Table saw inserts - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 06:59 AM
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Following the suggestion in the Fine Woodworking article attachment from my earlier post, consider using double sided tape to attach your new insert blank to the original insert that came with the saw. This should allow you to use a 10" blade to cut the kerf slot. I have not tried this myself.

Another suggestion is to bevel the edges of the kerf slot on the underneath side. If you look carefully at the photo of my earlier post, you can see the beveled edge. Otherwise, there is a tendency for the new insert to be lifted up as you raise the saw blade.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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So, these are my final thoughts on making the inserts with minimal investment:

1) The only 3 tools needed are a table/miter saw, a router (preferably mounted) and a drill. For the router, the required bits are a flush trim, a guided rabbet & a straight (anywhere from 1/4” to 5/8”, bigger bit just needs to be more careful with).

2) Avoid cheap Chinese plywood.

How did I make it:

Cut the stock, mounted the original plate on one, trimmed it with a flush trim until identical - that’s the template. Used the newly made template to cut a bunch of blank inserts out of a 1/2” ply.

Tried to drill out the mounting legs clearance with a forstner bit, but quickly realized what a pain in the ass it is. Took it to the router table instead & used a 1/2” straight bit to clear out the bottom contours. Then switched to a guided rabbet & cleared the edge for the arbor housing. Finally, drove a finishing nail in the back to make a latch.

After that it was as easy as swap the 10” for a 8” dado, clamp the fence over the new plate & make an initial cut. Unfortunately, at this point the crappy Chinese ply chipped at the edge of the plate.

But all in all, now that I have the template & figured out the workflow, I’ll make a trip to Walmart for a cheap polycarb cutting board & put it to good use. Will post pictures with final results.


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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Update: the plastic insert isn’t done yet, but in the meantime I took DaninVan’s advice and made the essential inserts out of a 1/2” MDF. Will most likely do the polycarb one over the weekend.



The ZC doesn’t really need a safety pin, the riving knife won’t let it fly off. Put finishing nails in the dado inserts, just in case.


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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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The experiment is over.

It’s fair to say that it wasn’t a complete failure, but at the same time I wouldn’t call it a success. The fatal issue with plastic inserts is that regardless of the material’s thickness, once the kerf & riving knife slots are cut, the tail end will inevitably sag. The only solution to it is to use something incredibly durable, like a military grade polycarbonate, but then the sheer cost of it makes commercial inserts look like freebies.

Otherwise, MDF is the best bang for the buck. For $9 a sheet of 2’x4’x1/2”, one can stock up on inserts for years. But, I’m sure you all already knew that.

Regardless, I’m glad I had the opportunity to finalize the concept & am sure that someone down the road will find this information useful.


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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coxhaus View Post
I used a 7 1/2 inch blade on my new unisaw table saw insert. I then tried to switch to a 10 inch blade but the 10 inch blade was a lot thicker so using the small blade did not really help. How are you guys handling that? I can manually cut it but is there a better way?
I found the same problem when making a ZCI for a full thickness blade - the solution was to use the outer blade from my dado set, works perfectly so I use it for all blades now. The secret is to only raise the dado blade until it just starts to break through the upper surface - this will give enough clearance on my Unisaw to allow cutting the final slot with the 10" blade being used.

Another trick that I read somewhere (but didn't make a copy of the article, just have remembered it over the years) is for adding the end slot for the splitter/riving knife. With another insert in the saw and the blade raised, rotate the new ZCI end for end so that it's in the correct position and drop it over the blade. Move the fence so that it's tight against the edge of the ZCi and lock the fence in place. Take the ZCI off the blade, flip it back over so that it's "upright", turn on the saw and cut the slot for the splitter - it will be exactly in line with the saw blade. A little easier than cutting it on the router table.
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 09:52 AM
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I found the same problem when making a ZCI for a full thickness blade - the solution was to use the outer blade from my dado set, works perfectly so I use it for all blades now. The secret is to only raise the dado blade until it just starts to break through the upper surface - this will give enough clearance on my Unisaw to allow cutting the final slot with the 10" blade being used.

Another trick that I read somewhere (but didn't make a copy of the article, just have remembered it over the years) is for adding the end slot for the splitter/riving knife. With another insert in the saw and the blade raised, rotate the new ZCI end for end so that it's in the correct position and drop it over the blade. Move the fence so that it's tight against the edge of the ZCi and lock the fence in place. Take the ZCI off the blade, flip it back over so that it's "upright", turn on the saw and cut the slot for the splitter - it will be exactly in line with the saw blade. A little easier than cutting it on the router table.
And it goes without saying that the saw should be OFF while you're setting the fence. Kinda obvious, but it doesn't hurt to point it out.
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 01:41 PM
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Update: the plastic insert isn’t done yet, but in the meantime

1... I took DaninVan’s advice and made the essential inserts out of a 1/2” MDF.

2... Will most likely do the polycarb one over the weekend.

3... The ZC doesn’t really need a safety pin, the riving knife won’t let it fly off. Put finishing nails in the dado inserts, just in case.
1... W/ the rabbet you cut in that MDF you compromised it's strength..
instead of a rabbet bore tab pockets w/ a fostner bit..

2... skip the polycarbonate.. it's nick insensitive and the edges need additional tooling and sealing..
also when it dries out it becomes brittle..
spawling can be an issue..
go to a dollar store and buy a UHMW cutting board for a dollar and use that..
it'll be about as bullet proof as you can get..
TIP:
use negative rake tooling on the UHMW

3... play it smart and use a roll pin...
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yet another idea on how to make the inserts:



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