LumberJocks

Zero Clearance, Make my own?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Tommy posted 1160 days ago 3123 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tommy's profile

Tommy

138 posts in 1329 days


1160 days ago

I’m looking for some input on what materials make good zero clearance inserts and where I can buy that material. I’d like to make them for my table saw (hitachi) and bandsaw (craftsman). I recently bought new blades for each and want to maximize my benefit from those. Any help or advise on how to create these or what material to use is appreciated. Thanks in advance to all you Jedi Woodworkers who know these answers.
Tommy

-- Tommy, ---- It's Never Crowded On the Extra Mile.


33 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

6757 posts in 2149 days


#1 posted 1160 days ago

I use hardboard usually but sometimes I make a more elaborate insert
out of voidless plywood like baltic birch or Appleply. The hardboard tends
to be very close to 1/4” thick and pretty stable in all directions so it
makes a good insert material. Most 1/4” plywood is no good for inserts.

View cutmantom's profile

cutmantom

256 posts in 1536 days


#2 posted 1160 days ago

solid wood, plywood, mdf, or some synthetic material will all work, each probably has different durability ratings but for me availability dictates what I use, when you make one you might as well make several while you are at it

View David175's profile

David175

101 posts in 1190 days


#3 posted 1160 days ago

I made mine from purple heart and curlly maple

-- Dave..Pensacola Fl.........In GOD we trust

View Kevin's profile

Kevin

445 posts in 1706 days


#4 posted 1160 days ago

I usually make mine out of baltic birch plywood 1/2” thick. Solid wood could change due to humidity. Here is a pretty good video on how to make a zci in general.

If it’s for a miter saw or something that requires a 1/4” thick stock I usually use 1/4” HDF. Actually I have a lot of scrap laminate flooring that i’ve kept for that very reason.

http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/90/videos/making-a-zero-clearance-insert/

Kevin

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

494 posts in 1557 days


#5 posted 1160 days ago

They are very easy to make. Like Kevin I usually make them from 1/2 inch baltic birch ply. I also use mdf. I use the insert that came with the saw as a template. I use double stick tape to affix the insert to the stock. I cut it to rough size on the bandsaw and then bring it to final size on router table with a pattern bit. I put set screws around the perimeter of the insert to adjust the height. I usually make several at a time. One for regular sawing, some for making joints, and some for varous dado thicknesses. For regular sawing I cut a kerf behind the back of a blade and glue in a piece of hardwood to act as a splitter.

-- Glen

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 1973 days


#6 posted 1160 days ago

For my particular table saw, 1/2” ply works great. I drill four holes to add the ajusters I need for that last little bit of height. And a bit of paste wax on the ZCI works wonders.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View LarryDNJR's profile

LarryDNJR

209 posts in 1595 days


#7 posted 1160 days ago

What about making a zero clearance insert for an old craftsman 10” saw that uses a flimsy sheet of metal for the plate?

-- ~Larry Columbus, OH

View DHaden's profile

DHaden

73 posts in 1160 days


#8 posted 1160 days ago

I used hardboard for mine and am very happy so far. A little tape on the bottom to get it flush works very well for me.

-- Measure once, cut twice.

View GregU's profile

GregU

16 posts in 1301 days


#9 posted 1160 days ago

Larry: I’ve got a Craftsman contractor’s saw that uses the thin plates, and I always wondered that too. Don’t know where I read it, but some have made them out of thicker material, then rabbited around the insert so it fit flush. I haven’t studied my saw/plate yet to see how that will work out. I bought a General cabinet saw since I read that, so I might not go ahead with the C man since it won’t be my main saw. Greg

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1675 days


#10 posted 1160 days ago

The last one I made, I made out of UHMW … bought in the form of a Wal-Mart cutting board.

I can get a couple out of it, which works out to about $4/ea.

The wood ones I’ve made get a bit chewed up by my anti-kickback pawls, which … over time … tend to get stuck IN the wood.

-- -- Neil

View rogerw's profile

rogerw

262 posts in 1191 days


#11 posted 1160 days ago

My ridgid contractors ts, don’t know the exact model, insert is only about 1/8” thick and have not seen any blanks that thin. Do they make any? I haven’t seen anything that thin that I could use either. Any ideas?

thanx

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1675 days


#12 posted 1160 days ago

Roger,

Got planer ?
Thickness sander ?
Bandsaw that will capably re-saw thicker stock ?

-- -- Neil

View rogerw's profile

rogerw

262 posts in 1191 days


#13 posted 1160 days ago

got none of those yet. :(
a bandsaw is on the list though… someday.

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1660 days


#14 posted 1160 days ago

Ditto what Glen said. It’s actually quite easy.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View steliart's profile

steliart

1807 posts in 1189 days


#15 posted 1160 days ago

For 1/8 thickness try acrylic (perspex)

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase