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Zero Clearance Insert or Incra Miter Express

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Forum topic by Lee Imbimbo posted 03-17-2010 06:09 PM 2559 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 2533 days


03-17-2010 06:09 PM

I’m debating the need for a zero clearance insert, versus something like the Incra Miter Express. I’m heavily interested in a Betterley Zero Clearance insert, that I can utilize on my craftsman tablesaw.

Find Betterley TRu-Cut Insert here:
http://www.betterleytools.com/
Or here:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=55985&cat=1,41080,51225&ap=1

However, if I got something like Incra’s Miter Express, which I was considering for a cross cut sled, the zero clearance blade isn’t really needed at that point.

Miter Express:
http://www.incra.com/product_miter_express.htm

I could theoretically utilize the miter express as both a cross cut sled and a zero clearance insert, except for the fact that it would reduce the overall table top surface. Now I could also point out that it would be possible to just take a sheet of Melamine lined particle board, and utilizing some of the components of the miter express I could actually make a revised table top that would act as a zero clearance insert, but reduce the cutting capacity of the table saw by about 3/4”

So what is the take, should I just get the Betterley zero clearance insert, and build a cross cut sled later, or create a new table top for the tablesaw, similar to the miter express and utilize that at the zero clearance insert?


9 replies so far

View Lee Imbimbo's profile

Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 2533 days


#1 posted 03-18-2010 05:20 AM

Anyone have any input?

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 2517 days


#2 posted 03-18-2010 05:55 AM

I realize this doesn’t answer all of your question, but why are you considering spending $ on inserts. You can make them just as good for almost nothing. You can also make them with splitters. A clouple of months ago I made 4 ZCI from 1/2” baltic birch plywood. I put maple splitters in 2 of them. One is for use with a thin kerf combo blade. The other is for use with a rip blade. The 2 without splitters are for use with dado blades. In the case of the dados, I eventually turn the zci around so I can use it with another width. I put allen screws in all of them so I can make them flush with the top of the saw.

-- Glen

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Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 2533 days


#3 posted 03-18-2010 06:49 AM

I’m considering it because of the weird condition that my craftsman tablesaw puts me in. The craftsman insert doesn’t allow for much play space between the top of the blade and the top of the table, about only 3/32”. I was considering the Betterly insert because it allows for easy replaceable insert while still giving me some rigidity in the actual plate.

If I wasn’t so concerned about the thickness of the plate, being less than 1/4”, I would gladly make my own, because that would be a vastly cheaper option.

But that is why I was considering something more like the miter express because it would be easier to make myself, and provide a crosscut sled at the same time. The problem with the miter express is that it would minimize the amount of table surface allowed for making larger cuts, let’s say on plywood that’s longer than let’s say 24” to 30”

With that answered, I was kind of hoping to get other input from people, on which one they thought would be better, or even as you said stating that none at all seems like a reasonable option is perfectly valid, because let’s face it who doesn’t like saving money =D.

Thank you for taking the time to review and answer my post.

View Pete Mohr's profile

Pete Mohr

75 posts in 2549 days


#4 posted 03-18-2010 02:03 PM

Even with the Incra you still need a ZCI for ripping thin strips, dados, etc..

I have the Incra 5000 (and like it a lot) http://www.incra.com/product_miter_5000.htm but still have a number of ZCI’s and jigs for specific projects.

Here’s a good thread on ZCI for Craftsman TS’s:
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/15167

pete

-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3123 days


#5 posted 03-18-2010 02:19 PM

I would go for the miter express and make a batch of zero clearance inserts. They aren’t hard to make and really improve the quality and safety of cuts on your tablesaw.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Lee Imbimbo's profile

Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 2533 days


#6 posted 03-18-2010 11:02 PM

Thanks for the input guys, getting my hobby off the ground has taken me months. Happily I think I’ll have my tablesaw up and running by this weekend or next. I finally got all the rust and everything cleaned up and shiny. All I have left to do is align and calibrate the saw, and clean up and inspect the motor to make sure it’s in good condition.

This is off the subject matter of ZCI and cross cut sleds, but has any ever upsized a motor on an older saw. Let’s say take a contractor saw whose original motor was let’s say 1HP, up to let’s saw a 2HP motor. Is this particularly dangerous, or would it just increase the cutting capabilities of the saw?

I’m just wondering of the saw could really handle a motor increase, without increasing the danger of the saw.

Thanks again for the help.

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3123 days


#7 posted 03-18-2010 11:06 PM

I have never upsized the motor on a tool, but I think I would be a little reluctant without knowing for sure the castings and related running gear could take the extra torque.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View RockyTopScott's profile

RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2939 days


#8 posted 03-19-2010 02:01 AM

What Peter said.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View rbterhune's profile

rbterhune

176 posts in 2682 days


#9 posted 03-19-2010 02:41 AM

I’m new in the hobby as well and love the miter express…but that’s only for x-cuts. You still need the inserts for ripping.

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