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Thread: DIY SawStop Replaceable Zero Clearance Insert

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    108

    DIY SawStop Replaceable Zero Clearance Insert

    I have been looking at the Infinity zero clearance insert for some time but it was relatively expensive and the screws to avoid the replaceable insert pinching the blade seemed to be a bit cludgy for an otherwise excellent insert. I, therefore, set out to create my own from a blank SawStop dado insert.

    The first step was to create a channel for the insert to slide in to. I tried to use a dovetail bit but the angle was not large enough to hold the insert securely and I ended up buying a French cleat bit that had a 45 degree angle. (It looks like a severe dovetail bit). Below is a picture of the insert that has the channel routed out. (The French cleat bit is in the router table).
    20150215_204841282_iOS.jpg

    I then created the replaceable inserts with melamine covered hardboard that I got from a local big box store. I wanted readily available material that I could source easily.
    20150215_223442220_iOS.jpg20150215_223530158_iOS.jpg

    In order keep the insert from pinching the blade without resorting to screws, I came up with a wedge design by cutting a short piece of the insert and epoxying it in the channel with a point that would force the insert to the outside of the channel away from the blade. If you look closely at the end of the insert you can see the insert that looks a bit like an arrow. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    20150215_223801692_iOS.jpg

    The replaceable inserts must have matching 45 degree angles cut out that I do on my band saw. It is not as easy as simply cutting the insert with a single cut but it wasn't hard either with a miter gauge on the band saw. The replaceable inserts slide in the slot from the front of the insert and are wedged outward when they hit the permanently epoxied piece at the back. I think that it will work out well but time will tell if it is a good design.
    20150217_011058296_iOS.jpg

    I hope that this helps someone who may be looking for a way to make replaceable zero clearance inserts for the SawStop table saw. I have learned so many tips and tricks from this site, it was my turn to give something back to the community.

    Tom

    P.S. Sorry about all of the pictures being rotated 90 degrees. I have no idea how to correct that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1,882
    Nice job! It is nice to be able to change out inserts quickly and easily.
    JR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,671
    That is a great idea.

    I am bookmarking it.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    335
    Great idea....very clever using the wedge shaped piece to prevent blade binding

  5. #5
    Great way to save some significant cash
    And down right clever.

  6. #6
    I am replying to a very old post so hopefully you see this. I am very interested in replicating your design but I am not understanding what you an others a referring to how the wedge and screws avoid pinching the blade. How would the blade be pinched if the insert is designed wrong?



    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Willoughby View Post
    I have been looking at the Infinity zero clearance insert for some time but it was relatively expensive and the screws to avoid the replaceable insert pinching the blade seemed to be a bit cludgy for an otherwise excellent insert. I, therefore, set out to create my own from a blank SawStop dado insert.

    The first step was to create a channel for the insert to slide in to. I tried to use a dovetail bit but the angle was not large enough to hold the insert securely and I ended up buying a French cleat bit that had a 45 degree angle. (It looks like a severe dovetail bit). Below is a picture of the insert that has the channel routed out. (The French cleat bit is in the router table).
    20150215_204841282_iOS.jpg

    I then created the replaceable inserts with melamine covered hardboard that I got from a local big box store. I wanted readily available material that I could source easily.
    20150215_223442220_iOS.jpg20150215_223530158_iOS.jpg

    In order keep the insert from pinching the blade without resorting to screws, I came up with a wedge design by cutting a short piece of the insert and epoxying it in the channel with a point that would force the insert to the outside of the channel away from the blade. If you look closely at the end of the insert you can see the insert that looks a bit like an arrow. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    20150215_223801692_iOS.jpg

    The replaceable inserts must have matching 45 degree angles cut out that I do on my band saw. It is not as easy as simply cutting the insert with a single cut but it wasn't hard either with a miter gauge on the band saw. The replaceable inserts slide in the slot from the front of the insert and are wedged outward when they hit the permanently epoxied piece at the back. I think that it will work out well but time will tell if it is a good design.
    20150217_011058296_iOS.jpg

    I hope that this helps someone who may be looking for a way to make replaceable zero clearance inserts for the SawStop table saw. I have learned so many tips and tricks from this site, it was my turn to give something back to the community.

    Tom

    P.S. Sorry about all of the pictures being rotated 90 degrees. I have no idea how to correct that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Shorewood, WI
    Posts
    787
    The difficulty is that the color of the pointed bit of glued-in insert looks almost the same as the background in photo 4. Look closely at the left edge, and you will see the curve of the piece in white on white. In the 5th photo, look for the diagonal line where the insert meets the glued-in piece.

    What I wonder is how the whole thing is installed over the blade guard. I assume the pointed bit is glued to only one side, so the insert springs around the riving knife (RK). For the low-profile riving knife it could simply drop over it, but the photo clearly shows the pawls installed. It would seem awkward to thread the RK through the slot, lock down the RK, then drop the insert into place, but perhaps that's not so bad.
    Last edited by Alan Schwabacher; 11-02-2018 at 12:11 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    20,795
    Bueno! Nice job on that. I have a commercial plate picked up on clearance at Rockler but, do make my own inserts out of scrap.

    SawStop-Shop-made-ZCI-Inserts (9).jpgSawStop-Shop-made-ZCI-Inserts (8).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-02-2018 at 2:57 PM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    108
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Schwabacher View Post
    The difficulty is that the color of the pointed bit of glued-in insert looks almost the same as the background in photo 4. Look closely at the left edge, and you will see the curve of the piece in white on white. In the 5th photo, look for the diagonal line where the insert meets the glued-in piece.

    What I wonder is how the whole thing is installed over the blade guard. I assume the pointed bit is glued to only one side, so the insert springs around the riving knife (RK). For the low-profile riving knife it could simply drop over it, but the photo clearly shows the pawls installed. It would seem awkward to thread the RK through the slot, lock down the RK, then drop the insert into place, but perhaps that's not so bad.
    Thanks for the reply Alan. You are exactly right regarding the pointy epoxy insert. You do have to cut the back accurately to install over the blade guard. Attached are a couple of other photos with the replaceable insert and the glued in portion that might make it a bit clearer. It has been a few years and it still works well.

    Tom
    998D2419-5516-4470-A0D7-69FFB9E43F17.jpg422684C0-FBDD-47A5-9CF2-23B958A70447.jpg

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