Make a zero clearance throat plate insert - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 30 Old 05-09-2009, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Make a zero clearance throat plate insert

Here's how I make mine. I use 1/8th inch plywood since it's the same thickness as my plate. I rip a bunch of lengths slightly longer than the opening and exactly the same width. I round off the ends on a sander and Whamo! I'm done.

TO FULLY SUPPORT THE INSERT AND TO BE ABLE TO RUN NARROW STOCK, A FULL LENGTH BLOCK SHOULD BE HOT GLUED TO THE UNDERSIDE OF THE PLATE.
SEE PHOTO BELOW!
Don't ask me how I came to know this! bill
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Last edited by woodnthings; 08-30-2010 at 09:34 AM. Reason: IMPORTANT CAUTION
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post #2 of 30 Old 05-09-2009, 07:05 PM
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Not THAT is a good idea!!!

Thanks for the thought.

George
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post #3 of 30 Old 05-09-2009, 10:46 PM
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That's pretty slick, Bill

That is the very thing that I would have never tried because I never would have thought that the tape would hold, which it obviously does. Then again, if I lived 100,000 years ago, I would not have been the guy to invent the wheel. I would still be working on improving the log. LOL
Anyway, this is how I did it on my Delta Contractor's saw
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...e-saw-inserts/

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post #4 of 30 Old 05-09-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Important caution!

I try to make as snug a fit as I can. Photo: One reason I chose this method is that the throat plate is so thin 1/8th in., on the older saws. The newer ones are about 3/8ths or so, which makes a more stable plate. An 1/8th inch plate would not have the strength across the 3 1/2" width. The zero clearance insert is always in the saw.

To fully support the insert a thicker block should be hot glued immediately under the insert. This tip applies to the Craftsman style throat plates that are 1/8th inch or so thick.
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post #5 of 30 Old 06-21-2009, 09:13 PM
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Does the block underneath get hot glued directly to plate AND insert?
And also, is that made of MDF?
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-21-2009, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yup!

Hot glue it all togetherwith just a few dabs and work fast. It'll stay put. This idea is made for the older style Craftsman insert plates which generally have too much gap on either side of the blade to suit me. bill

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Last edited by woodnthings; 08-27-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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post #7 of 30 Old 06-22-2009, 10:30 AM
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I wish I had found this post yesterday morning BEFORE I tried making a throat plate for my craftsman flex drive out of hardboard.
It didn't seem like it was a great idea to begin with, but you never know till you try. Turns out it was a worse idea than ihad
originally thought.
I am going to try this.
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post #8 of 30 Old 06-22-2009, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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You could make a full size throat plate using

1/8" hard board and then use the support block underneath but make it as large as possible for full support. These old style throat plates require an 1/8" step around the plate and in about 3/8" so it makes it difficult to make one from one piece of stock with out a lot or router work and rabbets. Just a further thought on this. FYI bill

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post #9 of 30 Old 08-25-2009, 10:17 AM
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I ended up ripping a 2x4 into 5 strips for throat plate inserts and then ran them through the planer to thickness. The 2x4 wasn't quite as wide as I needed it to be, but the lack in width made just enough clearance for my fingernails to pry out the insert and thus re-engineered on the fly.

This method was a lot more stable than the hardboard, but I hot glued a block underneath for that added rigidity anyway.
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post #10 of 30 Old 08-26-2009, 03:10 PM
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I made the zero clearance plates for my Craftsman saw ( old style 1/8tk plate ) out of 3/8thick hickory from a pallet..
then used the router table and a rabbiting bit, to cut a 1/2 wide rabbit around the edge .. this left an 1/8tk ledge for the plate to sit on, with the centerpart 3/8....
countersink the screw hole and you are done....

" Some people have a shop so they can make things, the rest of us make things so we can have a shop"

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post #11 of 30 Old 08-26-2009, 09:38 PM
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I also used the router to custom fit a zero clearance on my craftsman, but I do like this new idea.

With each new day, celebrate life. Love God with all of your heart. Share Jesus with those around you and make a positive impact on those you meet. Cherish the time you have and take nothing for granted.

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post #12 of 30 Old 08-27-2009, 12:26 PM
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Interesting method, woodnthings. I tried to make a lexan plate but couldn't ever get it to fit well and screw down. I eventually used clear packing tape over the thing to keep it down. I just leave the zero clearance in place all the time. I've been quite surprised at how long the tape has kept it in place. Two overlapping layers of packing tape and it's been there for almost 2 years now without a hitch. One of these days I'll do it properly, but for now, it works.

I think that's the biggest problem I have with my tablesaw (Craftsman)... the proprietary miter slots and the crappy throat guard just annoy me. Other than that I like it very much.
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-08-2009, 09:44 AM
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I don't understand why saws don't just come like this? It seems like the first thing everyone wants to do is add a zero clearance throat plate - so why provide such a big gap to start with? The idea is that if you're ripping a small piece it doesn't fall into the throat hole, right?

Dave
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post #14 of 30 Old 09-08-2009, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Exactly Right

And the next thing you do is to try an fish it out before the blade stops since you can't saw any more until it's taken out. This is of course very dangererous and may pull your fingers into the blade. Some gaps are 1/4" wide and that's a sizeable obstruction. The manufacturers should at least have a replaceable center insert like I have designed that comes out easily, but is strong enough to support a thin strip with some down pressure. Who knows why they don't. I have found that a great number of tools and other products are designed by folks who never use them. They would not do some of the things they do if they did. bill

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Last edited by woodnthings; 12-04-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-08-2009, 10:59 AM
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So, I just wanted to add an update. I shattered my insert this week when a piece of cocobolo I was ripping got to chattering a little. Insert pieces everywhere, cocobolo across the garage/shop (but no worse for wear other than scaring the crap out of me) and a bit of nervous cussing.

I'll reiterate-- two things I really don't like about my saw... the miter track is proprietary and the throat plate only supports the throat plate on one side (not the waste side) thus allowing the throat plate to flex downward (toward the motor) on the waste side of the blade... scary stuff. I may start saving pennies for a saw "upgrade" due to this.

Luckily I suffered no physical damage because I always stand on the side of the saw when I'm cutting and my hands weren't anywhere near the blade when all this went down.
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-09-2009, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddoria View Post
I don't understand why saws don't just come like this? It seems like the first thing everyone wants to do is add a zero clearance throat plate - so why provide such a big gap to start with? The idea is that if you're ripping a small piece it doesn't fall into the throat hole, right?

Dave

The reason they don't come with a zero-clearance insert instead of the one they do comewith,... is you can't tilt the blade with a zero clearance insert, and the insert would need to be made of something other than metal ....
I wish all the manufacturers would standardize the size and thickness of the throat plate, that would help a lot.....

" Some people have a shop so they can make things, the rest of us make things so we can have a shop"

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post #17 of 30 Old 09-10-2009, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vuefromidwest View Post
The reason they don't come with a zero-clearance insert instead of the one they do comewith,... is you can't tilt the blade with a zero clearance insert, and the insert would need to be made of something other than metal ....
I wish all the manufacturers would standardize the size and thickness of the throat plate, that would help a lot.....
I suspect the real answer is that they don't include them because they want to sell them to you as an accessory. If they didn't do that, they'd just include multiple throat plates with the saw.
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post #18 of 30 Old 09-10-2009, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankp View Post
I suspect the real answer is that they don't include them because they want to sell them to you as an accessory. If they didn't do that, they'd just include multiple throat plates with the saw.
I am sure you are correct about why they don't supply both plates with the saw....
What I was saying was " instead of " .....

Craftsman sold a zero clearance plate for my saw at one time, but it was a steel plate, and therefore still had clearance......

" Some people have a shop so they can make things, the rest of us make things so we can have a shop"

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post #19 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 05:29 PM
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I make my inserts out of 1/2" MDF using the original as a router template. I tape it to the original top to cut the saw slot then put some flat head wood screws on the underside to level the insert.

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post #20 of 30 Old 12-10-2009, 09:20 PM
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I'm going to have to try this goodie.
For my Craftsman contractor saw, I made my inserts out of 1/2" Corian counter top. Need to use carbide blades and router bits to trim it.
What's great about Corian is that the top surface is totally flat and slippery. And it has never warped or swollen on me in the year that I have had them on the saw
even though it is out in the garage all year.
I used the original plate for the template and a flush trim bit and then I removed about 3/8" from the bottom and about 1/2" in to make my shelf for the leveling screws. drilled and tapped and I ready to go. Nice smooth and slick surface.
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