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  Bosch 4100 Portable Table Saw  



For decades, the table saw has caused more accidents than any other tool on the jobsite, probably because carpenters remove the guards and never replace them (see Riving Knife Conversion).

Thanks to the new Bosch portable saw, those statistics and cutting habits are about to change. This new saw, unveiled at the 2007 IBS show in Orlando, sports the new "modular" Bosch Smart Guard System, and it's sure to revolutionize the industry by reducing table-saw accidents on the jobsite.

Several manufactuers have been working on improving portable table saw guards, and with this new design we're seeing the first fruits of that engineering effort.

A greeting card I received after publishing an article on Table Saw Safety in Fine Homebuilidng

Riving knives have been popular on cabinet saws, but they've been slow to appear on jobsite portable saws. A riving knife will prevent most occurrences of kickback, and the new Bosch system includes an adjustable riving knife. Extended to it's full height, the riving knife accepts a snap-on anti-kickback pawl and a clamp-on guard. The guard isn't like anything you've seen before. Split into two separate pieces, this guard moves easily out of the way when cross cutting or ripping, and each side can be elevated independently and supported by a detent, so the guard won't interfere with moving the rip fence right up near the blade.

The system is enhanced by a narrow aluminum bar that projects out over the blade. The bar is also split, offering an unusual amount of protection yet easy line-of-site to the blade and any workpiece measurement marks.

Both the blade guard and pawl are easy to remove, and well-designed on-board storage will ensure that they're never lost or left behind. For rabbets and other non-thru cuts, remove the guard and pawl and lower the riving knife to its second position, just below the height of the blade. The riving knife can also be lowered to a third position, beneath the table saw, for dados.

In addition to the Smart Guard System, Bosch introduces a digital rip fence with the new 4100 series tablesaw. They say it's accurate to within 1/64 in., and I can't wait to get my hands on one to test it out….but this saw won't be available until spring!!

The 4100 will be available in three models:
4100 DG-09 (Digital fence and YS 200 Gravity Rise Table Saw Stand)
4100-09 (Standard fence and stand)
4100 (Standard fence and no stand)

With the splitter full extended, the anti-kickback pawl is easy to install. Simply depress one button and snap the safety device in place (left)

Only one lever secures the three-piece guard (plastic and aluminum bar) to the splinter (above).



The two-piece plastic guard can be raised independantly on either side. A detent will support the guard so that the rip fence can be placed close to the blade for narrow rips (left).

The aluminum guard, providing proection above the blade, is split down the middle like a tuning fork, so it's easy to see through to the blade and the workpiece.


Both the guard and the anti-kickback pawl are stored beneath the table saw in easy-to-access locations (left), so they're always ready for use, and won't be left behind on a jobsite.


The anti-kickback pawl stores just forward of the guard.


Even the throat guard has been redesiged on this saw. A handy finger-sized and finger-shaped hole now allows carpenters to remove the throatguard without having to hunt for a screwdriver, or use a chisel!


The new digital rip fence is accurate to 1/64 in. With my aging eyes, I look forward to testing that feature when the saw is available this spring.

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