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ZCI levelling (screws?)

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  • #16
    Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

    Gofor,
    I also have a TS3650. I really appreciate the easy to follow steps and detailed explanation.
    thank you!
    Last edited by Hawk; 01-06-2010, 11:10 PM.

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    • #17
      Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

      One thing I may add is that the fence on the 3650 has a gap from the table to it's bottom, so it won't hold the insert tight when you raise the spinning blade to cut your zero insert.

      The answer to that is to position the fence over the insert and use a series of playing cards as shims to hold the insert down.

      There ain't no better shims I know of than playing cards in applications like this.

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      • #18
        Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

        Use wood door shims. Slide 'em under, tap 'em tight.

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        • #19
          Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

          I started out making a dado ZCI for my 4511 and I liked it so much I made one for my 10" thin kerf Freud blade. I used 10-24 x 1/2" hex-head screws. I screwed up my first ZCI... literally... with the set screws because it pulled the MDF apart. I had to drill the pilot holes a slightly larger size and they screwed right in.

          I can swap my 10" blade and 8" Dado blade back and forth without any adjustments to the ZCI's.

          Now I'm trying to make one for my Mitersaw. That's a little more tricky cause it's a lot thinner and has more screws around it.

          Brandon
          I bleed RIDGID orange...

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          • #20
            Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

            Originally posted by Hawk View Post
            I am a newb to woodworking and the extent of my achievements and forays into the craft has been restricted to making utility tables and shelfs for use in my shop (aka garage). Nothing fancy or worthy of calling it finish carpentry.

            So my question is what are the main benefits of having a ZCI on your TS and would I benefit from using one? And does the ZCI restricts you to certain angle cuts' ie: 90 degree cuts?

            The main reason for using a zero clearance insert is to provide support to the piece of wood you are cutting.
            The more support you provide and the closer to the blade, the less tear out you get.
            This is especially noticeable in plywood, particle board MDF, and other laminates.
            In addition having less gap around the blade improve your safety and the efficiency of the vacuum system.
            I am cheap and I refuse to spend $20 to 25.00 to buy one, I make mine out of scrap 1/2" MDF, they work perfect.
            I hope that this answer your question
            Bert

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            • #21
              Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

              I can swap my 10" blade and 8" Dado blade back and forth without any adjustments to the ZCI's.

              Brandon[/QUOTE]


              How can this be?
              Of course your dado is much wider than you regular blade.
              I do not understand.
              Bert

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              • #22
                Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                Means he is not concerned with zero clearance on his saw blade. Only with the dado set.

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                • #23
                  Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                  Sorry I should have been a little more clear. I made a ZCI for my dado blade and my 10" blade. Since I installed the set screws and adjusted them I haven't had problems swapping back and forth and there's no need to readjust the set screws.

                  Better? Clear as mud?
                  I bleed RIDGID orange...

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                    Originally posted by Hawk View Post
                    I am sold on the idea of making clean cuts by using a ZCI. For my benefit and that of future readers, would you share a few tips on how to make them?
                    Thank you
                    They're very easy. Take whatever material you're going to use (MDF, plywood, plastics) that's as close to the thickness you need. Remove the original insert, flip it over and trace it on your stock. Cut it out slightly overside with a bandsaw/jigsaw and then sand to the lines. With the blade either removed or all the way down, test fit. Make sure it's the same height as the table, if not you can either shim it on the bottom or run it through the planer or install leveling screws. Once it fits perfectly, put your fence over half of the ZCI (away from the blade) and slowly raise your blade through the insert. You can remove it and drill a finger hole into the insert, write on the insert what size and/or combination of blades it's for and hang it on a nail. Make tons at the same time, it's easier that way, you can always put away the blanks for later when you need them.

                    Like I said, I've got one for every possible combination in my dado stack. I've got them for (Outside blades+1/8+1/16+.10 shim), etc. I know that when I put that combination into the saw, I grab that ZCI and I'm good to go. Having extras means that when I chew this one up, I can drop a new one in and be ready to go in moments.

                    Simple process, tweak for your particular application.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                      Originally posted by tomapple View Post
                      Means he is not concerned with zero clearance on his saw blade. Only with the dado set.
                      Right up until he's cutting delicate or thin stock and it snaps and/or vanishes down the hole because it's unsupported by the stock plate, that is. Besides, most stock inserts aren't wide enough to handle a full-width dado stack, I could only manage a very narrow dado before I had to switch to a custom insert.

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                      • #26
                        Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                        I cut a hunk of Red Oak on the table saw a little bit longer and wider then the stock insert that i used for a template. Then I clamped em together and used a trimming bit in my router to get the exact shape of the stock insert. I used a few pieces of metal comprised of electrical panel knock outs and set them in place so the Anti Kickback Pawls would have a surface to ride on when lowering the blade, super glued em in place after routing a relief for em. Got some set screws from the hardware store. If you drill the holes a tiny bit smaller the screws make thier own threads in the hardwood. They go in very tight, they do not move.
                        The only problem I found was that the anti kickback pawls are so hard and sharp they actually dig into the metel pieces I set into the ZCI. So I just slide a few 1/8" strips of wood between/under the pawls and they slide along so nothing gets caught and the blade can be lowered smoothly.
                        I used Forstner bits for the hold down screws, just deep enough to lower the heads.
                        Works good.

                        Buck

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                          Originally posted by Cephus View Post
                          They're very easy. Take whatever material you're going to use (MDF, plywood, plastics) that's as close to the thickness you need. Remove the original insert, flip it over and trace it on your stock. Cut it out slightly overside with a bandsaw/jigsaw and then sand to the lines. With the blade either removed or all the way down, test fit. Make sure it's the same height as the table, if not you can either shim it on the bottom or run it through the planer or install leveling screws. Once it fits perfectly, put your fence over half of the ZCI (away from the blade) and slowly raise your blade through the insert. You can remove it and drill a finger hole into the insert, write on the insert what size and/or combination of blades it's for and hang it on a nail. Make tons at the same time, it's easier that way, you can always put away the blanks for later when you need them.

                          Like I said, I've got one for every possible combination in my dado stack. I've got them for (Outside blades+1/8+1/16+.10 shim), etc. I know that when I put that combination into the saw, I grab that ZCI and I'm good to go. Having extras means that when I chew this one up, I can drop a new one in and be ready to go in moments.

                          Simple process, tweak for your particular application.
                          Really good tips, will definitely use them when I start making my own ZCI.
                          Thank You

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                            Originally posted by b2rtch View Post
                            The main reason for using a zero clearance insert is to provide support to the piece of wood you are cutting.
                            The more support you provide and the closer to the blade, the less tear out you get.
                            This is especially noticeable in plywood, particle board MDF, and other laminates.
                            In addition having less gap around the blade improve your safety and the efficiency of the vacuum system.
                            I am cheap and I refuse to spend $20 to 25.00 to buy one, I make mine out of scrap 1/2" MDF, they work perfect.
                            I hope that this answer your question
                            Bert
                            I am going to be working with some of the materials you point out and it seems the use of a ZCI is essential.
                            Thank you

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                              BuckB,

                              Very useful tips, thank you

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                                The only potential problem with using hardwoods is seasonal wood movement. What fits in the summer might not fit in the winter and if you trim it down to fit, it might be too small a few months later. Using plywood or MDF, besides being cheap, they don't swell or contract appreciably due to seasonal variance.

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