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Project Information

I have a very inexpensive table-top table saw, with an insert stamped from thin sheet metal, which it flexes or bows down with any weight on it, not to mention the permanent 5/8" wide opening around the blade, making this saw difficult & somewhat dangerous to use on small, narrow, or short parts.

In order to fill some of my afternoon, I decided to improve this situation by making a zero clearance insert. The first problem is the fact that the insert mounting pads don't allow for any material thicker than 1/16", see photo number 3.

I decided to just strengthen this plate, using it for mounting again, but with an epoxied 3/4 oak attachment, as the table offered no other option for mounting of anything thicker. I first needed cut the additional insert material to fit the opening, and then create a rabbit for the existing insert.

After using epoxy to adhere the oak to the thin plate, I needed to find & use extra long screws to secure the plate in place over the blade, which when taken completely down was only 1/8" below the table top, as shown in photo #2. I secured it at this height using two squeeze clamps, photo number 5, and slowly ran the blade up through the oak.

With the new assembly now secured with the original short screws, you can see in photo #1 that this created a good flat and zero clearance opening for delicate work. As far as flex, there is none, and I'm more comfortable with the closed up 5/8" opening.

I hope this helps any others that are suffering with a similar situation on a saw of this type.

Thanks, and I'll be glad to answer any questions.

Gallery

Comments

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580 Posts
Looks like a working zero clearance insert to me… must be doing something right over there… I agree, that it makes for a much safer saw, and you will notice the difference in chip out on your hardwoods as well… Papa
 

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5,865 Posts
Great heavy duty solution the kind I like !!!
Well done .
 

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I have almost the exact same situation with my new/used Sears table saw. I was heading down a different direction, trying to make an insert to cover the whole opening. Tried using plexiglass… but quickly dismissed that… thin enough but much more bendy than the original plate.. not to mention the little shards that like to stick in skin (had to cut a 45 degree angle on the left side)

I really like this idea. The bulk sits down below the table top once the original screws are replaced.

Thanks for sharing!!
 

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196 Posts
Innovative and very workable. Enjoy.
 

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Nice fix.
 

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2,590 Posts
Favorited! I have a very similar insert on my Hitachi, and after like 5 failed attempts at a ZCI I gave up, but never thought of adhering the wood to the original insert, might be time to try again! Well done sir!
 

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thank you for sharing
 

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Hey guys, thanks for the comments, much appreciated.

I need to make sure those who might try this should know that this will be a dedicated 90 deg. insert. If I were to tilt the blade, this insert must come out, or the blade slot will be recut & no longer a zero clearance device.

As I use this saw only for ripping and crosscuts, I didn't mind dedicating the factory insert to this application. If I ever have to tilt the blade, I'll do so with the insert removed, assuming I'll be mitering long pieces.

FYI

Thanks for looking.
 

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7,179 Posts
Brilliant idea OT! I need to do this to my saw.
 

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Just remember that with that thick of a plate not to tip the blade for a miter or you will bend a blade before you realize it. A good solution none the less.
Jim
 

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576 Posts
Good solution, I had a table saw with that problem that now belongs to a friend, I'll pass on your solution to him, he'll appreciate it.
 
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