Zero Clearance Insert

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The first answer to this question still makes the most sense. Start with a smaller diameter blade and raise it through the insert. Then install your larger blade. It worked great for me and I do not see why people are suggesting all these high risk approaches.
Dick
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Steve responds:

You, sir, lack common sense. You have described an excellent way to lose a finger or two.
Use a smaller blade to start the cut. An 8-1/4" works fine, as does an 8" off a dado set. Even a 7-1/4" off a circular saw will do well in a pinch.
Make sure the zero clearance insert is held (I clamp a piece of 2x4 over mine, wide side down). Raise the small blade into the insert, until it is fully raised. Shut the saw down. Lower that blade and change to a 10". Repeat the process, including the holddown.
Do not EVER use your bare hands to place an item onto a spinning blade. NEVER.
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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| >> Hi, | >> | >> I bought a zero clearance insert for my Unisaw. This is the first time | >> I've owned one, and I'm a bit puzzled as to how to make the slot. My | >> first instinct was to lower the blade completely under the table, turn on | >> the power, then slowly raise the blade with the new insert in place. | >> However, even when the blade is at its lowest point, the bottom of the | >> insert hits it. I couldn't possibly run the saw this way to get the slot | >> started. | >> | >> What am I missing?? | >> | >> TIA | >> | >> -m | >You aren't missing anything (yet). | > | >Just lay the ZCTP into the opening (with the saw blade fully lowered). | >Carefully(!) hold the plate up with your fingers and start the saw blade | >spinning. | > | >Be VERY careful now -- you want to continue "not missing anything"! | > | >Lightly / gingerly / (insert your own phrase ) lower the plate onto the | >whirling blade. Press it on down 'til it lays level in the throat. | >Now begin to raise the blade on through the plate. | > | >WHen you have it cut through, turn off the saw and remove the new zero | >clearance throat plate. Take a sharp chisel to the bottom side to clean off | >the accumulated crud-stuff. | > | >While care and good fortune you will still "not be missing anything" and | >you'll have your ZCTP ready for use :-) | > | | You, sir, lack common sense. You have described an excellent way to lose a | finger or two. | | Use a smaller blade to start the cut. An 8-1/4" works fine, as does an 8" off a | dado set. Even a 7-1/4" off a circular saw will do well in a pinch. | | Make sure the zero clearance insert is held (I clamp a piece of 2x4 over mine, | wide side down). Raise the small blade into the insert, until it is fully | raised. Shut the saw down. Lower that blade and change to a 10". Repeat the | process, including the holddown. | | Do not EVER use your bare hands to place an item onto a spinning blade. NEVER. | | Charlie Self | "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not | hereditary." Thomas Paine
LISTEN TO CHARLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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: : Lightly / gingerly / (insert your own phrase ) lower the plate onto the : whirling blade. Press it on down 'til it lays level in the throat. : Now begin to raise the blade on through the plate. :
You're nuts.
Why not throw a smaller blade in there to establish a pre-cut and then run the 10"? I know it's boring and safe but it sure beats cleaning blood off the walls when you only have stumps where fingers used to be.
-Brian
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Steve wrote:

I think you forgot the step just prior to this.
"Be sure you are wearing a diaper".
UA100
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wrote:

I think that step might be "have the ambulance parked outside and your medical insurance card clenched between your teeth"..
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mac davis wrote:

Yahbut I think if you'd poll most any EMT you'd find they would appreciate it and thus do a better job if the fecal matter is/was well contained.
Not saying you shouldn't be ready, specially with the insurance card within reach.
UA100
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A BIG one! LOL!

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Steve, I think you are an idiot
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wrote:

Howdy,
You have lots of good suggestions already, but I will add another thought:
Shine a light into the saw to see if any crud is preventing lowering the blade a bit more. You may have all the clearance you need.
HTH,
--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Common problem with just about every brand of Tablesaw...even when lowered a 10 inch blade will not allow the insert to be lowered flush with the saws table ...
As others have said just use a smaller blade... I find that easier then using a router etc to precut a shallow grouve in the bottom of the insert...
Just remember to "clamp" down the insert (2 x 4's or using the fence...when you raise the blade...
Piece of cake really.....
Bob Griffiths
wrote:

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I don't know about other saws, but my Sears lowers a 10 inch blade well below the insert.
"Bob G." wrote:

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On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 01:41:26 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

My powermatic won't drop below the inserts I make from 1/2" stock.
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Put the new insert on top of the original one. Put a 2x4 on to of it, running font to back and clamp it to the saw. Then start up the saw and raise the bade.
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How do you align the new insert perfectly with the bottom one?
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Very carefully! Actually I used that method to cut an insert without the aid of a smaller diameter blade. One way to do it is align a straight edge against one long edge of the original insert, lay the new insert on top, making sure that the front or rear edge is correctly positioned, tape it down and then clamp a board over the whole thing. Start up the saw and bring the blade up through the new insert. Shut her down, remove both inserts, install the new insert, cover with a board ( clamped to the table top)off to the side of the slot, and finish cutting the insert to the maximum exposure of the blade.
David
Leon wrote:

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Couple of brads to hold until the kerf's made....

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> What am I missing??
I've made and used zci's cut from 3/8 to 1/2 inch stock. I made the initial cut by putting on a 8 in. dado blade or a 7 1/4 circular saw blade. I position the fence over the insert to be cut and raise the blade. But I don't use the zci's much any more because they don't allow the saw dust to be sucked down the slot well. If I have some material that may have a tendency to splinter, I just make a shallow scoring cut. If I'm using my crosscut sled or dado jig I remove the insert altogether because this allows the "full suck" of the dust collection to function. Apenas mi valor de dos centavos.
Larry
--
Lawrence L'Hote
Columbia, MO
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The usually recommended method is to use a smaller diameter blade to start the slot. However, the last time I made some, I used this method which worked well for me:
Raise the stock insert slightly above the table and bring the fence over to it so it just touches the insert. Then push the stock insert back down. Put the ZC insert on top of the stock insert. Clamp a block of wood to the fence over the top of the zc insert. Clamp another block to the fence in front of the ZC insert to prevent it from being pushed back by the blade. Use a push stick to hold the ZC insert tight to the fence and slowly raise the blade til it just emerges from the new insert. When you're ready to use the new insert you can install it and cut the slot to the length you desire.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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I had the same problem with my saw (a General 650), where the blade can be lowered just a little more than 1/4" below the surface, but not the full 1/2" required. I do not (yet) own a dado or a smaller blade....
So to make mine, I used a 1/4" straight bit in the router, set to 1/4" depth, and used an edge guide set so the cut groove is the where the blade will be. If you don't have an edge guide, use whatever method you like to cut measured straight grooves. Make the groove extend about 4" front and back of blade center. This will leave 1/4" of material to host the zero clearance slot.
I could now lock down the insert sitting flush before raising the saw blade through it.(again, this requires that the blade be lowered at least 1/4" below table surface).
As an added benefit (YMMV), the sides of the insert's zero clearance slot are now only 1/4" deep, rather than 1/2", which means less noise, and I would think less wear on the sides of the blade's teeth.
/rick.
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