Zero Clearance Insert - Jet Contractor Tablesaw


The stock insert that comes with the Jet CS (CTS?) is metal and has a wide opening capable of handling a dado stack. Today I took it out to make some zero clearance inserts out of 1/2" finnply. A couple of comments and questions.
First, the factory insert doesn't exactly fit snugly into the opening. It's a little too short and narrow, although a couple of little nipples on one side sort of guide it into place I guess. I ended up just template routing it as it was, but I plan to experiment more in the near future. What I'm thinking is that I'll flatten the nipples using some abrasive paper on a surfacing plate, and I'll take off the seam as well (all the way around). At that point I'll add a couple layers of celophane tape around the edge to make it just slightly too large, and template rout it again. Now I'll have an insert just barely oversized. This I'll take to the surfacing plate to get it just right, and I'll keep this for my new "template". (I'll probably make up a few spare inserts at that time too).
I've noticed too that the inserts don't seem to want to sit flat on the supports either. To level the one I made today I used ground down screws countersunk into the insert itself. This seemed to work pretty well, but I thinking that next time I'll fix the problem itself, which appears to be supports which aren't coplanar and/or on a parellel plane to the TS surface. With screws as leveling feet it feels like the back of the insert can easily dip. Maybe I'm just being anal.
IAE, what I might do is file/permanently shim the inserts such that they allow for an insert of 31/64" to sit flush with the surface of the table. That way I need not worry about leveling screws or rabbeting the edges in the future.
JP ************* No tolerance.
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You can fuss with this all you want, but it won't want to stay fixed. Sawdust tends to get blown up underneath, and the throat plate will wedge itself where it wants to go. Pull up the plate, and blow or brush out the buildup periodicly.
Your stock plate is capable of handling a dado stack? Strange. Delta sends a 'blank' plate, in addition to the stock one. Or at least they did with my saw. I use the 1/2" Finnply shop built ones for dados, too.
Patriarch
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The stock plate on my old Jet CS was wide but it was NOT for a dado stack--they sell one specifically for the dado sets. Same deal with my Jet Cabinet saw.
John
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Patriarch wrote:

The metal one that comes with the saw has an opening of over 1/2". I'm not in the shop, but it's definitely not "zero clearance" by any stretch of the imagination.
The more I think about it, the more I'm entertaining the idea of tapping some holes in the support brackets themselves and putting little padded leveling feet in them.
JP
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Not for dado, but for tilting the blade. Once you make the zci, don't try to tilt the blade with it in place.

That would work. I just use screws in the insert so I can fine tune each one if needed. I also have a screw in one end where the tab is to prevent it from lifting. While you are at it, make a half dozen so you have them for different blades, dado stacks, and a spare. I used 1/2" mdf and made a half dozen for about two bucks.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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That's so the blade can tilt.
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CW wrote:

LOL. And here I was thinking I was all smart and stuff!
JP ************ Humbled.
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Jay Pique wrote:

Why not replicate the aftermarket (and some OEM) inserts?
Just drill an appropriately sized hole in the insert over each "support ear" and insert some Allen head set screws. Screws are cheap, work well to level the insert, just a hair undersized on the holes and they're self-threading. A dollar or two will buy all you need for your ZCI's. Remove them before tossing a worn out insert and put them in its replacement.
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An asssortment of allen headed set screws (about 5 dozen or so) cost me maybe 10 bucks ...and they work just fine... no need to play around with the ears that are on the saw......
Most of my cuts with the blade tilted are naturally 45 degree cuts...and since my Cabinet saw is right tilt (by choice...so lets not go thru that discussion again...) I do not bother with a zero clearance insert as the good side of my cuts are facing up...all the tearout is on the hidden inside edge ....if there is any tearout...
Bob G..
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wrote:

pretty much how I do it. I made two master templates. one does the perimeter, the other does the clearance for the levelling tabs. my saw wants an insert slightly less than 1/2".
I shim them to level with masking tape. the tabs aren't at a common height (sounds like yours aren't either). at first I thought I'd get fancy and either mill the tabs to a common height or make a ramped routing template for the tabs, but the masking tape worked well enough that I haven't seen the need to do anything more.
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