After Market SawStop Throat Plates

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jpaup

New User
JP
Interesting find Mark. Not a lot of info available about the maker, Colli-Beck. Most I could find is they are in Newburg, OR, which is just down the road from Tualatin where Sawstop's HQ is at. Looking at the pictures, it looks like a modified Sawstop lock down ZCI that has been machined to accept a matching wooden insert. Hard to tell how hard it would be to make your own copy of that insert or if you would need to buy replacements from Colli-Beck. Given the Sawstop lock down ZCI sells for $39, the $95 asking price for this modified model does seem kind of high unless you could make your own inserts (they don't seem to offer them for sale so maybe a template is provided). Colli-Beck offers this insert design on Amazon for the Delta and Powermatic table saws as well.

I tried my hand at making a wooden ZCI for the Sawstop. The original Sawstop Dado ZCI (pre-lock down model) made a good template for matching the perimeter of the insert with a router as it has no gap for the riving knife/blade guard. Needed to drill a couple of shallow holes to go over the mushroom headed screws that engage the standard insert depth adjustment screws. The bigger hassle (and surprise) comes in making the relief cuts on the bottom of the ZCI. Without these the arbor housing will come in contact with the bottom of the insert at the maximum blade height adjustment. On the Dado ZCI there appear to be relief cuts to clear the arbor nut and washer on the right of the blade as well.

Here is an interesting video with Tommy Mac http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2083923/36359/sawstop-standard-lock-down-insert-.aspx describing the incident that prompted him to buy a Sawstop. He also shows his collection of ZCI's he uses for different blades and dado widths. All told his set of ZCI's would add up to be more than the Colli-Beck design (again assuming you can make your own wooden inserts).

As a relative newcomer to woodworking, I have learned that having a good set of inserts for your power tools is very important to your ability to safely and accurately use these tools. Inserts are consumables that with use and particullarly with bevel cuts will eventually widen the gap between the blade and the edge of the insert. This gap not only reduces the support to the bottom of your work piece resulting in more tear out, but creates a widening gap for potential offcuts to fall down into. As such, I have stolen as my insert mantra a saying painted on the floor of every London Underground station, "Mind the Gap". This goes doubly when you are working in someone else's shop that may or may not have appropriate inserts.

Though Tommy doesn't mention them, you can see in the video he has a pair of Grrpers sitting on his saw as well. I mention them here as I have found the combination of a ZCI and the Grrper design to help me in controlling those offcuts into becoming little missles shooting around the shop.

Safe cuts all!
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
When I first bought my sawstop I thought I would make my own inserts. After using them for a while I will buy them. They are awesome. They swap out in seconds, register flat, and hold down safely. Plus with the way the arbor moves I don't need many. You could live with one for both vertical and angled cuts.
Salem
 

bobby g

Bob
Corporate Member
When I first bought my sawstop I thought I would make my own inserts. After using them for a while I will buy them. They are awesome. They swap out in seconds, register flat, and hold down safely. Plus with the way the arbor moves I don't need many. You could live with one for both vertical and angled cuts.
Salem
Salem,

Tell me again what you just said. :icon_scra

bobby g
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
Bobby,
On all the other saws I have owned the throat plate had a ~1/2" gap to accommodate for 45 degree cuts. On the sawstop a single ZCI just about works for 45 and 90 degrees:
IMG_0943.jpg

And in using my saw for a couple months I have not noticed the gap getting any wider. The registration mechanism is pretty good so you don't tend to chew them up as much as with other saws.

I have never felt the need to have ZCI's for every dado width. So I really don't end up needing many inserts for this saw. And that was my point Bobby :).
Salem
 

jcolliflower

New User
Jack
Greetings, fellow woodworkers! My name is Jack Colliflower, and I'm of Colli-Beck throat plates.
I read that there wasn't much known of our company, so I'll tell you a bit.
Colli-, of course, comes from my last name, Colliflower, and -Beck comes from my business partner's last name, Beckham, of Beckham woodworking. I am a CNC machinist at day and woodworker by night. Beckham is a professional woodworker, mainly a cabinet maker.
We were tired of buying cheap, plastic inserts for my Grizzly and Beckham's Powermatics. We longed for the day when WoodDynamics was making their throat plates, since we both previously owned (and still have) inserts that fit a previous saws. But they went out of business and many woodworkers were left wanting.
So, our goal was: Let's make a throat plate that is a.) a "lifer" that is made of aluminum, b.) has replaceable wood inserts, c.) gives better arbor clearance, and d.) has a bottom design that makes the insert become one with the saw (since the fit is so great). We then began making plates for Beck's saws, the Powermatic 66s, and my saw. We then went on to the older Unisaws, and now we've gone to the Saw of all Saws, the SawStop. I must say that the SS plate was by far the most difficult to make, mainly due to all its unique features that aren't as easily machined from aluminum. Creating the long dovetailed slot, with respect to the riving knife slot, was a challenge. But we did it. After weeks of replica, test, replica, test, we finally came up with a design that respected the saw's features and held strong in light of the many changes. Our plates now have full clearance (w/ riving knife, too) at all tilts. This one insert provides zero-clearance for both dado and single blades. And yes, two wood inserts and instructions on how to make new inserts come with the plate.
It was said that our price was spendy: Consider this: To buy both zero-clearance and dado stock inserts for SS is $80. You'll need to replace them in a year or two. Our one plate, which is both single and dado, is $95 and will last longer than the saw. The wood inserts are free and easy to make! Our insert has been anodized for a stronger, more durable finish. It is both functionally and aesthetically pleasing.
We are a start-up company and are selling on Ebay and Amazon.com. Infinity Tools has understood the potential of this plate and will begin selling them within a month or two. I'm confident that, once other tool dealers see that this plate perfects the SawStop, they, too, will carry these plates. All of our designs make the woodworker's life (and saw) better.
I hope all your questions about our company are answered.
Happy woodworking!
 

jpaup

New User
JP
Thanks Jack for the information about your products and company. With your explanation I can see the elegance of your design and withdraw any objection about them being pricey. With all of the adjustability, close tolerance fit, quick lock down, and arbor relief built into the aluminum insert together with the ability to shop make replacement wooden inserts is a great combination. I have used my dado stack for 1/4" cuts (box joints), 1/2" cuts (for shelf dados), and 3/4" cuts (tenons), but each wider cut pretty much trashed the insert for narrower cuts. My own experimentation with making wooden ZCIs for the SS gives me an appreciation of the design testing you describe in the development of yours.

One question I have (if it's not divulging any design secrets) is how difficult is it to make the replaceable wood inserts? Does this require any special tools or jigs to accurately make?

Finally, as Mark said before, welcome to the NCWW site and community. You won't find a friendlier and more supportive group of folks here on the Web, many down your way in the Charlotte area. We particularly like pictures so share any that you might have of projects you have completed or works in progress.

John
 

FlyingRon

Board of Directors, Webmaster
Ron
Staff member
Corporate Member
Ok, i'm a bit confused though on the Amazon listing. Do I need to canabalize parts from an existing SawStop insert to make this work?
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Jack...another question - where does the riving knife go?

That's one of the primary reasons I upgraded from my old contractor saw - I always use my riving knife when possible. How does that work with the wood insert? It obviously can't cut its way through, like the rest of the blade. How do you recommend that your customers create the slot for the riving knife?
 

jcolliflower

New User
Jack
Hello, Chris!
Infinity tools just put them online. They have pics on their site. No video yet, but they plan on making one.
Our next step is to get a website up and running. Our original plan was to sell them to dealers and some on Amazon/Ebay on the side. Woodcraft, too, wants a plate and is considering selling them at their stores. You can check out pics at the Infinity site. Here's the link:
http://www.infinitytools.com/Saw-Stop-Zero-Clearance-Plate-With-Insert/productinfo/100-335/
They are not done with the site and don't even have descriptions yet, so you can also check them out at:
http://www.amazon.com/SawStop-Zero-...47399422&sr=8-1&keywords=sawstop+throat+plate
As I said before, they perfect the SawStop.
And yes, I like to turn beautiful wood into chips one board at a time too!
Jack
 

jcolliflower

New User
Jack
Hi, John!
Thanks for the compliments. Let me tell you--that plate is fun to make! A lot of work, yes, but fun.
Yes, Infinity doesn't have any in stock right now because they are taking pre-orders, and then they will place an order with me. It's a new product so they plan on doing a "media blast" to get the word out. They have theirs on sale for a better price than I do on Amazon! How dare they! :)
Yes, you'll tear up dado inserts over and over, have to buy new ones over and over, for every size, with regular plates. As you know, you just swap the wood inserts for the new sized dado/single.
Making the inserts is really easy. We buy 1/4" stock, cut them to width and length, put a 30-degree bevel on three sides, then route the curve in front. Really easy. We're going to sell those, too, but they're easy to make yourself.
Thanks again!
Jack
 

FlyingRon

Board of Directors, Webmaster
Ron
Staff member
Corporate Member
So can you answer my question? The implication in the Amazon site I believe is that I have to take parts out of a real SawStop insert to install yours?
 

jcolliflower

New User
Jack
That's correct: You have to take out the front locking set screws and the back handle/lock and place them on your new plate. The threads and locations are all the same on the two plates.
 

jcolliflower

New User
Jack
Hi, Chris.
A slot is cut in the wood insert for the riving knife, just like the stock plates. There is a wider slot in the wood insert for the riving knife travel (where the stock slot is) which leads into the zero-clearance slot, also like the stock plate once the full zero-clearance slot has been cut. Bottom support for the wood insert (so that it doesn't collapse inward) comes from the wide-bottomed dovetailed slots (throughout), full stock in the front (infeed side: clearance between the blade's full extension and the remaining wood insert between the zero-clearance slot and frontmost section of insert), and the flat bottom adjacent to the riving knife. A slight bevel should be put on the right side of the riving knife clearance slot for full tilt clearance.
We were initially wanting the woodworker to make the riving knife slot, but Infinity Tools wants us to do it with one of the two inserts that come with the plate, for immediate use and for a template. I think that's a good idea. As you know, many people prefer to take off the riving knife, so the other insert that comes with the plate is un-cut.
Does that answer your question?
We've been using 1/4" pressboard with a thin melamine surface (on both top and bottom) for the insert and it works great. That is the insert that comes with the plate.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Hi, Chris.
A slot is cut in the wood insert for the riving knife, just like the stock plates. There is a wider slot in the wood insert for the riving knife travel (where the stock slot is) which leads into the zero-clearance slot, also like the stock plate once the full zero-clearance slot has been cut. Bottom support for the wood insert (so that it doesn't collapse inward) comes from the wide-bottomed dovetailed slots (throughout), full stock in the front (infeed side: clearance between the blade's full extension and the remaining wood insert between the zero-clearance slot and frontmost section of insert), and the flat bottom adjacent to the riving knife. A slight bevel should be put on the right side of the riving knife clearance slot for full tilt clearance.
We were initially wanting the woodworker to make the riving knife slot, but Infinity Tools wants us to do it with one of the two inserts that come with the plate, for immediate use and for a template. I think that's a good idea. As you know, many people prefer to take off the riving knife, so the other insert that comes with the plate is un-cut.
Does that answer your question?
We've been using 1/4" pressboard with a thin melamine surface (on both top and bottom) for the insert and it works great. That is the insert that comes with the plate.
Yes that answers my questions. Thanks! My order is placed...looking forward to trying it :>
 
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