Zero clearance table saw inserts and my Ridgid R4512 TS

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Forum topic by danoaz posted 09-10-2013 02:58 PM 2114 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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222 posts in 2139 days

09-10-2013 02:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw zero clearance inserts ridgid 4512 table saw

I see the Youtube videos on making zero clearance inserts but I am not understanding what the issue is that people are trying to solve by making them. Can someone explain that to me?

Also, on my Ridgid R4512 table saw it has flat head screws attached to flanges under the metal insert that came with the saw. Anyone know what these are for? Are they to level the metal insert or for any future inserts that I might buy or make? I have never seen inserts that were screwed down but obviously I don’t know a lot.

Thanks in advance.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

10 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


1946 posts in 3050 days

#1 posted 09-10-2013 03:01 PM

The Zero Clearance is to help prevent tear out as the blade passes through the bottom of the material being cut.

-- Chris K

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 09-10-2013 03:06 PM

The R4512 is a bit more difficult when it comes to making your own zero clearance inserts because of the shape and flanges. With patience, it can be done.

what are they for?
A zero clearance insert prevents edge tear-out. You get a finer cut, with less of the “fuzz” at the edge. I’ve forgotten exactly what the inside of that throat plate area looks like on the R4512 but usually there is a means for leveling the insert to be flush with the table top.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2939 days

#3 posted 09-10-2013 05:04 PM

The 4512 insert is not screwed down. The screws are to level the insert with the table.
The purpose of the insert has already been explained so no point in repeating.

View Jay Nolet's profile

Jay Nolet

75 posts in 2008 days

#4 posted 09-10-2013 09:56 PM

I use my zero clearance insert so that narrow or just wee sized pieces of wood don’t go dimensional on me. With the insert, the pieces go thru the vortex and to the other end of the table saw. I typed tablesaw and spell check got me.

-- I think, therefore I think I am.

View wncguy's profile


387 posts in 2281 days

#5 posted 09-10-2013 10:19 PM

I have a 4512 also & did not want to attempt creating my own zero clearance insert. Saw some comments on Leecraft & decided on them. Found that if you contact Ron Lee directly you can order 3 on a wholesale deal. I think it was $55 for 3 including shipping. Then you can set the up for various cuts.
If you don’t have contact info, I can provide it.
I was very happy with the inserts & service.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View ConstructionBoss's profile


13 posts in 1997 days

#6 posted 10-16-2013 08:51 PM

wncguy, can you send me Ron Lee’s contact info?

-- -Brian, a.k.a. "ConstructionBoss" -

View wncguy's profile


387 posts in 2281 days

#7 posted 10-17-2013 12:03 AM

Sure -
Ron Lee
office 770.983-1797
Cell 770.645-3629

You need to remove the riving knife before cutting the insert. Took me a while to figure out how to accomplish that. let me know if I can help.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View rg33's profile


83 posts in 1970 days

#8 posted 10-17-2013 12:39 AM

I dont know that any one else has touched on this but the OTHER purpose of the zero clearance insert is dust control. I used to have a portable craftsman table saw that would send saw dust everywhere but into the bag on the bottom. After putting in an insert, saw dust became much more manageable

View screwy1's profile


1 post in 1018 days

#9 posted 07-12-2015 04:38 PM

I have a R4512. I too am fairly new to it but want to incorporate a ZCI for it. Before I buy one I am working on an idea based on the principle of a wooden drawer guide. This may not be a monumental idea but there will need to be some tweaking of the plate to accommodate the various supports. I will probably utilize a forstner bit to allow for the supports. Hardwood would seem to me the way to go for the main table insert but plywood should do for the insert’s insert. I want to avoid sag as well with the hardwood.
My idea would be upside down to what one sees in the picture. I would not be using an actual drawer slide but rather base my idea on how it is joined so as to avoid any screws, etc.

View RobinDobbie's profile


133 posts in 1704 days

#10 posted 07-12-2015 05:09 PM

Safety. Not only does making your own plates give you the ability to make your own splitters, but also it keeps things from falling between the blade and the factory plate. I find it’s less about tearout when both the blade and fence are perfectly aligned, the feedrate is appropriate, and the blade is sharp and clean.

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