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Harbor Freight 10" Table Saw Zero Clearance Insert

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Forum topic by Jose posted 01-17-2014 02:19 PM 5292 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jose

94 posts in 1120 days


01-17-2014 02:19 PM

Does anyone here own a Harbor Freight 10” table saw? I have one and would like to make a zero clearance insert but have found it difficult since the insert plate is thin and there seems to be no way possible to make one. I know this is not a good detailed explanation but whoever owns this type of table saw knows the details. If someone ever built one would you please share.
Thanks

-- Jose


19 replies so far

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

589 posts in 1541 days


#1 posted 01-17-2014 02:28 PM

What is the thickness of the factory insert?

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View Jose's profile

Jose

94 posts in 1120 days


#2 posted 01-17-2014 02:55 PM

About a sad 1/8”. Could be less

-- Jose

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#3 posted 01-17-2014 04:29 PM

I think it’s 3/32. I have a Skil table saw that is just about identical. I’ve been agonizing over the same thing. The only thing I can come up with is basically using the stock insert and creating a replaceable piece that attaches/hangs from the bottom.

Does that make any sense?

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Jose's profile

Jose

94 posts in 1120 days


#4 posted 01-17-2014 04:32 PM

I thought of the same but realized that it could be a hazard since the blade might bind to the piece and cause a bad accident.

-- Jose

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1744 days


#5 posted 01-17-2014 08:40 PM

I had an Craftsman table saw with the same issues. I made zci’s from 1/2” baltic birch ply. But I will assume any good plywood would work. First you use the original insert from your saw as a template. Trace around it onto your plywood. Rough cut at the bandsaw leaving the line. Re-attach the original insert back onto the plywood blank with double sided tape. Use a flush trim or pattern cutting bit at the router table to flush the blank to the insert. Next use a rabbeting bit in your router table and route a rabbet leaving a shoulder the thickness of the original insert. I made a handful of blanks all at the same time so I had extra and made zci’s for my dado one each for 1/4”, 1/2”, and 3/4” slots. Before you invest the time, lower the blade as far as it goes to see if you have clearance for 1/2” material. If not, then you can choose to use 3/8” or use a smaller single dado blade or a circular saw blade to make the slot. When making the slot, slide the fence up to the insert, clamp a block to the fence and down on the insert to hold it down securely. Be sure you not directly over the blade and be sure again you have clearance. Turning on the saw with the blade contacting the underneath side of the insert is not safe. Turn on the saw and ease the blade up and through the insert

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#6 posted 01-17-2014 09:50 PM

You could make the insert from aluminum. It is soft enough that you can cut it with a carbide tipped blade. Even a few pieces of Formica counter top material laminated together would be stiff enough to stay flat

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

589 posts in 1541 days


#7 posted 01-17-2014 11:07 PM

Aluminum sounds good like what MrRon said.

Or, if you can’t locate aluminum in the correct thickness, find a hobby shop that carries RC airplane building material. Good hobby shops that deal in RC planes will sell high grade plywood in the 1/8th inch range. There are a couple of grades/weights. If you go this route, don’t get the light stuff, get the heavy grade, used for bulk heads, landing gear mounts, and motor mounts Take your insert there and see if they have a thickness that will match up.

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View djc4990's profile

djc4990

54 posts in 1060 days


#8 posted 01-17-2014 11:12 PM

off topic bbc but im from upstate and get that all the time…”im from New York”, “OH! whats the city like?”, “no idea im not even close”

-- I don't always have soft hands....but when I do its because I just left the woodshop.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#9 posted 01-18-2014 01:37 AM

I’m not sure what you mean when you say the blade may bind to the piece.

I’m pretty sure it’s 13 gauge aluminum and it’s damn hard to come by. I’ve called a few metal shops and no one wants to talk to me, because it’s such a small quantity.

I’d be scared to rabbet down to 3/32 and rely on only that much material holding the insert.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Jose's profile

Jose

94 posts in 1120 days


#10 posted 01-18-2014 02:12 AM

Supercubber, I thought you meant a piece of plywood underneath the metal plate. That is what I was thinking of doing and holding the piece with metal screws. But the aluminum piece sounds like a good idea. There are some places around here that sell aluminum, maybe I can check them out. The problem with harbor freight is that getting parts for the tools that you buy from them is impossible.
Thanks all for your suggestions

-- Jose

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#11 posted 01-18-2014 10:40 PM

Go t o Home Depot or Lowes and to the locks and keys department. They have door kick plates made of aluminum that are about 6”x 18”. You could cut the insert from that. I don’t know what thickness they are, but you could laminate 2 together with epoxy before cutting it.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

216 posts in 929 days


#12 posted 07-01-2014 02:17 AM

I have the harbor freight central machinery 14 inch band saw.
I bought it used for a $100. and the table insert was alraedy gone.
Does anyone know where to buy a replacement. I don’t see any that are made for
the harbor freight saw. With all the saws out there I bet there is one that fits, Delta or Grizzly, Jet maybe
Just not sure where to start.

-- John

View Paul's profile

Paul

721 posts in 1032 days


#13 posted 07-01-2014 02:46 AM

Why not make your own? Of every blade insert I’ve ever bought I always end up making my own zci’s as they tend to be much better than store bought versions.

Paul

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1818 days


#14 posted 07-01-2014 03:47 AM

I have an old Craftsman saw with a 3/32” insert. I like to take 1/4” MDF and laminate formica top and bottom then cut a rabbit around the perimeter to 3/32”, and they work great, I’ve made lots of them over the years, cheap and easy.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2581 posts in 2428 days


#15 posted 07-01-2014 10:02 AM

bigJohn, you will probably have to check with HF unless you can match it up with another brand that was made in China.

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