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Help & Advice on ZCI insert for Hitachi TS

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Forum topic by 7Footer posted 03-04-2013 07:50 PM 819 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


03-04-2013 07:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: zero clearance insert zci table saw saw

Hi LJ’s. I need some help with my table saw. I’m racking my brain trying to make a zero clearance insert for my Hitachi table saw. I’ve watch many videos on ZCI’s and thought I wouldn’t have such a problem making one. I’ve made 2 so far – the 1st one I made was with 3/8” plywood and I ruined it making the counter sink for the screw, the wood was so thin I couldn’t get the screw to sit flush with the insert and ended up drilling all the way through. The 2nd insert I made I tried it with 1/2” MDF and routed out all of the little spots. I’m going to try and make one more out of some hard wood and I will be more precise when routing out the inserts for it to rest on but it just seems like there isn’t enough support on the left side once I put the insert in. The 2nd insert worked 2 times before it started sagging downwards by the side the blade is on.

I am starting to feel like my TS was made just purposely not to be able to put a ZCI in it. It is the Hitcahi C10RA3. I dont really know what the deal is, but if you look at the pictures, there are 2 little wings on the right side of that only sit about 1/16” off of the surface, and then the two spots at the front and back that you screw the insert into are not at the same depth, one of them is almost 1/4” higher than the other one, it makes it a HUGE pain the A to rout those out. I think that I could take the screw to the hardware store and fine one with a smaller tapered head that I wouldn’t need to counter sink as much, but I still feel like the insert is going to keep sagging off to the left the blade because there is nothing on that side to support it.

I’ve looked online and can’t seem to find any aftermarket parts for it, the only thing I can think of is to try and make an insert out of aluminum or some other metal, but I don’t really have the resources for that so I figured I could on here anyone can help out.

Thanks in advance!

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -


20 replies so far

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Grandpa

3133 posts in 1330 days


#1 posted 03-04-2013 08:06 PM

Can you attach a piece of wood to the existing metal plate. Recess the plate into the wood. Make the wood fill the entire area then saw through it by raising the blade.

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1006 days


#2 posted 03-04-2013 08:35 PM

What is the thickness of the OEM?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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runswithscissors

951 posts in 680 days


#3 posted 03-04-2013 08:55 PM

Aluminum would make a good ZCI for that saw. It’s not so hard to cut with a saber/jig saw (wood working blades work fine). In fact, since the insert is a rectangle with sharp corners, you could do the whole thing with the TS itself. Spray the blade with WD40, as aluminum is a sticky material. Check your blade after each cut for any bits of metal that might have stuck to the leading edges of the teeth and knock them off. Where the insert supports are too low, shim them up. To cut the slot, lower the blade all the way, then set your fence firmly over the insert just to the right of where the blade will come up through, and slowly raise the blade until you’ve made the slot. I don’t think this is a ZCI that will allow you to make beveled cuts.

When cutting AL, wear eye protection and even gloves, as the chips flying off the blade can sting. Don’t wear fleece, as AL will stick to fleece like burrs on a dog.

I’d use at least 1/8” AL, but thicker would be better if you can make it fit.

Many lower end saws use a similar throat plate, and to me that comes close to being a deal breaker. I suspect most people put up with it and simply don’t use a ZCI.

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#4 posted 03-04-2013 09:20 PM

Bondo the thickness of the OEM insert is maybe 1/8” or 3/32”, but if you include the recess in it for the screw to sit flush then its about 1/2” at one end and 3/8” at the other

runswithscissors – with 1/8” AL i would still have to cut out those little wings on the right side of the insert because they are so close to the surface, but I do like that idea. There is a little rubber gasket/o-ring type thing that sits under the outfeed end of the table, i might be able to find another one of those to use at the other end and make the front and back flush with the surface..

Grandpa – thats another good idea, and I think something like that would give me the ability to make an insert for bevel cuts.

thank you!

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1006 days


#5 posted 03-04-2013 09:31 PM

I guess I am not seeing why you can’t countersink the screw heads.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#6 posted 03-04-2013 09:45 PM

I did countersink the screw heads, but with nothing to support it on the left side, the 2nd and 3rd time that I turned on the saw with the insert in it, I watched it pull the insert down beneath the surface. I guess maybe I can make an insert out of another type of hardwood and see if it holds better.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1607 days


#7 posted 03-04-2013 09:57 PM

7Footer, no feedback for your post, but I wanted to point out that the picture of your dog on your avatar is awesome!

-- Mike

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Grandpa

3133 posts in 1330 days


#8 posted 03-05-2013 01:56 AM

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/69075
Something like this is what I had in mind. Yours would have the wood insert all on the edge but this should be do-able.

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1006 days


#9 posted 03-05-2013 01:46 PM

I’m not sure if you’d want to do this but, could you epoxy some sort of lip to the underside of the table on the left side to support the insert?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1813 days


#10 posted 03-05-2013 02:05 PM

I would braze on a couple of bracket supports on the top and bottom of that side. Tap a hole into the brackets for a set screw. This way, you don’t need adjustment screws in the ZCI. In fact, if possible, I’d probably add them to right side too.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1006 days


#11 posted 03-05-2013 06:04 PM

Cosmic, I think the top of this saw is aluminum.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1813 days


#12 posted 03-05-2013 06:20 PM

Aluminum? What is this world coming to when you can’t get a table saw with the cast iron top? I blame Canada. :)

It’s a shame the aluminum isn’t very thick right there…you could actually mill out a ledge and slightly widen the existing hole.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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7Footer

1086 posts in 603 days


#13 posted 03-05-2013 06:42 PM

It is aluminum… Maybe I could epoxy a couple of little wings to the underside of it, still its a real b!tch cutting out all the little notches for it, damn you Hitachi!

Lol, Cosmic I live in Oregon but my whole family is Canadian, my mom was born in Calgary and my Dad is constantly blaming everything on the Canadians!

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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Edwardnorton

62 posts in 582 days


#14 posted 12-13-2013 04:12 AM

There is NO safe way to build one or not in my experience. I have had the same problem! If you do not get all the cuts perfect it not only will not fit right and it will literally destroy your ZCI even with clamping wood over the top while making your cut upward into your hand made insert. I spent an entire day making 3 of them only to see them damaged by this saw, I am talking oak, walnut & black cherry. what ever! What a JOKE of a table saw. I should know, I was stupid enough to buy one myself….

-- EdwardNorton

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Grandpa

3133 posts in 1330 days


#15 posted 12-13-2013 04:22 AM

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