Router Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I had some time in the shop and decided to re-make my zero clearance inserts. I made them for my Dewalt Contractors saw. I have made them in the past from plywood, and mdf. I don't like plywood (too much drag). This time I tried some left over 3/8" laminate flooring on one and also 1/2" mdf on the other. I thought that using the bottom side of the laminate as a top surface was a good idea because it has a finish of hard plastic and very smooth. The laminate being 3/8" had to be shimmed to end up the right thickness(1/2") to fit into the opening and rest on the machined casting. I did this by dadoing the bottom side, then gluing maple pegs to raise it even with the top. I decided to make another from 1/2" mdf as a spare. It got me thinking about the maple pegs I glued with titebondII. I suppose the pegs are there to keep the insert from being ejected back at the user in case the blade somehow caught it on the far side of the insert. The operator's end is held down by a cam. It got me wondering about other brands of saws...How is yours fastened? I included detailed photos showing my inserts. I use one for thin kerf, and when it gets worn, I then use it for a full width (1/8") blade so I get more life from the insert. I also mark a line so I know at what point to measure the height from.
 

Attachments

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
The Unisaw is very similar.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,229 Posts
Thinking about the leveling of thin stock. On my saw there are four threaded inserts in the four corners of the insert. The insert is pretty much split to the back of the blade opening, and all you have to do is use a tiny allen wrench and raise or lower it. I think you might consider a simple to install threaded insert to flatten the insert to the table. I've thought many times of using flooring for an insert, just haven't done it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
nice job...
try UHMW... sold as cutting boards at the Dollar Store...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I find using a zero clearance insert greatly reduces chipping, especially on plywood. I also clean any pitch with trend blade cleaner often, and find after cleaning the blade, it cuts like a new blade.
 

·
Super Moderator
David
Joined
·
3,568 Posts
I have one but have never used it. It's pretty rare for me to cut plywood or pine or anything like that that will muck up my blade. I mostly cut Walnut, Cherry, Maple, Hickory, Beech, etc. The blade stays clean and no chipping.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
I like them and wish I could make some !

I have a King table saw and the plate is steel and only about 1/8''+/-. Even the UHMW wouldn't be solid enough to go that thin. I was able to buy a wide opening plate for when I use my Dado blades. I guess I could get some plates laser cut from steel but how would I get the zero clearance to be precise ? I would need one for every different blade. For now I sometimes use a sacrificial sheet of hard board on the table for it is thin enough for most cuts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,954 Posts
I like them and wish I could make some !

I have a King table saw and the plate is steel and only about 1/8''+/-. Even the UHMW wouldn't be solid enough to go that thin. I was able to buy a wide opening plate for when I use my Dado blades. I guess I could get some plates laser cut from steel but how would I get the zero clearance to be precise ? I would need one for every different blade. For now I sometimes use a sacrificial sheet of hard board on the table for it is thin enough for most cuts.
I have hsd success using 1/2' and rabeting the edge down to 1/8" on saws you mentioned.
Herb
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,413 Posts
Gary, I know what you mean about plywood having a drag. First one I made was from 1/2" ply and I had to put a coating of paste wax on it. I have a Ridgid 4511 and use nothing to hold my insert in place. I installed 4 screws on the underside for leveling purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
To level mine I buy set screws at the hardware store. Then I drill my holes in the zero insert plate and let the set screws make their own threads. Adjust the screws until the plate is level. The screws will stay where you put them and when the plate is worn out remove the set screws and use them again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
My Delta has two screws to hold the insert in, one front and one back. It's also hard to make a zero clearance insert for because it's like the King saw above and only has a depth of about 1/8" (if that) around the edge. I did make a plywood insert for it, but it was hard to level. A couple of things in this thread have me thinking though and I'm going to see it there's any way to use set screws and laminate flooring, which I have plenty of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
if this is your style of insert...
use a fostner bit to drill a rebate where the mounting screws go... this way you can use thicker materials...
do the same for support tabs...
if there is a support rim/ledge rabbet fit...
leveling screws go in the rim/ledge/tabs and not the insert...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pots43

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,614 Posts
The original insert on my saw has a pin that slips under a ridge at the outfeed end of the opening. it was sized to fit level with the table. When I make my own inserts I tap a little finishing nail into the end to slip under the ridge. I then put a little gob of hot melt glue on each of the four approximate corners, put it in place and sit a weight on it to keep it level till the glue cools. About 45 seconds or so. No leveling screws. No shims. No fiddling. No kidding. The glue sticks to the wood insert, not to the table casting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
most excellent tip Thomas...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thomas1389, I thought about using hot glue, but was not sure if it would stick to the casting and I didn't want to oil it. About set screws, my original Dewalt (aluminum) inserts have 4 set screws for adjusting the height, but I found that when adjusting one, it lifts the opposite edge which allows it to wobble. I use a well tuned hand plane on the bottom of the insert, shaving about .001" at a stroke to make the insert the right height. I couldn't do that on the laminate flooring because it was too thin. By gluing wood strips to the bottom, then sanding on a flat surface solved it. The other thing I found was the mdf insert was about .015" too tall when installed, but by shaving the bottom corrected it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
You really only need something to keep the out feed end of the insert from lifting if the rising teeth of the blade should catch on it. You really don't want to have the blade throw the insert at you. Otherwise, the insert that you make should remain in place with gravity. I install a small roll pin in the out feed end of the inserts that I make for my Unisaw, and thread four 1/4-28 holes in the four support locations to level the insert and install set screws. The finer 1/4-28 threads tend to not back off from vibration like the coarse 1/4-20 threads do. My inserts are made from scrap Corian, HDPE, or Baltic Birch plywood, basically whatever I have on hand, and I usually make 6-10 at a time, leaving them as blanks until I need to use them. Then I make the blade cut with the blade that it will be used with. After it is cut, I write the blade details on the bottom of the insert and I will only use the insert for the blade that it is matched to. When the slot wears or the insert is somehow damaged, I discard it and make a replacement from one of the blanks on hand. I consider a good zero clearance insert to be a necessity for clean, accurate, splinter free, and safe cutting of my project parts, and I replace them often.

I have made zero clearance inserts for many different saws, and the Unisaws are some of the easiest to make because they are basically just a big oval of 1/2" thick material. The older Delta Contractor saws use the same insert The Ridgid and DeWalt contractor saws and the Ryobi BT3000 and 3100 are some of the harder ones to make because of the irregular shapes that the lower portion of the inserts require. The easiest way to make these is to find a material of the correct thickness to make the top of the insert and then use a thicker material to make the irregularly shaped lower part, cutting the irregular shape with a scroll saw or band saw., Then glue the two layers together. Baltic Birch plywood usually works best for these because it is available in many different thicknesses and can be purchased in small pieces from hobby and scroll saw supply houses. On Baltic Birch inserts, a coat of polyurethane followed by a coat of paste wax on the top usually provides a smooth enough surface, with the poly providing a seal to keep humidity from affecting the fit of the insert in the saw opening,

Charley
 

·
Super Moderator
John
Joined
·
6,834 Posts
Clearance

I quite working hard building zero clearance Inserts.
Fast cap makes tape for zero clearance for miter saws ( 5 strips 5.00) the-one your looking at has been on the saw for months
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,954 Posts
I quite working hard building zero clearance Inserts.
Fast cap makes tape for zero clearance for miter saws ( 5 strips 5.00) the-one your looking at has been on the saw for months
That is a heck of a good idea, right after I make a new ZC I have to make a miter cut and if I don't change back to an old one I ruin the new one.
Herb
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top