shop jigs/furniture/fixtures #1: Zero Clearance Insert

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Blog entry by Tugboater78 posted 08-13-2013 04:17 AM 1557 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of shop jigs/furniture/fixtures series Part 2: sharpening markers »

Well last night I was piddlin round with an idea to make a ripping fence/jig to attach to my circ saw. The one that came with it apparently grew feet and walked away, when i was on my last boat trip. I have some 9 and 10 foot long SYP 2×10-12s i want to rip the pith out of for a future project. Longest board i can try to rip on my table saw is 8’ give or take an inch.
I was trying to rip out some ~1/4” strips to frame out the circ saw base on a piece of plywood. One of the strips got hung on the backside of the OEM blade opening of my 70’s craftsman table saw. I just got this saw last week and haven’t done much with it for upgrades. Cleaned her up and made sure she was straight and true in all important ways, and replaced the belt with a linkbelt.

OK, back to the original point of this here BLoG!

Well after my little incident last night, where. if it wasn’t for some quick and odd manuevers, i managed to keep the pieces i was cutting from flying every which way. I Took a deep breath and said, OK im done tonight, making an insert tomorrow mornin. So i read up on here and other sights on how to best approach the task, and slept on it.


I had some borg 1/2” birch plywood scraps laying around that i figured would work. I ripped them down to ~3 7/8, I think the opening is 3 3/4”, then xcut them a shade over 14” each, ended up with 2 pieces. took the oem plate and layed out the shape with pencil.

cut them out by hand cause it was hella quicker than pullin out the jigger( which happens to be laying nearby)

jigger in a bag! see?

laid em both up on the sawtop to see how close i was (I spy… a B&D Mouse!)

measured out the lip the plate would sit on and marked and darkend the areas up, had to also mark general area where blade sits, because it sits less than half and inch below the table top at its lowest setting.

Set the OEM plate back in place. Set the blade up to the desired height of less than 1/4” and the fence with a block clamped to it to start a “crosscut” with the miter gauge for the ends at 6 cm( not sure why i measured it metric, maybe cause it was the closest side of my tool idk)

See the crappy break/gap in the end closest? This sure ain’t baltic birch plywood, but you use what yah got right? By the way, these two pic i had already started to bring my blade up through plate so i could make sure my fit was tight. It would not sit flat till i brought it up some. I didn’t get any pics of my sanding, but it was a fun experience with the only sander i own, my B&D mouse( you may see it on my bench in one of these pictures.

to bring ther blade up i used the method of setting my fence on top at 1/8 off 0.

grabbed a 5/8th Forstner bit and drilled a fingerhole, then drilled a hole with countersink for the screw that held the OEM plate. Figured may as well, the original plate also has a clip[ on the back that you slip under the lip of the top i may try to emulate.

That she is, my first ZCI plate, I will be improving on the design as i am already thinking of them. rubbed in some BLO and wax to keep it protected somewhat.

oh i measured the edge of the outside

- possible improvements:
—better guess of blades placement, so less of bulk cut away
—clip for backside to make sure it doesnt fly out of spot
—some way to add a riving knife ( hardwood sliver glued in somewhere behind blade, idk

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

3 comments so far

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3100 days

#1 posted 08-13-2013 02:58 PM

I have the same style of insert on my saw and picked up a zero clearance insert from the Peachtree booth at one of the woodworking shows. They use a steel roll pin that sticks from the insert out about a 1/4” inch to keep the back of the plate from lifting. It seems like you could do the same for yours, although, you may have to add a piece of wood to the bottom of your plate. I’m not sure that the block on the tail end reaches back far enough to install the roll pin.

I think the part number I bought was 954; it has the same 3/16” side measurement that your plate shows.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3173 days

#2 posted 08-13-2013 06:39 PM

Pretty cool man, I wish my crappy TS could take an insert. I thnk I Just nee a new saw.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Tugboater78's profile


2746 posts in 2214 days

#3 posted 08-14-2013 03:35 AM

Fixed up a clip for the back, so far so good

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

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