With the extra time in-house I started several new projects. The 1st being a large table saw sled. I had one that I thought was large but was wrong. It only allows boards up to 18" wide to be cut which isn't ideal for cabinets and chests. This new sled will allow up to 24.5" and features zero clearance blade inserts which you make for your blades from 1/8" hardboard. Allows up to a 7/8" dado blade assembly.
The primary fence is 54" long and the blade is 12" centered from the right side. There is an additional optional fence extension that adds another 24" if/when needed. Both have T-Track installed for using accurate stop blocks that have a clear cursor to see the attached R to L self adhesive tape measure that is mounted to the fence top. It calls for 3/8" thick phenolic runners but I already had a set of Kreg aluminum adjustable runners and will use these instead.
The optional fence is attached using a keyed slot. I had some 1" thick soft maple left over from another project so used this to glue to the 24" back side slot and the matching 12" long slot on the back of the fence. There are two Bolts w/knurled knobs that screw the extension to the main fence lining them up perfectly including the 2 T-Tracks.
So far the base is cut to size and shaped according to the plan. The bridge is cut and shaped. The fence is cut, shaped, and slots cuts as required. All parts are sanded. I still need to attach runners, fence, and bridge so I can cut the blade slot, then cut the rabbets for the blade inserts.
Due to a mistake I made early on when making the fence I decided to use that mistake to upgrade my drill press table. I cut the botched fence down to 3", cut the T-Track slot all the way across, and drilled the holes to attach the fence to the T-Track on the existing base which runs front to back on left and right sides. Still having some mistake left I cut that down to 1-1/2" drilled two slots so the longer than base front clamping piece could be used on irregular parts. The longer piece with the slots allows it to be used on angle boards. The T bolts that attach the front piece can be tightened to clamp the part. The T track on the fence gives me a much longer range for stop blocks then the previous fence. This needs sanding and clear coat finish, same as the table saw sled.
What I forgot to mention is that the plans for the table saw fence is in the old Shop Notes #130 pages 20-23. There is an old thread I started back some time ago about downloading the old Shop Notes if interested.
Wow, you're doing 2 projects that I hope to get to this week as soon as I finish my router table. I will look through my Shop Notes collection to see if I have #130. Your beautiful TS is much wider than mine, so I think I'll make mine a bit smaller but I like the concepts.
This particular sled is ideal for cabinet work as it will cit up to 25-1/2" wide boards. With the extended optional fence adding another 2' gives you a total of 78" of fence. What's been frustrating is the lack of well defined instructions. You have the overall concept and some drawings that show most but there's a fair amount of deducing some finer details. Another thing I did differently was use the router table and put a slight chamfer on the base of the fence face for sawdust control. They had slots that made little sense to me and the chamfer had worked well on it's little brother so.....
Michael, the sled is surprisingly fairly light. The 1/2" Baltic Birch Plywood seems lighter than the "regular" big box store stuff. The cut outs on the sides help and the last 18" of the left side of the base is only 5" deep. So the main part of the base is 36" wide by 27-1/2" deep which lightens things up a bit.
The bridge and fence doesn't add much either. I'll take a final weight when I get it completely finished. I still need to put on my clear coat finish, install the 36" & 24" T-Track, add the tape rule to the fence, make the stop block w/cursor (probably use one of the ones on my old SawStop fence which has a magnifier), glue the maple key to the optional fence, cut the knurled knob 1/4-20 bolts down to 1-1/4", and I think that's about it.
I was going to do that today but decided to watch the live stream of the astronomy conference I was supposed to be at this week-end as they live streamed the talks instead so we had the speakers presentations to placate us. They rescheduled the full conference for September. Hopefully this mess will be a distant memory by then and we can get back to some normalcy.....
Meant to add that I had made my first test cuts since mounting the runners (Kreg) and took the offcut of the 1/2" BB Plywood and squared the remaining panel. It was something I knew could be an issue as the sled was assembled w/o the runners and cut on the table saw. The right side is 12" to the center of the kerf cut. I marked the locations for the runners and then I had to disassemble to make the rabbet cuts for the zero clearance blade inserts. Those I made out of 1/8" hardboard. Long story short after reassembly I made the test cuts and couldn't have been happier. Of the two sides being cut I checked all 4 and each was perfectly square using my Woodpecker 1812 square.
I had seen another gentleman that had made his out of BB as well (that is what mine is made of). He did something that I thought was a very thoughtful idea. He cut out a lot a triangular shaped portions of the field to lessen the weight, but left in what was necessary to maintain structural integrity, then he laminated top and bottom with Formica or equal so it was back to looking like a solid panel.
Glad you got your’s squared up. These sleds are a real gem when you need to cut something square on the table saw.
Thanks Michael. At this point I think the weight is OK but that could change later down the road. The idea of laminating a sled makes good sense and the method you mention would certainly make it lighter and still maintain the sturdiness of the sled.
Made the stop block and put two coats of clear coat on it today. Should be able to get 2-3 more tomorrow. Afterwards I need to install the right to left measuring tape. I took one of the magnifier lens off my SawStop fence (no longer used) to use as the cursor. Need to do a few coats on the bottom and then wax it well.
Hope to finish the project this week. I did make the stop block using 2 - 3" x 3" 1/2" BB ply glued together. I used a 5/16" strip of phenolic as a key way for the stop block to keep it from rotating at all. This extends only 1/16" into the T-Track and is drilled with a 1/4" bit for the 1/4-20 bolt. My new enhance home built drill press fence and forward fence lock was prominent in the ability to drill the hole and hold it steady. I also need to make the other zero clearance plates for the most commonly used saw blades. Make as in they are already cut and drilled but the blade cuts aren't made yet and then will need to be labeled right or left as well as blade used. So far just the Woodworker II 48 tooth blade zero clearance plate is made and cut.
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