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Bamboo Zero Clearance Throat Plate for my New (to me) Unisaw

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 12-31-2013 10:13 PM 1152 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally upgraded my saw to a Unisaw! It was long overdue and man-o-man is this thing a beast. I found it on CL about 15 miles from my house. It has very few hours on it, came will all the manuals, a mobile base, extension tables, and the Delta Tenoning jig. For $900 delivered! It’s a 3hp 220 1ph Left Tilt with a Unifence.

Anyway, what it did NOT come with was any safety equipment or extra throat plates. A blade guard/splitter is on my short list along with a dust collection port. After looking at the price of throat plates though, I decided to make my own. I happened to have some bamboo flooring cutoffs I picked out of a construction dumpster that were perfect after cutting the tongue off one side. The thickness was perfect, and my cutoffs were almost exactly the right length. Rather than set up the router with the pattern cutting bit, I traced the shape and made a rough cut on the band saw, finishing the job with my oscillating belt sander.

The factory plate is exactly 1/2” thick and uses leveling screws to bring it up flush, so I copied that design by drilling a through hole for a set of four stainless machine screws, then enlarging the top and bottom of the holes to recess the screw head and to receive a stainless nut which I simply pounded into place.

The back of the plate is held in with a 3/4” shelf pin that I tapped into a hole drilled in the end of the plate. The finger hole to remove was simply a 3/4” forstner bit. The tough finish on the flooring pieces is a very slick satin finish and should stay looking nice for a long time.

Before installing it, I had to clamp it down and hog out a starter groove in the back side because the Unisaw blade won’t retract low enough to set the plate and bring the blade up through the surface. My cordless circular saw made short work of it and I was off to the races with a fancy bamboo throat plate.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.





6 comments so far

View maplerock's profile

maplerock

432 posts in 544 days


#1 posted 01-01-2014 12:02 AM

Nice job. I made several of these after a wedge of cut off material squeezed between my unisaw blade and a wooden throat plate. It exploded with a loud crack and scared the spit out of me. The new ones prevent that, and work very well. I need to figure a good way to use the blade guard with it though.

Good explanation of your work too!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View Roger's profile

Roger

15261 posts in 1548 days


#2 posted 01-01-2014 04:17 PM

Oh yes. Those are a gr8 choice for zero clearance inserts.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3199 posts in 2567 days


#3 posted 01-01-2014 06:06 PM

Nice find on CL you’ll love working with this saw very stout and quiet. Zero clearance insert came out dandy be safe and enjoy…BC

View MatthewG's profile

MatthewG

66 posts in 1523 days


#4 posted 01-03-2014 03:36 AM

Nice work—bet you will LOVE that Unisaw! For the inserts, grab your router and a trimming bit and make a dozen or so copies right away. It is nice to be able to toss a beat up one in the trash and grab a fresh one off the shelf. I make mine from plywood so it is less likely to split when the slot gets longer.

Congrats on the new saw!

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

666 posts in 1757 days


#5 posted 01-04-2014 03:12 AM

I agree youʻll like that saw. Iʻve had one for about 5 years and love it. I bought a retractable splitter with pawls that works great with the saw. If you need more details on it PM me and Iʻll get you the numbers.

I also made an outfeed table for mine and it really helps when ripping long boards. It also doubles as an assembly table.

Are you going to have to make another crosscut sled for this saw?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

301 posts in 884 days


#6 posted 01-05-2014 12:33 AM

I was able to use the out feed table that cam with this saw after I cut miter slots into it and leveled it to the top. I was able to adequately modify my crosscut sled with a new set of runners. I used my old one sided sled for my new band saw. I’ll send you a message because yes, I’m looking for a good splitter and pawls. Thanks.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

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