Zero Clearance Insert for Craftsman Contractor Saw

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Project by Jason posted 06-02-2016 11:43 PM 1727 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So a little while back I picked up a replacement table saw for my old Delta Contractor “screamer” table saw that I had built into my rolling work table. Budget was tight, so for now I decided to stick with a “contractor” style saw that I could essentially build back into my work surface for more stable use. I ended up with the Craftsman 2.7HP “Anniversary” edition that I picked up off of good ol’ Craigslist for $90. Plus a bunch of other add ons, blades, push sticks, etc. The guy clearly never hardly used this thing. And yes, it is the one with the “notched” smaller sized miter slots.

At first glance I knew I had to make some modifications. So my first project with my new saw was to make a zero clearance insert. Now as most of you know, it is impossible to find one in the aftermarket, as one is just not made for this type of saw. So off to the drawing board I went. I thought about plastics, plexi, etc. But wood just seemed to be the most cost effective and best suited for my needs.

I started off with a small piece of scrap 3/4” finish grade ply. I ripped it length wise to give me the “rough” recess I would need to fit in the space. To compensate for the mounting tabs I glued even smaller pieces located under the insert to go over the tabs, as I knew I would need to drill a hole and countersink for the insert screws. I made it so I would no longer need the rubber washer for leveling purposes. After I got the rough dimensions, and the pieces all cut, I glued them together and drilled my holes. Surprisingly, everything fit fairly well the first time around. However, I was about 1/8” above the table height. If you’re familiar with this type of saw you also know that it has tabs to the right of the blade to steady the “wide open” insert. So out came the Dremel tool, and the sanding wheel. After sanding very carefully, and creating the necessary notches, everything lined up perfect. And with a few minor adjustments, and some paint, TADA!! zero clearance insert.

I’ve worked on some things using it, and so far so good as far as longevity goes. We will see if it stands the test of time. But for now, it can’t be beat for free, save a little shop time.

-- "Jack of all trades, master of none" -Jason

2 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27009 posts in 4393 days

#1 posted 07-02-2016 05:59 PM

Nice work on the insert!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Jason's profile


25 posts in 2011 days

#2 posted 07-23-2016 01:20 PM

Thanks! So far it’s lasted with some pretty heavy use. We will see how it does long term lol


-- "Jack of all trades, master of none" -Jason

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