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Question about when to use table saw zero-clearance inserts

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Forum topic by Furnitude posted 933 days ago 2162 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Furnitude

329 posts in 2111 days


933 days ago

I currently don’t have a zero-clearance insert on my table saw but am getting one soon. My question is when to use an insert. Is it a good rule of thumb to use a zero-clearance insert all the time except when you are making angled-blade cuts?
Thanks, as always.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com


24 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

735 posts in 1589 days


#1 posted 933 days ago

I use mine all the time, however there is probably one case (besides angled or dado cuts) when I shouldn’t: if resawing lumber on the table saw. I occasionally do this and find that it is more difficult for the saw to get rid of the dust if using a ZCI.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1297 days


#2 posted 933 days ago

I use mine for all straight cuts. I kept the factory one for angled cuts but it makes me really nervous for some reason. I think you just get used to NOT seeing the gap. I installed a splitter on mine but admittedly don’t use it very often.

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

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

323 posts in 2463 days


#3 posted 933 days ago

All the time. You can even make one for commonly used dado widths, or angled cuts, 45 degrees for example. It’s a good idea to make several and to use as much as possible.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View bunkie's profile

bunkie

411 posts in 1751 days


#4 posted 933 days ago

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t use mine. I agree with Bertha, switching back to the factory insert looks scary…

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2446 posts in 955 days


#5 posted 933 days ago

All the time. The zero clearance slot will wear over time and get larger. Then it is time to make a new one, but don’t throw the old one away instead use it for angled cuts or dados. I have one for thin kerf blades and another for standard blades. I think I have about 5 of them laying around for different set ups.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3352 posts in 2564 days


#6 posted 933 days ago

Todos los tiempos. All the time. It does make more dust above the table on some cuts, but the trade off is worth the clean up.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3659 posts in 2267 days


#7 posted 933 days ago

I made a batch of zero clearance inserts … one for both by thin and regular kerf blades, as well as a bunch for various widths of dado stacks. About the only time I am not using a ZCI is when I have tilted the blade for some sort of bevel cut.

—Gerry

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1641 posts in 1526 days


#8 posted 933 days ago

I use it all the time my blade is set to 90 degrees.

-- In God We Trust

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1672 days


#9 posted 933 days ago

I only use mine when I’m worried about tear out, or ripping really thin pieces which may want to drop into the throat opening.

A ZCI can really restrict the airflow around the blade, and I see better dust collection when I’m using the factory insert.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3659 posts in 2267 days


#10 posted 933 days ago

Sawkerf—That used to be a problem for me, but last fall I installed a Shark Guard.

With a Shopvac hose connected both above and below the blade, dust/chip collection on the table saw is the best I have ever had.

—Gerry

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

View doninvegas's profile

doninvegas

332 posts in 1511 days


#11 posted 933 days ago

I’m another one that uses it all the time. But remember to remove it when you ar angling the blade or you’ll brake it. Don’t ask me how I know that.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1654 days


#12 posted 933 days ago

I use mine any time that I’m not using a dado set. You can also make one for angled cuts, as mentioned above to eliminate excessive gaps common on factory inserts.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1672 days


#13 posted 933 days ago

Gerry -

Yeah, those are nice, but I’m a real Neanderthal and don’t even know where my blade guard is stashed away. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

329 posts in 2111 days


#14 posted 932 days ago

Thanks, everyone. You confirmed what I thought was the case. After nervously watching narrow cut-offs fall down beside the blade, I’m ready to get a zero-clearance insert. Thanks again.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1297 days


#15 posted 932 days ago

I wish they made a SharkGuard for my saw. :(

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

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