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Table Saw Splitter


This is my table saw splitter. It is not a riving knife.

A riving knife is better than a splitter: it is mounted closer to the blade, it is mounted on the same blade tilt-and-lift mechanism as the blade, and it allows non-through cuts.

But my saw does not have one. My saw is from 2001 and back then riving knives were not common. Sure, I wish I had a Sawstop, or some other modern saw. I freely admit that riving knives are better. But for those of us with older saws have to make do with a splitter.

NOTE: I wrote a brief web article way back in 2002 about my splitter, but that was long before the days of youtube.

My saw came with this massive splitter and blade guard contraption. I've never used it. I've known many others who also do not use the factory-supplied splitter/guard.

But I still wanted some sort of a splitter, and after looking around (way back in 2002) I came up with a pretty simple and cheap solution.

Here (top) is my splitter. It was cut out of a surplus shelf support bracket. (lower part of the photo)

It's just a thin piece of metal that I cut a slot in for mounting. It will mount on the same bracket, in the saw, that was intended for the factory splitter assembly.

You don't need a shelf bracket, just a thin piece of steel. The key is that it needs to be a bit thinner than your saw blade, so that it will slip through the kerf as the saw cuts.

It mounts in the bracket behind the sawblade which is where the factory-supplied splitter assembly was meant to install. So I did not have to do any drilling or make any modifications to my saw.

Here it is in action, doing it's job and keeping the wood against the fence and preventing it from binding on the blade.

Bonus view of John Heisz limited edition push stick.

A close-up shot of my splitter installed in my saw.

It's not perfect. A Riving knife is still better. This does not tilt when the blade tilts. It does not go up and down with the blade, so it needs to be removed for non-through cuts. And of course, the gap between the splitter and the sawblade is much larger than the gap between a riving knife and the blade.

But it is still better than nothing, and it was free!


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See Also:

Fixing My Tablesaw Stand

Worst job in my shop

Tablesaw Fence Tape