Leecraft zero clearance inserts a scam? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-22-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Leecraft zero clearance inserts a scam?

Has anyone had any good experiences with this product or company? I bought a DW2 for a Dewalt jobsite saw and it doesn't fit. Did some research, and almost every video on YouTube and many reviews on Amazon and elsewhere the customers had to make modifications (sanding, chiseling out whole sections) to get them to fit.

No company contact info came with the product. Found a number after Googling it but it was out of service. After contacting one of the retailers, they give me the contact info of one Ron Lee. Email him, and he responds a few days later with "call me". Call and get a generic voice mail. Leave a message and no call back in two days. Called a few times hoping to get a random pickup and just voicemail very time.

What the heck is going on here? Anybody get one of these flush and working in a DWE7491RS? Completely flat or using the leveling screws, this thing protrudes above the table.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-22-2019, 04:53 PM
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Maybe this is a stupid question, but are you sure you have the one for your exact model saw?

I have two of them for my Ridgid R4512. I have the regular and dado blade. Both fit perfectly, in the opening and can be leveled with the tabletop.

Last edited by sanchez; 02-22-2019 at 05:16 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-22-2019, 05:21 PM
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I have several for two different jet table saws and they fit just fine.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-22-2019, 05:23 PM
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-23-2019, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
Maybe this is a stupid question, but are you sure you have the one for your exact model saw?

I have two of them for my Ridgid R4512. I have the regular and dado blade. Both fit perfectly, in the opening and can be leveled with the tabletop.
You get a little piece of paper with instructions in the bag when you buy it that tells you what model saws it is supposed to fit in. Mine was one of them in the list. I'm assuming they didn't ship the right paper and the wrong insert but who knows. I'm going on a third day of no contact from the number I was given.

There are many ways to accomplish things in woodworking, I agree. Though I'm just getting into it, I've learned this.

I've spend a lot of time looking on forums and owner videos on YouTube so get some tips so I can go around having to get a call from Ron Lee. Nothing yet that applies to me and my model insert. I can't tell what needs to be sanded/chiseled away to get the thing to fit.
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-23-2019, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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This is what I ordered and my saw is in the list. That's why I'm thinking this product is bogus. If you look at owner videos and read through comments, most people who bought it had to do sanding or chiseling to get it to fit. It seems like it *does* fit some of the TS models it claims to fit but not all. Which is not great, but it wouldn't be so bad if there was someone at the company you could speak to if you do not know what exactly needs to be sanded or chiseled off.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-25-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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After another day and giving up on any help from the manufacturer company, I set to trying to solve this myself. Turns out there is no way this thing could have fit my saw. There are basically two levels to the insert, the lowest level/depth being the brown material. However, the lip of the metal piece perpendicular to the blade is the same height as the four platforms where the insert is supposed to rest on, but that area is not cut out. It hits where the yellow is, and there is no way this thing can be made flush unless that bit is cut out.

If it fit your saw, consider yourself fortunate!
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-25-2019, 05:20 PM
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Most DW stuff is made in China. That may have something to do with their customer support.
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-25-2019, 08:58 PM
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Talk with Slivers Mill. There may be some kind of business relationship between them and Leecraft. I discovered this link, which takes you to Slivers Mill's webpage:

http://leecraftzeroclearance.com

Here is edited domain registration info. I removed the non-relevant and empty fields. This is public information, available to all with a simple lookup. I can interpret this information in multiple ways. Don't assume anything.

Domain Name: LEECRAFTZEROCLEARANCE.COM
Updated Date: 2018-12-13T10:00:19Z
Creation Date: 2008-12-13T00:39:09Z
Registrant Name: Janet Haungs
Registrant Organization: Slivers Mill
Registrant Street: 8080 Clinton St
Registrant City: Elma
Registrant State/Province: New York
Registrant Postal Code: 14059
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.7166854458
Registrant Email: [email protected]

Leecraft has been very careful to hide behind their retailers, and they sell through many of them, not just Slivers Mill. Consumers cannot easily contact Leecraft until after they have bought the product. Obviously they expect their retailers to handle pre-sales queries and basic customer support. According to others, the paperwork in the package contains contact info for the company, but I cannot confirm it.

During the research, I found references to a company named VCC, which bought a company named Leecraft in 2012. I do not know if it is the same Leecraft that interests us. VCC is in the LED indicator business, not woodworking, and I found nothing related to zero clearance inserts, melamine, or phenolic on their website.

Why not make your own zero clearance inserts? I do. The zero clearance inserts for my saw cost $60, so I make my own:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...insert-196969/
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-25-2019, 09:45 PM
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I don't make my own because these are only $30 at Woodcraft.
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post #11 of 20 Old 02-26-2019, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
I don't make my own because these are only $30 at Woodcraft.
I would probably make it for $30, buy for less than $10, maybe. I don't know anything about making an insert for an R4512. I looked at a photo of one. The problem for me would be to determine how I would want to anchor one down to the saw.

The payback comes when you make several inserts at once. It takes very little time to repeat a step on multiple inserts once you have set it up. If you make 10 inserts, then you would have $300 worth of inserts in barely more time than takes to make one insert.
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post #12 of 20 Old 02-28-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Talk with Slivers Mill. There may be some kind of business relationship between them and Leecraft. I discovered this link, which takes you to Slivers Mill's webpage:

Registrant Name: Janet Haungs

Leecraft has been very careful to hide behind their retailers, and they sell through many of them, not just Slivers Mill. Consumers cannot easily contact Leecraft until after they have bought the product. Obviously they expect their retailers to handle pre-sales queries and basic customer support. According to others, the paperwork in the package contains contact info for the company, but I cannot confirm it.

During the research, I found references to a company named VCC, which bought a company named Leecraft in 2012. I do not know if it is the same Leecraft that interests us. VCC is in the LED indicator business, not woodworking, and I found nothing related to zero clearance inserts, melamine, or phenolic on their website.

Why not make your own zero clearance inserts? I do. The zero clearance inserts for my saw cost $60, so I make my own:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...insert-196969/
I spoke to Janet listed in the domain record there. She was quick to reply and courteous, she provided me with the elusive Ron Lee's contact information. The paperwork in the package does NOT contain contact information. It does provide a mailing address, somewhere in Georgia.

I gave up on support many days ago. I sort of needed a router anyway, so just bought one and I'm going to try to cut out the space I need to get the thing to fit. And to answer your question, the reason I'm not making one myself is that I'm new to woodworking and don't have all the experience/tools/scrap to do so right now (but soon!). A bandsaw is my next todo (or to be more accurate, getting my Shopsmith w/bandsaw operational).
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post #13 of 20 Old 02-28-2019, 05:10 PM
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Sorry, but I'm not giving up on making your own.

I wrote a detailed procedure for you here. It took a lot of time to write it, so I would appreciate it if you would give it a serious look and consider the challenge:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/m...le-saw-211045/

I also found a YouTube video where someone makes it:
"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krvJiaMOxKk"
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Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 02-28-2019 at 05:15 PM.
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-28-2019, 11:02 PM
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I have been making ZC inserts since forever. I even made one for use with a Micro Jig splitter. They are so simple to make and if you really want to be anal retentive about it you can do the clearance for the saw blade groove.

All it requires is a scrap of Baltic Birch and a flush trim router bit and some double sided carpet tape. Just go contemplate your navel a bit and then go do it. Man it ain't difficult.
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-01-2019, 08:53 AM
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I did make a few of my own years ago for my Ridgid R4512.

Since the inserts on some of these contractor saws are about 1/8" thick sheet metal, you need to rabbet the edges quite a bit to bring the plywood down to the right thickness.

It's a little more work, and it's a two-step job on the router table. After the flush trimming, you need to use a straight bit in a blind operation (under the workpiece) to create the 1/8" ledge. You have to use a straight bit because a rabbeting bit can only go about 1/2" wide.

So it's not very hard if you have a router table and the right bits. That being said, i still prefer to buy rather than spend shop time making them.

Last edited by sanchez; 03-01-2019 at 08:55 AM.
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-01-2019, 02:48 PM
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I've made 10 or so for my r4512. It is a bit tricky to get the blade to fully raise and still have a throat plate that doesn't deflect pushing thin or small material through. That said, the stock plate really sucks where deflection is concerned. This thread prompted me to order one from Amazon.
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post #17 of 20 Old 03-01-2019, 04:07 PM
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So after my last post I checked to see if the Leecraft ZCI arrived, it did and I installed it in just a few minutes. Is it worth $35 over making one? Unless you enjoy making them I'd say yes. I did get a kick out of making my own but after 5 or 6 the fun is done!.

After deciding on a two piece glue together design and getting my two templates just right I can make and fit one or two in about 20 minutes each not counting glue drying time. You could probably knock them out quicker production style (10 or more at a time).
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post #18 of 20 Old 03-03-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Sorry, but I'm not giving up on making your own.

I wrote a detailed procedure for you here. It took a lot of time to write it, so I would appreciate it if you would give it a serious look and consider the challenge:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/m...le-saw-211045/

I also found a YouTube video where someone makes it:
"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krvJiaMOxKk"
Thanks! Bookmarked. When I posted this thread, I didn't even have the tools to make one. Now I do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
I did make a few of my own years ago for my Ridgid R4512.

Since the inserts on some of these contractor saws are about 1/8" thick sheet metal, you need to rabbet the edges quite a bit to bring the plywood down to the right thickness.

It's a little more work, and it's a two-step job on the router table. After the flush trimming, you need to use a straight bit in a blind operation (under the workpiece) to create the 1/8" ledge. You have to use a straight bit because a rabbeting bit can only go about 1/2" wide.

So it's not very hard if you have a router table and the right bits. That being said, i still prefer to buy rather than spend shop time making them.
I picked up a router and a nice straight bit. The "1/8th" ledge you mentioned is what I think is missing from the Leecraft insert to make it sit flush. First time using a router so might go wrong, but what I plan to do is cut some double sided tape to get where the blocking ledge hits, then router that bit out. If that doesn't work, I am going to throw the insert into the trash and make one because that will be my only other choice.

No one warned me how much patience you need to get into woodworking.
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post #19 of 20 Old 03-03-2019, 03:31 PM
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Show Soogie Bam: See my comment in the other thread about using a router with a straight bit to cut a rabbet (ledge) around the edge.
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post #20 of 20 Old 03-03-2019, 05:27 PM
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I think Leecraft might be out of business. I say this because my woodworking club seems to have obtained all of the remaining stock and phenolic material that was left from Leecraft. I just bought 6 zero clearance inserts for my Unisaw out of this for much less than the retail price. I can PM the contact information for the club member if you want, but he is not connected with Leecraft. He is just handling the sale of whatever phenolic saw inserts that are left. and a larger bunch of small phenolic off cuts in many colors, maybe useful for other projects, but too small to make inserts for any table saw.

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