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ANYONE have any suggestions in where I can buy Zero Clearance Throat plates for my Craftsmen 113? I know I could make my own, but I'd rather buy a couple.

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Like you, I'd just as soon buy some new. My Laguna requires a special opening for the riving knife, and it's much easier to buy than make one that works as well as the factory model.

Google zero clearance insert for (your make and model saw). Or start on Amazon. If you can't find one (a problem with some brands), then making batches half a dozen at a time out of Baltic Birch is your most likely solution. BTW, you can also cut them from the plastic used in cutting boards.
 

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I was looking for a picture of your model saw, but can't find on on the internet. There must be more to your model number than just 1137. I suspect that it begins with 113.7______.
I can't offer a good suggestion as Craftsman made many different versions of saws. Maybe you can find the rest of the model number?

For my Delta Unisaw I just trace the original metal table insert onto a piece of 1/2" Baltic Birch plywwod, Corian, or Lexan and then cut it out about 1/8" oversize using the band saw. I then double stick tape the original metal insert to the Baltic Birch insert and use my router table with a flush trim bit with the bearing on the end of the bit following the edge of the metal insert. I then drill a finger hole in the front and to the left of where the blade kerf will be, test the insert to see if it fits in the saw and sand it if there is a high spot. I then drill a 1/8" hole in the back edge and insert a roll pin to keep it from lifting when the blade is running. I also use the original metal insert and a transfer pin to locate the four set screw holes for leveling the plate and locate for sawing the splitter hole with the band saw. Then I drill the holes and tap them with a 1/4-28 metal tap and screw in 4 1/4-28 set screws and saw the splitter hole out with the band saw. I usually make 6-10 of these at a time and then just keep them in a drawer near the saw so I have access to one when I need it.

Smaller saws and Contractor Saws of different brands will not be as easy to make inserts for, but the technique should be very similar.

Charley
 

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Well, that got me a little further. Thanks, Bill.

I found the exploded view of the parts diagrams on OEM Replacement parts for Tools, Appliances, Consumer Electronics and more | eReplacement Parts and the table insert appears to be the same shape as the one in my Unisaw, although likely not the same dimensions, so you should be able to copy the shape of the original metal insert the same way that I do mine, however, I can't see how the insert level is adjusted in the assembly drawing. I have set screws in mine that push down on tabs below the table but sticking out into the insert opening. If you have these tabs, the set screws in your wooden insert will need to be located above these so the set screws push down against them to lift the insert to the level of the top of the saw. With set screws threaded into holes in the insert, you will be able to adjust them from above with an Allen wrench, to bring the insert level with the table of your saw and not rocking- all 4 set screws need to be adjusted for a level insert that doesn't rock.

I can't see it in the drawing, but your metal insert must have some kind of pin sticking out of the back edge of it This pin or tab will keep the back end of the insert from lifting if the saw blade should catch on it. It's a safety feature, so you should figure out how to duplicate it's function on your wooden inserts, even if it's appearance isn't the same. Your method might be like mine, a roll pin driven into a drilled hole in the back edge of the insert that catches in a little recess in the back end of the hole that the insert fits into in the saw table.

Once you have the insert cut out and sanded to fit, plus added the set screws and pin in the back edge you will need to cut a blade slot in it. My Unisaw blade doesn't go low enough to be able to install an uncut insert with the 10 inch blade on it, so I use a 7 1/2 or 8" blade to make the first cut. After installing the blade with it in it's full down position, install the blank insert and level it with the top surface of the saw table. using the set screws. Then place your fence over it, but to the side of where the blade will be. You will be using the fence to hold the insert in place whil you raise the spinning blade up through it. Make certain that you have positioned the fence to the side of where the blade will be cutting.

Start the saw and slowly raise the blade up through the insert until you reach the highest blade height that you will want the saw to reach. In my case, I then replace the smaller blade with the 10 inch blade that I will be using with the insert and then repeat the process to cut the blade slot for that blade. Now you can move the fence away and set the saw up for your first cut with the zero clearance insert and the blade of choice.

I always make a bunch of zero clearance inserts at the same time and then keep them without saw cuts until I need one. I have an insert for each blade and if I cut 45's with that blade, then I have another one for doing that. The blade information is written on the under side of the insert, so I don't use it with the wrong blade. They are all a little bit different, so each blade needs it's own zero clearance insert. Zero clearance inserts wear out. By keeping extra blank inserts available, It's quite easy to cut one and replace the worn insert quickly. I make more when I'm down to two or three blanks.

Best I can do without seeing a better picture of your insert and it's hole in the saw's table top. If you have problems, try to post photos showing where you are having the problem.

Charley
 

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I stuck the original to some mdf with hot melt glue and used a pattern bit. Takes a couple of minutes per insert. Most of that time was spent moving clamps around. Just dawned on me I could have done the same thing on a table with a flush trim and I wouldn't need to do that. For the unisaw they adjust with set screws so a few more minutes each drilling and threading holes. I have 5 or 6 made right now. One is for a full kerf blade, one for thin kerf, one for a crosscut blade with stabilizers added. Write on the bottom sides with a magic marker what they are set for.
 

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I've got a similar model Craftsman. I made mine from tempered hardboard. As others have said use the original metal insert as your template to rout to finished size. Counter sink for the hold down screw. I used strips of the magnetic sheets on the table inset rim to get the template top to the correct height. Didn't take long to make a bunch for different blade kerfs including a dado.
 

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I had to make some for my Craftsman TS since I couldn't find any for that 20 yr old model. It was a real pain since there wasn't any real depth to the lip that holds it (< 1/4"). I used Luan - I didn't have any hardboard.

Once they were sized, I ended up routing a profile on the bottom side (to allow it to recess properly). Bringing the blade up through it initially also took some tinkering. Good luck.
 

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Yeah, many saws require very difficult to make zero clearance inserts. I have a friend who is coming over to learn woodworking with me, and his saw is one of those "difficult ones". I don't know the model of his saw, but it is supposed to be fairly new and I have only seen the insert so far. It's going to require an odd shaped pattern to rout clearances in the bottom of it too. When we get that far and I actually start helping him make one, I'll try to post the saw's model number, as well as some pictures and a description of how we made it. Of course, many will be made at one time, so he won't have to do it again for a while. The setups and making the templates take most of the time, so making multiples doesn't add much time to the project. If one doesn't turn out perfect, you can easily make firewood out of it and still have a bunch of good ones.

Charley
 

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I bought a Leecraft from Amazon for my old 113. .....
Fit perfectly, but the Price has gone up to $29.xx .... Too much.....
I agree.... Make one... Very easy, using the OEM insert
for a pattern ....
 
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