Table saw insert

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Blog entry by WesMorgan posted 04-13-2016 01:29 PM 1170 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just purchased a new Laguna Platinum Series Dovetail saw and need to locate some new zero clearance inserts. Can anyone direct me in the correct direction. After buying the saw, I found that none of the dealers can provide me with inserts.
If I need to make my own inserts, does anyone have a suggestion for material that holds up better than MDF?


-- Phillip W. Morgan

5 comments so far

View _Whitey's profile


17 posts in 2566 days

#1 posted 04-13-2016 02:39 PM

Depending on the thickness you need, white HDPE cutting boards work great. Cut them to shape and drill and tap 4 of your favorite size holes in the 4 corners and run some set screws in for levelers. If you get a decent size cutting board you can usually get 2 out of a board. I like these because the are impervious to moisture, easy to mill, provide a nice durable slippery surface and the material is readily available. I also like to use this material for runners that I make for miter slots, for a sled for instance. Works great.

Alternatively, I have used high grade plywood, or solid maple to make inserts. Works good, but be sure to coat both sides with a little poly then wipe them down with some Johnson’s or Butchers wax.

View kenthemadcarpenter's profile


124 posts in 2082 days

#2 posted 04-13-2016 02:42 PM

I always used pine. had the same zero clearance insert plate in my saw going on two years

View devann's profile


2257 posts in 3707 days

#3 posted 04-13-2016 04:45 PM

I like to use plywood for homemade. Easy to plane to proper thickness. Hopefully you can easily screw yours to the tool. Most tools that’s the case.

My shop table saw however was different. The ZCI was a heavy, tapered piece of metal that stayed in place by the shear weight of itself. I bought the saw used and the previous owner had used a cutting torch to make the opening larger for a dado setup. I had to make ZCI from 3/4” plywood and fabricate some clips to hold the new ZCIs in place ( I change my ZCIs when I change the settings on the tool to maintain a tight fit for all operations.)

I probably don’t need to mention this, but, a drill press really comes in handy for making multiples of them.

If you need a picture of my thick ZCI and homemade clips you can see it here:

It’s the last four pictures.

I used 20 ga. metal studs and self tapping screws. I spray painted the locations so I could replace the clips if they got knocked off when changing inserts.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View pintodeluxe's profile


6320 posts in 3828 days

#4 posted 04-13-2016 04:53 PM

Formica covered 1/2” MDF.
Threaded inserts with set screws to dial in the height.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3819 days

#5 posted 04-13-2016 11:47 PM

I am in the process of making me some for my new Grizzly G01023RL. It’s insert is a little thicker than 1/2”. I used a piece of scrap that I ripped on the new saw until I got just the right width. Then I cut 3, 4’ long strips off of a 24”x48”x1/2” piece of MDF. Using the factory insert, I traced the curves then cut the corners off and sanded close to the lines. Back and forth to the belt sander until I got the perfect fit. Then I cut a 3/4” finger hole in it to be able to lift it out after I put it in the saw table. I installed 4, #6 3/8” screws for adjusting it to get the perfect height, level with the table.

I will use double-stick tape to my newly made insert to a new insert, and use a pattern bit on my router to cut 8 more inserts. That will give me plenty to have on hand for different blades.

I believe a zero clearance insert should be used on every blade. Your projects will thank you for it.

Lotsa videos out there with many different ways to make your own. Plus, it’s much more wallet friendly than purchasing the pre-made ones.

I hope to post some pics after I get mine all done. Might even try a video.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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