Table saw inserts - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Default Table saw inserts

After 2 months of dedicated searching, I was lucky to find a barely used Delta 6000-series portable table saw, for a bargain of a price. The guy I bought it from, didnít even adjust the throat plate; it was mounted to the table with the adjustment screws. Anyway, 1st order of business was to replace the original plate with ZC inserts. I decided to be fancy and make them out of a Lexan sheet. Unfortunately, the Lexan proved to be too thin at 0.093Ē and I couldnít counterbore the holes for the screws. Decided to try the plate without retainers anyway. Stood clear to the side, started the saw. As expected, the blade immediately kicked the plate off.

My question is, did anyone try to make Lexan inserts for Delta saws and if so, how did you secure it ?


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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:27 PM
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I'm cheap, I use MDF or Ply. did you put the pin in the end of the piece to keep the back end from lifting up? If your piece is real thin, you may have to had a 'hook' on the bottom side on the back end to keep it from lifting up.

I have seen youtube videos where folks have made them from PVC pipe, HDPE cutting boards, aluminum, and even cast them in resin.

If I was going fancy I would use aluminum, but maybe a bamboo cutting board as well!



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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, Iíve seen all those videos. And no, I havenít put a back piece in the insert because itís too thin. I plan on getting a cheap cutting board from Walmart and making the inserts from it. Will post updates.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:10 PM
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You really need something on the back. If you epoxy a tab on the underside it might work. My big concern is an insert that thin might flex a little bit in use.

If you look at the pictures of my dado set insert, that one little bit of a nail on the back end does 99% of the holding of the insert in position, counteracting the blade wanting to lift it up out of the table. I also use small nylon set screws as leveling feet and on the sides to keep the insert snug and centered in the table. They are cheap and effective.

https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-M5x10m...ateway&sr=8-16
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:21 PM
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Keep it simple, use the one that came with it go Fast Cap special,works great.

https://www.fastcap.com/product/zero-clearance-tape

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qulevrius View Post
My question is, did anyone try to make Lexan inserts for Delta saws and if so, how did you secure it ?
Nope. Did make several from 1/4" plywood. Apparently I made them wrong, according to the videos, and all. Made them before I even knew there were instructions on making them. I cut out the pieces to fit the saw, thinned them to be level with the top of the saw. Set one in place, held down with a piece of wood, turned on the saw, raised the blade, and cut a zero clearance insert; repeat untill all are done. When I change out, put a new one in place, raise the saw until both ends are barely clear, turn on the saw, cut wood. Held in place by their weight. Never had any issues with any of them.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 09:06 PM
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Since my Unisaw doesn't drop a 10" blade completely below the bottom of a new ZCI, I usually begin the cut by putting a 7 1/2" blade on the saw. Then I clamp a scrap of 2 by lumber to the fence and position this scrap wood next to the blade location and very close to where the blade will come up through the ZCI to hold the ZCI down while I raise the blade up through the ZCI. Then I start the saw and slowly raise the blade. Once up up through the ZCI. The blade is then lowered and the saw turned off. I then replace the 7 1/2" blade with the desired 10" blade, and repeat the process of turning the saw on and slowly raising the blade, but this time raising it to as high as I think I will ever use it. Then I again lower the blade and turn the saw off. I then get the correct Allen Wrench and level the ZCI with the 4 set screws that I have previously installed in the ZCI. I then remove the ZCI and write on the bottom of it which blade I have made it for.

I always use the same blade with it's mating ZCI, so as not to have the slot any wider than that particular blade. This is why I have about a dozen in the drawer next to the saw at any given time. I also keep several blank ZCI's that I've previously made in the drawer, so I always have a new one ready in case I buy a new blade or decide that one of the blades has damaged it's mating ZCI, so I can replace it quickly. Whenever I find that I only have a couple of blanks left, I make time soon after to find some suitable scrap and make about 6 new ones to put in the drawer. I never want to be completely out of ready-to-use blank ZCIs. Most of my shop made ZCIs have been made from Corian counter top sink hole scrap or 12 mm Baltic Birch.

I don't think I've ever made any from Lexan, but it should work fine. Just use the fence, a clamp, and a scrap of 2 by wood to hold the ZCI down while you cut the blade slot in it. Use a smaller diameter blade to start the slot if the lowest position of your blade still touches the bottom of the blank ZCI.

I just came into a deal to buy some phenolic blank ZCIs for my Unisaw and bought 8 of them for $5 each, So I doubt that I'll be making any myself for a while They even came with the height adjusting set screws.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 09:27 PM
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If all else fails, check out Lee Valley. Spendy but they fit.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 11:15 PM
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It's just an insert. make lots and make 'em cheap.
Like Doug, i just use a finish nail at the rear and nip it to a short stub.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 07:05 AM
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I've made mine from 1/4" mdf - same process as Charley - use a 7 1/4" blade to start then switch to a 10" blade. A small brad nail in the end to keep it from flying up. For leveling, I use small 3/8" screws and adjust to fit.
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