Advice on Table Saw Crosscut/Miter Sled - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 08:13 AM
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Rick,

I built the sled in the picture below many years ago when I was younger. It is really nice, but as I get older, it gets heavier. I has several features. It runs on two slide channels. It has the ability to do miter cuts. It is hard to see, but there is an insert in the top that allows you to attach an arm to cut angles at any degree selected. Also, where the blade comes up through the sled is replaceable. I have the insert shown for 90 degree cuts and made another insert for 45 degree cuts. Do not use often, but have if needed. The last feature is the large block on the back end for safety as mentioned above. It keeps the blade protected. I am sure this came out of one of my magazines, but not sure which one.

I have often thought about building a lighter version using one slide, but for now I will keep this one.

Frank
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
I usually put a stop on each end also, so when it gets to the end of the cut it stops, and the blade is still hidden.
When I read this I thought it a great idea so I looked at mine on the table saw and don't see how I can put stops on the fence and still get the blade to finish the cut...

Where did you put the stops...how about a picture of yours...?

Nick

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all, for the feedback. A lot of great information, some of which raises questions. Here are some of my take-aways, comments and questions:

1) First, I do plan on starting simple and small and figure out what works and what I need,
2) I do plan on using both miter slots,
3) I like the idea of the box or block on the exit side to shield the blade and I have incorporated it into my design,
4) I definitely like the 5-cut method of getting the near fence square and will do mine that way,
5) I have two push block accessories, one of which is a MicroJig GRR-Rip Block, but not the one DRTom pictured. The other is a Bench Dog product,
6) The saw came with a push stick but I think I want to make one or more that can be sacrificial for thinner pieces,
7) I have an Angle Cube, similar to the Wixey but had not considered using it on the saw blade. I've found it to be quite accurate and use it on other machines/setups,
8) I have a good quality miter gauge (Incra 1000SE) with an aluminum fence, but either need to make a whole new fench for it from wood or make an end plug from wood so it doesn't trip the SS safety brake.
9) I like the idea of travel-limiting stops, but will save that for when I have figured out some of the basics (and if JOAT can provide more info),
10) I like the notion of the saw blade that creates a flat bottom, such as the Freud Glue Line. I have only the stock blade that came with the saw now.

I am curious about some of the comments/recommendations.
1) I think I get it about not making bevel cuts (blade at an angle?) with the same sled for 90 cuts. It is because the different angles would ruin the zero clearance slot of each. Is this correct? If not, could someone please explain? If that is it, this is where it seems replaceable panels/inserts might allow for using the same sled,
2) I do not get it about not using the sled for miter cuts. I've seen a couple designs that incorporated an adjustable angle fence and I know Rockler sells one (Tablesaw CrossCut Sled) that I have actually used at a pattern-maker friend's shop,
3) I agree that it would be nice to see some photos and have more information about the bridge to keep hands away from the blade and how the travel-limiting stops are implemented.

On the notion that a sled might be a bit heavy, I had thought of previously and have seen one YT video, a guy who put a bunch of holes in a sheet of BB plywood and sheathed it on both sides to lighten it. I have on hand some resin-impregnated honeycomb sheets that I plan on using to make light weight table tops and an extension for my router table. It seems that if a sled were too heavy, these honecomb sheets could be used very nicely to make one that is very rigid but also much lighter. This also is for a later time, after I've figured out a bit about using sleds, if I even find it necessary or desirable. I can also see using it for constructing the fences, if one were to take it to an extreme.

Finally, at the risk of inciting a flame war, in regard to the safety brake on the SawStop. I am not concerned about what others think. I know what is important to me and I can only speak for myself. Table saws scare me. Other saws scare me also, but not as much as table saws. When I was making the transition from a RAS to a table saw, I commented that table saws scare me. Someone commented back that if I used a RAS for so many years without incident, I would do well with a table saw. I'm not sure that transfers but I am sure that it is incumbent on all of use to maintain the highest diligence of safety awareness and practices when using any of them.

In regard to bringing my granddaughter into woodworking, I am enjoying it, but she is not yet that interested. She is too young to use any power saws, but has shown great interest working with me on more simple tasks. I plan on slowly introducing her to hand tools that are sized for kids. I plan on making her, her own small workbench with a small woodworking vise. I have a kid-sized hammer for her and will get her hammering nails and sawing random slots in scrap wood. Going to try to keep it very simple and fun for her.

Thanks again for all of your comments and input,

Rick

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickKr View Post

Rick

I am curious about some of the comments/recommendations.
1) I think I get it about not making bevel cuts (blade at an angle?) with the same sled for 90 cuts. It is because the different angles would ruin the zero clearance slot of each. Is this correct? If not, could someone please explain? If that is it, this is where it seems replaceable panels/inserts might allow for using the same sled,

You are correct...you would lose the benefit of the zero clearance. Cuts using a dado blade can best be handled directly and with a good miter gauge. EDIT...I would also add that you might not want to make the sled more complicated than it needs to be. Start out as a simple cross cut and see what you need for bevels, etc... There are sleds built on Youtube that sport a replaceable insert for different functions.

2) I do not get it about not using the sled for miter cuts. I've seen a couple designs that incorporated an adjustable angle fence and I know Rockler sells one (Tablesaw CrossCut Sled) that I have actually used at a pattern-maker friend's shop,

Nothing says you can't use a dedicated sled for miter cuts. More of a preference issue, you might need to create a sled for each of the miter angles you might use. You can certainly create an additional sled for 45's or incorporate a way of adding a miter gauge to your sled. I think most would prefer to use the miter gauge for angles and the sled for 90 cuts.

3) I agree that it would be nice to see some photos and have more information about the bridge to keep hands away from the blade

There are lots of images of sleds (google) that show a box of sorts to keep the blade away from your thumbs as you push the sled. Generally, it would be a piece of wood or box that simple does not allow your thumbs near the blade. This generally happens when you over-push the sled past the point of the cut being finished.

and how the travel-limiting stops are implemented.

Can't help you there...right now I don't know where I would incorporate the stops on my saw...unless the back of the sled is extended to have stops hit the back of the saw.

On the notion that a sled might be a bit heavy, I had thought of previously and have seen one YT video, a guy who put a bunch of holes in a sheet of BB plywood and sheathed it on both sides to lighten it. I have on hand some resin-impregnated honeycomb sheets that I plan on using to make light weight table tops and an extension for my router table. It seems that if a sled were too heavy, these honecomb sheets could be used very nicely to make one that is very rigid but also much lighter. This also is for a later time, after I've figured out a bit about using sleds, if I even find it necessary or desirable. I can also see using it for constructing the fences, if one were to take it to an extreme.

Great idea...would love to see what you come up with.

Finally, at the risk of inciting a flame war, in regard to the safety brake on the SawStop. I am not concerned about what others think. I know what is important to me and I can only speak for myself.

Good for you...!

Table saws scare me. Other saws scare me also, but not as much as table saws. When I was making the transition from a RAS to a table saw, I commented that table saws scare me. Someone commented back that if I used a RAS for so many years without incident, I would do well with a table saw. I'm not sure that transfers but I am sure that it is incumbent on all of use to maintain the highest diligence of safety awareness and practices when using any of them.

Good point...but this should concern you...you should have RESPECT for the saw but not be scared or uncomfortable with it. Having used the RAS, I'm willing to bet you have ripped and cross cut with it...and keep in mind that many people are scared of RAS's and can't wait to get rid of them. Trick here is to make the table top comfortable so that you can push your piece through to the end and still not have to stand directly behind it. Another trick is to make sure the end of the saw can comfortably handle long pieces without picking up its rear when you finish with the cut by extending the table or using a stand. Always use an appropriate push stick and NOT the plastic one that came with the saw. Make sure your push stick comfortably pushes the project piece down further up the piece and does not pick up the piece on the back side of the blade. Proper alignment of blade to runners, fence to runners and fence to blade will ensure more comfort with longer rip cuts. Also, make sure you don't raise the blade too high into the piece when you set the height...bottom of the gullet should be fine. Others will only raise it till it just exits the piece. I prefer to set the height at the bottom of the gullet just in case the piece raises a bit...expecially true when breaking down sheet goods. It also runs cooler that way and gets rid of more of the dust and swarf. I agree...if you've used a RAS you should be okay with a table saw. I have used mine on its side to create tongue and groove for hardwood floors...I bet you've done the same.

Nick

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Last edited by Nickp; 03-02-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 01:39 PM
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I do not think that being "scared" of a table saw is a good thing, rather it's counter-productive.

Perhaps the better terminology is to "respect" the table saw (and other tools) for what they are capable of doing if you're not aware and present in the moment.

Scared people often do stupid things and living in that fear is certainly not a pleasurable aspect of working with power tools.

Respect, on the other hand, brings you to a point of understanding of the potential dangers and pitfalls but allows you to do what needs to be done.

When I was a policeman, the last thing you wanted was a partner who was scared. They would over-react and shoot someone, or under-react and get you hurt. A good partner recognized the dangers neither minimizing or obsessively over-blowing the situations.

Can power tools be dangerous? Sure, but more people percentage wise are hurt or killed by falling off roofs, ladders, and step-stools where people underestimate the potential for trouble.

Learn respect for your tools, but try to stop being scared of them. You'll enjoy woodworking more and won't teach your granddaughter unreasonable fear.

Steve

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 02:15 PM
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Well said Steve. Respect and fear are two entirely different entities. Fear needs to be replaced with good work practices and good planning on how to do the job safely. Fear tends to cloud the mind and adversely affect good judgement.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, you guys are right. Scared is not the right frame of mind. Healthy respect is better, with those good practices and planning. I stand corrected

As for the blade height, I like the bottom of the gullet. I had not heard that before. I had heard and practiced having the blade just above the surface, but recently learned that can increase the likelihood of kickback, but did not like the notion of the blade sticking up a huge amount. Bottom of the gullet sounds really good.

Rick
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 08:09 AM
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Rick,

I took some more pictures of my crosscut sled. The first two pictures show how the stop on the sled and the rail of the table saw. The third picture show the miter guide attached to the sled via an insert nut. The black knob attaches the guide. The forth picture shows the removable insert out of the sled. The fifth picture shows two inserts: one for 90 degree cuts and one for 45 degree cuts. I guess that you could make as many inserts as you want. When you use the 45 degree insert, you must replace the table saw insert with one that will allow for a 45 degree cut. Hope this helps.

Frank
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Rick,

I took some more pictures of my crosscut sled. ...snip...
Hope this helps.

Frank
Thank you, Frank. That is very informative and very interesting. I like it. A bit more involved than I'm going to do now, but almost exactly what I was thinking of for later.

Rick

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 08:05 PM
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Don't care for the concept of the saw stop myself. I feel it instills confidence in people that the saw will keep them from getting harmed badly. But gadgets are known to fail at times. I prefer some fear of the tool, so I pay attention to what I'm doing to keep me from getting hurt. That's worked for me for around 68 years. And if the saw stop is 'used', I understand the replacement whatever is not cheap.
I own a SawStop cabinet saw and the thought of relaxing my safety standards when using the SawStop never enters my mind. It gets treated with the same respect as any of my power tools. The cost of a new cartridge and saw blade will be about $150; this is pretty cheap in comparison to a trip to the emergency room.
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