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Blog entry by dustbunny posted 1489 days ago 1278 reads 4 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally made myself a zero clearance insert for my table saw. This happened today only because I spent 4 hours in the emergency room yesterday to have my left palm stitched up. Yup, I have officially joined the ranks of the injured woodworkers; bitten by my own table saw. Like many, I removed the splitter to make dado cuts and did not replace it. Yesterday I ran some hard maple through the saw and noticed it was pinching on the back of the blade. Stupid thinks to herself, as she has many times before, I’ll use my 1/8” shim to hold the cut open. Now the shim I was using had 45 deg cuts on both ends, with one end in my left hand, I pressed it into the gap not realizing the blade was under the surface of the wood (and stupid did not turn the saw off this time as she always does). The shim hit the upstroke of the blade and exploded into about 50 pieces while driving the point of the shim into my palm. Ouch…without all the gory details, I have four stitches in my palm.

Here is my insert….

Photobucket
I traced the original insert onto a scrap of maple, cut the width on the TS and the rounds on the band saw. Sanded the ends until they fit snug. Planed the thickness to be level with the table.

Photobucket
I added a washer to the back of the insert to fit under the bottom surface of the table top. This holds the insert in place, preventing the upstroke of the saw blade from throwing the insert at you. I notched a groove with a carbide bur, and epoxied the washer in place. Then set the insert in position and raised the blade to saw up through the insert. I flipped the insert vertically front to rear and ran the blade up through again.

Photobucket
If you notice, the front of the blade is 1 1/2” from the front of the insert, and the back is 3 1/2”. By flipping the insert it extends the cut, that will be behind the blade when put back to the original position. This will allow you to put a splitter behind the blade in the saw cut.
Photobucket

The splitter thickness is slightly thicker than the kerf, then on the fence side of the splitter that will seat into the kerf, the slight thickness is removed. This will force the piece on the inside to press up against the fence.
I think you can see that in this picture-
Photobucket

Glue in place, put insert into table, and you are ready to be sawing SAFELY.
To remove the insert press the back curve down and the front will pop up.
I meant to make one of these a while ago, takes a rude awakening sometimes to get me moving.
Thanks for looking,

Lisa

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~ http://quiltedwood.com



29 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2483 posts in 2215 days


#1 posted 1489 days ago

Lisa,

So sorry to hear about your injury, but thanks for the reminder to do something I should have done long ago. I need to make it this week’s priority!

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View degoose's profile

degoose

6883 posts in 1857 days


#2 posted 1489 days ago

Join the club… be lucky it was not the blade that bit you.
Glad all is ok now.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View Woodfix's profile

Woodfix

322 posts in 1802 days


#3 posted 1489 days ago

On your birthday too. Bother.
Glad you are okay.
Doug

-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour

View scrappy's profile

scrappy

3505 posts in 1933 days


#4 posted 1489 days ago

Lisa, Sorry to hear about your accident. Glad it wasn’t any worse. Most times it’s the little things that will get you.

Be safe. Heal quickly.

Scrappy

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14402 posts in 2178 days


#5 posted 1489 days ago

Glad to hear it was the shim and not the blade!! Sorry for your accident. I have had a lot of stiches, but usually materials I’m handling or run into in the ceilings. Lots of sharp edges out there ;-((

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2545 posts in 1935 days


#6 posted 1489 days ago

Ouch!
Sorry about the accident but … necessity is the mother of invention… now you have a new ZCI with a splitter.
An incident like that makes us all a little more careful.
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View lumberdustjohn's profile

lumberdustjohn

1241 posts in 1669 days


#7 posted 1489 days ago

Sorry to hear of your misfortune.
Glad it was minor.

I do the same as you have done. I need to make a zero clearance insert also.
Still use the insert that came with the saw.

Heal quickly.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2653 posts in 2029 days


#8 posted 1489 days ago

Ouch! Your tribulations leave a lot of goosebumps! Thank you for sharing and reminding us all to be as safe as we can be.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4618 posts in 2384 days


#9 posted 1489 days ago

Ouch, sorry. (and Ouch again…)

To make a ZCI, I rough cut the size needed, double sticky tape it to the original, and use a pattern cutting router bit to make an exact copy.

I also cut out the square in the back for access to the splitter and guard that came with the saw. It seems like a stronger splitter. If you remove your splitter too many times, it may loosen the grip.

Drilling a finger hole is a nice thing too, to allow removal.

Stay safe,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2802 days


#10 posted 1489 days ago

Sorry to hear about your accident, especially while you’re trying to add a safety feature to your saw.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1617 days


#11 posted 1489 days ago

how the %&@&%#¤%¤#W#¤%%¤@&§ so now the steam is out I can say

sorry to hear you got heart in the battle
glad to hear it´s a minor
hope you heal fast
bee safe and stay tuned

Dennis

View Andy's profile

Andy

1500 posts in 2410 days


#12 posted 1489 days ago

Thats a nice insert you made, it will give you confidence.
Sorry to hear about the cut, but glad it wasnt any worse.
Those are the kind that teach and not scare us off.
Your tough, you came right back and fixed the problem, I’m impressed :)
Andy

-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34797 posts in 2903 days


#13 posted 1489 days ago

Lisa Sorry about your injury. Some great tips there. Learned from experience.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View woodsmithshop's profile (online now)

woodsmithshop

1085 posts in 2048 days


#14 posted 1489 days ago

welcome to the “club” nothing like an accident to wake up a person, glad it wasn’t worse than it is, glad to see you are back at it so soon.

-- Smitty!!!

View mikethetermite's profile

mikethetermite

400 posts in 1768 days


#15 posted 1488 days ago

Sorry to hear about your injury. Thanks for the reminder for the importance of using a splitter and a zero clearance insert. The maple insert really turned out nice.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

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