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Discussion Starter #1
In thinking about making a zero clearance insert for a router table, do I lower the bit below the surface, insert a blank, and then turn on the router WITH IT UNLOCKED so I can raise the spinning bit into the insert and carve my own hole? It's the part where I unlock the motor and turn it on with it like that, that I don't like. Seems dangerous.

Would this be best to just go to the drill press, set it up and drill the center as close as I can, and live with what's likely to just be close enough but slightly off?
 

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If you have a good hold on the base, it will be fine. What I do is to tighten the base in just a little snugly, turn on the router, and then loosen the base so I can raise it. The initial start up is where the hard torque will occur, once it's running you'll be okay.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Can you insert your plunge router into the table, and use the plunge base to make the hole?
 

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Wood Snob
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What kind of router are you using. My PC requires two hands because if I unlock it. It will spin down fairly easy. But that's the way I do it anyway. Find a way to clamp down the insert.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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I agree. You really don't want a ZCI in the base because you would be closing off an escape route for the chips.

The fence is another matter entirely. I have a couple of different ZCI's made for my table's fence. Those are a huge asset when making certain cuts where the usual router table snipe is very bad, like when shaping small parts.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Only reason I can see for needing a zci for the throat is if your working really small pieces......
 

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There is a limit to the size that can be shaped safely. If he's doing stuff that small, he needs a sled, not a ZCI.
Agree.

Plus, if he wants a zero clearance insert he would have to make one for each bit he has for his router. Not like a table saw where one fits all.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well I just wanted one because I thought I needed it. I can see how a zero clearance fence insert would be better and I'm planning to set that up too. I guess I didn't think about where the chips would go using both together. Now I see that can't happen. Sometimes I notice a piece of wood catching momentarily on the opening for the bit that's in my cheap router table now. It has no insert, just a hole in the table surface and the router fastened to the bottom. I was hoping a zero clearance insert on my new table I'm planning to make might eliminate the wood catching.
 

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Wood Snob
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Duane Bledsoe said:
Well I just wanted one because I thought I needed it. I can see how a zero clearance fence insert would be better and I'm planning to set that up too. I guess I didn't think about where the chips would go using both together. Now I see that can't happen. Sometimes I notice a piece of wood catching momentarily on the opening for the bit that's in my cheap router table now. It has no insert, just a hole in the table surface and the router fastened to the bottom. I was hoping a zero clearance insert on my new table I'm planning to make might eliminate the wood catching.
Using a strong vac will greatly be a help.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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John
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Well I just wanted one because I thought I needed it. I can see how a zero clearance fence insert would be better and I'm planning to set that up too. I guess I didn't think about where the chips would go using both together. Now I see that can't happen. Sometimes I notice a piece of wood catching momentarily on the opening for the bit that's in my cheap router table now. It has no insert, just a hole in the table surface and the router fastened to the bottom. I was hoping a zero clearance insert on my new table I'm planning to make might eliminate the wood catching.
Hi Duane, you're on the right track there, you just don't need to go down to a zero clearance. I have several different sized inserts from 3/8" up to 3-3/8". From 3/8" to 1" in 1/4" increments then a 1-3/16" that also accepts PC guide bushings. The increments from there up gradually increase. All together a dozen rings. They allow me to use about any bit without having excessive space around any of them. Makes me feel safer anyway.:smile:
 
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