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Making your own Zero Clearance Inserts

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  • Making your own Zero Clearance Inserts

    This is something that has been discussed many times, and there are many good methods for making your own given by members of this forum.

    For those who may be looking for a little more help on this, I found this series of short videos that may interest you.

    http://www.woodsmith.com/video/zeroinsert.html

  • #2
    Very nice web site

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    • #3
      It's a very good idea before making your insert to make sure your trunion is aligned. Adjustments after cutting into the insert will put the blade in a slightly different location and widen the cut in the insert. Also align the fence first, and your insert should last a farely long time.

      Another good material is phenolic or plastic for inserts, if you can afford it. Wood when cut sometimes releases internal presure which can cup or twist the insert. Try and use 1/4 sawn for best results. MDF does ware down fast and puts hazardous dust into the air when cut.

      Woody
      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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      • #4
        The videos were very good, I had never thought of making my own inserts. I guess being new to woodworking I don't undestand why you want zero clearance inserts in the first place?
        Measure twice...Cut once..I always forget that one!

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        • #5
          They help prevent chipping and tearout by supporting the wood as the blade cuts through. They are also necessary when doing small cuts so the cutoffs dont fall into the gap

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          • #6
            At the risk of bringing up another topic that has been brought up and discussed ad nauseum, the topic of the tablesaw guard has been brought up here time and time again. Lots of people swear by them, others keep them in their original box. The Zero clearance insert is one of the MANY safety features one should consider if they are not going to use the guard. One of the biggest reasons most people spoke with regard to why to use the guard (aside from protecting your fingers), is the lack of splitter that you do not have. Well a company called micro jig has come out with a splitter that can be installed on your ZCI. You can find it at rockler.com item number 37477.

            In addition, if you are a beginner and want to get a GOOD insert in the meantime, instead of those cheap plastic ones, check out

            WWW.rockler.com

            Item number 69193 this is for the craftsman which fits the 3612 perfectly. they have others for other saws.

            Grizzly has begun making them too. They both have a tension pin inserted at the front to hold it in place and set screws to flush it to the table.

            I just picked up my micro jig splitter and will be installing it this weekend.

            Good Luck
            \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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            • #7
              Posts: 666 | From: chicagoland | Registered: Mar 2002

              Hey spaceblue! Check out your number of posts!

              I used to be a proponent of making your own ZCI's when they weren't available or when they cost $22-$25 each, but I just got some from Might-T-Track for $12.99 each and they are great. I highly recommend them.

              As far as removing the blade guard, I still consider that a major no-no, especially for a newbie!!
              Lorax
              "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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              • #8
                Lorax

                WOW interesting on the post number. good thing not supersticuous.

                As I said I did not want to relive the blade guard argument. Yes I am somewhat new to woodworking with the big boys (jointer, planer, bandsaw, etc. I have however, been around table saw's late teens and most of my adult life! I have a nice 3612, the blade guard is still in the box sealed in the rafters of the basement. This is why one of my first projects this spring is a crosscut sled. Secondly, the only time I have ever been bit by a table saw is one that had a guard. Luckily no real damage to my finger. The reason I brought up the spllitter from microjig is that one of the main arguments in favor of using the guard was the splitter. Problem solved. When I rip, (i am right handed), whenever possible the fence is on the left side of the blade. Feather board is installed and i have a ZCI. Now I have the splitter. i have a flip table for longer stock, i ALWAYS stand to the left of the fence. A hold down stick and push block are also employed. In additon the next craftsman days sale i will be buying http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...&bidsite=CRAFT

                if that link is no good go to www.craftsman.com and look up item number 00932371000

                After being bit by a table saw with a guard that binded, kicked, and drew my hand in, i am frightened by the guard. The splitter was a very valid concern among those that noted it. Now they are available!
                \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by spacebluesonoma:
                  Yes I am somewhat new to woodworking with the big boys (jointer, planer, bandsaw, etc.
                  Spaceblue,
                  The "newbie" label was not directed at you personally [img]tongue.gif[/img] but to any newbies in general that might be around. We are all newbies to one extent or another, and that certainly includes me!
                  Lorax
                  "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spacebluesonoma:


                    WWW.rockler.com

                    Item number 69193 this is for the craftsman which fits the 3612 perfectly.
                    I believe it is actually item # 69163 that fits the 3612. Just wanted to mention that if anyone is looking. Also, rockler.com shows them as "Oversold" until 4/20/05.

                    Kevin

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