Full-Time ZCI?

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Forum topic by Don Broussard posted 11-09-2012 03:21 PM 1123 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Broussard

2850 posts in 1495 days

11-09-2012 03:21 PM

For those of you LJs who have and use ZCIs, do you leave the ZCI on the saw full-time or do you only mount the ZCI when you are cutting thin parts? I am thinking that full-time ZCI makes sense, but I’d like to hear others’ experiences.

For those who commented on my project “Laminate Flooring ZCIs”, I thank you. I judged that this question is more of a forum topic than a project, so pardon the seeming repetition.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

20 replies so far

View Edziu's profile


150 posts in 2294 days

#1 posted 11-09-2012 03:39 PM

First off- nice Zero Clearance Inserts.
The simple answer to your question is Yes, I leave my ZCI’s in all the time. Like you, I made a bunch at once, in case i’m using a thin-kerf blade or for various dado sizes.

But more importantly, ZCI’s are not just for using when you are cutting thin parts. They are extremely helpful in achieving a really nice cut on your table saw. With the insert in place, you give the wood fibers more support when being cut, which results in a nice, sharp, clean cut on your material- especially plywood.

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

404 posts in 2438 days

#2 posted 11-09-2012 03:45 PM

All the time except when using dado or when tilting the blade. I have different inserts for these operations.

View oldretiredjim's profile


203 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 11-09-2012 04:11 PM

Have several I made out of MDF. Fit perfectly without shims. I swap inserts when I swap blades. Never use the stock insert.

View TheDane's profile


4754 posts in 2906 days

#4 posted 11-09-2012 04:18 PM

Full time. My ZCI has replaceable inserts for different blade/dado widths.


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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4885 posts in 2438 days

#5 posted 11-09-2012 05:16 PM

I don’t use ZCI’s….don’t like them…..I made several. Still don’t use them…..!!

-- " At my age, Happy Hour is a crap and a nap..."

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1820 days

#6 posted 11-09-2012 05:27 PM

+1 on full time except for dado or tilting the blade.

Not using one and ripping thin stock is a safety hazard and I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t use one.

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


4542 posts in 2057 days

#7 posted 11-09-2012 05:40 PM

Full time ZCI except for angled-blade cuts. Separate ZCI inserts for each common dado configuration. I made mine from mdf covered in red laminate. I installed laminate on both sides of the mdf, and they hold up great.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

2850 posts in 1495 days

#8 posted 11-09-2012 07:14 PM

Thanks for validating my judgment. LJs have again met my expectations and do not disappoint.

@Edziu—Good point about continuous support of work pieces. I might just do a comparison with a stock insert and the ZCI to see the difference.

@oldretiredjim—Do you recommend exact fitting, or have you tried cutting them shy and adjusting to fit via set screws, shims or hot glue?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View bondogaposis's profile


3696 posts in 1595 days

#9 posted 11-09-2012 07:53 PM

I have lots of different ZCI’s, some have a splitters, some don’t. Some are for, thin kerf, some are for full kerf. Then there are the dado’s and angled cuts, I have ZCI’s for them too. I always have a ZCI in the saw at all times but change them to suit the blade or cut.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

6597 posts in 1623 days

#10 posted 11-09-2012 07:56 PM

All the time for square cuts.


View Rob's profile


223 posts in 2230 days

#11 posted 11-09-2012 09:17 PM

I have a question about ZCI’s I have one made out of phenolic and I drilled a hole in it to secure it to the table like the original metal one that came with the saw. Do you secure your ZCI with a screw or just lay it in there?

View Joshuah's profile


152 posts in 1937 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 09:21 PM

I only use ZCI’s! I love mine and am quick to replace them if they are damaged in any way. The only time I remove mine is for angled cuts.

-- -Joshuah

View RussellAP's profile


3053 posts in 1530 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 09:24 PM

I use Lee Craft inserts and I only use the ZC on thin cuts. It causes a lot more sawdust to get on the surface of the TS when you use the ZC so I use the stock most of the time. Can’t wait to try out my ZCDI.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View mloy365's profile


443 posts in 2374 days

#14 posted 11-09-2012 09:33 PM

I use ZCI all the time including angles and dados. I make them out of corian or meganite counter scraps from some local counter top shops. I just bought the Colli-Beck insert, but I will still be making out of counter top as well. Colli-Beck insert is totally awesome, but you have to spend a few $.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1106 posts in 1353 days

#15 posted 11-09-2012 09:34 PM

I leave it in for square cuts.

I don’t use an insert at all when using a crosscut sled.

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