Make a Zero-clearance Insert for Your Tablesaw — WOOD magazine

Make a Zero-clearance Insert for Your Tablesaw — WOOD magazine

Avoid tablesaw tearout with a zero-clearance insert. This insert, which replaces your saw’s factory-supplied throat plate, provides up-close support for the wood fibers during cutting, and also prevents small offcuts from falling into the throat and rattling around in your saw.

WOOD Magazine’s Jim Heavey shows you two easy methods for customizing an insert for your tablesaw.

NOTE: This video was produced before riving knives were required in the U.S. Here’s how to add a riving knife:

Subscribe to the WOOD YouTube channel:
Subscribe to WOOD magazine:
Get digital issues for iPad, Kindle, and more:

Official website:
Shop for woodworking project plans at:
Read tool reviews from WOOD editors and other real woodworkers at:



  1. Mark R Patterson on June 26, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    I swear, Jim Heavey could do a half hour video on tying your shoes and I’d watch it twice. He does the best presentations and instructionals on the net.

  2. Bob Carver on June 26, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    what can you do if you own a sawstop

  3. HendrikJB Boss on June 26, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Of all the "easy" methods on YouTube this is by far the easiest! Thanks!

  4. coronaking812 on June 26, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Only a carpenter would call that 0 clearance.

  5. Tall Timbers Wood Shop on June 26, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    If your zero clearance insert has seen better days, tape off the top of the insert and pour epoxy onto the underside. Recut the slot and it’s as good as new.

  6. Richard Cordner on June 26, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    I used this method today and it worked like a charm

  7. Vince Choraszewski on June 26, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    How do you make a square table insert for a Ryobi saw?

  8. City Lumberjack on June 26, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Your zero clearance insert needs to be installed first so that when making your zero clearance insert using the plywood you use to make it with won’thave chip out. Time to break out the Delorean.

  9. D Monty on June 26, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    I need to borrow your band saw. I really like the tip on using a pattern bit to shape the insert.

  10. Frankinan RCM on June 26, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    dont see riving knife…?

  11. Larry Fulton on June 26, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    Great idea and video, but my Craftsman 10” saw has about 1/16” thick Throat Plate! I’ve used Masonite Board but its too thick…

  12. Sion Hughes on June 26, 2023 at 1:58 pm


  13. Ben Blackwell on June 26, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    I have made zero clearance inserts using this technique and it works fine. However, even when using good quality Baltic Birch plywood, I have had issues with not getting a perfectly flat top side. You can add leveling screws they will not correct a non-flat top side. How do you deal with that?

  14. Antonio Valdenei Correa da Silva on June 26, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Excelente classe, obrigado por compartilhar. Direto do Brasil.

  15. vashon100 on June 26, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    How do you connect plate to saw, my furnished plate clips in?

  16. Darren Home on June 26, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Hard to believe wood magazine isnt using any sort of riving blade in that saw. Im missing two fingers because i wasnt using mine

  17. Ken Olson on June 26, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    While I appreciate it an easy to follow video on this topic I feel to publish it without incorporating a riving knife since the video was made seven years after riving knifes were required in the US. I have to believe wood magazine could’ve easily found a more modern saw to do this demonstration on. Requiring a riving knife is as basic as safety glasses. Even more irresponsible not to publish a more modern video four years later and not take this one down given the risk of so many inexperienced woodworkers not understanding the importance of using one. Minimum your link to how to add a riving knife should be in the video description not just buried in the comments.

  18. Wilhelm Taylor on June 26, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Using a dado blade to pre-cut the kerf is probably not wise: The teeth on my 8" dado blade measure 0.148" wide while the plate is 0.110 thick. My regular 10" blades are mostly .080" plates with 0.123" teeth. Clearly you will NOT get a "zero clearance" if you do this. A better way is to cut the first kerf while the insert sits ON the factory version, held down securely.

  19. Angel Torres on June 26, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Enjoy watching Jim Heavey lectures at the wood show in Sommerset, NJ

  20. Weekend Warrior on June 26, 2023 at 2:14 pm


  21. MrKockabilly on June 26, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    How about a tear out on your hand because you cant install a riving knife.

  22. David Handley on June 26, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Simple really. Thanks.

  23. David Muresan on June 26, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    I invented a new Power saw named "Parallel Guided Power Saw" you can see on you tube. I can give you one 8ft for free to test.

  24. Tom Dench on June 26, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    How do you take into account the riving knife?

  25. Ha Ha on June 26, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    No riving knife, no guard and using disc sander on the incorrect side.
    Who came up with the concept for this video?
    Answer: cowboys

  26. Peter Cross on June 26, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    Don.t forget the riving knife

  27. Bob Tack on June 26, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    good job thx

  28. gwadaflat on June 26, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    While watching a lot of videos on the subject, I wondered why not use a rolling mill and use the original as a template, and I come across your video that uses this technique! 😉👍🏽

  29. Cinbare on June 26, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    EXCELLENT INFORMATION. Very nice video. I have one question, if anyone…..PLEASE, can help me. What do I do if I have a half-massed table saw that has an insert that is all of 3/8ths of an inch thick because the screws that tabs that divide the actual depth of the insert and whole edge is beveled! Yeah, it isn’t even straight down. I think this saw was built in Kabapakstan on the Friday afternoon while a monsoon was raging and the engineer that designed this were floating on a bananna boat on their way down the Yanghtze river looking for pink mangos

  30. jerry jaksha on June 26, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    If you use a tablesaw with a thin steel throatplate, like a Sears or Royobi, here is an easy way, by modifying the existing steel plate. You epoxy a wood plate below the steel, then glue a filler piece for a level deck. Here is my "how to" instructable.:

  31. Norman Ridgley on June 26, 2023 at 2:37 pm

    Using a pattern router bit is a great idea! Now I can see the value of the double sided tape. Looks like I am going to make a few more inserts using this process.