Zero Clearance insert for Craftsman table saw

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Forum topic by ajb posted 09-28-2010 07:30 AM 5563 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 3267 days

09-28-2010 07:30 AM

So the question is has any one been able to make a zero clearance insert for a craftsman table saw, The one that I recieved for christmas has a square shape to the back and curved at the front with a funky little clip to hold it in. If any one has any ideas I could use them I want to use a dado blade but the insert wont allow it.

5 replies so far

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29 posts in 3267 days

#1 posted 09-28-2010 07:40 AM

sorry it is a Craftsman 137.218071

View MinDan's profile


16 posts in 3003 days

#2 posted 09-28-2010 12:06 PM

I have the craftsman 28105 table saw and have the same problem. I first made an zero clearance insert out of a scrap of marine plywood which I shaved down. The problem is this saw is in the garage and the insert warped when it was humid. I tried making it out of plexiglass but that was no good. I made a second insert out of white plastic cutting board material. I left the center thick in order to get stability while trimming around the side to make it fit in the supports. This one worked well for a while until I had a late night careless accident. Rather than getting a pencil I tapped the small board I was making test box cuts in on the blade. I did it a second time with another board it grabbed the blade and the whole insert shattered throwing parts just below both eyes. The noise was so loud and strange that my wife rushed downstairs. My hand also got smacked so hard at first I was scared to look at it. Thankfully my fingers were just hit and immediately swollen. I had to sleep with my hand between ice packs. The next one I made was from a shaved piece of the white plastic cutting board. This one seems to be better and since it is a thin piece I feel a little safer. I’ve also gone to cutting a whole lot more on my 17 inch Grizzly bandsaw.

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20952 posts in 3009 days

#3 posted 09-28-2010 12:45 PM

I actually have an old craftsman saw also. I’m guessing around a 1950’s model. Anyway, I made my own inserts out of some 1/2” plywood for a bit more beef, which is glued to a piece cut out of a clipboard (walmart). It took a bit of “finessin”, but, they work well. As far as the dado stack, I use Freud’s 6”. Of coarse when you first create the insert, I use the fence to help hold it down while bringing the blade/s up through the insert to make the kerf. Hope this helps

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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578 posts in 3284 days

#4 posted 09-28-2010 02:11 PM

I made mine from acrylic and plywood. The acrylic is the same thickness as the recess in the saw.

a screw into the back edge of the plywood acts as a clip. I put it in at a slight angle so it has a bit of adjustment to get it to the thickness of the saw top. The ply and the acrylic are joined with contact cement.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3938 days

#5 posted 09-28-2010 06:24 PM

Did you check out the zci’s that I posted a couple of days ago (A Few New Zero Clearance Inserts). These are for a Craftsman Jobsite Table Saw, 21830, and I have the same problem. Instead of the clip, I use a #10 machine screw with the head cut off; it fits under the bottom of the top casting, holding the front of the insert securely. I used 1/2” Baltic Birch plywood for the insert, with the grain running parallel to the blade. Then I routed out areas, where needed, to allow the insert to fit over the adjusting bolt wings and the bar that runs parallel to the blade.

If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll do what I can to help you.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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