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Thread: Need ideas on how to make a table saw throat plate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Need ideas on how to make a table saw throat plate

    I have asked around elsewhere and didn't get far, so I thought I would ask here as well. I have an older Craftsman table saw. It's good, reliable, accurate, and old. It was made by King-Seeley, now Emerson, for Sears in the early 50's. Emerson, Sears, and Craftsman have no clue about this saw. I have only the original throat plate and would like to make a zero clearance and dado blade throat plates.

    This is the saw
    P1260029.JPG

    This is the opening
    P1260032.JPG
    Notice the small and shallow ledge the plate sits on.

    It is held in by two spring clips on the back.
    P1260030.JPG
    But I think I might be able to make some type of set screw and wing combination to achieve the hold down on the new plate since I don't have any clips.

    And worst of all
    P1260031.JPG
    The plate is only 0.087" thick (87 thousands or less than 1/10th of an inch)

    So I'm open to suggestions on how to make a new one.

  2. #2

    Need ideas on how to make a table saw throat plate

    I pcked up a copy of the current issue of WOOD magazine this weekend and there is an article in there on how to do this. I haven't read the article yet and the mag is at home, but IIRC it goes into great detail on how to make both square and beveled zero clearance throat plates.

    Hope this helps

    James Davias

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    All I did to make mine was stick the plate to a piece of mdf and then use a bearing guided flush trim bit on the router table. Then I slowly thinned it to size on the jointer.

  4. #4
    As keith mentioned, double stick tape the existing throat plate (upside down) to a piece of MDF. Use Jig saw to cut close to the template (existing throat plate). Then use a flush trim bit on the router/router table to make the new throat plate the exact size as the existing.

    From this point i used a rabbeting bit to rabbet the under side of the new plate until it sits perfectly flush with the table top.

  5. #5
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    How do you make it so thin without breaking? That's been my problem so far.

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Lititz, PA
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    I made mine similar to Keith's method. Your challenge is the thickness of your plate though.
    Is there enough clearance under the ledge in your table that you could use, say, 1/4" plywood for the insert and then rout a small rabbet on the underside so that the insert sits on the ledge flush with the tabletop with the remainder of the insert hanging below?

    When I made mine I used the existing insert as a template. I then lined the edge of the saw fence up with the near side of the existing insert and cut a slot in the new insert to within about an inch of the front. I then glued a 1/8" wide by (about) 2" high by 2" deep piece of scrap in the slot at the very back of the new insert to serve as a splitter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Rudolph, WI
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    Wow that's a thin plate. I've got a 1980's Craftsman and the plate from my saw is little thicker than yours. But, I made a ZCI out of tempered hardboard years' ago. This stuff is a little thinner and tougher than the normal hardboard. Maybe if you get some of that stuff and cut a rabbet around the plate it might work. Also you could fit the full thickness of the tempered hardboard in and sand the surface down to match the saw top. Then flip it over and you will have a nice smooth hardened surface. If you go this route, be sure to get the tempered hardboard. Sometimes it's hard to find at the BORGS.
    It's a biiiig mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize that you are in a hurry.
    _____________
    Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
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    33
    I think aluminum sheet stock is available in the thickness you need, or within a couple thousandths. You could easily machine that with your wood tools. Just be sure to use a light oil such as Alumicut and it shouldn't have any adverse effect on carbide tooling. Thats what I'd use to make an insert.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    Hi, make your new plate out of 3/8" or 1/2" High Density Polyethylene plastic, and cut a rebate around the edge to accomodate the required thickness.

    The plastic is aproximately $6 per square foot, available at a plastic supplier.

    Regards, Rod.

  10. #10
    I think I would buy some 3/32" aluminum sheet and and cut them almost to size with a jig saw. Then use a bearing guided pattern bit in a router with the speed turned down slow to match the exact shape.

    An old carbide blade with a lot of teeth will cut the new blade slot...just keep a board clamped over the table and plate while you're raising the blade into it.

    Make a couple so you won't have to do this again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Grand Rapids, MN
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    I also have a similar Craftsman (although I think mine is a little newer)with that plate, I recently picked up a blank ZCI plate at Rockler which fits perfectly. I'm not sure what it's made of, but it's blue. It's thicker than the factory plate, but is rabbetted around the edge so it sits flush with the table. It has set screws to fine tune the height of the plate, and also has some screws in the side that can be adjusted in or out to get a tight fit around the sides (I guess this takes the place of the clips on the bottom of the factory plate).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Anthony

    My General tablesaw came with a throat plate similar to yours, very thin, and held in place with a clip at one end.
    I tried to make my own plates out of Acrylic and aluminum, but they flexed too much for my comfort. The OEM plate flexed too much also. It's a bad design in my opinion.

    There is a company, LeeCraft, that makes aftermarket throat plate, or ZCI (Zero Clearance Insert) out of a phenolic resin.
    The actual plate is fairly thick, but an edge is routered in to adapt to my saw.
    I don't know if they make one for your saw, and I have never found a website for their products, but they seem to make a lot of different ZCI's.
    If nothing else, their product may give you some ideas.

  13. #13
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    I didn't read how thin your plate was. Like others said a plexy glass plate is an option but I can't think of any material that wouldn't flex at that thickness. I Think steel would flex. The flexing could diminish the usefulness of the zero clearance plate.
    Try plexy glass first and see how you like it. Get the closest thickness you can and then do as Josh said with a rabbiting bit to get it flush.

  14. #14
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    Keith

    I can attest that the flex of the plate is a real issue.
    The OEM General throat plate is steel,a nd is all but worthless.
    Having a ZCI flex with a dado stack poking through it is very nerve wracking.

    If I can get my camera to work tonite, I'll try to post a pick of mine for Anthony. There are a number of similarities.

  15. #15
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    Toronto Ontario
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    Hi Mike, my General saw came with a plate made out of cast white metal, and it's aproximately 3/8" of an inch thick.

    You may be able to exchange it for a different plate......Rod.

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