Building the Shop #19: Ridgid R4512 Zero Clearance Insert

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Blog entry by Lance posted 12-07-2011 02:54 AM 18286 reads 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Christmas gifts arrive!! Part 19 of Building the Shop series Part 20: Drill Press Table »

I decided to try my DW618 out tonight and made a ZERO clearance insert for my Ridgid 4512 out of MDF, kind of just playing but it came out pretty well so I finished it.

I’m SCARED to cut through with it, for some reason I think it’s going to come up and hit me because it’s not a 100% secure engineered fit.

Give me some feedback, will I be fine??

-- Lance, Hook'em HORNS! ""V""

17 comments so far

View Lance's profile


428 posts in 2640 days

#1 posted 12-07-2011 02:56 AM

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2678 days

#2 posted 12-07-2011 03:07 AM

slide your fence over the insert enough to cover it and hold it down then slowly raise the blade into the insert until the blade is a full height…would that work?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Lance's profile


428 posts in 2640 days

#3 posted 12-07-2011 03:11 AM

That would work, i don’t think I’m worried about that, there is about a 1/64 of a gap, so there is some movement and that’s what scares me. When I’m making cuts in the future, it moving and being grabbed by the blade.

-- Lance, Hook'em HORNS! ""V""

View Dave's profile


37 posts in 3129 days

#4 posted 12-07-2011 03:28 AM

Does the original insert get screwed down? You could attach it to the table somehow and then it wouldn’t move around. I made one for my steel city TS and I have a riving knife so when I made the plunges cut I had to remove the knife and then continue the cut with a jigsaw.

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3226 days

#5 posted 12-07-2011 03:30 AM

I have the 21833 which is pretty much the same as the r4512. I used 1/4 hardboard for my ZCI. I clamp a board across the saw to make the initial cut, then use a jigsaw to lengthen the slot to make room for the riving knife. After that I don’t have any problem with movement, but I also have it large enough that it is a snug fit.

There is another thread I have been commenting on where we have been discussing some stuff about this saw.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18930 posts in 2682 days

#6 posted 12-07-2011 03:33 AM

I hold ‘em down with a push stick as the blade comes up through. Its like playing twister with your table saw, but hasn’t bit me yet.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Radu's profile


330 posts in 3158 days

#7 posted 12-07-2011 03:39 AM

I’m not sure if you ask about initial cut through the insert plate or just using it for through cuts.
For initial cut I clamped a 2×4 over it and raised the blade. I started to smell burnt wood. The blade flange reached the bottom of the insert.
When I started using it I thought the blade was still touching the insert. I cut a washer out a play card, the same size as the blade flange. I took the blade out, put the paper washer between the flange and the blade and I raised the blade again. Then took the paper washer out and it was good to go.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2678 days

#8 posted 12-07-2011 03:43 AM

I guess i’d make the plate a little bigger than the blade if i were worried about that, but then again I am not such a fine woodworker (yet) to be concerned with a true zero clearance.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3408 days

#9 posted 12-07-2011 04:14 AM

When you purchase an insert they usually have a little tab on the back that slides underneath the table in the back of the throat. This keeps it from catching the back of the blade and flying out. Could you screw in a small little piece of metal on the bottom back so that when you put it into the throat you slide the back in first and then push the front down and it sort of locks it in place in the back but it’s still easily removable?

-- LAS,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2804 days

#10 posted 12-07-2011 04:15 AM

Lance, you can tighten the fit with a little blue tape where the gap is but you still need a way to attach it. I use a tab under the leading edge of the ZCI as the front is where it will lift and fly if the blade gets into it. If you’d ever come visit I’ll show you how I did mine. Be safe.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Robsshop's profile


907 posts in 3089 days

#11 posted 12-07-2011 05:23 AM

Lance,Your TS insert looks like it has been well made. With out the the details of how the original plate is held in place (IF ANY) When I put together Zero Clearance plates I use four little set screws(hardware stores) 2 on each side tapped into the plates sides at points where they will make contact with the opening side walls. Then all You have to do is adjust the screws until free play is removed. I have had no problems with this method . Don’t know if this will work with Your TS design But thought I would share with You in hopes that it does,Good luck and be safe !!..........Rob

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2740 days

#12 posted 12-07-2011 02:53 PM

I use double sided carpet tape to hold mine down. as long as the piece are free of dirt and grim when you put it down it holds great. I check it everyday before I begin work to make sure it still stuck in place.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Shanem's profile


130 posts in 2581 days

#13 posted 12-07-2011 07:20 PM

I second the tape and screw idea.
put tape around the sides to get a snug fit and also put a screw in the back of the insert so that it fits under the table. If it was to lift out the screw would restrain it. The tape will also prevent it from sliding around and hooking in the blade.

View Lance's profile


428 posts in 2640 days

#14 posted 12-09-2011 02:17 AM

-- Lance, Hook'em HORNS! ""V""

View blackspring's profile


36 posts in 2475 days

#15 posted 12-09-2011 07:05 AM

Greetings gents, I’m brand new here, and was happy to find a post on this insert. I just recently picked up the R4512 on sale – my first ‘big boy’ saw (an upgrade from an entry level RONA saw I’ve been using and barely keeping from tipping over when cutting 1X2 for the past 3 years ;).

I’m just at a point in my life where I have the long sought after home with a garage, and the time to start converting half of it to a small woodshop. In fact I’m closing in on the building the cabinets and bench as we speak.

I’m wondering if someone could outline how exactly to make this insert. A step-by-step would be great, and I do apologize in advance if this has been covered somewhere else. Thanks in advance guys (and gals).

PS – I do have a router table etc with a plunge type attachment (I’ve yet to use) as well as other tools I think* I’d need to make this.

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