Craftsman 21829 Zero Clearance Insert

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Project by LJackson posted 03-04-2015 03:23 AM 3128 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have created a zero clearance throat plate for my table saw, a Craftsman 21829, similar to the Ryobi BT3100. I had discovered that 1/8 inch plywood, specifically the small square of it that you can get at the crafts store (Michael’s), is the perfect thickness for my table saw. The existing throat plate is slightly thinner, and sunk into the table just a bit. Also, it’s opening is massive. Maybe it should be called an infinity clearance throat plate.

The one problem with the 1/8 inch plywood, is that it makes bananas look straight. So, I glued it to a piece of 3/4 inch shop-grade plywood. As depicted in the photos, I needed to cut off the corners and route out a bit of the wood for clearance.

I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. There are a few edges where the plywood just sticks above the table, and if you press, it will push down flush. Unfortunately, one of those edges is the leading edge. So, I just chamfered the edges.

It seems that there’s always the epilogue of “If I had to do it again, here’s how I’d change it,” and it is no different with this small project. You can see in the pictures, that there is a small gap to one side of the plate, and that gap is also there on the original insert. I would cover that gap next time. Also, instead of cutting off the corners of the 3/4 inch plywood, I would just route them thin enough to clear the bosses in the table, to give the 1/8 inch ply as much surface area to adhere to as possible at the extreme ends.

Finally, I would use baltic birch plywood that hasn’t been sitting outside for the entire summer getting all warped and twisty, like I did with this 3/4 shop plywood. Okay, so a small piece isn’t that bad, as evidenced by my relative success, but I’m sure a better taken care of piece of wood would have worked well.

2 comments so far

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2894 days

#1 posted 03-05-2015 04:50 PM

Well done.
Zero clearance is definitely the way to go.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View BigPete's profile


6 posts in 1477 days

#2 posted 03-07-2015 06:44 PM

thanks for this post. I have the same saw. Ive never been very impressed with the gaping hole they left on the throat plate. Ill be making one like yours soon.


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