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While working with my Porter Cable 3802 12" Compound Miter Saw, the blade bound up a 2x4 and threw it into the blade guard, shattering it. I cannot find an exact replacement guard available. The manufacturer has discontinued production and I cannot find one on eBay or any of the specialty replacement part shops. How do I repair or replace this part?

The blade guard is in about 6 pieces, which fit back together reasonably well. When it shattered there was a minimum of ductile bending. It seems possible, but very difficult to glue it back together. I would definitely need a strong epoxy and lots of reinforcement material along with some solution to hold it in place while the glue dries.

Is there a way to make a wooden or sheet metal blade guard from scratch that is still safe?

Alternatively, I could get a near fit replacement and figure out how to make it work. Has anyone done this in the past and has useful help?

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Edit: Thank you everyone for the help. I went with John Canon's idea for the Lexan. I opted to go for screws instead of pop rivets. Although pop rivets might be a better long term solution, I wound up disassembling it when I was halfway through to fix a mistake. Pop rivets would have made that difficult. It works well and I can use my saw again.

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    Do you know what caused the malfunction that broke the gaurd? It is usually failure to secure the board against the force properly. I nearly broke my thumb cutting carelessly and having a similar kick back. It may be time to get a new saw. Your fingers are worth much more than a new saw.
    – Kris
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 0:42
  • If you can clamp or hold the pieces together you can probably bond them with fiberglass mat. Or do one of the answers below and bond the whole thing together with fiberglass mat. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 2:46

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Cut a semi-circular piece of Lexan or polycarbonate, then use pop rivets to attach it. First glue or tape the pieces together and trace an outline onto a piece of paper. Use the tracing to cut 1/8" Lexan and smooth the edges. Dry fit the piece with small clamps and mark possible rivet locations with a Sharpie marker. Plan the rivets so they will not contact the blade when installed. Before rivetting each piece you could brush on some water-based contact cement.

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  • I am in the process of doing this answer, but I don't understand why pop rivets. It seems like screws would work pretty well. I don't own a rivet gun, but could buy one if they are actually useful. Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 15:03
  • @BobTheAverage - every good diy-er ought to have a [op rivetter in their armoury. They're not expensive, take decades to wear out - if ever, and pops are cheaper than screws, and certainly more permanent. Mine doesn't get used every day, or even week, but some jobs are better done than with screws.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 16:42
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Build it back up with superglue, but only one piece at a time. Using a flexible piece of acrylic, possibly heating it to fit well, screw or pop-rivet this over as much of the surface as possible. It makes sense to put the fixings so they are in the middle of the largest formerly broken pieces where possible.

Or, as I've done in the past, check on existing blade guards for similar saws. I needed to experiment where the mechanism hinged, but ended up with something that was safe, opened and closed properly, and looked like new- 'cos it was!

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  • -1 because I won't agree with superglue for such a safety-critical item. On the other hand +1 for "similar saws". So no vote from me as written. Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 14:12
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Superglue alone is going to be pretty poor. Superglue with a lot of reinforcing material can be stronger than the original. The drawback is that you wind up with something in a different shape than the original. I don't quite know how to keep the parts aligned properly while I do this though. It seems like everything will shift as I glue it. There are no square surfaces. Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 15:06
  • @Tim What is the advantage of pop rivets over screws? Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 15:08
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact - the suerglu is to establish the original profile. It has little to do with safeety. The extra plate of acrylic is to reinforce it all. With screwa/pops holding the plate to several of the formerly broken pieces, (and most likely the tilt mechanism) where's the problem?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 15:53
  • @BobTheAverage - screws may undo due to vibration over time, pops are permanent. Short nuts and bolts are another option. Funny, today I spent a couple of hours sorting my pop rivets, which are 1000s all mixed up, into some sort of order!
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 15:57

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