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Zero-clearance solution for thin throat plates

The steel throat plate on my tablesaw is thin—so thin that wooden zero-clearance inserts sag and affect the accuracy of my cuts. After noodling on the problem for awhile, I finally realized I didn’t need to fill the entire throat opening, just the blade slot.

To do that, I first made a 14 " hardboard backer about the same size as the factory-supplied throat plate, but narrower to avoid the plate stops. After counterboring a handful of rare-earth magnets into the top face of the backer board, I stuck it to the bottom of the steel plate. Next, I shaped a strip of 18 " hardwood to fit the blade opening, making sure it rested flush with the steel-plate surface, and glued it to the backer board through the blade slot, as shown.

When I need to remove the zero-clearance insert for bevel cuts, I simply lift out the plate, pop the backer off the bottom, and drop the plate back in. Reinstalling it is just as easy.
—Bill Wells, Olympia, Wash.

 

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