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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Rigid TS3650 and decided to make a Zero insert. I did some web surfing and see people making their own, but the majority of them have 1/2" think inserts.

My factory insert is only about 1/8 inch thick. Any 1/8" material I might use to my way of thinking is not stable enough. Maybe I am wrong or not considering enough material?

I made an insert from 3/4" plywood, but requires a lot of routing, chiseling, sawing and carving to get it to fit, far too labor intensive.

After getting it to fit, I realize that the 4 adjusting screws will be threaded into 1/8" of plywood.I was going to use set screws like the original? Again seems to be inadequate? Maybe I am wrong.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, input or wise cracks greatly appreciated. JIm
 

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I have R4512 which has same 1/8 insert. I made several ZCI using 1/4 hardboard, 1/2 ply and 1/2 mdf. 1/4 hardboard is already quite unstable. Thus I think that except steel nothing will be stable enough for 1/8. Personaly I like 1/2 mdf. Although it requires a bit routing it's very stable insert and cheap :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response and link. You get the Einstein award for this one! Great idea:thumbsup:

I would not be comfortable with the support glued in. I know you have tested it, but I will drill the factory plate and add a couple screws. My heart could not stand the stress of the insert dropping on the blade!

One thing I notice with the factory insert is it is not a tight fit. I would guess you compensate for this by making the support piece fit tightly??

Many thanks for sharing a great idea. JIm
 

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Yep, I made one of these but I drilled the factory plate and screwed the base to it. I do NOT trust HOT Glue!!! Here's a tip. I made 3 at the same time and glued the 1/8" inserts to the bases so their solid. You can't cut the blade kerf with a 10" blade installed because the plate sticks down to far. Put a 7 1/4" blade on your saw and then cut all the kerfs. Store away the others and you'll have em when and if you need em.
 

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I make them for my old Craftsman from UHMW 1/2" stock from Woodcraft. I cut the shape with a flush trim bit using the original as a pattern. Stick in on with good double stick tape. Use a rabbeting bit to cut the recess so it sits flush. I add 6 setscrews for final leveling.
insert 001.jpg

insert 002.jpg

I have also used 1/2" Corian counter material free from the local counter shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am happy with this, got the 1/2" plywood support piece screwed on and then started looking for some 1/8" material for the slot. Found an old yard stick that was just the right thickness.

Then I realized one will not be enough! I am also going to need a 45 and one or more for dados. Oh well back to the drawing board.

Thanks Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am up and thinking this morning. I am considering making a 2 part insert. The top may be plastic of some type with the support being 1/2" scrap.

I am questioning the need for 4 adjustment screws. I measured the sapce between the support lip and surface of the saw table and it appears to be .205 to .208.

Does trying to eliminate the adjusting screws seem like a practical pursuit? A practical pursuit for someone that does not have a complete machine shop at their disposal!

Any thoughts or ideas how to accomplish this? JIm
 

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Jim, I first tried mine without the leveling screws and added them later. As you mention the variation between the lip and the surface exists on most saws and that's why the manufacturer uses them. You don't need a machine shop to accomplish this. I drilled the holes with a drill press but you can drill holes accurate enough with a hand drill and tap.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Joe

Sometimes manufacturers add things that look nice that have nothing to do with functionality!
JIm
 

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I have the same saw. I made my inserts from half-inch MDF and routed a rabbet around the edge so they sit flush. No need for leveling screws. Made a dozen or so at the same time
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looking at the setup it seems that the set screws could be eliminated.

The factory insert is held in place with a clip on the rear and a screw on the front. Have you done something to secure the insert. JIm
 

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The factory insert is held in place with a clip on the rear and a screw on the front. Have you done something to secure the insert. JIm[/QUOTE]

My Craftsman has the spring clip that is fine for the factory inserts. For my shop made ones I drilled and tapped a hole that matches the one in the front (see my photo) so they are held down with two screws. The cast iron drills and taps easily.
 

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The factory insert is held in place with a clip on the rear and a screw on the front. Have you done something to secure the insert. JIm
My Craftsman has the spring clip that is fine for the factory inserts. For my shop made ones I drilled and tapped a hole that matches the one in the front (see my photo) so they are held down with two screws. The cast iron drills and taps easily.[/QUOTE]

With screws at both ends shims can be added if the insert is not level with table.
 

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On any of the saws that I've made a ZCI, that only had a step for ⅛" stock, thicker stock routed with a rabbet to allow for the step worked just fine. There's not much pressure from sliding stock over it to cause it to break through.

Using a thick buildup under the insert may prevent the blade to be cranked all the way up. Using hot glue to keep it on may hold it temporarily, but if it comes loose, and it falls, it becomes a potential hazard of contact with a moving blade.






.
 

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When I described making the ZCI for my Rigid saw above, I should have added that I did drill and countersink a hole for the hold-down screw at the near end. At the far end I glued on a Popsicle stick protruding the appropriate distance for the hold-down tab. Thus the insert cannot pop up out of its opening. Sorry I forgot to mention this before
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The first time I looked at the picture I did not notice the screws on both ends!

When I did my first insert from 3/4"" plywood I cut a slot in the rear to mimic the clip.

This looks potentially dangerous and time and effort should be put in it. So back to the drawing board to sort this out.

Thanks for all the input, some great ideas here. JIm
 

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Jim, A couple more suggestions, then I'll be quiet. (1) put a lot of effort into the first one with all the holes needed and don't use it, put it away as a template for future ones. (2) If you do use wood laminate it with Formica or other countertop material and it will never warp. A local cabinet/counter shop will usually give scraps free. Good luck and show us your finished product
 

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I use scrop oak. I've had to make only two in the last 5 years. One for ZCI and one for my Dado set. Oak is a much better insert then plywood. Planed the oak to correct thickness. I use the original as my template. Double sided tape and then router it. I then use the original for angle cuts. Oak is your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dont be quiet, you never know who you are helping!

Solid wood might be a good idea. Planing to the proper thickness does have some possibilities. good idea!

The factory insert is a bit loose in the opening. To compensate for this, I clamped the factory insert to a piece of plywood. I routed one long side half way around the radius on each end. Then I moved the plate a skosh to the other side and routed that side. Touched it up with a belt sander and no play, takes a little tapping to get it in!

"skosh" technical term only understood by people of higher intelligence
.
JIm
 
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