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Riving Knife (Aluminium or Steel)

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DanZ56

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Hello,
I'm looking at making a modified riving knife on my table saw, as the original is too high when using push blocks. Is aluminium ok for this, or must it be steel? I can get hold of aluminium quite easily, but sheet steel is a bit more difficult to find. If anyone knows of sheet steel suppliers in Ireland / UK, please let me know.

Cheers,

Dan
 

Ttrees

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Hello, one place you could look for "gauge plate" in Eire, is Caulfield's industrial.
Could chance getting some stainless on the bay either, if you can find it cheap.

Tom
 

DanZ56

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Hello, one place you could look for "gauge plate" in Eire, is Caulfield's industrial.
Could chance getting some stainless on the bay either, if you can find it cheap.

Tom
Thanks Tom,
I couldn’t find any listing on caulfields that showed “gauge plate”. Plenty of gauges & plates, but no joy. The bay has some, which might be suitable.

Cheers,
Dan
 

Alpha-Dave

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I made one from mild steel, but it bent easily, aluminium would be worse. I have saved a worn out saw blade to use as raw material for another; the steel is certainly far stiffer than mild!
 
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Cabinetman

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I don’t want to restart the discussion, but I suggest you search push blocks on here, personally I think they are a menace and a dangerous piece of kit.
Never bent a riving knife myself so maybe aluminium would be ok, but the fact that manufacturers use steel is an indication. Ian
 

Vann

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I wouldn't use aluminium.

I've just thrown out a mild steel one - bent and too thin - and I'm making a new one from an old blade. I cut the basic shape with a slitting disc in a grinder and am grinding and filing to final shape. I'm pleasantly surprised that I can drill and file the plate without problems.

I assume you're aware of riving knife thickness requirements: thinner than the kerf, but thicker than the saw plate.

HTH.

Cheers, Vann.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Best option might be to buy a replacement from the manufacturer and file / grind off the bits you don't need. That way you know it is the right material and exactly the right width.

Even cheaper would be push sticks and not a push block, but that just opened the entire can of worms.
 

DanZ56

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I don’t really want restart any push block wars here, that has probably caused heated debates many times in the past :). I think that neophyte’s answer might be right answer for me, at least in getting the right thickness and material.

Cheers,

Dan
 

robump

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Hi,

I made one out of mild steel and it is a little flimsy but gets the job done. Like others have posted, an old blade would probably be more appropriate.

I just cut it out with a metal blade in a jigsaw and then Flapper discs the edges.
 

Vann

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Best option might be to buy a replacement from the manufacturer and file / grind off the bits you don't need. That way you know it is the right material and exactly the right width...
Err... No.

The riving knife has to be sized for the blade. If the saw was originally supplied with, say, a 2.4mm kerf blade, and you're now running a 1.8mm kerf blade, then the saw manufacturer's riving knife is going to be the wrong thickness.

Cheers, Vann.
 

deema

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Best solution is stop using push blocks that take your hands over the blade and start using push sticks. You won’t need a new riving knife and best if all you can still count to ten
 

Hornbeam

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There have been numerous threads on here about riving knives. They are one of the main safety features of a saw, particularly when ripping. Why do people want to p--s about and make them out of totally unsuitable materials
 

Trainee neophyte

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Err... No.

The riving knife has to be sized for the blade. If the saw was originally supplied with, say, a 2.4mm kerf blade, and you're now running a 1.8mm kerf blade, then the saw manufacturer's riving knife is going to be the wrong thickness.

Cheers, Vann.
Yes, you're absolutely correct.
Why do people want to p--s about and make them out of totally unsuitable materials
Probably because of the above: do any manufacturers, either of machines or blades, make a selection of riving knives of different thicknesses? I'm not aware of any, but perhaps Felder or similar might have something. Is this a niche market for an enterprising metalwork company? Unlikely, given the variety of shapes and the fact that your average table saw only needs two or three different riving knives, which will all last a lifetime.

Hence p--sing about with unsuitable materials for a diy option?
 

Tezza1

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Hello,
I'm looking at making a modified riving knife on my table saw, as the original is too high when using push blocks. Is aluminium ok for this, or must it be steel? I can get hold of aluminium quite easily, but sheet steel is a bit more difficult to find. If anyone knows of sheet steel suppliers in Ireland / UK, please let me know.

Cheers,

Dan
Hi Dan,
Table saws are safe to use when using all the safety features supplied from new. I strongly recommend that you do not modify the riving knife. If yours is damadged and you cannot purchase a new original one then I recommend that you approach a local manufacturer who specialises in sheet metal products. Using the original as a template a replacement one could be manufactured by laser cutting. As another member said you can still count to ten.
DONT use aluminium just because it easier to work with.
 

Jacob

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Has to be thinner than the blade. Also has to be pretty stiff and springy so it wont get bent out of shape - aluminium would be a big mistake.
 

Doug71

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Leave the riving knife alone, leave the guard on and use push sticks.

There seem to be a lot of table saw accidents that happen after people have made the cut, for example they lean over to move the off cut and catch the spinning blade. I think people concentrate when making the cut but lose focus after and this is when the accident happens. If you leave the guard on there is much less chance of this happening.
 

DanZ56

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Ok, duly noted. I won’t be using push blocks and I will leave the riving knife alone, no modifications. Thanks everyone for your comments and valuable input.

Thanks,

Dan
 

clogs

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of course nobody has mentioned what grade of ally......
soft as poo or hard as nails.....it's all there for the asking.....

I dont use a riving knife or a blade guard......but do use push sticks tho.....
and need to make a new sled for my new saw.....


now that should get somebody angry.....lol.....
 

Jacob

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of course nobody has mentioned what grade of ally......
soft as poo or hard as nails.....it's all there for the asking.....

I dont use a riving knife or a blade guard......but do use push sticks tho.....
and need to make a new sled for my new saw.....


now that should get somebody angry.....lol.....
Well done on the push sticks front! It's obvious really - if your hands are always a good distance from a moving blade then the chance of a cut hand or finger (the most common accident) approaches zero, however badly everything else is going!
 
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