I don't always need to make permanent jigs or adaptions to my table saw, sometimes I only need something for a one-time cut. There are many ways of making adaptions so that think wedges of wood will not fall through or get caught between the blade and the insert. One way, if you have a fence suitable is to find yourself an very thin, like 1/8th thick plywood off-cut and slide it under the fence and lock the fence. This will prevent the plywood from moving. Now you can wind the table saw blade up through the plywood and now instantly have adapted a zero clearance insert ... but on TOP of you existing insert.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/VcodNMiNNac
Now you can run the wood through that you want. In order for this to work, you need to know where to position the fence so you will need to mark or adapt it, but there is also another way, similar, but more adaptable especially for those who don't have bigger cabinet type saws ...
... and that is to take the same thin plywood and run a thin strip of it off. This will be your "slider" ... next you will need to postion your larger sheet over the table saw blade so that there is sufficient plywood on each side of the blade and it is wide enough for your "slider" to move up and down the table saw deck. For this version to work, the plywood needs to be clamped to the table saw deck and it needs to be clamped so that it will not impede the movement of wood you might be cutting. This verison works great for shorter thin strip cutting.
Story boards in woodworking are actually quite common and they take many shapes and sizes. Sometimes they ae long sticks that contain a variety of measurements so that cutting fitting and attaching are made easy, but there is also a version for the tables saw ... a quick and easy way to re-set up your table saw and I often use it when I am making a number of small wooden boxes that are identical in size. Sometimes I decide to make more boxes or maybe I didn't make enough of one part and rather thant trying to reset the saw blades with a tape or gauge, I can just use a story board and get the exact measurements I need ... a quick easy solution.
Isolated Stops - I learned a long time ago ... the hard way that if you don't pay close attention when you are using "stops" to make identical pieces, if you are using a piece of wood, make sure that there is no dust or chips that can get between the stop and the wood you are cutting because you will get a faulty cut. The best way of avoiding this and making sure you always get true cuts is to use a screw that is lifted off the deck, where dust, chips and slivers cannot get caught and trapped ... and give you false settings and false cuts.
Re-Setting Fence Stops - another quick way of making identical cuts without having to make a jig or adapter. All you need is a piece of wood that you can clamp between your fence and the edge of your table saw deck. This will be used as a moving stop. The other thing you need is one piece of spacer wood that is the size of the wood you want to cut PLUS your table saw blade width. You start off by setting the fence at the stop point of the table saw blade, THEN insert the spacer for the first cut. When that cut is made remove the spacer and move the fence stopper to butt up to the existing fence setting. Clamp the fence stopper, release the fence and insert the spacer, re-set the fence to that setting and make your next cut. A perfect way to get as many identical width cuts as you need.
Rejuvinating existing Inserts - Making new inserts for most table saws is not difficult but it is time consuming and sometimes you just don't have the correct size of material to make them with. One way to fix this is to take and existing table saw insert and fill the void where the blade will go by using 2 part - 5 minute epoxy. Use masking tape to tape the top of the insert firmly, then add expoxy glue to the void and let it cure. In now time you will have a hard surface that can be re-cut to any width you need. Use the mixing board to make sure the glue is hard and firm enough to re-cut. Anothe quick and easy fix to get you back working quicker ...
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