|Project by sandt38||posted 07-30-2010 01:42 AM||5576 views||67 times favorited||17 comments|
Someone saw my zero clearance insert and asked me for some info on it, and some pics. So here it is. This particular plate is designed to fit my Ridgid TS3640, but clearly you can modify it to fit any table.
The build is pretty simple and straightforward. First, I selected a piece of 1/2” MDF, as it is the perfect thickness for my insert. I like the MDF as it is very slick, and if you decide to use it and need to skinny it up, be sure to sand only 1 side down, and leave the other side alone, as the manufactured surface is slick, but once you sand it it becomes rough. Then I used some double sided tape and hooked my factory insert to it. I simply used a pattern cutting bit and traced the factory plate, and my base throat plate is now almost done. I used a rasp to take the hold down tab low enough to fit in the factory slot, and I drilled and countersunk the plate to fit the factory hold down machine screw.
Next I had to get the insert figured out for the throat plate. So I stacked all my dado blades and shims and raised it as high as I could, then I stuck my 10 inch blade in it and raised it all the way. Be sure to do it in this order if you use a stiffener. By using the dado first, you cut a relief out for the stiffener, and if you don’t the stiffener may hit the bottom of the plate insert and not allow the blade to raise all the way. So now you have the cutout length and width, so just set up your router table to cut out just a bit more then this, or draw your square and rout it out. If you choose to cut it with a jigsaw, I suggest you round the edges, as you can use them to help support the plate. Then, set up your mortising bit (or you could use a rabbiting bit) and dig out the depth of the hardboard you plan on using for your plate inserts. Then use a chisel to sharpen the edges of your cut out, and you have the main throat plate built. Please note that I elected to run my bit just beyond my required cutout. I did this to allow for fingernail access or small screwdriver access to make removing the insert MUCH easier.
Now all you have to do is cut out the hardboard inserts, drill the holes for the 1” coarse sheetrock screws, and countersink them, and you are done. Just raise the blades with the proper inserts and you have them done. I made 14 inserts.
There are several benefits to this design. First, I can store all 14 of my zero clearance inserts in a 2” X 11” X 1.5” space, as opposed to a 4” X 15” X 7” space (huge savings). Second, now I can use a zero clearance insert and get maximum lift with my stiffener installed, instead of hitting the bottom of my zero clearance insert. Third, now any time I need to make a new zero clearance insert it is just a matter of cutting a rectangle out of a simple piece of hardboard, I don’t have to recut the whole form, or buy a new plate for every thickness of blade or dado setting that I need to use.
Hopefully some of you will see this and use this design. I find it works great and has saved me a ton of money on my zero clearance inserts.
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