Cutting Kerfs for Hand Re-Sawing

I read Rob Johnstone’s directions for using a table saw to cut kerfs that help guide a hand saw. But when I tried the technique, using 3/4″ pine, the board fell through the slot around the blade. Is there a way to do it that would hold it in place while I make the kerfs?

Michael Dresdner:¬†Use a zero clearance insert on your table saw. That’s an insert whose slot is exactly the width of the blade. You can buy blank table saw inserts made specifically for this, or make them yourself. Lower the blade in the saw, set in the insert, and clamp it down, making sure the clamping boards are clear of the area of the blade and on either side of it. Use long boards, clamped at the ends of the front and rear of the table to hold down the insert. Turn on the saw, and crank the blade up until it cuts its way through the insert. Turn off the saw, and remove the clamp boards. You now have a zero clearance insert that fits the blade exactly. Now your thin boards won’t drop through the hole when you re-saw.

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