ZCI from a ZCI

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Project by FaTToaD posted 08-31-2013 10:04 PM 4865 views 42 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple years back I picked up one of the Leecraft ZCI’s and have loved it ever since. It fits my tablesaw perfectly and the adjustment screens make sure I get it dead level. However, at ~$25 a pop it would get expensive to have one for each blade, especially if you think about a dado stack. And after a few years of use, mine has certainly seen better days. In the past I’ve just made my own out of 1/2” MDF, but to get them level I have to route the edges to sit level. That worked alright, but never great.

So, after DaddyZ's post the other day, I decided to “re-purpose” my ZCI by adding the option to insert a piece 3/16” hardboard.

It all went pretty straight forward: cut an inch slot with my dado blade, cut hardboard strips to fit, drill screw holes, flush trim with router. The only thing that I don’t like is that the screws stick out of the bottom of the original ZCI, but it really shouldn’t matter in the long run. I just couldn’t find any shorter screws in my collection.

Since I had the tablesaw all setup I decided to cut strips to make 30 inserts. I only drilled and trimmed six of them but I plenty of spares when the need arises.

Thanks for looking!

-- David

16 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3757 days

#1 posted 08-31-2013 10:10 PM

That is a great idea!
I’m about to embark on a ZCI build(?), for my TS. I was contemplating making several, one for each blade and back ups. This is a much more elegant solution.

Thanks for sharing this in such a timely fashion!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View ALB Workshop's profile

ALB Workshop

20 posts in 4007 days

#2 posted 08-31-2013 10:20 PM

I love this idea
thanks for sharing

-- my website

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3886 days

#3 posted 08-31-2013 11:19 PM

Purdy nifty idea

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

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

583 posts in 3460 days

#4 posted 09-01-2013 12:24 AM

I was going to do the same using MDF but maybe I’ll just buy the leecraft one and do this instead to make it more rigid. How did you put the groove in it, router bit or dado?

Also, does your splitter/riving knife go through fine?

-- Matt, Arizona

View socrbent's profile


1042 posts in 3351 days

#5 posted 09-01-2013 12:24 AM

Slick idea. This might be a great for Saw Stop saws with their lockdown latch.

-- socrbent Ohio

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 4223 days

#6 posted 09-01-2013 12:51 AM

Matt, I just used a staked dado set in the tablesaw. I’m sure a router would have worked just as well.

-- David

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4150 days

#7 posted 09-01-2013 01:34 AM


Thank you VERY much for sharing this!

I will be doing this tomorrow.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4770 days

#8 posted 09-01-2013 02:51 AM

Very useful idea. Thank you : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View NormG's profile


6507 posts in 4086 days

#9 posted 09-01-2013 04:13 AM

Really some of the solutions just seem to poop out at us, great idea

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Chris208's profile


246 posts in 3352 days

#10 posted 09-01-2013 05:37 AM

Great idea! I have the same inset on my saw and will do this when it gets too chewed up.


View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 4477 days

#11 posted 09-01-2013 12:20 PM

When I have screws project out the other side like that I just use my Dremel tool with a metal cutting disc and shave ‘em off. Then the screws are exactly the perfect length.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 4223 days

#12 posted 09-01-2013 02:07 PM

Don, that’s a great idea! Now I just have to find my Dremel tool…

-- David

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1774 posts in 2812 days

#13 posted 09-01-2013 02:26 PM

I’ve been using 1/2” Baltic Birch for inserts since 1978 when I first started my woodworking business. When the slot for the blade gets a little rugged, I make another new one, using double sided tape, the original plate, a flush trim router, and 1/2” screws screwed in from the underside. I use the worn out one for the next thicker blade. I only use the original metal plate when I’m cutting angles. ........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View blackcherry's profile


3346 posts in 4905 days

#14 posted 09-01-2013 04:06 PM

Great tip this could be enter in many tip making ideas in magazine it could result in free tools…BC

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4313 days

#15 posted 09-01-2013 09:49 PM

Great idea. Yeah, I am one of the many that have added your project to my favorites.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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