Tablesaw zero clearance inserts for free! - Router Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default Tablesaw zero clearance inserts for free!

With the price of everything going up, I look for ways to save a buck whenever I can. We all know how nice zero clearance inserts are in our table saws. Deltaís MSRP for their Model 36-862 insert is $84.99, but you can find them for $30-$40. In either case thatís a lot. I use to make them from plywood but they didnít last long. I made a few from aluminum, but not everyone has a machine shop and the price of aluminum is going up all the time, plus metal will rattle in cheaper saws.

I now have as many as I need, for nothing, or $.60 if you donít have any setscrews around. Only takes about 30-40 minutes to make one.
Most cabinet shops have large amounts of sink cutouts. Corian, is the kind to ask for. There are other solid surface materials, such as Capresa, but I personally donít know how well they will machine. Most shops will give you as much as you can haul for nothing. I did find a couple shops that wanted a couple dollars each for them, which is still a good deal; but if you look, you can get them for free, especially if you explain to them that they are for shop use, and not for resale.
The images below show how I do it:
1. Typical cutout, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. They are about Ĺ inch thick.
2. Use 2-sided tape to hold the cutout in place on the old insert. Remember to remove any screws, etc. that could interfere with the guide bearing.
3. Cut to size, using your pattern bit. DC helps, as the chips are light and stick to everything.
4. Drill setscrew holes and finger hole. I use ľ-28 setscrews, because I have a bunch of them, just about any size between 10-32 and ľ -28 will work.
5. Tap the setscrew holes and soften all edges. I use a 1/8-inch round over bit.
6. If your saw blade will not lower enough for the insert to fit; tape it to your old one, turn on saw and slowly raise the blade, just enough to break the surface.
Separate the inserts, and clean them, I use acetone to remove any residue left by the 2-sided tape. Polish with 1000 grit as much as you feel you need to.
7. One in my Delta.

Notes: None of my saws are the same. One is longer and my Craftsman uses a thinner insert, so I have to either plane down the Corian or just cut a rabbet along each side.
Iím told any of the solid surface counter top material will work; but I havenít used any thing but Corian, so be safe, always check whatever you are going to use; can it be machined.
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Harry, TX
Cut it twice, and it's still too short!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 12:37 PM
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Harry, what a great idea/tip.

Thanks for the post!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 12:57 PM
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Hi Harry

Very nice show and tell , well done

=======

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Chipper View Post
With the price of everything going up, I look for ways to save a buck whenever I can. We all know how nice zero clearance inserts are in our table saws. Deltaís MSRP for their Model 36-862 insert is $84.99, but you can find them for $30-$40. In either case thatís a lot. I use to make them from plywood but they didnít last long. I made a few from aluminum, but not everyone has a machine shop and the price of aluminum is going up all the time, plus metal will rattle in cheaper saws.

I now have as many as I need, for nothing, or $.60 if you donít have any setscrews around. Only takes about 30-40 minutes to make one.
Most cabinet shops have large amounts of sink cutouts. Corian, is the kind to ask for. There are other solid surface materials, such as Capresa, but I personally donít know how well they will machine. Most shops will give you as much as you can haul for nothing. I did find a couple shops that wanted a couple dollars each for them, which is still a good deal; but if you look, you can get them for free, especially if you explain to them that they are for shop use, and not for resale.
The images below show how I do it:
1. Typical cutout, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. They are about Ĺ inch thick.
2. Use 2-sided tape to hold the cutout in place on the old insert. Remember to remove any screws, etc. that could interfere with the guide bearing.
3. Cut to size, using your pattern bit. DC helps, as the chips are light and stick to everything.
4. Drill setscrew holes and finger hole. I use ľ-28 setscrews, because I have a bunch of them, just about any size between 10-32 and ľ -28 will work.
5. Tap the setscrew holes and soften all edges. I use a 1/8-inch round over bit.
6. If your saw blade will not lower enough for the insert to fit; tape it to your old one, turn on saw and slowly raise the blade, just enough to break the surface.
Separate the inserts, and clean them, I use acetone to remove any residue left by the 2-sided tape. Polish with 1000 grit as much as you feel you need to.
7. One in my Delta.

Notes: None of my saws are the same. One is longer and my Craftsman uses a thinner insert, so I have to either plane down the Corian or just cut a rabbet along each side.
Iím told any of the solid surface counter top material will work; but I havenít used any thing but Corian, so be safe, always check whatever you are going to use; can it be machined.



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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 01:43 PM
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Question How thin can ya go?

Hi Harry - Great idea. Been making mine out of plastic cutting boards. About 6 bucks ea but I could get two, for my old saw. This saw only has a 1/16" ledge around it. Plastic doesn't get it here, I don't think. I like the idea of corian if there is any strength left to it at that thickness.
Managed to get a Zero insert farm engineered together but for the dado cutter and molding head been trying to figure out how to do 16 gauge steel without any sheet metal tools.
Upside is that the blade throat is rectangular, not oval.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 02:52 PM
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Hi John

I do the same and have the same error as you do ,I also use the UHMW stock that is very tough stuff..

What Is UHMW?
(Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene)

Characteristics:

* The highest abrasion resistance
* Outstanding impact strength even at low temperatures
* Excellent sliding material due to low coefficient of friction
* Self-lubricating

UHMW Plastic Sheets and Strips

========



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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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thanks John,
Now that's a strange one, never saw one like it before. Strange pattern, looks like flooring. What brand is it?
John, I think alumimun would work for you. It would be strong enough(?)maybe and you could work it with hand tools. Really all you would need is a good Hacksaw, couple of good files. The straight cuts you could do with the tablesaw on metal that thin. You would need a carbide blade at least a 100 tooth. If you were to use a course blade the teeth would grab it, with nasty results. I would sandwich it between some 1/2" plywood, that would be the safe way. You sure it's 1/16 that's only .062 ? I believe I would reinforce the un-supported edge with 1/4 aluminum angle, you could pop rivet it together. Any way you could modify the table to take a thicker insert. Wish you were nearby, bet I could come up with something better.

Harry, TX
Cut it twice, and it's still too short!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 07:30 PM
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That is a great way to get rhe material, thanks.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Chipper View Post
With the price of everything going up, I look for ways to save a buck whenever I can. We all know how nice zero clearance inserts are in our table saws. Deltaís MSRP for their Model 36-862 insert is $84.99, but you can find them for $30-$40. In either case thatís a lot. I use to make them from plywood but they didnít last long. I made a few from aluminum, but not everyone has a machine shop and the price of aluminum is going up all the time, plus metal will rattle in cheaper saws.

I now have as many as I need, for nothing, or $.60 if you donít have any setscrews around. Only takes about 30-40 minutes to make one.
Most cabinet shops have large amounts of sink cutouts. Corian, is the kind to ask for. There are other solid surface materials, such as Capresa, but I personally donít know how well they will machine. Most shops will give you as much as you can haul for nothing. I did find a couple shops that wanted a couple dollars each for them, which is still a good deal; but if you look, you can get them for free, especially if you explain to them that they are for shop use, and not for resale.
The images below show how I do it:
1. Typical cutout, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. They are about Ĺ inch thick.
2. Use 2-sided tape to hold the cutout in place on the old insert. Remember to remove any screws, etc. that could interfere with the guide bearing.
3. Cut to size, using your pattern bit. DC helps, as the chips are light and stick to everything.
4. Drill setscrew holes and finger hole. I use ľ-28 setscrews, because I have a bunch of them, just about any size between 10-32 and ľ -28 will work.
5. Tap the setscrew holes and soften all edges. I use a 1/8-inch round over bit.
6. If your saw blade will not lower enough for the insert to fit; tape it to your old one, turn on saw and slowly raise the blade, just enough to break the surface.
Separate the inserts, and clean them, I use acetone to remove any residue left by the 2-sided tape. Polish with 1000 grit as much as you feel you need to.
7. One in my Delta.

Notes: None of my saws are the same. One is longer and my Craftsman uses a thinner insert, so I have to either plane down the Corian or just cut a rabbet along each side.
Iím told any of the solid surface counter top material will work; but I havenít used any thing but Corian, so be safe, always check whatever you are going to use; can it be machined.
This is a great idea, Harry. I've been considering making so for my new TS but was hoping for something heavier than wood.

Next I need to study the existing throat plate to see if there's a good way to retain use of my new Uni's riving knife while operating zero clearange. It will require a blind slit in the plate behind the blade so must be cut in advance. Hmm.. Maybe that 1/8" router bit I've got on order from Ptree, in my RT will do it. Hmmm...

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Chipper View Post
thanks John,
Now that's a strange one, never saw one like it before. Strange pattern, looks like flooring. What brand is it?
John, I think alumimun would work for you. It would be strong enough(?)maybe and you could work it with hand tools. Really all you would need is a good Hacksaw, couple of good files. The straight cuts you could do with the tablesaw on metal that thin. You would need a carbide blade at least a 100 tooth. If you were to use a course blade the teeth would grab it, with nasty results. I would sandwich it between some 1/2" plywood, that would be the safe way. You sure it's 1/16 that's only .062 ? I believe I would reinforce the un-supported edge with 1/4 aluminum angle, you could pop rivet it together. Any way you could modify the table to take a thicker insert. Wish you were nearby, bet I could come up with something better.
Hi Harry, that's the Ryobi BTS21. The pattern you see is on the mitre table. Being pretty well stuck with contractor saws because of space constraints so I got this one to alleviate my biggest safety issue with contractor saws, namely lack of work area on my side of the blade. Most of them anything more than 7" or so and you have a balancing act on your hands for crosscuts. The mitre table eliminates that, I can get a good 14 or 15" supported out there. But it also comes with it's own set of problems. No mitre slots at all. I didn't expect one on the left, but it doesn't have one on the right either. Put a very nice Incra V120 out of a job, at least for now. The long mitre fence is nice, although I have already lopped off one of the plastic endpieces.. hehehehe,, guess Ryobi was expecting that.
Anyway, table insert is 1/16th, I put the calipers to it. I cabbaged the zero insert by marrying a piece of 20 gauge aluminum angle iron with a hunk of 3/8 polyethelene cutting board. Works OK but doesn't look good. Will likely do it over sometime. It is nice in that the riving knife comes over the back of the machine so no issues with that and the Zero Insert.
With the dado blade I doubt there will be much of an insert at all. I don't think I will be able to get any more than a 3/4" dado stacked because the spindle is so short, also not much space in there anyway. I haven't really put the dado blade on there to see where I am yet but I did load the molding head once. It's the front and back of the molding head that needs the support, especially the front. I tried it with a makeshift insert and one of those big honkin cutters yanked the stock right into the throat. I suspected it was gonna do that so I was prepared for it.
I bought a metal cutting blade for a 7-1/4" saw, 5/8 arbor. I think I'll screw the 16 gauge steel to a piece of 3/4 ply, set the blade just higher than 1/16 and run the assembly face down on the table saw to at least get length and width. I can make the cut out with a jigsaw and die grinder. Seems like the safest way.
Oh well, first pic is the mitre table, second with version 1.0 of the table insert. Last is the open throat.
Thanks guys....
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for posting more pictures. I can see it has some nice features. Is the Orange insert, the factory one? Looks like it wasn't designed to use a dado set. Had a little Wards TS 50 years ago that was like that. Be careful if you try cutting the sheet metal, You can risk cutting alumimun, but steel is a lot more dangerous.

Harry, TX
Cut it twice, and it's still too short!
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