How do I make a zero clearance insert for a Craftsman table saw?

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Old 05-25-15, 10:11 AM
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How do I make a zero clearance insert for a Craftsman table saw?

I have a portable 10" Craftsman table saw, model 137.248830. It's a royal piece of junk but can't afford a new one.
My major gripes are I can't seem to find anything thin enough to make a zero clearance insert with and those stupid tabs in the T-track.
The tabs in the T-track I may grind down so I can build some table sleds.
Right now I need to make a zero clearance insert and like I said, don't know what to use. You'd think Sears would sell one it they were going to build it this way. Here are some pics of the problem(s). Note the factory insert also has those dimples that sit on the lower section of the opening. The rest of it is supported by those little bars sticking out.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 10:36 AM
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I would use either aluminum or polycarbonate (Lexan). Both are available in a multitude of thicknesses. Your first task is probably to measure your saw and see how thick you need. Then you can shop online or hit up local machine/welding shops to see if they have anything you can use.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 12:16 PM
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That metal is ridiculously thin where it sits on those bars. I thought about grinding off the bars, but there are little supports on both ends that jack it up in the air too. I wish I knew more about saws when I bought it, I would have bought something else. With the table being aluminum you can't use any of the magnetic feather boards either. Guess whoever builds their saws doesn't use them

I'll google saw inserts and see if I can come up with something. Thanks for the idea.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 01:54 PM
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I just watched a couple of utube videos on making thin plates for this saw. One guy made his out of stacked plexiglass epoxied together in layers. I also ran across a video on how to make a runner that gets around those stupid tabs in the T-track.
Hopefully I can get one made this week. Thanks again.
George
 
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Old 05-25-15, 04:12 PM
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The nice thing about using aluminum or polycarbonate is you can fit your plate then bring the saw blade up to cut it's own slot. Quick and easy. It's not magnetic like steel but certainly a whole lot easier to make.

Fortunately or unfortunately for me problems like this are pretty easy. I have a machine shop and build airplanes for fun so material of varying thicknesses is everywhere. Most people aren't so lucky but there are shops in almost every town that use those materials and with a good attitude they will help you out.
 
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Old 05-26-15, 03:34 PM
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I went to the local hardware this morning and scored a pile of scrap plexiglass for 25 cents. Price can't get any better than that Got so excited I forgot to buy the epoxy to glue them together

I did hit a real snag though. The spot I circled doesn't sit flat; tried grinding it flat with my dremmel . That didn't work. I was able to sand the corner down on the bottom piece of the stack. Took me over an hour to get it so it sat perfectly level. As soon as I get it together I'll post back with a picture of it.

Something I did learn on the video was a 10" blade sits too high to get a good fit. Take the blade out and replace it with a smaller blade. I'm using a 7 1/4" blade for fiberglass to start the slot, then I'm going to switch it out for the 10" and finish the cut.

My next project is to build a pile of sliders to fit that T-track.
George
 
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