Temporary Zero-Clearance Insert
My small tablesaw and accessories follow me to jobsites every day. One morning I needed to rip thin slats from a 2 x 4 and wouldn't you know it, I forgot my zero-clearance insert. Tape to the rescue! First I lowered the saw blade all the way. Then I laid a strip of 2" wide packing tape over the opening in my regular insert and rubbed down the edges with my fingernail. I turned on the saw and raised the blade to the correct height. Voila!
Warning: This method works only with the regular tablesaw insert supplied with your saw. Do not use with wide-opening dado blade tablesaw inserts!
Clever. Emphasis should be placed on "packing tape". It's really thin, so if you're careful your workpiece won't catch on it. Emphasis should also be placed on "Temporary". Making a real zero-clearance insert is pretty darn easy. But we've all been in those situations when all that's needed is a quick fix and after all, it's always easier to use what you have instead of what you don't have.
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