In Projects, Shop Blog, Techniques

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Commercially made zero-clearance inserts cost about $20. I make my
own for less than $3 from 3/8-in.-thick polyethylene cutting boards,
which are flat and rigid. A 14-in. x 17-in. cutting board ($10 at a
discount department store) yields four inserts. After rough-sawing the
blank on my bandsaw, I attach the saw's insert with double-faced tape.
Then I rout the blank to final size using a flush-trim bit. I drill
11/64-in. pilot holes and install the adjustment screws, which are
3/8-in.-long #10-24 Allen-head set screws (about 40 cents each at a
hardware store). Raising the blade through the polyethylene to cut the
zero-clearance slot leaves plastic curls around the edge. They're
easily removed by filing or sanding.

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