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Thread: Beware the ****

  1. #1

    Beware the ****

    Hello All:
    Several months ago I installed a B0RK riving knife. While I had a few issues with installation I eventually got those worked out and the B0RK seemed like a nice addition to my Unisaw. I should also mention that Bob was helpful with questions I had along the way.
    Then yesterday morning before work I was making a few cuts. On one cut, just as I switched on the saw I got hit hard by the Bolt on riving knife. Lucky for me it hit me right on the collarbone and I was wearing a thick jacket. The impact resulted in a serious contusion and I may have a knot on the bone but it could have been SO much worse. As in I could easily have one eye right now. So, those of you who are so interested in tablesaw safety that you have bought or are considering buying the bolt on riving knife, beware. Its not for no reason he has you sign a waiver before purchasing. I contacted him and his response included "I've used my B0RK for 3+ years and have shipped over 200 of them. I've been made aware of 3 splitter/saw blade collisions prior to yours and all were attributed to user error." While I suppose its possible that I made a user error I am very careful when it comes to tablesaw safety and am relatively handy with mechanical devices. At any rate, his numbers indicate that 4 (including me) out of 200 ****s he has sold have eventually give the user an issue of some kind. You can make your own decision on buying one or continuing to use the one you have. Let me emphasize that I do not have an axe to grind with Bob, but I feel morally obligated to share my experience. Below you will see pics of the riving knife after it was ejected and of my collarbone. Oh the irony of being injured by a safety device.
    Good luck,
    Jim
    IMG_1384.jpgIMG_1383.jpg
    Last edited by Jim C Martin; 11-18-2011 at 10:30 PM.

  2. #2
    How does it mount? How did it contact the saw blade? I've gone to his site and I can't figure out exactly what it does or how it mounts.

  3. #3
    Takes a bit of explaining but here is a review with pics.
    http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/1554
    Last edited by Jim C Martin; 11-18-2011 at 11:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    Looks to me like it was touching the saw teeth before you hit the start button. Did you happen to drop a piece of stock on it? Because of the single bolt mount it would be pretty easy for the knife to shift if you hit it if the bolt wasn't torqued down, which would also allow it to get forcibly removed as it did. Is the knife steel or aluminum?

  5. #5
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    If it has a single mounting bolt I wouldn't use it.

    The riving knife on my saw has a bolt and a pin spaced an inch apart so the riving knife can't rotate.....................Regards, Rod.

  6. #6
    No, didn't drop anything on it. Its aluminum. Also, I snug it up pretty tight anytime I adjust the height. No obvious answer to why it went balistic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Martin View Post
    "I've used my B0RK for 3+ years and have shipped over 200 of them. I've been made aware of 3 splitter/saw blade collisions prior to yours and all were attributed to user error."
    Who did the attributing? If it was his decision that they were all user error, well, that's kind of the tail wagging the dog. He figures they must be user error, so they are. A single bolt holding that on with no catch in the back to prevent it from being pulled out of position seems like a bad design to me... but then, I've never looked at other designs, so I can't compare.
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  8. #8
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    I'd rather have no splitter at all than that design. 1 thumbnut to hold on a riving knife is not safe. Obviously yours vibrated loose, or something pushed the splitter into the blade causing it to eject at you. Either case is easily possible. This is a very whimpy design, IMHO. It should have 2 attaching points, this would help eliminate both situations. Glad you were not more seriously injured, I'd trash the **** or send it back to the dork.
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  9. #9
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    If it is still straight just clean up the knicks (if you want) and add a star washer. Done. I bet you will not let it get loose again
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Heidrick View Post
    If it is still straight just clean up the knicks (if you want) and add a star washer. Done. I bet you will not let it get loose again
    If I were him, it wouldn't get a second chance at hitting me again. It needs two points of attachment, or a closed end to prevent it from being expelled from the machine. The slot is for quick and easy, however I'd opt for slower and safe.

  11. #11
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    Jim - It sounds like your B0RK wasn't tight enough, and/or got moved. I've used one since August 2008, and have been really happy with it. It's a retrofit device intended for saws that weren't design with a riving knife, and I'll agree that it's not quite as elegant as a riving knife designed from the ground up, but it is safe and effective if used properly. There's always room for improvement and he's been improving the design steadily since I first heard about it. However, it seems like your intent on placing blame elsewhere.... something obviously occurred in your shop to cause the knife to move out of position and come out. If it was entirely design associated, you would have had the issue right from the start. If the blade were somehow forced into the blade it should have just shaved some of the aluminum off the knife, not launched, which hints strongly that it wasn't tightened fully.

    So why not just work with him on some improvement ideas as opposed to the public lashing? How is it you never felt morally obligated to contribute anything else on these boards? There are always plenty of newbies who benefit from basic advice that I'm sure you could have helped with. To me, it doesn't seem fair to hit Bob with full blame....he's offering a riving knife solution for folks who otherwise wouldnt' have the option, and has done plenty good with AFAIC.

    Jeff - The name calling is out of line....he hasn't misbehaved in anyway that I'm aware of.
    Last edited by scott spencer; 11-20-2011 at 8:16 AM.
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  12. #12
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    It was those hose clamp mounting system that scared me on these when I looked.

    If the manufacturer doesn't want to deal with it, file a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Be sure to let them know he's reported a 2% accident rate. Thats a lot higher than many recalled products on their list. I don't get the mentality that we should accept design defects from these small time tool companies. I ran into the same with another company and had my intelligence questioned when I reported a possible safety problem.

    You might look at Lee Styron's Shark Guard to replace it. More expensive but it is a splitter and guard solution that works well, has great visibility, and sometimes too-good dust collection.
    Last edited by Matt Meiser; 11-20-2011 at 9:02 AM.


  13. #13
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    A good design would not be so dependant on a perfect installation by the end user. With that kind of mishap rate, a recall is in order, IMHO. Been there, done that before it got ugly, based on a supplier's misrepresentation. If I were the manufacturer, I wouldn't be able to sleep until I took care of it. Any profits can be eaten up instantly by one injury payment. Worse if the lawyers get involved. I piece of wood flying at you at 100 mph is bad enough, but a chunk of metal is scary.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by scott spencer View Post
    Jim - It sounds like your B0RK wasn't tight enough, and/or got moved. I've used one since August 2008, and have been really happy with it. It's a retrofit device intended for saws that weren't design with a riving knife, and I'll agree that it's not quite as elegant as a riving knife designed from the ground up, but it is safe and effective if used properly. There's always room for improvement and he's been improving the design steadily since I first heard about it. However, it seems like your intent on placing blame elsewhere.... something obviously occurred in your shop to cause the knife to move out of position and come out. If it was entirely design associated, you would have had the issue right from the start. If the blade were somehow forced into the blade it should have just shaved some of the aluminum off the knife, not launched, which hints strongly that it wasn't tightened fully.

    So why not just work with him on some improvement ideas as opposed to the public lashing? How is it you never felt morally obligated to contribute anything else on these boards? There are always plenty of newbies who benefit from basic advice that I'm sure you could have helped with. To me, it doesn't seem fair to hit Bob with full blame....he's offering a riving knife solution for folks who otherwise wouldnt' have the option, and has done plenty good with AFAIC.

    Jeff - The name calling is out of line....he hasn't misbehaved in anyway that I'm aware of.
    What are you talking about? I thought the OP was very calm, collected and balanced. He's reporting the incident, he's reporting that the owner claims a fairly high accident rate, and he's reporting that he doesn't know why it happened. I think you're really off base here, Scott.

    edit: And for the record, it's inappropriate to use one thumbwheel and friction to prevent rotation of an object, especially one that can cause serious injury if it rotates. That necessarily puts the axis of rotation centered on the bolt, so any vibration or external force will tend to turn the fastener. IF that's actually how it's mounted and the pictures aren't misleading, the mounting is poorly designed and it's inevitable that they will be susceptible to loosening from vibration if nothing else.

    Last edited by John Coloccia; 11-20-2011 at 10:17 AM.

  15. #15
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    Yeah. sure; file a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission!!!!!

    I'm sure that will inspire more small businesses to offer solutions to safety issues. Jeez, that's what we need more government involvement. Why not recommend that saw blades have the sharp teeth removed before use? A guy makes a product undeniably improves safety and this is the response. I have a factory riving knife on my Rojek. It is very well made but because I did not tighten it sufficiently or bumped it with wood it has engaged the blade twice. Once while I was using it, once when a fellow woodworker was using it. I am now more careful when setting it (it has a single nut to tighten along with a magnetic "holder")

    I don't have a problem with "public lashings" or sharing your opinions about quality or design improvements. Suggesting someone contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission is tantamount to suggesting someone file suit against someone else, and, for a small business or individual this means financial ruin, possibly personal financial ruin.

    Woodworking is dangerous, what else do you need to know?

    And someone can report me to the Consumer Product Safety Commission for not being politically correct or breaking some other thought rule.
    Last edited by john lawson; 11-20-2011 at 10:36 AM.

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