I have an old Craftsman with a funky insert. It’s aluminum ( I used to think steel) about 3/32” thick and “D” shaped. I have not found any one anywhere that makes a compatible insert that I can buy.
The lip on the insert is so thin that conventional insert instructions just won’t hack it. I took some acrylic and made an attempt at a ZCI:
and it worked for a while but was a bear to make. The acrylic is starting to crack and I’ve hacked away some of the edges of the clearance so it’s not really so much zero anymore…
So I took out the old insert that came with the saw and looked again at making an insert for the insert.
First I got some 3/8 thick MDF from an old packing crate and cut 9.75×1.5 strips, some 6-32×3/4” bolts, washers and nuts:
I put on the dado blade and sneaked up on the thickness of the metal insert trimming away just that thickness, then knocked off the corners with a hand chisel to make the rounded ends.
A little fine sanding and that fit perfect. I beveled the front edge to get it to slip in and out easier,
and drilled and countersunk 4 holes on the wide edge to bolt the new insert onto the old:
Dropped the blade down and a 2-by on top and raised the blade to get a nice new ZCI:
I made a few of these blanks so I can now use the original insert, with a ZCI insert, to match any angle. Next is to take the dado insert and make some ZCI inserts for it as well. After that I probably should move to a harder substance than the MDF, like a maple or oak ZCI insert.
-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford