Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #18: Zero Clearance Insert, Hard Wood Fence Rail, Chisel Sharpening

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Blog entry by retired_guru posted 11-08-2014 11:42 PM 3204 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: Over-Engineering and Laughing at Oneself Part 18 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 19: Delta Bench Saw Bearing Woes »

My day started at 4:30 am, way too early for getting to bed shortly before midnight. I blame this flu I can’t get rid of and a lot of heavy dreaming. And yet, I had one of the most productive days in the past week. Most of the afternoon was spent sharpening chisels, mounting a wood fence rail and creating a zero-clearance insert for the Delta 36-510 Bench Saw. Here are some pics of what I accomplished.

The Chisels
The chisel sharpening took up a good portion of the day. It was my first chance to try out the Rockler honing guide and diamond honing stone I bought from Lowe’s. The stone only had one side, fine, so I ended up using various grades of sandpaper to deal with the rough shape of some of my chisels. What was surprising was the inconsistent results between the chisels I worked on.

Two were plastic handled, very inexpensive chisels, one half-inch, the other with a 1-inch blade. Both of these had damaged ends, so a metal file was used to file the end flat. The wider chisel came out pretty sharp. The half-inch chisel appeared to be sharp, but no matter what I did I couldn’t get it as sharp as its bigger brother. Here is the half-inch:

The 1/2” was the experimental first, the least valuable and therefore expendable if I really messed it up. When I decided I couldn’t get any better edge, I took a piece of milled pallet wood and did some practicing on it. Here is a close-up of what I accomplished with the chisel. The dimension of the cutout is approximately one inch square. Bear in mind I haven’t done free-hand chisel work like this in quite a few years. A rubber mallet was used only to cut the ledges from above:

The Bench Saw
I decided to make a zero-clearance insert for the Delta 36-510 Type 2 10” Bench Saw using a 1/2” thick milled piece of pallet wood. Because the metal insert is very thin and sits upon ledges close to the surface of the cast top, the contact points were going to have to be routed out of the 1/2” thick blank. I used a 1/4” shank trim router: freehand except for the wide edge on the motor side.

The messy part was finding a way to get enough material removed where the highest point of the blade touched the insert so it would sit flush with the table top before I turned on the saw. I didn’t have a smaller blade that would fit, so I hand routed from the underside, progressively going deeper as I came to the apex of contact. Then I ran a narrow board front to back over the insert and clamped it to the saw top. I powered up and ran the blade through both the insert and clamped piece.

The insert is usable, but not finished. The screws used to mount the steel insert won’t work with the new wood insert. Instead, they are screwed into the top and will be used as height adjustment for the insert after I fasten magnetic strips to the underside of the insert where the screws are:

There is a little wiggle room along the length of the insert, so I think once the magnetic strips are attached, if it still moves around I will paint the edges and underside to make up the difference.

The last accomplishment was the fastening of a wood rail to the fence. Again, using a cut to length 1/2” piece of milled pallet wood, I used sheet rock screws to attach it to the metal fence. The reason for this was the fence was not straight and being that it’s rectangular tubing there isn’t any way to straighten it out. I applied paste wax to the top of the insert and the rail facing and bottom edges.

Tomorrow, I mark and cut out a hole in the saw body to accept the 2-1/2” dust extraction port, then attach the port using a gasket to get a tight seal. Just in time was today’s delivery of the 10’ hose. So I guess tomorrow I will be assembling and using my Dust Deputy setup.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

4 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


3065 posts in 3078 days

#1 posted 11-09-2014 05:04 PM

You are a man on a mission :-)

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2171 days

#2 posted 11-11-2014 01:56 PM

A day in the shop, no matter what you’re doing, is a day well spent! The important thing is that you are having fun.

-- Ed

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2135 days

#3 posted 11-11-2014 02:01 PM

You are a man on a mission :-)

- luv2learn

Thanks. Yeah, a mission alright. Sometimes, I get shot down on the way to my own funeral. ;)

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2135 days

#4 posted 11-11-2014 02:02 PM

A day in the shop, no matter what you re doing, is a day well spent! The important thing is that you are having fun.

- handsawgeek

Sigh. I know you are right, but…the pressure gets to me. Today it will be in the 60s. After that, rain, snow and cold for a long time…and I still haven’t gotten the shop together to work in it. I need a time machine. Just for a week or so. :)

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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