JessEm Clear-Cut Stock Guides
Review by Raf Nathan
Kickback. This is what you get when a piece of wood being machined is flung back from a sawblade or a router bit. Considering the speed of a circular sawblade, anything flung from it can be at very high speed and incredibly dangerous to anyone in the line of fire. Hence rule one can be to always stand out of this firing line when working at a machine.
Rule two could be to consider making or purchasing safety equipment like these JessEm Stock Guides which are designed to avoid kickback.
When I look at equipment like this I understand where America’s edge comes from in manufacturing military equipment. This is a superbly made piece of aluminium and steel kit.
A long aluminium track is first fitted to the top edge of your tablesaw. This has predrilled holes for screw fixing, or use the included fittings to fit into standard 1/4" T-track. Set this track 20mm back from the fence edge and the guides can be raised and pushed out of the way when not needed. On my saw fence I was able to secure the track into the existing slots.
There are two heavy aluminium stock guides that can be positioned along the track. Thumbscrews lock these in place. Steel rods extend from the bodies and support length adjustable arms that house the anti-kickback rollers. The assembly is under spring pressure to apply downwards force. The rollers are twin nylon wheels angled at 5° thus steering the wood in towards the fence. The rollers will only turn one way thus preventing kickback.
In use you set the guides in position on the infeed and outfeed of the sawblade, always on the right side of the blade. The adjustable arms need to be set at no less than 30° from vertical to work correctly. The height of the rollers in relation to the wood being sawn is quick to set with a thumbscrew. Rest the roller assembly on the wood, that is the part without the nylon wheels that will automatically set the height for the rollers to work.
Pushing the wood forward now engages the nylon wheels that apply pressure towards the fence and totally resist backward movement. The Clear-Cut Stock Guides do as they should, forcing the wood against the fence and resisting any rearwards action.
Assuming everything is set up as recommended, kickback is avoided. I found they worked very well for sawing solid wood sections and panels. The force applied is quite strong and certainly they helped with jobs where a lone operator may normally struggle to keep things aligned to the fence. JessEm also make a version of the guides designed for router tables.
Tool supplied by Carbatec, www.carbatec.com.au