Woodworking Jigs Videos

Fact or Fiction: Zero Clearance Table Saw Inserts Make Better Cuts

For many, many years there has been a long-held belief that Zero Clearance Table Saw Throat Plates give better quality cuts on the underside of the material being cut than non-zero clearance throat plates, and I too, have been a perpetrator of this theory. Many Years ago, before carbide tipped tables became popular and we were still using steel blades, I tested this theory and  ... yes, zero clearance inserts did improve the cut. 
For some reason, lately, I wondered that with the much better quality of saw blades if this theory is still true or not so I decided to try out a few of the blades I have and see if do cut better with zero clearance or not.

Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/embed/h7PpHpZyhKA

I started off by trying some of my crosscut blades on some very dry, fine grain fir. I Set up my table saw first with a Freud 90 tooth cross cut blade and with the zero clearance insert I had made and made my first cut .. they replace the zero clearance insert with the factory non-zero clearance insert and made the second cut ... 

Making Table Saw Inserts / Throat Plates (Dado & Zero Clearance Inserts) HD

Alas ... there is no standard in table saw throat plates. There are some manufacturers that are similar but it seems most all make their own versions. While there are many different throat plates or inserts as they are also called, there are also a variety of ways to make replacement ones. In trying to keep things as simple as possible, I will be showing how to make throat plates in a pretty simple way that will hopefully give others some ideas on how they might best tackle this table saw feature for their own saws.

To clear up some confusions on throat plates, shop made throat plates often have their relief cut made by the blade they will be used with making a very close tolerance between the blade and the throat plate, hence the name "zero clearance", but they can also have a wider tolerance in which case they would simply be called "inserts" or "throat plates". All the term "zero clearance" refers to is the distance between the throat plate and the blade.

Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/embed/5XQj_AUiYmQ

The main reason to ensure you have and use table saw throat plates is a safety feature. Of course, we need access to the blades for changing them, and sometimes when cutting dado or making sider cuts with dado blades, wobble wheels etc, we need to use a throat plate with a wider space to accommodate the blade.

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Make a Dremel Drill Press / Dremel Workstation

Dremel tools are not always thought of a traditional woodworking tools but I am astounded how many woodworkers one one of these and for me, I am always digging mine out of the cupboard for one reason or another. What I like about them is the portability and how they can do small things with such ease that most other tools are either too big or too cumbersome to use. The one thing I use mine for all - the - time, is trimming screw and nail tips that have protruded through the wood when making things like jigs. I like it when screws protrude through the wood because I know I have a "good bite" on the wood, but having a small sharp tip poking out is a hazard so I always cut them off flush and the Dremel tool is perfect for that.

Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/embed/yjtDYWJrOGY

More recently I found myself needed a multitude of small, even holes that could be done with the drill press, but I have always wanted a mini drill press for my Dremel tool, so now was a good time to see if I could figure something out for this ...

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Jig for Drilling Shelf Pin Holes / Shelf Pin Jig

Adjustable shelves have become a standard, even inexpensive furniture, you often see some sort of adjustable shelving options in use. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to make a series of matching holes on either side of where the shelves will sit and use small shelving pins to balance the shelves on with. This system works well but does have a few drawbacks depending on the type of wood you select and the kind of shelving pins you select .. of which there is an ever-widening selection to choose from.

Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HrP9chOFeh4

There are many different ways of making the holes for the shelving pins, using a router, cordless drill or even a drill press, and what I am showing here is just one version that is quick, easy and effective for smaller jobs. The one thing that is common among all of these is that the holes need to be precision on both sides of where the shelves will sit, otherwise the shelves will wobble ... and sometimes they will anyway, and here's why ...
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