Alternative TS sled

I have a long drive home every day, which gets me to thinking. Tonight I was thinking about how much of a pain my tablesaw sled is. It's made of 3/4" ply and mounted on an old 8" saw.
I won't be replacing that saw soon, because I'd rather replace it with something that's a bit out of my budget at the time. But that sled stops me from making through cuts on thicker wood. I have to take one cut and then flip to complete.
I was thinking that if the sled was of thinner material, it would give me more cutting depth, but thinner wood is asking for trouble. So I thought of aluminum. And immediately wondered why I'd never heard of an aluminum sled. Which makes me think that someone has thought of it and rejected it for some really good reason that I couldn't come up with.
Is there a reason that a TS sled can't be made out of 1/4" aluminum plate?
Tanus
--
This is not really a sig.

http://users.compzone.ca/george/shop /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The only downside that I can think of would be metal chips in your workpieces but as long as you're always using a carbide tipped blade that will cut aluminum I don't see why it could not work. I assume you'll use AL runners too, that will keep the baseplate 1/16 or 1/32 above the tabletop to reduce friction.
J.
Tanus wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you're continually cutting your sled, you're doing something wrong.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tanus wrote:

David Marks uses an Aluminum miter sled. http://www.djmarks.com/woodworks/mitersled.asp
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ken wrote:

And Incra makes one with two halves that move independently thus making a nifty cross cut sled as well as a miter sled with Incra's legendary accuracy.
It will just great with that new Unisaw or whatever you're longing for, Tanus!
http://www.incra.biz/Products/MiterExpress.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is not aluminum.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The reason aluminum is not used is because most of us are thinking ahead. If you buy a new SawStop model, you'll have to go into bypass mode to safely use the aluminum sled. We don't want to have to make a new sled for the new saw.
Glad I could help :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tanus wrote:
> Is there a reason that a TS sled can't be made out of 1/4" aluminum plate?
Check the price of a piece of 1/4" aluminum and get back to me.
There are other reasons, but initial cost will be a biggie.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
2$ a pound up here at the scrap dealer.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If your scrap dealer has a piece of 1/4" plate aluminum that's large enough, and flat enough, to make a table saw sled, then you should get right on that.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Scrap is the key word there. Try manufacturing a sled with a perfectly flat and smooth surface and see what that would cost you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Scrap doesn't necessarily mean bent and twisted. Around here, you can buy aluminum "scrap" in all shapes and sizes, including 4'x8' sheets. If a manufacturer has excess that they don't need, it is sold as scrap. As there are lots of aircraft manufacturers around here, scrap is anything that is undocumented. All aircraft materials have to have documentation going back to the manufacturer. If it doesn't, it can't be used.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The scrap part may indeed be the key, but the flatness is irrelevant. How many chunks of plywood that most sleds are made out of are any much flatter than a piece of aluminum? Perfectly flat?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Compared to most scrap metal I have seen, the plywood is very flat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mine is 1/2" ply; does the extra 1/4" mean that much? I know it is an 8" saw...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sure, if serviceability's not a problem should the bed be damaged. Otherwise, I use 3/8" birch ply on a 10" saw. Can't see any reason why 1/4" ply wouldn't work. You could also build a "flying Dutchman" type sled, which has an overbuilt fence straddling two runners and no bed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi,     One minor problem is that if you slide the wood around on the aluminum you might get some dark smudges. Often the better quality Al parts are hard anodized.
    My sled is 1/4" hardboard and it woks fine. Actually I have a panel cutting sled and a cutoff sled which extends about 18" beyond both sides of the blade.
Thanks Roger Haar ***************************************** Tanus wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tanus wrote:

Thank you all for your responses. I have to admit that I hadn't, and still haven't, checked out the price of a slab of aluminum. I may not bother either. The idea of 1/4" hardboard appeals to me. I wouldn't have thought that something that thin that wasn't metal would work but I'm willing to try that first.
If not, I'll call the guys who might have Al pieces and price it out.
Tanus
--
This is not really a sig.

http://users.compzone.ca/george/shop /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Have you considered polycarbonate or phenolic? My TS sled is made of 1/2" Baltic Birch ply but I would think that 1/4" phenolic would work well.
Max
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mt sled is 3/8 ply, a piece of 2x4 and a piece of 2x6. Works great.
--
You can't PLAN sincerity. You have to make it up on the spot! -- Denny Crane

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.