Problem making ZCI for TS3650...

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Project by DrewT posted 04-07-2014 02:03 AM 1822 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Problem making ZCI for TS3650...
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I used 1/2” stock as recommended by others for this saw but I can’t get the blade down far enough to make the first up cut….the insert fits nicely without the blade haha!!

I bought this saw used off CL – is it possibly an issue with the initial setup of the saw??

Help please!!

14 comments so far

View ToughCut's profile


33 posts in 698 days

#1 posted 04-07-2014 02:16 AM

All you have to do is use a 7 1/4” blade to make the starter cut.

-- If you are not willing to learn, No one can help you. If you are determined to learn, No one can stop you.

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile


175 posts in 1039 days

#2 posted 04-07-2014 02:18 AM

I would suggest that the issue is not with the setup, I had the same issue, with my general saw. I had to use a smaller blade, 9”, to start the first cut.

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief...

View camps764's profile


853 posts in 1451 days

#3 posted 04-07-2014 02:40 AM

yep, smaller blade will be the safest bet to do this. Circular saw blade should fit the arbor and can be had at most hardware stores for super cheap.

-- Steve

View Deltarich's profile


23 posts in 2579 days

#4 posted 04-07-2014 02:58 AM

I have the same saw and what I do is attach the new ZCI to the stock insert with double stick tape, clamp a sacrificial board across the top and then raise the blade up.

View DrDirt's profile


3727 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 04-07-2014 03:04 AM

Ditto Deltarich.

The other methods work just fine – when I do this, I raise the blade until it just breaks through… making like a 1/2 inch slot.

Then I undo the doublstick tape and drop the insert into the slot.

This gives you a shot for a better fitting (truly zero ) zero clearance, incase of any movement or side to side misalignment for the full slot. As soon as it breaks the surface, there is a plenty deep groove for the insert to sit down flush.

-- I don't trust trees. They're kinda shady

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


719 posts in 2600 days

#6 posted 04-07-2014 03:36 AM

I have the same saw. look tat pic 2 and 5

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View RobinDobbie's profile


125 posts in 826 days

#7 posted 04-07-2014 05:59 AM

You’ll want to either use 2 circular saw blades since they’re thinner than regular table saw blades, or use a router.

View WoodSupt's profile


10 posts in 690 days

#8 posted 04-07-2014 12:58 PM

I know that you already made the insert but I would suggest watching Mathis from video. He shows the process of using the circular saw blades for the initial cut through. Also he makes a suggestion of cutting splines at the front of the insert to help with strengthing.

The insert looks great.

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1668 days

#9 posted 04-07-2014 02:24 PM

IME, the splines aren’t needed if a good quality material is used. I use mostly baltic birch plywood for my zci’s. For the blade issue I rout a shallow 1/4” dado for clearance. Easily done on the router table with a couple of stops.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Adam Baird's profile

Adam Baird

58 posts in 1210 days

#10 posted 04-07-2014 03:11 PM

As RobinDobbie mentioned, a circular saw blade will be much thinner than a 10” standard blade. You can either use 2 circular saw blades (this is typically going to make a wider slot than a standard blade so you won’t end up with true zero clearance) or you can use one of the blades from a dado set and that should be about the same thickness as your standard blade. That always works for me.

-- Adam from Indiana -

View JamesVavra's profile


294 posts in 2407 days

#11 posted 04-07-2014 07:34 PM

I have the same saw. With the factory insert installed, just cut a groove the full length of the new insert, only cutting through half of the thickness. (I generally run 2 kerfs of the saw blade, just to make up for any initial sloppiness in locating the groove.) It’s a lot faster than swapping in a smaller diameter blade that may not be the same thickness.

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

529 posts in 2089 days

#12 posted 04-07-2014 11:39 PM

I used a circular saw blade for the first cut on my inserts.

Alternatively you could double side attach the new insert to the old insert, making sure to get it exactly aligned and then add a sacrificial cull to clamp the entire assembly. Alignment and clamping are essential for it working and your safety. Tape alone isn’t safe enough.


View DrewT's profile


32 posts in 1000 days

#13 posted 04-09-2014 07:09 PM

I considered several of the suggestions and they all made sense. I choose to put magnets on the four corners the insert sits on which lifted the new ZCI just enough to make the first cut. I clamped it down got into a tuck position then flitched the switch :)!!

View DrewT's profile


32 posts in 1000 days

#14 posted 04-09-2014 07:11 PM

Used poplar….fairly inexpensive and readible available at HD and almost straight!

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