The radial saw assembly 30 comprises a housing 44 which includes a fixed upper saw blade guard 45 which surrounds an upper portion of the motor driven saw blade 36 mounted on a drive shaft 38, and an operating handle 34 which is grasped by the operator to move the radial saw assembly in the crosscutting mode.
The lower saw blade guard 40 is provided to prevent the operator from accidentally contacting the rotating saw blade. Referring to FIG. 1, the lower saw blade guard 40 includes an outside lower guard 46 for covering one side of the saw blade and an inside lower guard 48 for covering the opposite side of the saw blade. The outside lower guard 46 includes a front guard section 50 and a rear guard section 52. Referring to FIG. 5, the inside lower guard 48 includes a front guard section 54 and a rear guard section 56.
The inside lower guard 48 protects the inside of the saw blade, as shown in FIG. 7. The front guard section 54 is pivotally connected to the upper blade guard 45 by a pin 63, and the rear guard section 56 is pivotally connected to the upper blade guard by a pin 65. A pin 66 is provided on the rear guard section 56 and an arcuate slot 68 is formed in the front guard section 54. A generally vertical arcuate slot 70 is also formed in the front guard section 54. The motor drive shaft 38 extends through the slot 70. Referring to FIG. 8, the pin 66 moves within the slot 68, and the slot 70 moves relative to the drive shaft 38, when the lower guard section 48 is raised by contact with the workpiece "W" as the radial saw assembly 30 is moved forwardly in the direction of the arrow F1.
In accordance with the invention, the lower saw blade guard 40 includes a safety lock assembly for preventing the lower saw blade guard from being accidentally raised to expose the saw blade 36 except during cutting operations when the saw guards contact a workpiece. The safety lock assembly includes a latch mechanism for use in the rip cutting mode as will be described hereinafter. The latch mechanism is preliminarily set by the operator before rip cutting and is automatically released when the lower saw blade guard 40 contacts the workpiece, allowing the lower saw blade guard to pivot upwardly so as to expose the saw blade.