ZCI for vintage Craftsman 113.298341 #1: Time to replace the first go at it.

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Blog entry by rweitz posted 09-19-2011 06:47 AM 2839 reads 5 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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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

2 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18355 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 09-20-2011 04:36 AM

Now that is an idea!! ;-)) I need to make some zcis for my old Craftsman. Never thought of putting them in that gaping hole the is nearly a dado insert. I have used my 1/4 dado in it, but it won’t quit take a 1/2, too far off center ;-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rhybeka's profile


4240 posts in 3237 days

#2 posted 08-25-2013 01:16 PM

awesome :) I’ve been looking for ideas on the zci for this saw for a while now. I inherited my dads saw and am attempting to get it up to snuff. Thanks for the tutorial!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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