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View Poll Results: How often do you use your Shopsmith (as a table saw) without the full compliment of b
NEVER 8 15.69%
Only on RARE occasion 16 31.37%
More often than not 14 27.45%
ALWAYS 10 19.61%
I have them if I need them 2 3.92%
I don't own blade guards for my table saw 3 5.88%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-17-2011, 06:33 AM
BigSky BigSky is offline
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Default Upper and Lower Blade Guards

I am making the results of this poll anonymous so that none of you will be inclined to deviate from the truth when you answer.

How often do you use your Shopsmith (as a table saw) without the full compliment of blade guards and riving knife installed?

Table saw safety has been a frequent topic of conversation ever since SawStop came on the scene. I was just wondering how safe we all are, thus this thread.

Sorry about the poll question. It was apparently truncated because it is too long.

Last edited by BigSky : 04-17-2011 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:19 AM
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wannabewoodworker wannabewoodworker is offline
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I have decided not to use the table saw on my 500 and Mark VII because it is just too darn difficult to setup in a timely fashion and the blade guards are one of the reasons although the table size is the biggest issue for me.
Michael Mayo
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Soft Designs Inc.
1960's SS Mark VII, 1954 Greenie, 1983 Mark V, Jointer, Bandsaw, Jigsaw, Dewalt Slider, Delta Super 10, Delta 8" Grinder, Craftsman compressor, Drill Doctor, Kreg PH Jig, Bosch Jigsaw, Craftsman Router and Table...........and adding more all the time....
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:24 AM
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robinson46176 robinson46176 is offline
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The poll needs more options. I don't use my SS's as a table saw that often but if I do I always use the lower guard but almost never use the upper.
I dislike the implied assumption that guards = safe and no guard = unsafe... I do not believe that conclusion is a given. I believe from from reading many previous similar discussions that many here slap on a guard and then shift their mind set into complacent mode because they then "feel" safe. I believe that "mind set" and a full fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the operation = safe... along with having the sense at times to ask "why am I using a dangerous power tool to make this one tiny cut on such a small piece?"
I think this is as far as I care to go down this road "again".
Just FYI, I did not vote.

Francis Robinson
I did not equip with Shopsmiths in spite of the setups but because of them.
1 1988 - Mark V 510 (bought new), 4 Poly vee 1 1/8th HP Mark V's, Mark VII, 1 Mark V Mini, 1 Frankensmith, 1 10-ER, 1 Mark V Push-me-Pull-me Drillpress, SS bandsaw, belt sander, jointer, jigsaw, shaper attach, mortising attach, TS-3650 Rigid tablesaw, RAS, 6" long bed jointer, Foley/Belsaw Planer/molder/ripsaw, 1" sander, oscillating spindle/belt sander, Scroll saw, Woodmizer sawmill
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:01 AM
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dusty dusty is offline
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I voted as I did because the choices are inadequate and too extreme.

I very, very rarely operate the table saw without the lower saw guard but occasionally do. When I do, there is some special circumstance and I do so with great caution - like no visitors (especially the kids) in the area.

I very rarely rip anything without the upper saw guard.

I very frequently operate without the upper saw guard when cross cutting.

If I have the upper saw guard removed, I will probably have my homemade riving knife installed.

Bottom line: I believe in the safety features and I try to use them faithfully; however, there are times that I deviate. When I do, I try to compensate so as to maintain a safe environment.
"If one's words are not better than silence, one should keep silent." -Caine

"If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all" -Thumper

"Making Sawdust Safely"
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:31 AM
BigSky BigSky is offline
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I answered as I did because I try to use the safety devices that are applicable but often not all of them simultaneously.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:15 AM
8iowa 8iowa is offline
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According to this poll, so far, about 72% use the guards most of the time or always.

A similar question was raised last year on the Lumberjocks forum, on which the vast majority have other types of table saws. There, the overwhelming answer was that they did not use saw guards. In fact, most of these guards had been thrown away. As the responses came in, more and more of a "macho" theme developed, beginning to indicate an opinion/theme that "real men don't use saw guards". On this forum, there are also fairly frequent reports of injury, some with gruesome pictures.

Please explain to me what is "macho" about sitting in the emergency room with your hand wrapped in a bloody towel.

While this poll may not be perfect, it does indicate that Shopsmith users use the safety equipment much more than the "other" public.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:27 AM
Stitch Stitch is offline
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My answer is inaccurate but the best I could do with the options in the poll.

I try to use my guards and do not only when there is a specific reason to operate without them. I do not have a riving knife and don't find one in the catalog. If there is a saw blade mounted there will also be a lower guard mounted also.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:27 AM
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Fla_Jim Fla_Jim is offline
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Back in the seventies, when I bought my Shopsmith, it didnít come with a guard. But back then I was young, and immortal. I ran it that way for almost ten years.
After I retired from the Navy, and moved to Florida, I had someone that I worked with loose a couple of fingers on his home shop table saw.
I thought about for a bit. I went to the local Shopsmith store in Tampa, and bought a guard assembly.
Since then I always use upper, and lower guards. The exception being when I have to remove the upper for cutting tenions, dadoís, rabbets, or other tasks that the guard canít be used.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:18 PM
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MikeG MikeG is offline
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Per the poll I NEVER use all of the guards. I always use the lower guard. My upper metal guard has NEVER worked correctly. When it was new it would not go straight up.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:38 PM
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shipwright shipwright is offline
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I always use the lower, why would you bother to take it off? It's good for dust collection (sort of) and it keeps your fingers away from things you can't see.
I never have and never will use the upper guard. Just me . I don't see it's value and there are so many things you can't do with it in place.

Paul M
Paul M ........ The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese
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