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I want to make a riving knife for my table saw, as the one that came with it goes higher than the blade.

I would like a riving knife that matches the height of the blade fitted in order to resaw 8cm wide lumber in two passes, so roughly 4cm at a time. Then I'd like to use a cross cut sled and some other scenarios like that.

Although it would be easier to modify the existing riving knife I don't want to as the blade guards attach to it so I would never be able to use that feature.

It isn't straightforward to find 2mm or 3mm thick aluminium or steel sheets. However, I can buy some 3mm thick Aluminium DIBOND® for art purposes. Will this material be suitable for making a new riving knife?

  • Why is the riving knife being higher than the blade an issue? This is intentional on many saws so I'm just wondering why it's an issue for you. But re. replacing it, isn't it simpler to modify the existing riving knife rather than make one from scratch? – Graphus Feb 9 at 18:26
  • It's an issue because I'd like to be able to resaw 8cm wide lumber in two passes. So roughly 4cm at a time. I can't do that with the current riving knife as I won't be able to make the first 4cm cut. Then I'd like to use a cross cut sled and some other scenarios like that. It would be easier to modify the existing one. But the blade guards attaches to the riving knife, so I would never be able to use that feature. – jayant Feb 9 at 19:53
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    I know you asked about Dibond specifically but without some direct experience from someone I don't know how reassured you can be. Just in general I would be wary of using a laminate like this in such a safety-critical role in a table saw. I'd have no hesitation trying it for a zero-clearance insert but not for this. It could be perfectly safe, but I wouldn't want to find out the hard way that it wasn't. – Graphus Feb 10 at 7:55
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    Buy a second riving knife to use with the blade guard and grind down the one you have. Or find a welding/fabrication supply house to source proper sheet stock. Any major city should have a place you can buy sheet metal. Safety equipment isn't really a good place to be improvising... – SaSSafraS1232 Feb 10 at 15:44
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    @SaSSafraS1232 just turn that comment into an answer! – jdv Feb 11 at 20:11
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Specifically the Dibond is a laminated material, that when cut to a fairly small size and required to remain rigid under varying pressures from varying directions, repeatedly, may not remain integral or rigid and have a higher potential for failure. I would also be concerned that pushing wood fibers past the laminate sheets may cause some to grab at the skin or force their way under its surface, especially over time.

I would prefer to find some scrap aluminum, steel or other metal. It’s possible to recycle parts from discarded machines. There may be recycling factors where you could request a small amount of scrap material. Often, when you approach (especially smaller outfits) a metal supplier or machine shop will simply give you some cutoff material or direct you to their skip.

It will help you in this approach if you design the requirements for the part you intend to fashion so you can recognize and communicate what material will suffice for the project: minimum length and width, and min/max thickness. If you have a scaled drawing you can lay against a candidate piece of metal it will save time and could help someone to hand you a suitable piece.

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