Zero Clearance Insert

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Project by BigDaddyO posted 04-21-2014 01:43 PM 2590 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know this is a rather simple project that many have already done, but since I had a pretty close call recently due to using the stock insert while cutting some small pieces I figured I’d put this up just as a reminder.

If you are cutting small pieces, make sure you have a Zero Clearance Insert so pieces don’t fall through, get wedged, and get thrown back at you… Oh, and when the wood falls through, your push stick will dig into the blade quickly and get thrown back into your hand also…

Here is a link to the video I made of the process.


8 comments so far

View adrianpglover's profile


60 posts in 2382 days

#1 posted 04-21-2014 02:04 PM

I recently made one too. I like the white look of yours. I haven’t cut the slot in it just yet, as I have a factory made one for my default blade. I’m keeping my shop made one around as a spare.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4367 days

#2 posted 04-21-2014 03:06 PM


-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 2489 days

#3 posted 04-21-2014 03:14 PM

Thanks for the reminder!

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2471 days

#4 posted 04-21-2014 05:34 PM

When cutting small parts, please consider making a cross cut sled. Its much safer and you get an automatic zero-clearance insert built right in :-).

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile


176 posts in 2806 days

#5 posted 04-21-2014 11:56 PM

I agree with Matt, use a cross cut sled, much safer.

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief...

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3435 days

#6 posted 04-22-2014 07:44 AM

When he said “small pieces”, I’m pretty sure he meant thin pieces, which can and will get wedged between the blade and stock insert opening on most table saws.

That said, a zci is as much a necessity as a crosscut sled IMHO. :-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View adrianpglover's profile


60 posts in 2382 days

#7 posted 04-22-2014 11:43 AM

I purchased my zci for the thin piece reason. I had a few thin wedge shaped pieces when cutting the pillar for my tower toy that either shot across the room or wedged their way between the blade and stock insert, which caused the blade the vibrate and gouge my wood slightly. Wasn’t a big deal to fix, but without that gouge, the cut was perfect for what I wanted.

On a personal note, once I’m through making a tenoning jig, a crosscut sled is next.

View BigDaddyO's profile


136 posts in 3636 days

#8 posted 04-22-2014 12:08 PM

Yes. I was cutting long thin pieces from stock that was about 8” long and 2” wide. a cross cut sled would not have been very useful unless I installed some clamping hold down system as part of the sled.


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