Get Safer, Cleaner Cuts on Your Tablesaw
Take a look at this step-by-step tutorial on making a zero-clearance insert--a smart upgrade to any saw.
Synopsis: Shopmade tablesaw inserts are easy and inexpensive to make. Made of plywood, these zero-clearance inserts help prevent tearout and keep narrow offcuts from getting wedged near the blade and thrown back at you. Tom Begnal gives a step-by-step tutorial on making an insert for your tablesaw. Once you’ve made one, you’ll want several more — one for each blade setup and dado width you use.
The throat plate supplied with your tablesaw likely has a blade opening that’s much wider than the blade. this allows you to easily set the blade at an angle, but it also has some serious drawbacks. First, because there’s no support under the workpiece near the blade, tearout often occurs along the edge of the cut. Second, narrow offcuts can get wedged in the gap and then thrown back at you.
To overcome these problems, make a plywood insert that fits into the throat. Then raise the blade through the insert to create a zero-clearance opening. Because the opening fits the blade, tearout is eliminated and offcuts can’t get wedged.
Making a zero-clearance insert isn’t difficult. You can make several at a time, so you can have one ready for any blade setup. before you begin, a word of caution: tablesaw throat design varies by model. So check yours and adjust the steps as needed. make the inserts from 1⁄2-in. birch plywood. It’s stiff and strong, and it won’t change in width as the shop’s humidity fluctuates. This means it won’t get stuck in the opening in the summer or become too loose in the winter. Also, many saws are designed for a 1⁄2-in.-thick throat plate, or very close to that.
Make a blank with round ends
Use the tablesaw and rip fence to…