Zero clearance insert for table saw - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default Zero clearance insert for table saw

What wood do you guys use to make a zero clearance insert? I'm guessing the harder the wood the longer it will last? I have some red oak that is sitting around, but is pine good enough?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 05:12 PM
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baltic birch...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 06:07 PM
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As Stick said Baltic Birch is very good as it is more stable. Also if you got oak on hand use it. I would stay away from pine.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 06:12 PM
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Scraps of ordinary Birch plywood. I just replace it when it gets beat up a bit.
Make a bunch at the same time...just don't cut the blade slot until you actually need it.
If you were a a bit obsessive you could shellac the top face. Frankly I couldn't be bothered.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 07:53 PM
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I use any 1/4",or 1/2" plywood that I have laying around. Even have used tempered masonite, it works too.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 08:53 PM
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I've used cheap, construction grade 1/2" plywood, as well as 1/2" mdf. The Baltic birch plywood is probably the best material, but if you don't have it, the other works just fine. I also found that putting a coating of paste wax on the insert helped the wood move across it.

When I made mine, the insert was a bit sloppy fitting. I wrapped tape around the outside of the template, until it fit tighter.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 09:21 PM
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I bought a large plastic cutting board about 3/8ths thick for my inserts. Get three per sheet. Hold up nicely, wood slides on it without friction, and it is easy to install set screws to level the plate. Stick suggested that material. Otherwise, I'd use cutoffs of half inch Baltic Birch. You can order a 20x30 piece at Amazon, enough to make a nice batch. The most important thing is that the material is FLAT, so check with a straightedge. Forget using pine.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 12:54 AM
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I just used mdf. It will also drill and tap for leveling screws. From the replies it's obvious that it isn't that important so use whatever you have handy.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
I bought a large plastic cutting board about 3/8ths thick for my inserts. Get three per sheet. Hold up nicely, wood slides on it without friction, and it is easy to install set screws to level the plate. Stick suggested that material. Otherwise, I'd use cutoffs of half inch Baltic Birch. You can order a 20x30 piece at Amazon, enough to make a nice batch. The most important thing is that the material is FLAT, so check with a straightedge. Forget using pine.
good source for those cutting boards is the Dollar Store (or similar)...
cheap...
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This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
good source for those cutting boards is the Dollar Store (or similar)...
cheap...
@Stick486 I tried there, but my Laguna has a LONG insert and they didn't have stock big enough, so I bought a really large one at Target, from which I got three. One other thing, I have a number of blades so I have labeled the blades that work with a particular insert. I have come to appreciate the virtues of a full kerf blade, and I got one of those double blades with the offset teeth that can cut 1/4 and 3/8ths, which needs two inserts. For a dado stack, I have been using Baltic Birch inserts, since I had several I made at once.

And yes, it is a good idea to make a bunch of them at the same time. Someone suggested using the original insert as a pattern, but the Laguna insert is split at the back and not suitable for use as a pattern. Somewhere I saw a video where the guy simply cut a strip to the width of the slot, marked a centerline, then used a compas set for half thw width of the piece, drew a half circle on each end to match the exact length. Cut it out with a band saw and used it as a template to make usable inserts. One precision task makes production much easier after that.

My TS blade rests just about 3/16ths below the top, so I have to rout out a slot for the blade to fit in before I raise it through.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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