I own a Dewalt DW788 20" variable speed scroll saw. As I continue to
practice, I hope to get good enough to do some detailed puzzles.
Anyway, one of the books I'm reading talks about "zero clearance
inserts" for more delicate work. I can't find anything in the Dewalt
"add ons" that includes a zero clearance insert for the saw.
I did find mention of a zero clearance insert for some other scroll saws
- for example, the Delta 40-540 16".
From the looks of what I can see in the picture, the Delta's opening is
larger than the Dewalt. I don't envision that there is any sort of
insert I can put on the Dewalt.
So anyhow, what IS a zero clearance insert? And does the smaller hole
on the Dewalt preclude the need for this insert for more "delicate" work?
It's an insert that has zero clearance between the sides of the blade
and the sides of the slot in the insert. It provides maximum support
for thin stock.
ZC inserts aren't typically sold because they're easily made. Saw a
slot into a piece of acrylic the same thickness as your existing
insert. Trace the outline of the existing insert on it. Cut and sand to
fit. If you use blades of different widths, you'll need to make inserts
for each of them.
If you don't have anything suitable to make a zero clearance insert
from, another option is to simply take a piece of tempered masonite
about the same size as the scroll saw table, and just saw into it
until it's centered over the table. Then do your cutting on top of the
masonite. You may have to clamp or doulble-sided-tape the masonite
Yea, but on the dewalt there is no milled out area to set a Z/C insert into,
like on a band saw or other scroll saws.
What you could do is get you a piece of 1/8" or so plywood and cut it out to
the shape of the dewalt table.Drill two tiny holes in it where the blade
would pass through, and thread your blade through the hole and open up the
slot to the width of your blade. Wipe a few coats of poly on it and paste
wax it, then double face tape it to your dewalt table.
Hope this makes sense.
Thanks, Tony D.
That's a great idea. I know several people who work with metal and so
maybe I could have them make me a thin (1/8" inch should be ample) plate
to put on top of the existing table top with just a small hole in it.
But for my current needs, using a cutout of some nice plywood would be
just fine. I'll give that a try first.
ANTHONY DIODATI wrote:
On Sun, 12 Mar 2006 23:17:05 -0700, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"
<"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:
I've made my own for the TS. It should be possible for the scroll
saw, but I don't see why you'd need it.
Might be OK for the scroll saw, but the zero clearance on the table
saw makes all the sawdust go to the top of the table [and into the
room], rather than be drawn down under and into my vaccuum system.
I'd go for two better preferences: (i) Strong support to avoid bending
near the blade, and (ii) absolute flat/square fit to the table top.
On the TS, cutting anything so small as to require "zero" clearance"
is possibly something you might do with a penknife. The scroll saw
shouldn't need that, being not nearly so powerful a tool. But, again,
anything that small I'd avoid, and anything large enough is already
It's support you're after, not dust collection, that's for sure. Zero
clearance makes it a lot less likely that you'll be tempted to reach in and
remove a thin piece that wedged. Of course we all _know_ enough to turn
things off, it's just that sometimes it looks so easy to just flick it
Oh yes, your clearance is no longer zero after you tilt a couple times.
Ever do an scroll saw work? Many materials cut on a scroll saw are thin and
flexible enough to bend down into any slot around the blade. A tight insert
helps immensely. True "zero clearance" is hardly needed and rarely done. A
slot slightly bigger than the blade works fine.
The hole in the dewalt table is really small, maybe a half inch wide
at most. It might be an issue if you were cutting veneer or something
like that, but it's a non issue with the 1/8" stuff I'm cutting on it.
Well, for my initial practice, I certainly don't need anything smaller
than the hole already there. I suppose though that if I were scrolling
a puzzle with small pieces, it would certainly help.
Guess who wrote:
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