Re: the final word on inserts
Note. These pictures are just to help you see what I mean in the descriptions. I've already made a few ZCIs and didn't feel like going through the whole process again just to show true action shots.
Cut a piece of melamine covered mdf (or whatever you are using) to approximately the right size
Stick the original insert to the ZCI blank using tape. Something stronger than masking tape is probably a good idea. I made due though, just make sure you keep pressure on the tape so it stays together, and push on them both together.
Use a router and flush trim bit to get the new ZCI blank to the right size. Note, my bit was slightly too short so I had to pre-trim the underside of the ZCI. I think you can see what I mean in the picture. (Note the gheto router table. Yes, it is just an Ikea shelf I pulled out of the garbage)
Now the the outline of the ZCI is right, pre-cut the slot. I don't have a blade smaller than a 10", and a 10" blade fully lowered on the 2412 sits right at the table surface. I held it in place with a 2x4 clamped at either end of the table over top of the original insert and raised the blade so it just cut through the new insert. You can also do step 5 first, and then hold the insert in place by placing the fence over top of it (but not where the blade will come through!) and raising a smaller diameter blade through the insert.
We have to get it to sit at the right height on the table (see the ledges the existing insert sits on below). I did this using the table saw to remove a uniform thickness of material slowly from the underside of the new ZCI. Trace the approximate amount to remove first. You can either be very careful to just remove the right thickness, or take a little more off and then shim it up using tape.
Additional things you can do.
1) Drill an extra hole to make removing the insert easier (shown)
2) Add a hole for the front hold down screw (shown)
3) add a clip for the rear hold down. As mentioned above you can use a mirror clip, or just a little metal tab for this. You may want to remove material from the rear of the insert so the clip is at the right height. I haven't done this yet but probably will.
4) add a splitter (ala http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki...w00066_sb1.asp)
I haven't done this yet, but this was the main reason for me making my own ZCI. I bought the saw used and it didn't come with the guard/splitter. (any one know where I can find one?)
Last edited by tpwade; 02-06-2008 at 10:52 PM.
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