First Shop Jig...of sorts

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Project by ChrisN posted 08-29-2009 07:27 PM 2809 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
First Shop Jig...of sorts
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I’ve been playing with boxes recently and was having trouble bringing my 1/4” plywood down to 1/8” to fit into slots. I went off to buy a zero clearance plate for my tablesaw but the local Woodcraft did not have what I needed. So I bought a piece of coated plywood (Green in the picture) and using the original (Red in the picture) as a template, routed a perfect match. Drilled 4 1/4” holes and moved the set screws from the original to the new and presto, works like a charm.

I still have a ton of the coated plywood left, so there will be a few more jigs created…that stuff ain’t cheap, but neither were the commercial plates.

-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

10 comments so far

View SouthpawCA's profile


273 posts in 3738 days

#1 posted 08-29-2009 07:42 PM

I think everyone should make themselves plates like these and just use the ones that came with the saw as a template. I made mine from MDF which works wonderful and is inexpensive.

-- Don

View jussdandy's profile


157 posts in 3712 days

#2 posted 08-29-2009 08:44 PM

plate looks good and does save money unless ya screw up like I did, Damn near lost the pointing finger on my right hand making a zero clearance out of oak, it dosn’t work as good as it used to with a 5/8 radius into the bone and knuckle but I gotta built it radius gauge now, at least for 5/8.

-- Randy I have the right to remain silent, just not the ability ; )

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3012 posts in 3943 days

#3 posted 08-29-2009 10:44 PM

I’ve made one on the bandsaw. I don’t have an appropriate router bit with bearing on it. It fits good though and I haven’t put my old plate on again. Cleaner cuts and no binding when a thin shaving slides into the slot. I even built in a wood riving knife. Never had one before and it really cuts down on any binding.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#4 posted 08-29-2009 11:02 PM

Looks good and you can make more for Christmas presents

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4063 days

#5 posted 08-29-2009 11:20 PM

I’ve never seen any coated plywood. Where did you get it? I’ve seen several posts refering to this but have never seen any. What is the brand name? I like that insert and I would like to make some for my saw.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View TheWingDoctor's profile


14 posts in 3948 days

#6 posted 08-30-2009 03:48 AM

Yours looks very nice. I use a similar procedure to create my inserts.

I use 1/2” mdf that I get at Home Depot in 2’ X 4’ handy panels. I cut a bunch of blanks out on the tablesaw at a time and cover them with whatever formica is available from the scrap bin at same Home Depot. Put the laminate on with contact cement and double stick tape the original to the mdf copy and route to shape on the router table with a flush trimming bit. I add a 1” hole in the operator end to facilitate air flow and make it easy to pull out of the saw opening to change blades or insert. I have dedicated inserts made for 45 degree cuts and 22 1/2 degrees also. I have a couple that I use for different width dado’s and always have spares waiting their turn. I bought flat head phillips self threading 1/2” metal screws at a local stainless screw dealer and use these to adjust the height to be level with my Unisaw tables. The Unisaw 10” blade does not down far enough to allow a new insert to clear the blade. To correct this I put on the 8” dado set with a 3/8” or so stack and clamp the insert down with the rip fence, CAREFULLY placed to not be over the blade. Turning on the saw and slowly raising the dado set to cut a shallow groove on the bottom, I count the turns on the height wheel after contact with the underside of the insert, this cuts a shallow groove on the bottom that will clear the 10” blade when I change back to my normal blade. Recently I have started to cut a slot on the away end for a splitter that I got from LeeWay Workshop. This adds to the tablesaw safety also.

I think it takes as long to type this description as it does to make one. They work great and I never have a cutoff drop down between the blade and insert.

-- Bruce - Fav. Quote "A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry Calahan

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3873 days

#7 posted 08-30-2009 04:09 AM

My Ridgid uses thinner material for inserts. I found Scraps of laminate flooring works perfect. I made a tutorial on making ZCIs, 3 at a time.

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 3918 days

#8 posted 08-31-2009 05:13 AM

Chris the insert looks great.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View grttt3's profile


10 posts in 3726 days

#9 posted 09-01-2009 04:59 PM

Great project and follow up ideas!

View lonkm's profile


2 posts in 3511 days

#10 posted 03-04-2010 05:21 AM

that is a good idea. I will use it the next time I have to make some new inserts. Thanks

-- lonkm

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