Alpha Table Saw Inserts: Installation and Setup (ZC-10)

Created by Gabriel Izzo, Modified on Tue, 23 Apr at 12:06 PM by Hung Nguyen

This tutorial is designed for woodworkers looking to install and modify a zero clearance insert (ZC-10) for their table saws. A zero clearance insert helps reduce tear-out, provides support for the materials you are cutting, and minimizes the gap around the saw blade. Before proceeding, ensure you are familiar with your saw's operating procedures and safety guidelines.

General Safety Information

Working with a table saw requires careful attention to safety to prevent accidents. Here are some key safety tips to consider:

1. Wear Appropriate Safety Gear: 

  • Always use safety glasses, hearing protection, and appropriate dust masks or respirators.

2. Avoid Loose Clothing and Jewelry: 

  • Wear fitted clothing and avoid any dangling jewelry or objects that could get caught in the saw.

3. Use Push Sticks and Guards:

  • Always use push sticks or push blocks when cutting small pieces to keep your hands away from the blade. Ensure blade guards are in place and functioning.

4. Disconnect Power When Changing Blades or Inserts

  • Always disconnect the table saw from the power source before installing or adjusting blades and inserts.

5. Read the instruction manual

  • Familiarize yourself with the specific safety features and operational guidelines of your table saw model.

Installation and Cutting of the ZC-10 Insert

Tools Needed:

  • Carbide tipped blade (suitable for cutting aluminum)
  • Adjustable wrench or Pliers (for adjusting the rear bolt/nut)
  • Hex Wrench set (for adjusting bolts and levelers)

Step 1: Prepare the Insert

  • Start by placing the ZC-10 insert into the saw's throat plate area. Ensure it's oriented correctly with the back end hook and front screws aligned with the corresponding holes or slots on the saw table.
  • IMPORTANTRemove the Riving Knife Before Cutting the ZC-10 Zero Clearance Insert
    • Please ensure to remove the riving knife when cutting the ZC-10 zero clearance insert. The riving knife extends over the blade, which can prevent the blade from cutting completely through the insert. Removing the riving knife will allow for a full and proper cut.

Step 2: Secure the Insert

  • Screw the insert into place, starting with the back end screw to hook it securely. 
  • Fasten the front screw next, making sure the insert is level with the table saw's surface. Use a small level to check this.

Step 3: Adjust the Saw for the Insert

  • If using a powerful model like the 4HP HW110S, you might need to adjust the height of the bolts and levelers to accommodate the higher blade setting. Extend the bolts on the front, back, and levelers to raise the ZC-10 above the blade height.

Step 4: Cutting the Zero Clearance Slot

  • With the insert secured and leveled, turn on the saw:
  • Slowly raise the blade while the saw is running. Start with a lower blade height and gradually increase it, allowing the carbide-tipped blade to shave away the softer aluminum of the insert.
  • Continue raising the blade until it reaches its full height or the desired slot size is achieved.

Step 5: Final Adjustments

  • After cutting the zero clearance slot, turn off the saw and let the blade come to a complete stop.
  • Check the insert for any burrs or rough edges on the aluminum and smooth these out if necessary.
  • Re-check the level and security of the insert to ensure it remains flush and stable.

Leveling Alpha Table Saw Inserts

Here is a video guide for setting up and leveling Harvey Alpha Table Saw Inserts including the ZC-10 Zero Clearance Insert.


Properly installing and cutting a zero clearance insert can significantly improve the quality of your cuts and the overall safety of your table saw operations. Always take your time to ensure the insert is correctly installed and the saw is correctly adjusted for the task. By following these steps and adhering to safety practices, you can achieve precise and safe cuts for all your woodworking projects.

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