Recently purchased a BT3100 with some missing parts

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  • Recently purchased a BT3100 with some missing parts

    Hi all!

    So happy to have found this community full of resources for this table saw! I recently purchased this saw off of online classifieds here in Ontario, Canada. It came with all the major parts as well as a mounted router the seller luckily left in place. I've went through the manual, parts lists and FAQs on this site and there seems to be a blade guard assembly missing from this saw. The blade guard itself isn't a huge deal for me, but I wish it had the riving knife that came with this saw.

    I saw some users pointing towards the Shark Guard aftermarket assembly but it's definitely over my budget (especially considering the CAD/USD exchange rate...) Does anyone know how I could cheaply replace the riving knife portion of the guard assembly?

  • #2
    You can cut a splitter from mild steel sheet of aluminum sheet, I recommend nothing thicker than 0.090", I might use .062" which will pass items cut with a thin kerf blade. I think but you better check thats what's called 16 Ga. sheets.

    Attached is a 1:1 drawing of the splitter which is low enough to pass grooved items (not though cut) of the blade height.
    Make sure when you print it you use actual size and not FIT TO page options,

    Lee Styroons BT3 splitter riving knife.pdf

    You will not need the slots at the top (needed for attaching the other parts of the shark guard) but you need the two slots at the bottom. I suggest drilling the two holes at the end of the slots and then making a set of four cuts from the bottom up to meet those holes. A Jigsaw with a metal cutting blade is suggested for the item. I placed the straight edge along a finished edge of the metal blank and eliminated a long straight cut.

    This is not really hard to do and it doesn't have to look perfect to work. Some work with a file and sandpaper will smooth it up. Good luck

    BTW, Lee Styroon, passed away this year, we miss him greatly, and was the designer of the shark guard... this was the starting point of the shark guard.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-27-2020, 06:36 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ -


    • #3
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out!

      I'm going to give this a shot and report back on how easy/difficult it was.



      • #4
        You're welcome and welcome to the site,

        I hope you downloaded the BT3 FAQ (not the site FAQ) linked in my signature line at the bottom of this post.
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-28-2020, 12:29 AM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ -


        • #5
          Welcome to SawDustZone! If you are handy with making things, cutting a riving knife out of aluminum or small piece of sheet metal should not be too difficult. I lived overseas for a number of years and had a BT3000. I made my own removable riving knife until I could get one of the Shark Guards. I still have it somewhere.
          Hank Lee

          Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


          • #6
            Thanks Loring! Yes, that's the one I've downloaded. It really helped with getting the SMT, and rip fence aligned. I found this aluminum gauge chart below, would I go for the 11ga (0.09074") or 16ga (0.05082)? I have this general purpose Freud/Diablo blade from Home Depot ( I'm not sure if it's classified as a thin kerf blade.
            Aluminum Gauge Chart*
            Inches MM
            7 .1443 3.665
            8 .1285 3.264
            9 .1144 2.906
            10 .1019 2.588
            11 .09074 2.305
            12 .08081 2.053
            14 .06408 1.628
            16 .05082 1.291
            18 .04030 1.024
            20 .03196 .812
            22 .02535 .644
            24 .02010 .511
            26 .01594 .405
            28 .01264 .321
            30 .01003 .255

            Since we're already chatting... Is there an easy and repeatable way to set the rails back to zero, so the rip fence measurements align with the front rail? It took me over an hour to get it right the first time and now I need to move the rails to one side to rip down a sheet of plywood and dread having to spend that time to set them back to zero again.

            Also, since this is a right tilt table saw, do people simple work with their rip fence permanently on the left or mainly move it to the left when making beveled cuts? I'm still trying to figure out a good workflow with this saw! The FAQ sure does have a lot of good stuff in it (especially the bit about reversing the orientation of the SMT when making rip cuts so it's out of the way)

            Thanks Hank! I'm not too handy at metal work (I've only ever cut angled aluminum) but I'm sure with a metal cutting blade for my jigsaw, I'll be able to get it done



            • #7
              Sorry, I don't know of a good way to quickly re-align the front rail after moving it. My own experience is that I trust the rail ruler to make rip cuts, and Having set it up accurately I seldom move it. I make large plywood cuts using a circular saw and straight edge guide.
              When I need to align it I raise the blade up high and slide the fence right up to it and then loosen the rail locks and slide it to the zero under the hairline indicator, then lock it down and check it.

              As for bevel cuts with fence right or left, Is easy to slide the fence to either side. I prefer to do bevel cuts fence right even if it "traps" the work piece. Of course many bevel cuts are crosscuts with the SMT so there's no trapping (you don't use the rip fence with the SMT). Each cut needs to be thought through as to where things start and where things end up and address any problems, You don't want surprises while int he middle of a cut. The BTs are very flexible so there's often more than one working solution.

              I have one more trick... I have a precise one-inch thick block about 6 inches long I clamp to the rip fence in front of the blade. I use it as a stop for making crosscuts. Press the workpiece against the SMT miter fence stopped at the block, as you slide forward, the workpiece leaves the block and is free and doesn't get trapped when on the blade. The scale on the rail still works perfectly for setting the cut length except I add an inch to the desired length. Exception to the rule about using SMT and rip fence at the same time.

              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ -


              • #8
                Tried out the stop block idea last night and it worked out perfectly! Thank again