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.
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.
"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not
hereditary." Thomas Paine
| >> Hi,
| >> I bought a zero clearance insert for my Unisaw. This is the first
| >> I've owned one, and I'm a bit puzzled as to how to make the slot.
| >> first instinct was to lower the blade completely under the table,
| >> the power, then slowly raise the blade with the new insert in
| >> However, even when the blade is at its lowest point, the bottom of
| >> insert hits it. I couldn't possibly run the saw this way to get
| >> 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
| >Carefully(!) hold the plate up with your fingers and start the saw
| >Be VERY careful now -- you want to continue "not missing anything"!
| >Lightly / gingerly / (insert your own phrase ) lower the plate onto
| >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
| >clearance throat plate. Take a sharp chisel to the bottom side to
| >the accumulated crud-stuff.
| >While care and good fortune you will still "not be missing anything"
| >you'll have your ZCTP ready for use :-)
| You, sir, lack common sense. You have described an excellent way to
| 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
| wide side down). Raise the small blade into the insert, until it is
| raised. Shut the saw down. Lower that blade and change to a 10".
| process, including the holddown.
| Do not EVER use your bare hands to place an item onto a spinning
| Charlie Self
| "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue
| hereditary." Thomas Paine
LISTEN TO CHARLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
: 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.
Why not throw a smaller blade in there to establish a pre-cut and then run
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.
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.
You have lots of good suggestions already, but I will add another
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.
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
Just remember to "clamp" down the insert (2 x 4's or using the
fence...when you raise the blade...
Piece of cake really.....
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.
> 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
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.
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
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.
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