guide to making zero clearance inserts ZCI - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default guide to making zero clearance inserts ZCI

Funny thing - 2 weeks ago I didn't own a router or a table saw, and now I'm writing this

It didn't take long to learn that ever table saw should have a ZCI (Zero Clearance Insert). The benefits are reduced tearout on the bottom and small pieces don't fall into the rotating blade where they go round and round.

The table saw is a RIDGID TS2410LS though this should be good for most tables.

Step 1 - cut up some wood that is close to the size of the insert (1/16th to 1/8th border)

step 2 - wrap some tape in a loop and stick the original insert to the piece cut in step 1

step 3 - use a band saw, scroll saw, or anything of the sort to cut the rough shape of the insert out using the insert taped on in step 2 as a guide. This is important because you can't take more that 1/8th to 1/4" off with the router

step 4 - using a flush cut bit with the bearing set to the height of the original insert (on top) trim the blank insert to shape

step 5 - remove the original insert from the blank.

step 6 - using a zero clearance fence on the router table and a dado bit (groove cutter or whatever you would like to call it) cut the tab that holds the plate in place.

step 7 - test fit and make adjustments as needed. You might need to cut a dado for the blade if you can't lower the blade far enough. Measure and cut, every saw is going to be a little different.

step 8 - with the leveling screws on the original insert slightly extending, line up the original insert on top of the blank. gently tap with a rubber hammer - this will mark the location of the leveling screws.

step 9 - mark the "hold down" screw location with a permanent marker.

step 10 - remove the original insert and mark the dimples created in the step 6 with permanent marker so they are easier to see.

step 10 - drill the leveling screw holes with a bit that allows sufficient thread to bite into the blank insert

step 11 - using a bit that is larger than the head of the head of the screw you are using, drill in enough for the head of the screw to recess in - use your best judgment - I set the stop on the drill press so I could crank out a bunch once I got the height set.

step 12 - repeat step 11 for the hold down screw

step 13 - insert the screws with the heads sitting a touch above the surface, now grind the ends of the screws down while they are on the insert - this will size the screws and give them a flat surface for leveling.

step 14 - put in the table saw and level - you might need to grind the ends of the screws down a bit more - once I had a baseline the rest of the screws went very quickly

step 15 - with the insert leveled and the hold down screw in place, turn on the saw, allow the blade to get up to speed and gently raise though the insert to the height you want.

enjoy!
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Last edited by blurry; 02-09-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 07:45 PM
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VERY NICE SHOW AND TELL pascal

Well done


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 12:23 AM
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I want to do this with some acrylic. Should I use a different bit?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 06:36 AM
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A good thread and excellent photo shoot but could you reduce the size of the shots in future threads to something like 600 x 450 for faster opening.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 07:12 AM
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Harry don't they have a broadband connection out there yet? I did not want to say anything but your connection is as old as a dinosaur if those pics do not open instantly. Oops I forgot I am talking with an old dinosaur!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
A good thread and excellent photo shoot but could you reduce the size of the shots in future threads to something like 600 x 450 for faster opening.
Those are reduced! Camera shoots way higher resolution than that! What kind of internet connection are you using?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 09:08 AM
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HI Harry

They are see below, it's not compress that's why it takes a bit to load (file size is the key)
compress size would 22kb ....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
A good thread and excellent photo shoot but could you reduce the size of the shots in future threads to something like 600 x 450 for faster opening.


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Last edited by bobj3; 02-09-2009 at 09:16 AM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 09:21 AM
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I made my 1st dado insert for the TS and bought a blank for the blade the phenolic is smooth. I use a stabilizer for my blades so I had to dig out the under side a bit so as to take advantage of an extra 1/2" of height.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 09:40 AM
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Very nice write-up. Now I need an example for my Craftsman saw. They are much thinner and would have to be relieved on the underside. On my to do list. I currently have made one out of 1/4" mdf. Not the strongest material.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 02:43 PM
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Be careful with the thickness, you don't want the insert to flex when you apply pressure to it as you pass material over it.

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