Transparent Throat PLate

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Blog entry by Woodwrecker posted 05-15-2016 02:55 AM 1568 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I obtained some high end Acrylic by chance that is tough as nails and made some zero clearance throat plates out of it that are the same thickness as my factory plate.
With my R4512 saw having the real thin throat plates, this stuff works out great.
I’ve already made several in different angles for raised panel door work and such.
It doesn’t sag or bend and the blade cut through it beautifully.
I use some duct tape to hold down the edges.
And, with a 4×8 sheet of it, I’ll make a bunch of spares.

I thought I’d pass it along in case anybody with a R4512 is looking for a material that is the same thickness as their original throat plates.

13 comments so far

View lew's profile


12149 posts in 3807 days

#1 posted 05-15-2016 03:59 AM

Cool idea!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6037 posts in 3405 days

#2 posted 05-15-2016 11:14 AM

Good looking idea! It also brings safety to mind having that full view of the blade!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20750 posts in 3158 days

#3 posted 05-15-2016 12:09 PM

Great idea, Eric. I made one and put in a little clearance and those thin pieces fly down there all the time. I should make one line this.

Thanks, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View RJ2's profile


151 posts in 3837 days

#4 posted 05-15-2016 01:18 PM

I like doing that on the bandsaws . Nice way to kee an eye on the lower guide clearance


View jbay's profile


2421 posts in 951 days

#5 posted 05-15-2016 01:32 PM

I’m not sure what “High End” acrylic is, but I don’t share your enthusiasm. If it’s only 1/8” thick it is still pretty flimsy and I, personally, wouldn’t use it. Especially when cutting something small.
Maybe use 1/4” polycarbonate (Lexan) and put a rabbet around the edge to make it flush would be a better option.

View hoss12992's profile


4047 posts in 1945 days

#6 posted 05-15-2016 03:39 PM

Great find and great ideal. I used scraps and planed them down to thickness to make mine. Had not thought of making them out of that material. I will def have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4187 posts in 3217 days

#7 posted 05-15-2016 04:42 PM

My experience with acrylic, even 1/4”, suggests that it sags over time if held horizontally and is not supported on all edges. There is undoubtedly some width or length where that won’t happen, meaning smaller is less likely to significantly warp. I also don’t know what your material exactly is, but I hope it works.

I would appreciate if you report back to us after using it a while. I have the same saw in La Conner, and constructing a ZCI is a problem.

I made one out of hardboard, 1/8”, the “crappy stuff” with one side coated white, and reinforced it with glued on small pieces of wood, one like a keel, and another horizontal one on the short axis at the back. It works, but still flexes quite a bit. I use a sled for small items, so the flex is not too important. If you have any warp or flex issues, glue a well placed piece of acrylic or wood on the underside like a keel. If you do that, check the extremes of saw height to make sure it doesn’t interfere. There are some spots that can be used.

Polycarbonate is tougher stuff, but I haven’t worked with it. My glasses are polycarbonate for lightness and toughness since they have minimal supporting elements, and my chair I am sitting on at this moment rolls around on a sheet of it for protection for the carpet….......otherwise, I know nothing about it.

Warm up here in Anchorage, these days. I did way too many plumbing maintenance projects, and an electrical one as well, in La Conner, so I am resting my body and hands for a week…....staying out of the shop.

Keep us informed. A good solution here would be welcomed by a bunch of us.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View tyvekboy's profile


1775 posts in 3065 days

#8 posted 05-15-2016 07:10 PM

Very cool. Gonna have to try that. If it sags There’s no reason why you can’t use acrylic cement to add supports under it for support.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View oldnovice's profile


6946 posts in 3420 days

#9 posted 05-16-2016 01:01 AM

I agree with those questioning any “sag” particularly over time/temperature.

1/4” Polycarbonate is probably a better choice as it has greater impact resistance than acrylic.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View NormG's profile


6202 posts in 3056 days

#10 posted 05-16-2016 03:39 AM

I saw one of these before. Seems like great idea if it woek. I can remember but I think it was 1/4 industrial polycarbonate. It was installed on a Delta TS

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View hjt's profile


880 posts in 3190 days

#11 posted 05-17-2016 01:50 AM

And you even painted it Home Depot Orange!!

-- Harold

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2978 days

#12 posted 05-20-2016 05:50 PM

I have made quite a few of these for my Unisaw with opaque material, I like that you can screw yours down to get the level perfect and prevent it from catching and flying up at you.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Grumpy's profile


24032 posts in 3903 days

#13 posted 05-24-2016 02:28 AM

Good one Wrecker.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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