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How to use a purchased ZCI

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 05-12-2011 11:14 PM 2839 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3192 days


05-12-2011 11:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: zci zero clearance insert

I’m sure that most people that purchase a Zero Clearance Insert just pop it into the table saw, raise the blade and get to work. When it is time for a dado blade or an angled cut, they either forgo the ZCI and use the standard plate or they put in a new ZCI.

This doesn’t sound like an affordable approach for me in the long term. Has anyone tried to make a removable square (maybe hardboard?) that could be fitted into a ZCI?Then you could just continually replace that plate with a cheap piece of material instead whenever it gets worn or you need to change blades/cutting angles?

I realize many people just make their own, but it isn’t all that easy to do for my saw, so please don’t respond with that as a solution. Besides, I’m not really interested in the effort to make 10 of these out of hardwood. I wouldn’t mind cutting some rectangles out of mdf or hardboard though.

Thanks!


20 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3127 days


#1 posted 05-12-2011 11:19 PM

Norm Abram used to have such an insert (I think his was made by Excalibur?), and Charles Neil has one for sale on his website ( http://shop.charlesneilwoodworking.com/Table-Saw-Accessories_c_10.html )

—Gerry

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

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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3207 days


#2 posted 05-12-2011 11:22 PM

ditto on the charles neil insert. Gerry got there first.

Charles Neil’s looks just like what Norm used but I have not idea from who. I haven’t convinced myself to get one because of the price

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

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3127 days


#3 posted 05-12-2011 11:29 PM

Unfortunately, I haven’t found anybody that makes one that would fit my Jet 708100.

—Gerry

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

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devann

2201 posts in 2157 days


#4 posted 05-12-2011 11:43 PM

Did I read your post correctly. It’s too much trouble for you to make a ZCI for you saw, but it would be easier to modify a store bought one to accommodate dados and different angle settings?

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3127 days


#5 posted 05-13-2011 12:04 AM

Darrell—Can’t speak for HokieMojo, but I would like to find one like the one Charles Neil sells that would fit my saw.

Unfortunately, nobody makes one with replaceable inserts that will fit my saw. My Jet 708100 will not take the same type of insert as Delta, SawStop, etc. The Jet’s factory insert is only about 1/8” thick, and it is tough to find suitable ZCI material around here that you can mill that thin and still properly support the workpiece.

If I could use MDF or plywood, I would, but they don’t work worth a damn in the thickness my saw requires. I don’t like the UHMW inserts Peachtree and others sell (too flimsy), so making my own is about the only alternative.

—Gerry

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

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bubinga

861 posts in 2132 days


#6 posted 05-13-2011 01:27 AM

You forgot to mention what saw you have.
These are available for a number of saws,but still ,kind of costly. I imagine you could make the inserts. Betterley Tru-Cut Blade Insert System,,, Price: $79.95
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_seeall_12?rh=k%3Azero+clearance+table+saw+insert%2Ci%3Atools&keywords=zero+clearance+table+saw+insert&ie=UTF8&qid=1305240963#/ref=sr_pg_3?rh=k%3Azero+clearance+table+saw+insert%2Cn%3A228013&page=3&keywords=zero+clearance+table+saw+insert&ie=UTF8&qid=1305243234

Betterley Tru-Cut Blade Insert System Replacement Kerf Inserts (Pack of 4) Price: $29.95 (Pack of 2)Price: $17.95

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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D_Allen

495 posts in 2248 days


#7 posted 05-13-2011 01:33 AM

I considered multiple inserts and I think I still have an uncut one.
However, when I do dados, there usually isn’t any cutoffs that could drop into the slot so I just use the one that came with the saw. An angle cut is different and I do have one for that and it accomodates all the way to 45 degrees. The slot is a little bigger that way but not much.

-- Website is finally up and running....www.woodandwrite.com

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GaryK

10262 posts in 3453 days


#8 posted 05-13-2011 01:44 AM

I plan on making one with a replaceable insert. I’m looking to make it very simple to make replacement inserts.

It should also easily adapt to any type of saw.

I will make all the details available to anyone that wants to make one. But first I have a dining set to finish.

Send me a PM to remind me in case I forget!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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bigike

4050 posts in 2753 days


#9 posted 05-13-2011 02:31 AM

I made one from polycarb and it has pine incerts, it works great.


Sorry I tried to center the last pic but it didn’t work for me.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3127 days


#10 posted 05-13-2011 03:12 AM

bigike—Very nice!

Looks like the wooden inserts are friction fit … how do you keep them in place?

—Gerry

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

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bubinga

861 posts in 2132 days


#11 posted 05-13-2011 03:27 AM

Ok ,Gary , I will be watching for the Blog, I would like to see your design
I need to make somthing like this , because I don’t want to pay a hundred plus for one
One if my inserts recently swelled up , and I had a hard time getting it out

bigike , Yours looks great, phenolic could be used also

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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JJohnston

1614 posts in 2756 days


#12 posted 05-13-2011 04:41 AM

Click for details

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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bubinga

861 posts in 2132 days


#13 posted 05-13-2011 08:21 PM

Has any one else made this type of ZCI ?

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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Chipy

374 posts in 2058 days


#14 posted 05-15-2011 12:57 PM

Leecraft inserts are excellent. The insert is made of a composite material and does not swell.Mine had 4 adjusting screws and stayed in place well.At about 25 bucks they are not cheep but it will take a long time to wear it out.I bought 4 1 for normal kerf 1 for 3/4 dado 1/2 dado and 1 spare.I called him directly because my Ridgid(soon to be replaced by a real cabinet saw) TS2412 had an odd ball insert config. turns out he had some slightly blemished inserts he discounted for me.He makes the inserts and was a nice guy to deal with.

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NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2041 days


#15 posted 05-15-2011 05:46 PM

I have a leecraft as well and love it. However, since I only have one and don’t want to spend another $25 on another when this one wears out, I’ll be converting it to a replaceable insert ZCI much like bigike did. I figured all I’ll have to do is rout the slot and cut the blanks to fit.

@Gerry: it’s hard to see but the inserts are beveled so they can’t lift up. The slot on the ZCI body is typically made with a dovetail bit while the inserts can be made the same way or with the tablesaw with the blade tilted.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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