Tablesaw blade throat inserts

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 04-04-2011 10:51 PM 1342 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1246 posts in 2398 days

04-04-2011 10:51 PM

I needed to make some dados for a project I’m working on, thanks Tom, which require some fairly lenghty cuts. I don’t have the space to run dados on long wide sheets of ply with a tablesaw so I’ll have to take care of them with a router and straight edge.

For the shorter panels I was itching to cut the dados on my TS for the first time. Problem was I didn’t have any throat inserts to use with a 3/4” stack. I figured I needed about 5 inserts to cover all bases, one for 1/4” cuts one for 1/2” one for 3/4” and a couple for zero clearance single blade cutting. I looked at the price for all five, the prices started about £25 each. A lot more than I wanted to pay.

I know a lot of guys make their own from ply and even plastic cutting boards. I has some scrap 10mm MDF, just enough for 4 inserts. I knew they wouldn’t be the required thickness so I would have to shim them out in some way. As it turned out they were about a couple of mil shy of my required thickness so I drilled some holes and counter sunk them, used some #5 13mm brass screws with the sharps points ground off and used them to level the insert with the table top. I reckon the brass won’t do the cast iron support brackets any harm when I adjust the screws as the brass is a tad softer. In the end they turned out pretty well but I was still one insert short. I had another rumage in the garage and found some scraps of “wetwall” sheet. For those of you who may not know what this is, it is used in bathrooms, in my case in the shower cubicle instead of tile. It comes in 8×4 sheets (& 8×3) The scraps were left over from the bathroom I replaced last year. It appears to be made from 10mm MRMDF with a plastic laminate on either side. The decorative side can be any coulour the customer wants, ours happened to be a grey marble but the back side is plain white. Overall the thickness was 12mm thick, I used the tablesaw standard insert as my template and routed it to shape (as with the MDF) on the router table with a top bearing straight cutter.

I had a problem getting the wetwall to stick to the template even with DS tape, it kept sliding off, I guess designed this way to shed the water in the shower. This too would mean it was a real slick surface for sliding stock over. I had to use a couple of screws to hold them in place.

Anyway the inserts fitted perfectly without shimming have a look at the photos and see for yourselves.

The wetwall wasn’t cheap about £150 for a full sheet and £120 for the 8×3 sheet. I figured for that price I conservatively estimated I could get about 60 inserts out of the smaller sheet for about the same price as 5 store bought inserts. I’m just relieved I had the forsight not to throw the scraps away. I have enough left for about another dozen or so should I need more.

I would never need as many as 60 inserts but if I did buy a sheet I would go for a shiny slick bright red. Just a thought.

Has anyone else used some weird and wonderful material to make their inserts with?

Cheers guys

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

11 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 04-04-2011 11:06 PM

Good job and a big job. I use what ever I have to make inserts when I need them.

-- Custom furniture

View bluekingfisher's profile


1246 posts in 2398 days

#2 posted 04-04-2011 11:38 PM

One of those jobs Jim I could do without doing but having started I thought I’d make as many as I thought I would need to keep me going for a bit.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View DrDirt's profile


4135 posts in 3161 days

#3 posted 04-04-2011 11:41 PM

I see your table saw top is missing the required ring…

The one from the friend that puts their 300cl Coke lite can on the table and leaves you a little rust donut ;-)

Nice solution to the thickness problem though – -the laminate will stay nice and slick

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2794 days

#4 posted 04-04-2011 11:58 PM

Those look nice, and appear to be pretty substantial too. Should last you a good long while. Nice job!

A good solid throat insert can play an important role in the overall performance of your saw. Many of folks spend a lot of time and money on top notch blades, great saws, accurate setup, and elaborate outfeed tables, then toss in an ill-fitting unlevel throat insert that flexes under load, then declare that their $100 blade is overpriced and overhyped.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5101 posts in 2613 days

#5 posted 04-05-2011 12:59 AM

Hey David, Stellar job on the ZCI’s…. one can never have enough plates to fit the bill. I think you got all the bases covered for your different sizes you’ll need to do any dados, etc. Very nice stuff you used….I have never heard of that product, but can see where it would good in a shower stall. Personally, I don’t like ZCIs, but that’s just me, and I have about 1/2 dozen different ones for all applications….About the only ones I use are the dado inserts…. They don’t throw sawdust in your face…lol….Keep working on that bench…later, pal…

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#6 posted 04-05-2011 02:25 AM

They look good from here!

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

View bluekingfisher's profile


1246 posts in 2398 days

#7 posted 04-05-2011 09:18 AM

Thanks for the feedback fellahs, don’t know why I haven’t got the donut ring yet as the saw doubles as my work bench at the minute, just give it time.

You’re right Scott, the material is quite substantial, in full sheet form it weighs an absolute ton. I have enough scraps pieces to last a while if I take it easy when moving them in and out. I even went to the lenght of wiping the edges with a couple of coats of varnish for extra protection.

Cheers Rick, your right, after making a couple of test cuts the sawdust did spray back a bit. Once I have the saw set up I will be introducing an overhead guard boom hooked up to the dust exytraction. Hopefully that should help a tad.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4405 posts in 3379 days

#8 posted 04-05-2011 04:46 PM

“The one from the friend that puts their 300cl Coke lite can on the table and leaves you a little rust donut ;-)”

Ahhhh! In my shop, that is cause for extreme bodily injury imposed upon the perp by the shop owner.

Good work on the ZCIs. I have used UHMW and Corian as well.


View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2112 days

#9 posted 04-05-2011 04:48 PM

I just bought a commercial (and very ugly) ZC for my older JET. I went with the commercial one because I want to try my hand using a splitter installation jig (forget the brand). All together, I think I’ve got something like $80 invested in my ZC! I should have stepped up to the plate & milled a dozen like you did! Excellent work.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View bluekingfisher's profile


1246 posts in 2398 days

#10 posted 04-05-2011 04:49 PM

Thanks for the input Bill how do you cut the corian? isn’t that some kind of processed stone? or am I miles off with that one?

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View bluekingfisher's profile


1246 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 04-05-2011 04:53 PM

Thanks Bertha, I figured for what I needed a commercial purchase would be an expensive option. I saw a couple of means of making a spliter on Fine woodworking tips. I can’t remember how it was done off hand so I’ll have to give it another look to see how it was made. Got to be worth a try I guess?

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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