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  • zero clearence inserts

    Well I just purchased and got running my new 4512m table saw.
    Only complaint so far is the wide opening on the insert.
    Any suggestions for making a zero clearence, and one for dados.
    The insert is not all that thick, and does not lock down, so any ideas would be great,
    Thanks much for your time and input.
    Terry
    \

  • #2
    Re: zero clearence inserts

    here's a video on making ZCIs:

    http://www.woodsmith.com/issues/178/...arance-insert/

    i use the same technique with 2 changes. first, i place 1/8" harboard spacers between the stock throat plate and the ZCI blank when they are set up for trimming on the router table. i do this so the cutters of the pattern bit do not contact the stock throat plate.

    second, i use a scap 2x4 or piece of plywood to hold the ZCI down while the blade is raised into it to create the kerf. the idea of using the fence to hold down the ZCI while raising the blade makes me nervous.
    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: zero clearence inserts

      Thanks for the info, and video.
      I am more concerned with the thickness of the plate.
      On the Ridgid, I think there is only 3/16 thickness, and so I was wondering what material I could use.
      Thanks again for your time and quick response
      Terry

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: zero clearence inserts

        Originally posted by terry glenn View Post
        I am more concerned with the thickness of the plate.
        On the Ridgid, I think there is only 3/16 thickness
        Should be more like 3/8".
        I like to use scrap pieces of laminate flooring, drill and tap four
        holes, and use allen screws for levelers, with a drop of loctite
        on the threads.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: zero clearence inserts

          Thanks Big Jim.
          I will see if I can find some flooring.
          Might try Home depot, don't know where else it would be.
          Thanks again.
          Terry

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: zero clearence inserts

            the insert on my ridgid is also relatively thin, probabaly 1/8". i use 1/4" mdf and route a rabbet around the perimeter so it sits on the throat plate ledge. if i route it too deep, and the insert is too low, i shim it with painters tape. works quite well.
            there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: zero clearence inserts

              I used 1/8 hardboard to make a ZCI. The hardboard is about .010 thicker than the stock throat plate which doesn't seem to affect anything. I like the idea of using thicker stock and cutting a rabbet around the perimeter though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: zero clearence inserts

                Hi,

                I have a newbie question..I just bought this saw and almost have it put together and I do want to make a zci but I want to use the blade guard but I haven't seen any tutorials or images with the blade guard on any ZCI. All I've seen is added splitters.

                Do any of you add the guard or is it really not needed after making the insert?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: zero clearence inserts

                  Rone, here is what I do. I used some scrap 1/4" poplar I had lying around, although will use something else in the future that is less likely to split after use.

                  Used some double sided carpet tape and stuck the stock ZCI updside down to the poplar and used my router table with a flush trim bit to cut out the shape.

                  I then removed the 10" blade in the table saw and put my new ZCI into the hole. I marked where the 4 spots are that the leveling screws sit on. Then used 3/8" wood screws that I pre-drilled some holes in the blank ZCI and screwed them in/out until the new ZCI fit flush and level with the table top.

                  I then put in an 8" blade that would allow me to lower it enough for the new ZCI blank to sit properly (a 10" blade will push the ZCI too high to sit in the hole without any cut made yet as the blade won't go low enough and lie directly on the blade). Removed the stock splitter and accessories. I put the new blank back into the hole and clamped it down with a couple scrap 2x's I had lying around. Turn on the saw, and slowly raise the blade until it is about 1/2 way up. Turn off saw, unplug, remove new ZCI and change back to 10" blade I will use with that particular ZCI. Lower blade all the way, put in new ZCI that is now partially cut, re-clamp, turn on saw and raise the blade as high as it will go.

                  Turn off saw, removed new ZCI and I then went to my sliding compound miter saw. I laid the new ZCI onto the SCMS and adjusted it carefully (with saw off and unplugged) by moving the slide back and forth until the blade was perfectly aligned with the existing slot already created by the table saw blade. I clamped the ZCI to the SCMS bed and let the blade spin up. Then slowly lowered it and created a longer slot/slit in the ZCI until it was about 1.25" ~ 1.5" from the back.

                  Then put the new ZCI back into my tablesaw and the existing splitter and accessories fit perfectly with the blade. I have made 2 this way last week (one for a regular and another for a thin kerf blade) with no problems.

                  Just for giggles, I also added an old mirror clip I had lying around to the back bottom of the ZCI to have a tab which helps prevent it from slipping or popping up in the back. I read about that clip idea somewhere a few years ago, likely on this forum, and works fine.

                  Just my 2 cents worth.
                  Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: zero clearence inserts

                    Originally posted by wwsmith View Post
                    Rone, here is what I do. I used some scrap 1/4" poplar I had lying around, although will use something else in the future that is less likely to split after use.

                    Used some double sided carpet tape and stuck the stock ZCI updside down to the poplar and used my router table with a flush trim bit to cut out the shape.

                    I then removed the 10" blade in the table saw and put my new ZCI into the hole. I marked where the 4 spots are that the leveling screws sit on. Then used 3/8" wood screws that I pre-drilled some holes in the blank ZCI and screwed them in/out until the new ZCI fit flush and level with the table top.

                    I then put in an 8" blade that would allow me to lower it enough for the new ZCI blank to sit properly (a 10" blade will push the ZCI too high to sit in the hole without any cut made yet as the blade won't go low enough and lie directly on the blade). Removed the stock splitter and accessories. I put the new blank back into the hole and clamped it down with a couple scrap 2x's I had lying around. Turn on the saw, and slowly raise the blade until it is about 1/2 way up. Turn off saw, unplug, remove new ZCI and change back to 10" blade I will use with that particular ZCI. Lower blade all the way, put in new ZCI that is now partially cut, re-clamp, turn on saw and raise the blade as high as it will go.

                    Turn off saw, removed new ZCI and I then went to my sliding compound miter saw. I laid the new ZCI onto the SCMS and adjusted it carefully (with saw off and unplugged) by moving the slide back and forth until the blade was perfectly aligned with the existing slot already created by the table saw blade. I clamped the ZCI to the SCMS bed and let the blade spin up. Then slowly lowered it and created a longer slot/slit in the ZCI until it was about 1.25" ~ 1.5" from the back.

                    Then put the new ZCI back into my tablesaw and the existing splitter and accessories fit perfectly with the blade. I have made 2 this way last week (one for a regular and another for a thin kerf blade) with no problems.

                    Just for giggles, I also added an old mirror clip I had lying around to the back bottom of the ZCI to have a tab which helps prevent it from slipping or popping up in the back. I read about that clip idea somewhere a few years ago, likely on this forum, and works fine.

                    Just my 2 cents worth.

                    Thanks wwsmith! But do you use the blade guard with your ZTI?
                    I'll definitely give this a go.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: zero clearence inserts

                      Depending on what I am doing I will usually use the blade guard. Obviously I will not use either the blade guard or the splitter on wood I am not cutting all the way through (dados, rabbits, etc).
                      Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: zero clearence inserts

                        Thanks man sounds good to me. I'm just new to table saws and I probably went a little big for my first by getting this one but go big or go home.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: zero clearence inserts

                          wwsmith, great post. The only thing I'd recommend is if you're doing a ZCI without the need for the splitter / riving knife and you don't have an 8" blade hanging around, before you untape the stock throat plate from the newly created zci blank, take the old blank, insert it into the throat of the TS and raise the blade up through the old throat to score your new zci. That way you don't have a blade change in the middle of the process. Also, while they're still taped together, drill your pilot holes for your levelers & the screws that secure the zci to the table. Best of luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: zero clearence inserts

                            Wwsmith; one more thing that may make alignment easier (and safer than ripping on your scms), before you tape your zci to your stock plate, set your rip fence just outside the edge of the stock throat plate, then clamp a stop block on your rip fence just past the back edge of the stock throat plate. Raise the blade just above the top of the new zci and make a straight cut to the stop block & shutoff the saw. Shut off & unplug the saw, but leave the blade proud of the stock throat plate (unscrewed @ this point) then, put your double stick tape on the top of the stock plate, and use the TS blade itself to align your zci blank with the stock zci. Stick them together & lift out the zci & stock plate, flush trim to fit, drill leveling holes & you're done.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: zero clearence inserts

                              Leecraft just came out with zc inserts for the 4512 last week.

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