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ZCI levelling (screws?)

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  • ZCI levelling (screws?)

    Hi all,

    Last night I made some ZCIs for my R4511 from 1/2" MDF. Trouble is, I need to level the ZCIs as they are a bit thinner than the recess in the table top. What is the best way to do this?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  • #2
    Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

    This may sound horrible, but I just put a few strips of duct tape.

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    • #3
      Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

      Just go to the hardware store and buy some set screws. If you need to, take along the stock throat plate to use the screws that came with that one as an example of what you need.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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      • #4
        Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

        You can do screws, you can do tape, I just make sure mine are exactly the same height as my stock insert, I make them slightly thicker, then plane to exact thickness and haven't had a problem yet.

        And I make ZCIs in bulk, I usually have 4-5 extras laying around that I can put into the table at a moment's notice, just in case.

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        • #5
          Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

          I glued a thin piece of hardwood to one surface of the MDF so that the Zero Clearance Insert plate is about an 1/8" too thick. I then ran the ZCI through the Planer to bring it back down to exact thickness.

          Planed the Hardwood, not the MDF side. I crossed my fingers and hoped for no wobble. if it did wobble, I would have installed set screws to the tabs on the saw instead of every insert plate I made.

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          • #6
            Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

            I use set screws as the duct tape cannot be adjusted.
            Bert

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            • #7
              Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

              Thanks guys; you have given me some very helpful info/ideas.

              Mark

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              • #8
                Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                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?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                  I use mine primarily with my dado set up... I've made several inserts for the different dado widths that I use...

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                  • #10
                    Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                    I just use #4/$6 1/4" screws. To adjust the level, the insert needs to be removed. It's not a big deal since I only do this once in a blue moon.

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                    • #11
                      Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                      Originally posted by Hawk View Post
                      So my question is what are the main benefits of having a ZCI on your TS and would I benefit from using one?
                      1) SAFETY:
                      Let's say you are trimming off 1/4" from the end of 2"x4", that cut off piece is going to be taken down the saw's throat. It might get wedged between the throat plate and the blade. It might get chopped up into smaller pieces and some of those pieces might come flying back out aiming in your direction. They may get sucked into the dust collection and get banged around some more by the impellers
                      2) QUALITYt:
                      Take for instance a cross cut on plywood, the blade's downward cut is going to cause tear-out on the down-facing side of the plywood. If the insert plate is up against the blade, it will help prevent tear-out

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                      • #12
                        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?
                        ZCIs allow you to cut narrow stock that may fall down next to the blade if not supported. It also makes for cleaner cuts with less tearout because the wood is supported all the way around the perimeter of the blade. They are primarily used for dado cuts, although I've got one just for the standard 1/8" blade as well.

                        Because they are so easy to make, I make a bunch at a time. I took my dado set and made a ZCI for every combination of chippers I had, each labelled so I know which one goes with which combination. I also have a pile of blanks, just in case, and you can make ZCIs for angled cuts if you want, depending on the angle I suppose, although I've never found a need to do so and would think they'd need more engineering to get them cut right and mountable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                          Originally posted by cisco1138 View Post
                          1) SAFETY:
                          Let's say you are trimming off 1/4" from the end of 2"x4", that cut off piece is going to be taken down the saw's throat. It might get wedged between the throat plate and the blade. It might get chopped up into smaller pieces and some of those pieces might come flying back out aiming in your direction. They may get sucked into the dust collection and get banged around some more by the impellers
                          2) QUALITYt:
                          Take for instance a cross cut on plywood, the blade's downward cut is going to cause tear-out on the down-facing side of the plywood. If the insert plate is up against the blade, it will help prevent tear-out
                          Your examples help me understand ZCI's contribute to your safety and the quality of cuts you make. Thank you

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                            Originally posted by Cephus View Post
                            ZCIs allow you to cut narrow stock that may fall down next to the blade if not supported. It also makes for cleaner cuts with less tearout because the wood is supported all the way around the perimeter of the blade. They are primarily used for dado cuts, although I've got one just for the standard 1/8" blade as well.

                            Because they are so easy to make, I make a bunch at a time. I took my dado set and made a ZCI for every combination of chippers I had, each labelled so I know which one goes with which combination. I also have a pile of blanks, just in case, and you can make ZCIs for angled cuts if you want, depending on the angle I suppose, although I've never found a need to do so and would think they'd need more engineering to get them cut right and mountable.
                            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
                            Last edited by Hawk; 01-06-2010, 10:54 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: ZCI levelling (screws?)

                              There are several previous threads on this subject that can be found using the "search" function. In them you will find some good techniques and tips

                              In short:

                              1. Get some stock material that is close to the thickness of your existing insert. Depending on your saw, this could be 1/8" to more than 1/2". If it is too thick, it will have to be planed down, so a little less is better. Materials used are cabinet grade ply, corian counter top scraps, plastic, laminate flooring, MDF, etc.

                              2. Using the stock insert as a template, you trace out a blank insert on the material. Then rough cut it to dimension using the table saw, jig saw, band saw, etc. Then you finish the edges. A common practice is to use 2-sided tape (the carpet tape sold at Lowe's, HD, etc works well) to stick the existing insert to the material, and then use a router, with a bearing bit (pattern bit for a hand-held or trim bit for a table router). However, you can use a rasp, spindle sander, etc to final trim the curved edges.

                              3. At this point, You can rasp down the tab (if it had one), or just install a finish nail in the end to act as one, and also countersink a screw hole in for fastening. Some ignore this and just use the ZCI dropped into the recess. For ease of removal, you may want to drill a 3/4" hole through it in an area that the new blade/dado will not come through. I don't.

                              4. Then you need to get the insert level with the table top. At this point, you will probably have to remove the blade from the saw as most do not drop far enough below the table top. Some install set screws. I use layers of duct tape.

                              5. Now that it sets into the recess, and is flat with the table top, it is time to make it into a ZCI. That means running the blade/dado up through it.
                              For a dado set-up, stack the blades to the desired thickness, lower the cutters fully, insert the new blank, lock the fence over the blank far enough to the right so the dado will not hit it, (If you did not install screws/tabs, you may want to clamp a 2 x 4 across the top instead of using the fence), turn on the saw, and SLOWLY raise it up through the blank until it it higher than the cut you intend to make.
                              For a full-sized saw blade, its a bit trickier if the blade does not drop down far enough to install the insert. All else being the same as the dado, I do the first cut with a 7 1/4" circular saw blade (same kerf as the blade I am making the ZCI for). If it is full kerf (1/8") you can use one of the outside cutters from the dado set (the dado will be smaller than the 10"). After the initial cut having been run all the way up, then install the 10" blade and do it again. This is the technique for making one for a bevel cut as well as just for vertical. Some cut a dado half-way through the bottom of the insert blank where the blade comes up with a router, etc to eliminate having to use this 2-step approach.

                              As you can see, there are many techniques and materials, all of which work. If you do most of your cross cuts using a sled, the ZCI is not needed except for ripping thin strips. For dados, I, too, write the chipper/shim combo on the bottom, especially for the common off-thickness "1/2" (7/16 or 15/32) and "3/4" (21/32 to 23/32) ply

                              I usually make up a batch at a time (I have a TS3650 with a 1/2" thick insert, so I can make 18 out of one quarter sheet (2' x 4') of cabinet grade birch ply. That way I always have a blank on hand when I need a new one. Others have spent some time making a good quality insert into which they can screw a 1/4" thick 1 1/2" x 12" strip that becomes the new ZCI without removing the basic insert and eliminates the 2 blade step in cutting through it. That is on my "to-do" list when I get around to it

                              Guess this wasn't so short. Hope this helps, Hawk

                              Go
                              Last edited by Gofor; 01-07-2010, 12:28 AM.
                              Practicing at practical wood working

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