zero clearance insert

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Got some insert blanks for the new table saw. They are made out of UHMW. I have a WWII blade and I'm wondering how much running the blade through this UHMW will it dull the blade. Don't want to do it if it means the blade will have to be sharpened sooner. I just got this blade a couple of weeks ago.
Paul T.
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That stuff is like butter to a blade. No abrasive aspect to it at all, in fact, the opposite is true, it's pretty slippery. You might want to go through in steps, so you won't over-heat the waste-chips. It is a blind cut initially.
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PHT wrote:

I don't think you have to worry about it in the time it takes to run the blade up through it, one time. Maybe you could use a cheaper blade (assuming it's thinner or equal) to make the majority of the cut, then finish it with the WWII.
Maybe a call or email to Forrest would help.
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PHT wrote:

It's probably the "friendliest" stuff that blade will ever cut.

The blade will dull slightly with every cut no matter what, but you'll never notice it with UHMWPE.
Have fun chasing the sawdust. :-)
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Morris Dovey
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Just FYI... From http://www.plasticsintl.com "Care should be taken to keep tools sharp because UHMW-PE can rapidly dull tool cutting edges,..."
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-MIKE- wrote:

If that is on the site you linked, please provide the navigation because you link gets to a home page with no obvious link and searching the site on "dull tool cutting" doesn't find a hit.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Discover google. :-)
It's from a pdf on their site, but I just googled the sentence I copied and this popped up...
http://www.plasticsmag.com/features.asp?fIssue=Sep/Oct-03&aid862
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-MIKE- wrote:

Different site.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Same info, however.
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-MIKE- wrote:

That's just plain amazing! You wouldn't believe how much of that stuff I've cut with my TS and BS without any noticeable effect on the blades.
Of course, we might need to take into account that on the TS I cut with an Olson 10x100 carbide-tipped blade ($50 from Menards). :)
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I'm right with you. But I've always heard and read that from people in the plastics industry.
One man's dull is another man's sharp.
Try talking to a machinist about "flat" or an "exact measurement." They consider woodworkers to be riding the short bus. :-)
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-MIKE- wrote:

Oops. I bought that blade on sale for $14.95 (six years ago) - and when I looked for a current price, I discovered that Olson no longer makes circular saw blades. :(

Could be so. I suspect that "large volume" for my shop doesn't amount to much for a major production facility.

That's always true. I'm easy to please - I'm generally happy if I can cut cherry and hard maple without burn or fuzz.

The metalworking types even play this game with each other - but I did design and build my own CNC router so I could cut joints with finer precision than my neighbor can manage with his (manual) Bridgeport. :->
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Morris Dovey wrote: ...

Well that _IS_ a bummer -- wonder why they dropped them out?
I suppose the proliferation of others made the niche less profitable but I surely thought they had great value. I'm not doing enough now to buy many new blades but surely glad to have those I do if they're no longer available...
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-MIKE- wrote:

And rightfully so, considering the media...
I fly within a box +/- 50 feet. Try that in a car. <G>
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I've done some turning with TS and UHMW PE. And it will dull tool steel....for UHMW. Would still work great on steel. But UHMW takes a SHARP edge to work well, and lots of relief. Carbide is NOT a choice to cut UHMW, 'cept occasional use on a TS. Carbide will not grind to as sharp an edge as TS will, and the grind angles of a TS is for wood, not UHMW. Have no fear, your blade will not even feel the cut on the zero clearance plate.
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The carbide is the key here.
If you cut with a regular steel saw, yes, you'll run into problems almost right away.
Use carbide, and the blade lasts forever.
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On these pages some years ago, I read an account from somebody who intended to make a zero clearance inset by feeding the running saw upwards into the plate.
He crouched down to watch what was happening, his face directly in line with the blade.
As the blade bit into the plate it was ejected into his face.
Worth knowing about? Presumably this was a loose-fitting plate or he had not troubled to fix it down.
Jeff
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wrote

Well. Duh! Clamp the fence a small, non-zero distance away to hold it down. Store bought plates have a pin at the rear to help keep the rear from rising, but a solid hold-down is still called for.
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I just put my fence over it..about 1/2" away from the edge of the blade.
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That's how I cut mine. The fence is the perfect "hold down" and probably the safest. Just allow your TS to develop full RPM's and raise the blade s-l-o-w-l-y and you will have a perfect zero clearance plate. Just be sure that you raise the blade to the highest possible position. Don't need any surprises later on. :-) Minwax Mac (aka Jums)
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