Friday, August 22, 2008

Easy Zero Clearance

Most table saw inserts have wide throat openings around the saw blade. This makes it all too easy for narrow cutoffs to fall in the opening and possibly bind against the blade. In addition, there's often chipout along the bottom face where the workpiece isn't supported.
To solve these problems, try this zero-clearance technique. Instead of replacing the insert plate, use a large piece of ¼" hardboard that rests on top of the table saw. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)
To locate the top, set your rip fence for the desired width of cut first. Then slide the hardboard against the fence and carpet tape it in place. Turning it into a zero clearance top is just a matter of turning on the saw and raising the blade. And the nice thing is you can use this insert many times before it needs to be replaced.
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