Do you make zero-tolerance inserts for your table saw? I've found one link
that basically says:
1. Use double-side tape to stick your existing insert to a piece of MDF
2. Use a flush cut router bit to run around and cut out new insert.
3. Clamp into your table saw and raise the blade to cut the slot.
What about leveling set screws? Does anyone worry about going that far? If
so how do you put them in?
I'd appreciate any tips.
Step 1a. Cut the blank roughly to shape but about 1/16" oversize with the
Step 2a. Attach a pin, washer, stop block, or something at the rear of the
insert, to catch the underside of the table to prevent the blade from lifting
the insert clear of the throat and throwing it at you.
Nope, won't work. On most saws, you can't lower the blade far enough to get a
piece of 1/2" MDF into the throat. Step 3 is to mount a smaller blade (e.g. 8"
dado cutter on a 10" saw), then raise the dado blade to remove enough of the
bottom of the insert that you can fit it into the throat with the full-size
blade installed. Then install the full-size blade, clamp something over the
insert plate to hold it down, and raise the blade through the insert.
I used levelling screws. They're easy to put in: just drill holes in the
insert at the appropriate spots, countersink them, and run the screws in. MDF
is soft enough that an ordinary machine screw will cut its own threads easily.
No need for a tap. I used 8-32 x 1/2" flat-head Phillips machine screws.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 21:35:36 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller)
There are two alternatives to the smaller blade: rout a slot on the
underside, or even better, as suggested by WoodButcher in a thread
back in May (quoting from his post):
-Another way is to use double sided tape and position the
-new insert on top of the existing one. Hold everything down
-with a 2x4 clamped across the tabletop, apply power and
-raise the blade. I find this easier than futzing around with
-the other methods, but go with whatever works best for you.
I agree. Less screwing around (no pun originally intended) than using
bits of paper and tape. I made inserts out of lexan (polycarbonate)
scraps and used hex-head set screws for levelling, 3/8" or 7/16" long.
I did tap the holes.
Replace "no" with "yk" twice
in reply address for real email address
I have an older Craftsman TS in which the insert inset is rabbeted. I do
what you describe,
then use a pattern to rabbet out the necessary areas. I simply use multiple
plies of vinyl electrical
tape to level out the insert. I also countersink a hole in the front for
the mounting screw, and drill
in a dowel insert in the back to lock the insert in the table. I route out
a slot in the bottom of the
insert (w/o going through the insert), set it into the TS and then raise the
blade to cut the final slot.
BTW, I use scrap lumber core plywood for my inserts.
I just made an insert for my molding cutter. I used poplar. Traced the
outline from one of the Delta inserts. planed the wood flat, ran it
thru the thickness planer to the exact thickness. cut it to shape and
used my bench belt sander to get it just right. put it on the TS and
slowly raised the molding cutter (held it down with the fence on one
side and a board on the other). sanded it smooth, 2 coats of waxed
shellac. next day waxed it with SC Johnson's paste wax. couldn't be
better if I bought it at the store.
and I adjusted ONE corner with 2 layers of 3m blue masking tape
(underneath of course!)
Bob Davis wrote:
I don't get that fancy. I can make an insert in less than ten minutes.
Take a piece of stock, a 1/16 or so less than needed, or plane it down.
Trace the original insert, cut it on the bandsaw, and make a couple trips to
the belt sander until it fits tight, but easy to take out. Cut an
additional v notch to get a finger in to take it out.
Drill the pilot holes (interference) for some small screws, long enough to
stick out the back a small amount, and then countersink overly deep so the
screw can go in an extra 1/8th or so.
Put the screws in, so the head is slightly above the surface of the insert.
Take it to the bench grinder, and grind off the screws flush with the back
Go install it with the blade down, put the fence over the insert, and raise
the blade through the table.
Done. 10 minutes. Pretty does not count. Function does. I have a whole
stack of them.
Thanks to all for your replies. I was inspired by the creative variations
and especially the recommendation to insert some sort of stop block to lock
the insert into the table. Great idea! That was one of my primary
worries - making something that I end up eating when the saw threw it at me.
I always put leveling screws in a zero clearance insert. Tapped holes
in wood work very well for 1/4in and larger taps. The wood does not cut
as cleanly as metal, so there is more friction in turning the screw.
But for leveling screws, the additional friction is good. They don't
vibrate out of alignment.
Bob Davis wrote:
David J. Wilbur, Ph.D.
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