LumberJocks

Way Better Than Home Made Inserts

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Review by Brad_Nailor posted 12-06-2009 08:10 PM 4482 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Way Better Than Home Made Inserts Way Better Than Home Made Inserts Way Better Than Home Made Inserts Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was going to do the usual cutting and fitting and fussing with making myself some ZCIs’ for my new Unisaw. Then I thought about exploring the world of commercially made inserts. there are allot to choose from. I was going to go with a system by Lee Valley/Veratris. It has very cool interchangeable plates and a single Alum. insert. But it was a little more than I wanted to pay ($79.00) for an insert. So I was at Woodcraft yesterday buying wheels, and I saw the Leecraft. It seemed really nice so I figured I’d give it a try. It has a really nice feel to it ….heavy and solid, with a really slick outside material..I think it’s solid phenolic. The leveling feet/screws are really good quality and they are set very tight in the plate so you can do fine adjusting and they won’t vibrate out of position. I was able to dial it in to a perfect height. Another thing I really liked about it was the front and side adjustment screws…small screws set in the front and side that you can back out to take out any slack..I was able to tweak it perfectly so its snug and doesn’t move but pops out easily. The starter grove for the blade made it real easy to do the cut, and I had the insert in and I was cutting wood in less than a half hour. The only thing I have to gripe about is my thin kerf WW2 blade seems to have a few teeth that are slightly out of alignment with the rest, and they hit the insert and make it a little noisy. I was able to use some sandpaper and an emery board to file it a little bit here and there to quiet it down. Overall I really like this ZCI and I will probably buy another one for all my other blades. Well worth it at $24.99.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248




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Brad_Nailor

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16 comments so far

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BlankMan

1487 posts in 2104 days


#1 posted 12-06-2009 08:26 PM

Seems a bit expensive to me at $25 a pop. I picked up the Wood Dynamics many years ago that has the slide in insert, it was pricey too but I thought it be the last one I ever had to buy. Only problem is they went belly up so the inserts are no longer available I’ll have to make them. And that was exactly what I was trying to get away from by getting this insert. It has all the same features, leveling and side slop adjustment screws that you mentioned and I really like it but…

So I might be looking for a replacement in the future when I run out of inserts (I stocked up). The only question I have with these type is how long do they last? I have to replace the inserts, they wear out but I’m thinking one like this that is thicker may last longer? But it looks like there is a relief on the underside making it thinner where the blade is.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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papadan

1156 posts in 2120 days


#2 posted 12-06-2009 10:21 PM

I can make 3 for my saw in a half hour that cost me nothing at all but my time. Don’t mean to knock your insert, but just seems a little expensive to me.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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bigike

4035 posts in 2040 days


#3 posted 12-06-2009 11:41 PM

yea they just figure the eighty bucks cuz it would have been the last one you buy cuz u only change the insert that goes into the insert i think its worth it but i’ll never get one cuz i work with acrylic so i can make them anytime and get some set screws from the hardware store and presto but wait i have a whole bag of set screws in the shop so im good to go plus i made a few the day i got my saw. the woodcraft one flips don’t it so its like two in one if not it shure looks like it, just put the finger hole at the top and presto u have a thin kerf and a full kerf too? ;-)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2709 days


#4 posted 12-07-2009 12:16 AM

Ya Ike..I liked that one but just too much dough….I was thinking the same thing…maybe the insert is made to do double duty..I’ll have to go out to the garage/shop and see if I can flip it around!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

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Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2709 days


#5 posted 12-07-2009 01:10 AM

Nope..you can’t flip it without cutting off a little alignment nub at the end where the splitter would go..

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

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woodsmithshop

1189 posts in 2297 days


#6 posted 12-07-2009 02:18 AM

I tried the one with the replaceable inserts, it is not worth it, you have to take out about 6 set screws any time you change inserts when you change blades, and it won’t let you set your blade at 45 deg. it sounds like a good idea, but it is not ,imho, anyway.

-- Smitty!!!

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Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2709 days


#7 posted 12-07-2009 04:14 AM

Smitty..
Ya I thought about that as well. I do like to go back and forth between my plywood blade and my WW2 for solid….that would be allot of screwing. With any ZCI you cant tilt the blade.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

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woodsmithshop

1189 posts in 2297 days


#8 posted 12-07-2009 05:13 PM

I have ZCI’s for cutting miters, but they are made of polycarbonate, and they are used only with the blade tilted, those with the replaceable inserts are not wide enough, or rather the replaceable part is not wide enough.

-- Smitty!!!

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LesB

1091 posts in 2195 days


#9 posted 12-08-2009 07:58 AM

I have used one of these for a zero clearance insert and it works quite well. They are worth the $25.
I have also made my own out of 1/2” plywood for dado and molding heat cutters.

-- Les B, Oregon

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a1Jim

112934 posts in 2329 days


#10 posted 12-08-2009 08:14 AM

thanks for the review

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Splinterman

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#11 posted 12-09-2009 11:30 AM

Some good info here.

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emetric

142 posts in 1920 days


#12 posted 08-09-2010 08:18 PM

I have made several zci’s for my delta contractor saw. I found set screws with allen sockets (not sure if I am using the best terminology here) which are very similar to what delta uses for .80/pr at Lowes. It only took me 30 minutes or so to make 2 and they fit perfectly. I can understand and appreciate wanting to save the time making these by buying them, but in my world money saved in the shop today buys things that I cannot make tomorrow. I also saw on here that someone made zci’s from uhmw cutting boards and cut a sliding dovetail into it so that he could exchange out the inserts (just another idea). Anyway that is my two cents on the subject, useful or not there you go.

-- "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." Master Oogway

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emetric

142 posts in 1920 days


#13 posted 08-09-2010 08:21 PM

By the way, I am pretty sure that there are two slots to accomodate either a right or left tilt blade to compensate for the offset.

-- "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." Master Oogway

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emetric

142 posts in 1920 days


#14 posted 08-09-2010 08:23 PM

here is the shop made zci with replaceable insert http://lumberjocks.com/projects/27254

-- "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." Master Oogway

View Chipy's profile

Chipy

374 posts in 1345 days


#15 posted 04-27-2011 09:37 PM

Call Lee craft directly and ask if he has any slightly blemished versions that fit your saw.He will give you a break on the price.

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