter, but still holds the fence back:



Let's tackle the difficult one first. I've had a few solutions in mind for a while, but the last few days has given me plenty of time to sit and ponder, and I settled on one:







I think this was the plastic foot of an old dog guard for the car (it might be rubber). You can see a before and after in the same photo:









Fixed in place this prevents the returning guard smacking into the fence. OK, when opened past about 6 inches it still touches it a bit, but its now well cushioned, and for most planing it doesn't touch it at all:





And here it is at the extreme setting, with the fence in the middle of the table:



Tomorrow, if I'm up to it, I'll fix the easier problem of the exposed blade which shows up really nicely in that last photo.
 

Doug71

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Did you just change your planer into a jointer :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

MikeG.

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I'm not really well enough to survive the Cat 0' Nine Tails at the moment, but if I've called that a jointer I will willingly submit to the just punishment I'd fully deserve. :lol:
 

Trainee neophyte

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MikeG.":3e203nkf said:
I'm not really well enough to survive the Cat 0' Nine Tails at the moment, but if I've called that a jointer I will willingly submit to the just punishment I'd fully deserve. :lol:
Caruthers will be self-isolating at the moment, so you've got 14 days to recover either way.
 

deema

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I think everyone should be responsible for their own safety, and one of the best ways to do this is from a position of understanding. The European style bridge as opposed to the American style that Mike is making has the benefit that it is designed to prevent the operator passing their hands over the spinning cutter. The only time it’s permitted to withdraw the European guard the thickness of the stuff is when edging and the guard cannot be raised sufficiently for the stuff to pass beneath.

The USA style allows the operator to run their hand over the spinning blade and there have been a number of people with shorter fingers as a consequence.

I’m not advocating either guard, apart from if you have to comply with H&S requirements.
 

MikeG.

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Yep, I should have made that clear. I wouldn't advocate anyone else doing this, but I think there are fundamental safety issues with the bridge guard, and I've taken the decision (some while back) to not put up with the inconvenience any more and to have the alternative style in my own personal workshop. If I ever sell this machine, it will be sold with the bridge guard it came with. Continuity of pushing, especially on long boards, is important to me and shoving a pusher in under a bridge guard is not something I have to put up with any more.
 

Inspector

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My Planer/Jointer came with the pork chop guard and it is the only type I have ever used. The rounded shape of this one is always over the knives until the cut is completed and the guard returns. It, like yours, doesn't cover the knives for that final moment. Thus far I haven't had a thumb or hand on the back of the board to get "jointed". The black knob is an addition of mine to quickly swing the guard out of the way when lowering the middle of a concave board to flatten it. It also handy to keep a board tight to the fence when jointing an edge.

Pete

I must learn to add pictures in the reverse order of how I want them to appear. #-o
 

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Inspector

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It does hit (makes a little tap) some but since the jointer side is 6" (planer side is 12") it isn't heavy enough (cast aluminium) to move the cast iron fence out of square or position. It is a Hitachi F-1000A, mostly cast iron and not flimsy.

Pete
 

MikeG.

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I thought this might work:



But the second piece being movable didn't add anything at all that couldn't be achieved by having it fixed. So, I did a little surgery, and came up with an altogether different moving piece:



The greater radius on the main guard improves things a lot. The swinging secondary piece adds a little protection at the beginning and end of a piece's travel through the planer:





In the middle, it just gets out of the way:

 

Hornbeam

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deema":1dg7x5d1 said:
I think everyone should be responsible for their own safety, and one of the best ways to do this is from a position of understanding. The European style bridge as opposed to the American style that Mike is making has the benefit that it is designed to prevent the operator passing their hands over the spinning cutter. The only time it’s permitted to withdraw the European guard the thickness of the stuff is when edging and the guard cannot be raised sufficiently for the stuff to pass beneath.

The USA style allows the operator to run their hand over the spinning blade and there have been a number of people with shorter fingers as a consequence.

I’m not advocating either guard, apart from if you have to comply with H&S requirements.
I totally agree with Deema. The other problem with the American chop type guard is that as it swings out of the way, it also exposes a part of the cutter next to the work being passed over the cutter. Do agree though that some euro style guards are easier to work with than others, The hammer one is excellent
Ian
 

MikeG.

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I balance those known issues (which this revised guard has addressed to some extent) against what I consider to be the fundamental failing of the bridge (European) style guard, which is that you have to take a hand off the work in mid-feed, and re-position it. You then also have to pull the work through the last few inches, and with a big board and dusty hands I've ended up licking my hands to get enough grip. That's a ridiculous situation in my view. I put up with that for years, but have taken the decision not to put up with it any longer. I know this is an eternal argument, but I have taken my view after years of doing it the other way. Now I can get hold of the work with hand and pusher, and not move my hands until the cut is complete. I personally consider that safer, but understand that not everyone sees it the same way. I'm also not seeking to persuade anyone to change their minds or do things differently, but am just showing a modification to the American system which I think improves it a little.
 

deema

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Slightly confused about some of the explanation about the use of the PT.
The outfeed table is the reference table. You start the work on the infeed, but As soon as possible transfer all hands over and pull it through on the outfeed table applying downward pressure as you go. If you push along the infeed table, you haven’t got any registration for keeping the stuff flat straight and true. By definition, before it’s cut, it’s not flat straight and true.

I have never been able to understand the number of modern machines that have a bridge guard that’s mounted on a long arm that blocks the outfeed table. I believe They can only have been designed by engineers who don’t know how to use the machine they were designing. The old Wadkin, and modern Sedgwick bridge guards work perfectly IMO and doesn’t obstruct the correct use of the outfeed table.
 

MikeG.

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deema":2hu9r7sy said:
Slightly confused about some of the explanation about the use of the PT.
The outfeed table is the reference table. You start the work on the infeed, but As soon as possible transfer all hands......
That's where it starts going wrong, for me. I don't want to move my hands on the moving workpiece. I consider that a possibly dangerous moment and certainly an opportunity for inaccuracy.

pull it through on the outfeed table applying downward pressure as you go.....
Yep. Pull. Whilst stretching over the blade........and relying on your skin having a good enough grip on the work that it keeps moving.

If you push along the infeed table, you haven’t got any registration for keeping the stuff flat straight and true. By definition, before it’s cut, it’s not flat straight and true........
It is perfectly possibly to push along but not down, whilst keeping pressure on the outfeed table with the other hand. When I say "possible", I mean "dead easy".
 

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