blade stabilizers or no?

Ah, the great debate. I haven't cut the hole in my insert yet. If I'm going to use blade stabilizers, I should put them on first. I haven't put them on up to now because of the stock steel insert.
Problem is these inserts are expensive to buy and ridiculously difficult to fabricate, so either way, I'm not going to have a lot of them. I figure since I almost never tilt the blade, the thing to do is just use the zero clearance insert for most jobs, and if I ever need to tilt, revert to the stock insert.
But of course, if I do that, then I will not only have to switch inserts, but also take the stabilizers back off, then put them back on again. Annoying.
So I've about talked myself out of using them again.
I use thin kerf blades because I have a relatively anemic 1.5 HP saw. I don't have stabilizers now, and I wouldn't say I'm having major cut quality problems. Not quite a glue line rip, but I just have cheapo Freud blades, and the occasional, minor tooth marks clean up easy enough.
Anybody want to buy my blade stabilizers and end the debate? It's as much a question of hating to pay for something I decided not to use as it is one that I perceive a real need for these things.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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If you have a pattern cutting router pit (a straight bit with a ball bearing) and some plywood of the right thickness you can make lots of inserts in short order using the original as a pattern.
I keep a stack handy, and change mine out whenever they get chewed up. 1/2 inch ply works great on a old unisaw.
Matthew

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Matthew wrote:

Well, for starters, no, I don't have a pattern cutting router bit, or a router that's worth using for much of anything, so that's out. :)
Then, after figuring out an alternative way to produce a piece of wood of the right shape, there's the question of routing off just the right amount around the rim, in the right spots, to accommodate the stupid ledge cast into the saw. Without a router that's worth using for much of anything, or a bandsaw for that matter. (Not a problem on a Delta, I know. If I had realized what a pain in the ass this was going to be, it would have scored more points for the Delta I almost bought. I never looked. I stupidly figured all rounded rectangular inserts were created equal.)
I made one using a circle cutting jig to do the ends. I didn't get it quite right, so I had to saw it in half. The kerf removed just a little too much material, but it was still workable. So I glued it back together, with dowels. Then I set about doing the rim by kerfing around the perimeter of the thing repeatedly. With an ATB blade that left little pointy kerfs. Which I then cleaned up with chisels, because I didn't have a rabbet plane. I don't have a dado stack, or a flat top ground blade either.
So then after all this, I finally fitted it into the slot, and it was too thick. Either work on the ugly kerfy mess below, or plane off the top. So I planed off the top until I had planed right through the first layer of ply and into the glue. Damn the torpedoes, that's why I have lots of sandpaper, so I kept going until I was about halfway through the next layer of veneer. Then I shimmed it and fiddled with it until it was level and smooth and perfect.
I carefully raised the blade through this fruit of many hours, and I cut a perfect zero clearance kerf at last. All was good with the world, and a job well done.
Then the first time I used the damn thing, it lifted, kicked, got mangled by the blade en route, and then for the coup de grace, it smashed into my face shield and broke along the glue line.
Piss on it. Pre-made inserts are a bargain compared to amount of toolage I would need to acquire in order to be able to make these things with any practical amount of effort. I have a rabbet plane now, since this misadventure, but that wouldn't do much to simplify the rest of the operation. I concede that this would be easy with a good router and the right bits, but a router is at the very bottom of my someday list for various reasons I have beaten to death on this very forum.
Besides, it's Christmas, so I treated myself to a problem solved without headaches.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan wrote:

You don't need a decent router for this operation. Even are really crappy router should do the job.

Goodness man, use a coping saw! Or fret saw. Or a regular handsaw to make it kinda-round then rasp/sand to the line. There are dozens of ways to do this without a bandsaw, and all of them are safer/faster/easier the using a power tool (outside of a bandsaw).

Wouldn't need to be flat top. Really wouldn't make much of a difference at all.
I really think you are seriously over-complicating this thing, and this comes from a man who is a master of over-complication (and over-engineering too, if I get bored...)

Ahh.. been there, done that: http://tinyurl.com/49qbc
<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_frm/thread/113ee68334dec113/f0489d7e1af70018?q=groin+author:paul+author:kierstead&_done=%2Fgroups%3Fas_q%3Dgroin%26num%3D10%26scoring%3Dr%26hl%3Den%26ie%3DUTF-8%26as_epq%3D%26as_oq%3D%26as_eq%3D%26as_ugroup%3D%26as_usubject%3D%26as_uauthors%3Dpaul+kierstead%26lr%3D%26as_drrb%3Dq%26as_qdr%3D%26as_mind%3D1%26as_minm%3D1%26as_miny%3D1981%26as_maxd%3D18%26as_maxm%3D12%26as_maxy%3D2004%26safe%3Doff%26&_doneTitle ºck+to+Search&&d#f0489d7e1af70018>

Ahh, not at all. I am willing to be it would be very makable without additional toolage. Just think *improvise* instead of *engineer*.
PK
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Hi, Amazon has a lot of zero-clearance inserts on sale. I don't know what saw you have, but most of them are $12.99. I think they are UHMW and made by Might-T-Track (http://ttrackusa.com /), which also has them for $12.99. Lewis

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Hey Michael,
sounds like a good exercise for a shopbot. Tell you what ... make up a drawing showing the outline dimensions, desired thickness, and the associated notch-outs (and their depth) and I'll see what the big blue router can do ... in my spare time of course! If the insert isn't too thin, I'd even consider cutting one or two out of some HDPE scraps I have in the shop.
Rick

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I have never used a stabilizer with thin kerf blades. If I am losing something because it, I sure don't know what it is.
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IMHO, only very little, and only then in certain cases. I do use a thin kerf with a single (Forrest) stabilizer. With some woods (e.g. cherry) it makes for a slightly cleaner cut. Similiar may apply with other thick hardwoods. In most other cases, you can't really see any difference. With some saws, the stabilizer will reduce the noise level slightly, but that's only reducing the stress on a weakness in that saw (we all have some weaknesses, right?). A blade that's not perfectly flat, or one that tends to flex with heat/torque will be helped. When none of the above apply, there's little to lose. Your saw alignment and your technique are more important. GerryG

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Not a valid reason unless your blade is low quality and or dull. I used Good regular kerf blade for years on a 1 hp Craftsman. It cut just fine but a bit slower. I suggest stepping up to a quality combination or general blade with regular kerf.
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A little tip: My tablesaw is no more powerful than yours. No need for thin kerf blades, regulars work fine.

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