Advice on Table Saw Crosscut/Miter Sled - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 08:54 PM
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My comments are based on having built three 90 deg table saw sleds, one 45 deg table saw miter sled, and two bandsaw sleds.

1. Design should have adjustability because it won't stay in perfect alignment.
2. Use MDF instead of plywood because of dimensional stability. I have used both 1/2" and 3/4" MDF.
3. Hard plastic runners will maintain a good fit longer than wood. Be careful buying pre-cut plastic runners as they may be narrower than your miter slot. Runners that are too narrow can be compensated for by either moving the runners toward or away from each other. This means that only one edge of the runner is in contact with the edge of the miter slot.
4. For 1st sled, make it as small as it will be useful for your first application. View it as a prototype for the 2nd one that you will build. If you build the giant sled you need for cutting plywood cabinet sides, it will not be convenient for working with 3/4" x 2 1/2" cross section stock.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Sled Constructed. Finishes?

I've had more time to work on the sled than I expected, in the last couple days. It is largely constructed and I've checked its square using the 5-cut method and know how much it needs to be adjusted to bring it closer to square. It is acceptably square to my eye as is, but that will all change when I disassemble it to put the dust relief in the front bottom corner of the near fence. I'll also but a protective box over the blade exit and 1/4" radius corner round the fences.

I expect to put wax on the bottom to aid sliding, but I don't have any Johnsons or Liberon yet. While it is apart, I am inclined to put a finish on the whole thing, to seal the wood at least (all Baltic birch plywood except the runners). I do not recall reading about what sorts, if any, of finishes others have used. I am partial to Tung Oil.

I'd be interested in hearing what others have done.

Also, for the dust relief, I want it to be large enough to effective but not too large to affect thinner sheets I may need to cut, I'm thinking as thin as 1/8". But even 1/8" already seems possibly too short. Also, square or beveled?

Again, I'd be interested in hearing what others have done.

Rick
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 08:08 PM
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Rick - nice looking sled. I've never put any finish on my sled(s) but a coat of wax would certainly work. As far as the dust relief, you could go 1/8" and if you want to cut thin sheets you could always just clamp an auxiliary fence to the rear fence to cover the relief.

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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 12:24 PM
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I've never put finish on mine either but I do get my Waxilit out and wax the saw top once in a while.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Default 5-Cut Method Table Saw Sled Squaring: Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

I've spent a lot of time in the last day trying to square up the near fence on my newly constructed crosscut sled. I finally succeeded in getting it within 0.002" over 30", after the tenth attempt!

I thought I had this nailed after viewing William Ng's video and I went into the shop ready to whip it out. Everything seemed to be going very well initially, but then I could never get even close. I'd do the 5 cuts, being as careful as I could with every aspect. I kept chasing as it would get worse, then I'd start over. I was running out of room for new screw holes. I was about to give up and just eye-ball it with my large steel square. I even went back to the video a couple times to be sure I was doing each step correctly.

Last viewing, it dawned on me. I was rotating the plywood panel the wrong direction! William was rotating the panel clockwise so the most recent cut was against the fence. I was rotating it counter-clockwise. Instead of five cuts, each one accumulating the error, I was turning the panel to a side that had not just been cut each time, so the angles had no bearing to each other as far as accumulating the error.

As soon as I rotated the panel the correct way, I nailed it on the first try.

Pictured below is the nearly finished sled. The corners have been rounded, fence edges radiused and the bottom waxed. Prior to waxing, it slide ok, but took a slight bit of effort and there was one spot where it hung up a tiny bit. After waxing, if I'm not careful, with a very modest shove, it will sail all the way off the rear of the table. All that is needed now is the little guard box over the near fence blade exit.

I can now get on with using it and more importantly, get on with making a small workbench for my granddaughter to practice hammering, drilling and sawing. She is pretty pumped for that "I'm going to help you with everything".

BTW, DesertRatTom, I set her up to saw in half a dozen popsicle sticks for a project she and Mom were working on, making corral fences for the farm animals of her Brio wooden train set - using the Japanese pull saw you put me on to. Ganged the together so it was one single sawing operation, but she managed it like a trooper.

Rick
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:05 AM
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Nice looking sled. You will enjoy it. Relative to the saw dust relief slot, I too have used 1/8". I like to use a good quality draftsman's triangle to align the fence perpendicular to the saw kerf in the sled (not saw blade). Unfortunately, the triangle now drops into the saw dust stop.
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickKr View Post
I've spent a lot of time in the last day trying to square up the near fence on my newly constructed crosscut sled. I finally succeeded in getting it within 0.002" over 30", after the tenth attempt!

I thought I had this nailed after viewing William Ng's video and I went into the shop ready to whip it out. Everything seemed to be going very well initially, but then I could never get even close. I'd do the 5 cuts, being as careful as I could with every aspect. I kept chasing as it would get worse, then I'd start over. I was running out of room for new screw holes. I was about to give up and just eye-ball it with my large steel square. I even went back to the video a couple times to be sure I was doing each step correctly.

Last viewing, it dawned on me. I was rotating the plywood panel the wrong direction! William was rotating the panel clockwise so the most recent cut was against the fence. I was rotating it counter-clockwise. Instead of five cuts, each one accumulating the error, I was turning the panel to a side that had not just been cut each time, so the angles had no bearing to each other as far as accumulating the error.

As soon as I rotated the panel the correct way, I nailed it on the first try.

Pictured below is the nearly finished sled. The corners have been rounded, fence edges radiused and the bottom waxed. Prior to waxing, it slide ok, but took a slight bit of effort and there was one spot where it hung up a tiny bit. After waxing, if I'm not careful, with a very modest shove, it will sail all the way off the rear of the table. All that is needed now is the little guard box over the near fence blade exit.

I can now get on with using it and more importantly, get on with making a small workbench for my granddaughter to practice hammering, drilling and sawing. She is pretty pumped for that "I'm going to help you with everything".

BTW, DesertRatTom, I set her up to saw in half a dozen popsicle sticks for a project she and Mom were working on, making corral fences for the farm animals of her Brio wooden train set - using the Japanese pull saw you put me on to. Ganged the together so it was one single sawing operation, but she managed it like a trooper.

Rick
Don't look at the time spent as wasted, you learned something that caused you headaches and that usually stays with you a lot longer. Some of my most difficult HVAC troubleshooting problems are the ones I remember better because of the time it took and how it tested my patience. You can probably knock these out in your sleep now. Nice looking sled btw.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreilly View Post
Don't look at the time spent as wasted, you learned something that caused you headaches and that usually stays with you a lot longer. Some of my most difficult HVAC troubleshooting problems are the ones I remember better because of the time it took and how it tested my patience. You can probably knock these out in your sleep now. Nice looking sled btw.
Yes, it was a learning experience that I won't soon forget. It will come in handy if/when I make a sled for angled cuts, miter or a dado sled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfblack View Post
Nice looking sled. You will enjoy it. Relative to the saw dust relief slot, I too have used 1/8". I like to use a good quality draftsman's triangle to align the fence perpendicular to the saw kerf in the sled (not saw blade). Unfortunately, the triangle now drops into the saw dust stop.
Thanks. Yes, the relief slot. My large steel square also drops into the slot also. I was generating quite a few narrow, long strips of 1/4" Baltic birch plywood in the process, so I used one to lay in front of the fence so the square registered against the front face of the fence rather than the slot.

Rick

"If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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