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  • Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

    This may be a dumb question, but here goes. How do you make a zero clearance plate for the 3650? I am still pretty new to wood working (self-taught), so any help will really be appreciated.

  • #2
    I just made a few this afternoon. It's really easy. Remove your old instert and trace the outline onto a piece of 1/2" plywood. Cut it out and leave a little extra wood around it. Next, put some double sided carpet tape on the stock insert and place your new wood blank on it. Using a flush cutting bit in your router, trim it to the same size as your stock blank. Take the two pieces apart. Drill a 1/2" hole in it for your finger to be able to pull it out.
    Now, lower your saw blade all the way down and put the insert in. You'll find it won't go all the way. using a block of wood, keep the insert from flying up and turn on the saw. After the insert drops down all the way, keep the block of wood over it and raise the blade all the way up, thus finishing the slot.
    If you do a google search for making a zero clearance insert you will find videos and better worded instructions. You can put some wood screws in the bottom to help you bring it flush to the table top if you want to, but I did not bother.

    I did find that the tab at the back end got in the way of the router bit. I siply routed all the way around the insert and flipped it end for end, making sure everything was flush. You can then finish off in the tab end.
    Dave

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    • #3
      I would add that most "1/2" plywood is actually 15/32 and so your new insert will set a little low. Intead of going thru a bunch of work to include leveling screws, I just put a couple layers of duct tape on the bottom side of the ends and trimmed around the profile with a sharp knife. If its too high, pull off a layer. If too low, add one.

      Go
      Practicing at practical wood working

      Comment


      • #4
        Here are a few keywords that I hope will get people to thinking. You can make your own custom inserts and feel proud of yourself.

        1. Plastic rather than wood and of the correct thickness

        2. Drill press and some small twist drill bits

        3. Scroll Saw and thin blades for it

        4. Sanding block and sandpaper in several grits

        5. Small flat files for cleaning up the sides of the slot

        The use of a good scroll saw makes this a pretty easy job and they are one of the safest power tools around that will cut wood. YES, you can get hurt, but it's very rare that anyone actually cuts a finger off with one of them. If you don't have one, you might look into getting a coping or fret saw and some fine blades for it.

        Hint: After you draw the slot, drill a hole in each end that's a big larger in diameter than your finest blade is from front to back. Now you can rotate your work and saw both sides. The holes are so you can insert the blade and saw out the slot.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

          Guys,

          Probably a dumb question, but what's the benefit of a zero clearance plate?

          JD

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          • #6
            Re: Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

            Couple of uses for the ZCI.
            1. When ripping thin pieces, there is no distance between the blade and the throat plate for the thin strip to fall into.
            2. When cutting veneered plywood, a ZCI minimizes splintering
            3. I have found that less dust ends up on top of the table when I use mine.
            4. Dados seem to be a bit cleaner.
            5. When I make raised panels, the tongue of the panel is supported right up to the blade.

            6. It gives evrone on here the opportunity to type
            " Do a search on ZCI for 3650, there's a ton of threads on it. "
            Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

              AHA!

              Like most things - right tool for the job.

              Thanks for the info.

              JD

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

                7. Prevents things like your 6" machinist scale falling into the blade well when making exact fence-to-blade measurements (DAMHIKT!!)

                Seriously, it will reduce tearout, especially on dado edges when using a less than optimum blade, or cross-cutting dry and brittle wood.. Not all of us can afford a $150 - $200 dado stack or WW II blade, but most have scrap wood and a little time. For it to work well, tho, you need to make the additional effort to get it flush with the table. A slight bit low in front is safer than having a forward edge lip that the work-piece could catch on when feeding it into the blade, but will cause the work to catch on the back side. Take the time to get it flush. A good check is to run a piece of wood (narrower than the insert) across it with the blade down to ensure there are no "catches" when you go to cut with it.

                Go
                Practicing at practical wood working

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

                  Originally posted by Gofor View Post
                  7. Prevents things like your 6" machinist scale falling into the blade well when making exact fence-to-blade measurements
                  Then having to fish it out since most here have hermetically sealed cabinets to get all the dust.
                  Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Zero clearance plate for Ridgid 3650

                    Roadrunner,

                    I've use one of these magnetic pick-up tools more than once to fish out the arbor nut from the inside of my saws cabinet after I've dropped it.
                    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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