Zero tolorence insert for Old Craftsman Table Saw

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Forum topic by Charlie Logan posted 01-20-2010 08:10 PM 2239 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Charlie Logan

5 posts in 3250 days

01-20-2010 08:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

I want to make my own zero tolorence insert for my tablesaw. The saw was made, I believe, in the late sixties or early seventies. I couldn’t find the model number on it.
The problen lies in that the insert is 1/8” thick and attached with spring clips on each end.
I would appreciate any and all help to solve this problem. Thanks

-- Charlie, Tennessee

8 replies so far

View lew's profile


12382 posts in 3931 days

#1 posted 01-20-2010 09:29 PM

I am not familiar with the saw, perhaps a picture would help.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3367 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 09:36 PM

I don’t mean to make fun of you, it just gave me a chuckle. It’s actually called a zero clearance insert :)

Sounds like an old Craftsman saw or similar, they had those spring-style inserts. I’m not sure what kind of clearance you have under the current plate, but you might be able to glue a thin sheet of plastic under the opening and then level it off on top with Bondo. It’d be so thin, tho, that it may be a safety hazard, e.g. shattering when you try to cut the kerf.

Another possibility would be to use the current plate as a pattern and cut some new ones out of some suitable plastic, don’t know if lexan would be good or not. I think those clips are held on with rivets? Drill out the rivets, then drill and re-rivet the clips to the plastic blank.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Charlie Logan's profile

Charlie Logan

5 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 01-20-2010 09:55 PM

Thanks the info WoodNerd. As you can tell from my post that I am a newbie, and not all that familiar with all the terminologies, but hope to improve through LJ.

-- Charlie, Tennessee

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 3828 days

#4 posted 01-21-2010 02:42 AM

I also have a craftsman TS with a 1/8 inch thick throat plate, but it only has a spring clip on one end. To make zero clearance inserts, I have taken 1/4 inch ply, cut it to shape and made a 1/8 inch rabbet around the perimeter. The end opposite the operator has the spring clip and requires a wider rabbet than the rest of the insert. I drill a hole near the end of the plate (side furthest from the operator), counter sink it and bolt on a piece of metal that is slid under the metal lip on the saw and tightened up. I have a 10 inch saw but use an 8 inch blade for the 1st cut through the insert. If I used the 10 inch blade, I couldn’t get the insert to lay flat in the throat. After the first cut is made I switch out to the blade I going to use the the insert and have at it.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View tpastore's profile


105 posts in 3992 days

#5 posted 01-21-2010 03:26 AM

I have a 60’s tablesaw. Mine has a gold bottom with swirls on it. Anyway the suggestion from Bureaucrat is a good one. I have also have a piece of birch plywood cut to the same size as the top of my table. I clamp it on the corners and I have an incra jig on the top to be the new fence. It is a bit of overkill but the fences on those old tables are less than optimal and the detailed work I do requires this setup.

Good luck


View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3260 days

#6 posted 01-21-2010 06:54 AM

We have a plastics company here in Tulsa. They sell the nylon slick white plastic. Even if it’s thicker than you’ll need you’ll only have to rabbit the edges to make it fit. Then place your fence over the insert to hold it down as you raise your blade through the inset and voila’.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View sticks4walking's profile


125 posts in 3227 days

#7 posted 01-21-2010 07:43 AM

You could also add some rare earth magnets inset into the bottom to help hold it in place. Might not even be necessary????

-- Mike, Somewhere in Indiana with a splinter or two!

View Charlie Logan's profile

Charlie Logan

5 posts in 3250 days

#8 posted 01-21-2010 06:20 PM

I want to thank everyone for this helpful information. I will try these ideas to see which one I like the best.
Thanks again

-- Charlie, Tennessee

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