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What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

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What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 16 Nov 2023, 00:10

Hello
I've been slowly doing some work on bringing my Startrite 275 up to scratch, plus going down some other rabbit holes for fun, and getting closer to having to think about sourcing materials etc,
for an overhead guard system, so thought I'd seek some folks experiences here,
should they have tire kicked some models what's out there?...

The one which catches my eye is this SUVA model,
The best pictures are on the PDF's which one can download freely on the Scott&Sargeant site.
and I've not found much elsewhere.
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And someone on the creek mentioned he had one, but seemingly didn't think all too highly of it,
though I must mention looks a tidy job on the Martin T17.
see post 44 to see it ready for work.
https://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/f ... rado/page3
before hearing his thoughts, and my rants :?
or should I say my attempt at finding out why he apparently preferred the more modern take on it,
(which kinda says something, I suppose)
https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php ... &p=3246253

Here's Harvey manufacturings take on it, which Joe is seemingly in preference to,
(in the case of them fitting over the max blade size of the Martin 14", that is)
At least two folks on YT with in-depth videos on it, though it likely needs no introduction.
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Here's another old design, which looks ambidextrous. somewhat like the way things are nowadays, but perhaps a lot more rigid, and less "quick"
(insert preferred work for that)
https://youtu.be/jiuFDUyPe_s?t=359
And here's another, for those who don't like YT
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What my subconscious is preferring, is hands away from the guard, and a dump truck lever far away from the business end, moving things from further up the linkages, i.e less racking,
but seemingly that ain't a preference for those who like things adjusted as easy as possible.

Though I think[i][/i] I like the idea of the size difference of the shroud, normally featuring
wheels, but IIRC perhaps it's been mentioned, there is an extra add beak on for the front on some.

Would like to know what ye think.

Thanks
Tom
Last edited by TomTrees on 16 Nov 2023, 01:04, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Who makes the best SUVA overhead guard?

Postby Trevanion » 16 Nov 2023, 01:00

I personally don't think it's worth the effort of upgrading to an overhead guard, they have to be quite substantially constructed to be solid enough so that the guard isn't just another potential danger should it contact the blade and decide to throw itself at the operator or explode into shrapnel. One that's of a decent quality will be worth more than the saw, unless you make your own at your own peril.

If you want something in a similar style that fits most conventional machines via riving knife, the iTech guard is worth looking at, identical to the one made by SUVA but 1/3 of the price.

https://www.scosarg.com/itech-premium-315-riving-knife-saw-guard
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 16 Nov 2023, 01:29

I hear ya Dan, and I kept from posting until it was too late now to turn back for that :lol:
Should be pretty substantial I reckon.
Still leaving options open vs telescopic boom, vs swinging, so not got any smaller box iron yet.
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I should add, that I like the idea of something more substantial in size compared to the offerings
what's mounted to the riving knife,
and guessed there might be some folk like yourself for instance, who'd possibly have used one or two of these in the past, and could possibly give an example of personal preference.
Joe mentioned haunched tenons for example. for those who don't have a tennoner,
well, that's what I've gleaned from his convenience remark, as to why he might have preference towards the more modern offerings.

Seems these have been around some time, even one what appears to be for the 275,
well... it looks as old as it anyway!
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Cheers
Tom
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Cabinetman » 16 Nov 2023, 01:44

Quote
"Though I think I like the idea of the size difference of the shroud, normally featuring
wheels, "
Can’t quite work out where the wheels fit in?
I will probably be making one for my saw soon so this is of great interest thank you. Must say I’m not keen that the shroud goes all the way down to the table, the guards usually don’t on saws. Also they don’t normally lift up with a lever so why would it be needed here?
The ones you have shown seem to be mounted a LONG way off to the right, but in reality the most you normally need is 600 mm, mine will be probably nearer 400 for greater stability I think.
The shroud/guard on mine will probably have short ply sides, I don’t think it necessary to have a see through one, painted a nice bright colour and fitted with a suction hose should do it.

Just read what Trevanian wrote and I hadn’t considered the danger of it touching the blade!
Suspect I may fasten it to the riving knife as it is on my Sedgwick.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Cabinetman » 16 Nov 2023, 01:48

Not a good picture but it shows the idea.

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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 16 Nov 2023, 02:46

For non through cuts, I don't want to deal with removing it.
That's been the main use I've had for my saw, as I frequently have to deal with this.
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So will be making some Shaw type guards aswell
There's bolts on the full length fence on my 275 to do such
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Though worth noting, not so simple to achieve a short fence what suits a crown guard of any description, if you've only got half the length of 80x20 ali extrusion :eusa-violin:
Guess I'll be making do with some rectangular box most likely, something along the lines of this idea, but that's for desert.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Cabinetman » 16 Nov 2023, 03:32

That’s interesting, I’ve never come across those used on a tablesaw.
My saw in the picture has slots at the bottom of the riving knife allowing you to raise or lower it, handy for the odd through cut as you only have to undo the guard from the top.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Jonathan » 16 Nov 2023, 08:45

Tom, what extraction have you got?
Those swing away guards are big and need big extraction.

I've been happy with the riving knife guard, I've butchered mine to take an 80mm flex and a 90mm quick disconnect so when trimming any board or timber I can easily clean up.
Will try and post an image.

On the occasion that I need to cut over the riving knife it takes 10 seconds to remove the guide.Image

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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 16 Nov 2023, 12:19

Now we're getting warmer, nice to see someone with a slider enter the discussion.
Seems more often than not, those come with the floating guards.

I was hoping someone with such a machine could give their opinion, as these normally feature the roller skate flavour crown guard, which seemingly seem preferable to some.

Have you used one before Jonathan, if even a good hands on look at the shop display model?

Regarding the extraction, t'would be lovely, but not came across something suitable yet,
been looking for a 3 or 4hp motor, with perhaps a steel impeller for some time,
near bought an old thing a few times, and it's a future project for sure.
Making do with the brush and pan for now, well y'know, too much logistics to be even contemplating woodworking as of yet, bit tight in my shed otherwise.
Dawgs, lawnmowers, bicycles, and not everything on wheels, still a work in progress.

Suppose I'll have to find out whether a longer more spacious crown guard will be troublesome in that regards.
Cosmas Bauer has done a utoob on reducing the height of the guard for better collection,
but that was concerning the older shoe design, which seem to be done away with.
Perhaps for safety?
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The Panhans guard does look like it lends itself well to simple modifications,
and kinda hoping I might be able to have the choice when making something what might be a
bit nicer, should some actually find a lever nicer than the rest of them.

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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Jonathan » 16 Nov 2023, 12:49

Tom, yes I used to use an all singing and dancing SCM. This was an industrial set up so big extractor probably 20kw.

For my use in my one man (and his wife) set up, doing one off low production stuff , a big crown guard is not necessary.

Just remembered.... a friend bought a new Robland that had the overhead crown guard, he got fed up with it not collecting the dust and after a couple of months he ripped it off and retro fitted a Felder riving knife guard.



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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Trevanion » 16 Nov 2023, 13:13

Is it really worth the effort to upgrade a Startrite 275 with an overhead guard? It’s a decent traditional bench saw but that’s all it is. As a professional user I would weigh up whether it a worth investing a dozen hours into making an elaborate guard versus five minutes here and there taking the original guard off for the occasional partial cut, a occasional use hobbyist user will likely never see the time benefit of the guard.

I would suggest investing the time and money in a better saw bench, otherwise I expect this to turn into another saga like the Griggio Bandsaw.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 16 Nov 2023, 16:37

That's quite interesting Jonathan, I'm guessing it is one of these machines, or something very similar...
Robland-Z400-EL-Panel-Saw.jpg
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Which seems to have the same issue, as with the Harvey,
One of the in-depth videos of this crown guard, this guy had a different approach.
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I haven't felt the need to have anything better than the 275, it pretty much ticks all the boxes for me, so far anyway.
No issue there, I could just unbolt the guard or if something similar in size, adapt the base to fit
something fancier, though not really sure what I'm missing out on. :eusa-think:

Nothing to figure out regarding tablesaws, it's a pretty straight forward machine with no misinformation out there regarding how to set one up, so it's very much unlike the case what bandsaws were until recently.

Not to say there's nothing to figure out yet, as I'm planning on sticking an overhead router on the end of the bracket, so you can seek out if your claim is valid for your five pounds there. ;)

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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Steve Maskery » 16 Nov 2023, 20:19

I have an overhead SUVA-style guard on my saw. I love it. It's not as magnificent from an engineering POV as those shown above, but it works well and protects me.
I like the idea of that wheel arrangement to ease entry, I'll have to see if I can incorporate that.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Steve Maskery » 16 Nov 2023, 20:56

This is my arrangement.
The wooden bracket on the RH corner is just two pieces dominoed together. If I could weld I'd make it out of steel, but it's served me well for many years as it is.
The white tube is a steel table leg from an IKEA table. I was perusing, saw it and asked the store guy if I could buy one as a spare. I told him why I wanted it. He simply unscrewed it from the display piece and said, "Here you go mate" and left me standing there holding it. Thank you very much.
The cover itself is either polycarbonate or HDPE, I can't remember which. It's not acrylic. It has a few scars due to a couple of floor/pushstick interface problems...
The hazard tape is there to remind me that Here-Be-Dragons.
There is a shoe on my rip fence which supports the arm so that it doesn't waggle about too much. Table saws and waggling are not good bedfellows, are they?
I've had this arrangement for many, many years and it suits me just fine. I particularly like that the cover itself rides onthe workpiece and so everything is completely covered.
The big industrial ones shown above look PDG to me.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Cabinetman » 16 Nov 2023, 23:55

What sort of fence is that Steve? I have one very similar that came with the saw here, nothing on the front of the saw to fasten it to but heyho. Don’t know whether to keep it or fabricate something short myself.
Mind you I’m not sure why you need a guard at all without a blade lol.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Steve Maskery » 17 Nov 2023, 06:21

Cabinetman wrote:What sort of fence is that Steve? I have one very similar that came with the saw here, nothing on the front of the saw to fasten it to but heyho. Don’t know whether to keep it or fabricate something short myself.


It's the fence that came with the saw, Xcalibur. It's a Far Eastern knockoff of a 1930s Delta, I believe. Old-fashioned (blade tilts towards the fence) but built like a tank.

The saddle locks with a 3-point clench, so it always clamps up square. Exactly square, every time.

I don't think they are available anymore in the UK, but if you ever see one for sale, bite their hands off.

This thread has prompted me to take another look at a homemade version I made when I was filming my DVDs. I rarely use it, because the original is so good, but I had a fine adjuster on it. I can move it over by 0.1mm if I want to. Occasionally that is useful. I plan to film it again for YT, but I'm waiting for a large countersink bit to arrive so that I can do the job properly. On backorder, so I don't know when that will be.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Doug71 » 17 Nov 2023, 09:47

I spent a while looking out for an overhead guard for my saw, also thought about making one but in the end decided to just stick with the original guard that is attached to the riving knife, for me it does all a guard needs to do.

If you are just pushing sheets through a slider all day the overhead type would be great but for me it would be getting in the way all the time when trying to cut narrow stuff etc. Some of the overhead type you need to swap over when you want to make a bevel cut which I would find a real pain.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 18 Nov 2023, 17:28

Thanks for your thoughts folks,
Great to see the differing opinions on many of the designs, esp newer ones,
ala SCM, which looks very similar to some other Italian made sliders.
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Here's another Itech version, what's interesting about this is the extraction,
which on something from the Far Eastern offerings, suggests these guards might well be
still a work in progress, depending on which factory, or indeed possible section of factory one might visit.

Now, I haven't sought out why this guard is so complicated looking,
perhaps the idea of many possible reasons as to why...
Perhaps a setting for making it rigid, like, say the old Wadkin designs and so on?...

Perhaps a setting for making it like the SUVA riving knife mounted crown guard,
which Steve has replicated with his overhead version?...

Maybe something in-between, which Joe mentions wouldn't really be effective in stopping
something like thin stock from buckling?

Seemingly a few differing opinions on what a good design should be...
some wanting convenience, whilst others for that, but also with extraction in mind,
whilst others from a safety perspective with something totally rigid.

I've not really seen any articles of one design giving the full picture on this,
but have seen possible hints of such, but no demonstrations in use.


Great to read of the annoyances of various designs, which is indeed as helpful as the what's to likes.
Itech overhead guard.jpg
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Thanks all

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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Trevanion » 18 Nov 2023, 19:13

TomTrees wrote:No issue there, I could just unbolt the guard or if something similar in size, adapt the base to fit
something fancier, though not really sure what I'm missing out on. :eusa-think:


T'were it me I'd be looking for something with an integral sliding table that comes right to the edge of the blade, something along the likes of the Wadkin Bursgreen BGS, Wadkin PK, SCM L'Invincible SI-15, or similar. It adds so much versatility to the machine over a standard bench saw, or one with a swing table to the off-side.

There's a very nice Wadkin BGS with all the rare bits on eBay at the moment under "Wadkin Table Saw" that used to belong to Bruce Kenneth, he did quite a bit of tuning on it when he had it so it runs very sweetly.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 18 Nov 2023, 20:40

Aah yes the BGS, I looked for one of those for a long time in Eire, but ne'r seen any.
Seems you could remove the carriage, Deema had done a nice resto of a BGS 10, but I don't recall that, should the same thing be an option.
I guess the 275 saws were all from colleges, as there's an abundance of them compared.

Most of anything I've seen like a true slider has been pretty large by comparison, or too costly for me to afford.
That's arguably another type of machine, which may be your point,
but having a big boom on a tablesaw, does lend itself to all sorts of fun/misery, depending on your perspective.
An overhead mounted system, possibly something like the bench mounted router stand might turn out to be of some use?
Or has time proved that to be a poor comparison to a router table
which can also be done on the end of the tablesaw?

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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby Trevanion » 18 Nov 2023, 21:03

TomTrees wrote:An overhead mounted system, possibly something like the bench mounted router stand might turn out to be of some use?


99% of the usefulness of a real overhead router over a router table comes from the plunging action via foot pedal and following patterns with table pins. I wouldn't see much point in having an overhead without the ability to plunge into the workpiece, might as well have a far simpler router table set up instead working off a wing on the back or side of the saw.
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Re: What's the best overhead crown guard for a tablesaw?

Postby TomTrees » 18 Nov 2023, 21:26

I'm still in the process of considering ideas, I just thought it would be handy to have,
it could be used for guitar bindings if nothing else, though I'd have thought it might have lots
of applications, even for one who's got an abundance of bits, muscle chucks and fancy insert plate of some sort?
Something like this perhaps?
https://youtu.be/x8oA_oHJOno?si=IR3anLjkaWBqu2-7&t=9

Or this?
Looks real tidy for the likes of fancy hinges or whatnot.
https://www.routerforums.com/threads/ov ... ine.17190/

Sorry I can't give ye a better idea yet, as not got much done out there since.

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