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 Post subject: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:56 pm 
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A sled is such a valuable tool, I'm always surprised when I hear someone say they never heard of it. I guess it's more of a cabinet maker's jig, but still, this thing has so much use in carpentry too. (carpentry is my trade).

These pics are of the third one I made. The first one just wore out and got damaged by the weather. The second one went away when I sold my old saw.

So this is my third one... A couple of key features are the big, oversized, box on the end... The "extra long" runners... and the quality old "tight grain" wood for the rails.

Image

Image

The oversized box is mostly just a safety feature, but it also makes a good place to put my sharpening stone when needed. .... a pony clamp hold the sled still.

The extra long runners make it lean nicely against a wall. Very stable, and the ground never touches either fence.

The fences are made from some old Douglass Fir that used to be the front wall of a house. It was 1" thick T&G, 8" wide, nice tight grain and all... I guess there's a lot of different sticks that would work fine for the fences, as long as they're straight and stable, but I had these pieces in my scraps.. I never throw out a piece of premium old wood!

I made the sled long enough so that I can turn it upside down and use it as a saw cover... it fits together nicely that way... but, Ideally, it would be at least 30" long so that it could be used for cutting tapered table legs.

Is there anything that you guys would add to the design?


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:30 pm 
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JIM2: Sled looks good and I really like the safety box. No big deal and probably used once in a blue moon, but I'd scribe the saw kerfs (both edges) on the front and back fences to the top edge of the fence. Another thought, depending on the work you do, would be to figure a way to have a higher fence so you could more easily add a clamp(s) if needed for some reason. From the pics it looks like it would be hard to just snap on a clamp in the area of the safety box.

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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:10 am 
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I've got more than a couple sleds for my saw. Various angle cuts/miters/etc. One giant one for cabinet doors. A smaller one for ... smaller pieces. I use beech or maple for the runners. It would be interesting to hear how everyone goes about making her/his sled(s).

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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:43 pm 
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I have made several sleds over the years and still have some of the specialty ones that I use from time to time.
The last one I made, I went overboard with. :) The extension wing is removable but, I seldom remove it. It helps a bunch when cutting longer stock.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:47 pm 
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Rapid Roger wrote:
I have made several sleds over the years and still have some of the specialty ones that I use from time to time.
The last one I made, I went overboard with. :) The extension wing is removable but, I seldom remove it. It helps a bunch when cutting longer stock.

Image


When I clicked on the picture, it took me to your photobucket Roger... There was another picture that shows a block on the fence, to the left of the blade, and it looks like it's moveable.. What does that piece do? I don't get it...

Nice sled though! :thumbup: My saw is a portable jobber, the fence only goes out to 28", so sometimes I'll screw an auxiliary fence to the sled, for when I need a stop block at more than 28". But it comes off when I'm done because I don't have enough space as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:24 pm 
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DennisS wrote:
I've got more than a couple sleds for my saw. Various angle cuts/miters/etc. One giant one for cabinet doors. A smaller one for ... smaller pieces. I use beech or maple for the runners. It would be interesting to hear how everyone goes about making her/his sled(s).


I make em out of scraps, so this new one wound up with Doug Fir for the runners, but at least it's a nice tight grained piece... An older sled that I made, had Purple Heart for the runners. Purple heart makes for some really good runners..

For making it, I start by finding the best specimens I have in my scraps. Imo, the species isn't as important as the piece itself. Even Douglas fir is pretty good stuff "if it's a good piece". I have some old pieces of Doug Fir that used to be part of houses that were built in the 50s, and that wood is far superior to anything found in a modern 2X4. The best pieces come from old doors. Doors always have super straight, tight, grain.. and it's actually quite stable, even in the weather.

So I get all the milling done (fences and runners), and then I attach the runners to the base. I always use 1/4" ply for the base because I don't want to lose any depth of cut. ... I usually run a blade stabilizer, so the 10" blade only has a 2" depth capacity left.. minus a 1/4" for the base, and it's already down to 1-3/4"... and it really becomes a big deal when cutting at a 45* bevel. I don't like when I have to stop what I'm doing to remove the stabilizer, but it happens sometimes.

So now, with the runners screwed and glued to the base, I raise the blade through the base and cut about halfway through the length of it (I hope that makes sense). I use that kerf to align the main fence with a framing square. (both fences get glued and screwed). If I have a big enough scrap of ply, I make a spreader to set the back fence, to make sure it's perfectly parallel. But I don't sweat the back fence too much... One of these days I might need it for a jig, but it never happened yet :wink:

To finish, I build the blade box and attach it to the whole thing. That box helps to keep the main fence square to the base, and it gives the runners some support too... That helps a lot because the plywood base is only 1/4" thick, and the runners help to keep it "reasonably" flat.

[edit] PS, I've seen sleds made with a 1/4" sheet of lexan (plexiglass) for the base. Looks like a sweet setup, but that stuff ain't cheap!


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:56 pm 
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newtooth wrote:
JIM2: Sled looks good and I really like the safety box. No big deal and probably used once in a blue moon, but I'd scribe the saw kerfs (both edges) on the front and back fences to the top edge of the fence. Another thought, depending on the work you do, would be to figure a way to have a higher fence so you could more easily add a clamp(s) if needed for some reason. From the pics it looks like it would be hard to just snap on a clamp in the area of the safety box.



Haha! Good eye Newtooth! You're absolutely right about that.. "You caught me"... heheheheh

I think I restricted the height of the fence because it was a comfortable height where my fingers can still reach the table.

The height of the blade box is non negotiable, as it has to be able to cover the blade when the blade is all the way up. But, after I put the box on there, I realized my mistake... It's only about 1/2" below the top of the fence... I guess maybe I should've made the fence about half-inch taller....

But it doesn't bother me too much because I can always just make a longer stop block/jig or whatever, and clamp it wherever I can... and, I wouldn't hesitate to run screws through that fence if needed, "with pilot holes of course" ;) ...


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:08 am 
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Jim2 wrote:
Rapid Roger wrote:
I have made several sleds over the years and still have some of the specialty ones that I use from time to time.
The last one I made, I went overboard with. :) The extension wing is removable but, I seldom remove it. It helps a bunch when cutting longer stock.



When I clicked on the picture, it took me to your photobucket Roger... There was another picture that shows a block on the fence, to the left of the blade, and it looks like it's moveable.. What does that piece do? I don't get it...

Nice sled though! :thumbup: My saw is a portable jobber, the fence only goes out to 28", so sometimes I'll screw an auxiliary fence to the sled, for when I need a stop block at more than 28". But it comes off when I'm done because I don't have enough space as it is.


Well Jim, as I said, I went overboard with this one. :)
The block you see has a matching one on the back fence too, and yes it is movable. There is also a wide gap in the bed to the left of the blade also.
This is suppose to let you use a dado blade or tilt (my saw tilts to the left) with the same sled by loosening the knobs and sliding the smaller section of the bed to the left.
This feature was included on the plans from a magazine that I used. I have never used this ability of the sled as it would really mess up the fences after awhile of course.
"OVERKILL" is my middle name! LOL

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Dont badmouth no strangers, they just friends you aint met yet.

An ounce of responsibility is worth a pound of State and Federal laws.

I spent most of my money on woodworking
tools and beer, the rest I just wasted.


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:18 pm 
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Rapid Roger wrote:
Well Jim, as I said, I went overboard with this one. :)
The block you see has a matching one on the back fence too, and yes it is movable. There is also a wide gap in the bed to the left of the blade also.
This is suppose to let you use a dado blade or tilt (my saw tilts to the left) with the same sled by loosening the knobs and sliding the smaller section of the bed to the left.
This feature was included on the plans from a magazine that I used. I have never used this ability of the sled as it would really mess up the fences after awhile of course.
"OVERKILL" is my middle name! LOL


Thanks Roger, that sounds like a cool feature! :thumbup:

I always hate it when I have to make that first 45* cut and it ruins the nice "zero clearance" kerf.

Now I have something else to incorporate into the next one I make... I like overkill sometimes too :D


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:23 am 
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I just came across this old vid, and at the end of it, I like the way the sled is offset to the left.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/01/ ... d=75032115

The overhang on the left side of the table would be real useful. I was just using my sled today, and that overhang would make it a lot easier to attach stops to it.

The high spot in the middle of the fence is a cool feature too.

I like the name he used too... "Crosscut boat"... I never heard that one before..


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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:21 am 
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Jim2 wrote:
I just came across this old vid, and at the end of it, I like the way the sled is offset to the left.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/01/ ... d=75032115

The overhang on the left side of the table would be real useful. I was just using my sled today, and that overhang would make it a lot easier to attach stops to it.

The high spot in the middle of the fence is a cool feature too.

I like the name he used too... "Crosscut boat"... I never heard that one before..


Don't mean to distract from TS sleds, and I've also made several specialty ones. But I also have sleds for the router table and bandsaw. This one I use for ripping small logs (under 10" dia, and 4' long).

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Table saw sleds
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Nice rig Gene! :thumbup:


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