Cross-cut sled

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    Well, today I finally broke down and finished a cross-cut sled for the tablesaw. This was motivated by needing more square cuts than I could get with the miter gauge; no matter how hard I tried to adjust the gauge. This problem was really evident when cutting material for the Leigh jig.
    Now I'm wondering why I waited so long (OK, one reason was because I didn't want to take the time). The test cuts have come out to less than 0.0015" over 5", which equates to less than 0.003 out of square over 12". Much better than anything I could have gotten with the miter gauge.
    I had built one of these several years ago using oak and plywood -- the mistake I made with the original was that I made it too large -- it was unwieldy and a pain to try to put on the saw and use. In addition, the plywood I used from Payless Cashway was not stable enough to remain flat. The new one is smaller, easily placed on the saw, and made using an MDF base for stability.
    The only thing I am uncomfortable with is that I see no way to emply a splitter with a sliding table; I suspect this won't be a problem, but I'm not used to using the saw without one for through cuts.
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On Sat, 22 May 2004 05:00:40 GMT, Mark & Juanita

You really don't need a splitter for cross cuts.
Barry
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Please see my questions below:
<Deletia>

could have gotten > with the miter gauge.

How did you measure the squareness this accurately?
<Deletia>

Why do you need one for this kind of cutting?
Agkistrodon
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On Sat, 22 May 2004 12:09:15 GMT, "Agki Strodon"

Machinist's square and feeler gauge

I probably don't, the two potential issues I see are if the piece being cut tries to close on itself and to provide some additional protection to keep the off-cut piece from contacting the back of the blade.

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I used Eds P's advice and got mine down to 0 .00000015 outta square in 5 inches ( whew! I though I would have to do some sanding..) My Gawd,,, my wood expands and contracts more than that from day to night
Serously the proven method for making a crosscut sled is just what Ed stated... make the thing then screw on the back platform try and try and try when your happy GLUE IT.. I remember my first one I made it so perfect so I guled it together,,, then had to knock it apart, lose an inch to re-align the thing thanks
PS I use "SLIPIT" lube ( Non silicon) to lube the sliders--- great stuff ..

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In rec.woodworking

3.8 nanometers. Not bad :) That is less than the width of 2 hydrogen atoms. I'm impressed.
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Is there a way to get those hydrogen atoms out of the way for a closer fit? Ed
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wrote:

Sure, but you need a shop-vac. It's simple physics, right? After all, nature abhors a vacuum.
tt
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Being a newbie, with a sled on the next to-do list, was wondering if you used both miter slots or if you used just one? I am wondering how to get two rails aligned with the sled's base, with the slots, so it wont stick when you push the sled through the board?
Thanks,
KB

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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Make them a little less thick than the slot is deep, and shim them up when you do the initial assembly. This gives you a little clearance between the bottom of the rail and the bottom of the slot for sawdust and gunk to fall into and not interfere with the motion.
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"Roy Smith" wrote in message

Good point ... the easiest way to do this, and to get the runners up against the base, is with two dimes in each miter slot underneath the runners. Dimes are just the right thickness for this "clearance".
Of course, since this is an "international forum", you may not be able to do this ... but you will at least have one more reason to hate us here in the US.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/15/04
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Swingman wrote:

Hi Swingman,
sorry if my reminder that not everyone here is a USian upset you - it certainly wasn't meant to.
Bob Martin
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"Bob Martin" wrote in message

That it did NOT, Bob ... it had nothing to do with your remark, which I must of overlooked in any event, sorry.
It just so happens I was listening to NPR on the shop radio this morning (all the other stations are either in their bi-annual menstrual cycles, bleeding for money, or broadcasting paid-advertisement-live-forever-modern-snake-oil-health-potions from Doctor's who graduated last in their class).
NPR was taking great delight, nay gloating, for the umpteenth f*cking time, about just how much "the whole world hates Americans".
Perhaps if NPR, and the rest of the media, could comprehend just how much I really give a shit, they'd maybe lay off, eh?
--
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There are many little tricks, but the basic philosophy is to lay the runners in the miter slots _before_ you attach them, then position the base of the sled on top of the runners, fastening them temporarily to the base with small screws from the top (or alternately, with pre-positioned double sided tape on the runners).
TIP: use your fence as a guide for the right edge of the sled base during this above operation.
Now carefully remove the entire assembly without upsetting the position of the runners, and permanently mount them to the bottom of the base with the remaining screws.
The next trick is to get the back fence of the sled perpendicular to the saw blade once the runners are in place.
The philosophy behind this is to fasten one _end_ of the fence with a screw to the base, and the opposite end of the fence to the base through a slightly oversize screw hole, just big enough to give you a bit of wiggle room for adjustment on ONE end.
Screw both ends down, make a cut, flip just one of the pieces edge for edge and see if the cut edges have a gap. If so, loosen the single screw (on the oversized hole end of the fence) and move the fence slightly in the appropriate direction, then re-tighten and repeat the steps until there is no gaps between the cut edges when one is flipped.
Your fence is now aligned perpendicular with the blade. Remove the sled and add more screws, through the base, to the fence to hold it securely in position.
TIP: Do not glue the back fence to the base as you may have to remove all but the original two screws at some point in the future if the parts move due to the dimensional instability of wood.
As stated, this is just one method of many.
--
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That's how I did it

I made this easier by putting more than two screws in the runners before removing from the saw (I used 4 along the length of the sled on the table).

I took a slightly different approach. I did attach the one end with a single screw. I then made the initial cut in the sled, cutting to about 1" from where the back fence would be attached. Using a machinist's square, I then moved the back fence to as near square as detectable with fingernail and feeler gauge. I then clamped down the back fence and used a single screw to hold the fence down. I made a test cut and measured the deviation with the machinist's square and feeler gauge. The first cut was off a bit, so I used a rubber mallet to "adjust" the fence in the correct direction. After a couple of tries, I got the measurements I alluded to in my original post. After getting that precision, I then screwed down the back fence with multiple screws to keep it in place.
... snip
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wrote:

Depends on the size of the sled.
Lookie here: <http://www.bburke.com/wood/sleds.htm
Barry
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B a r r y wrote:

Good page!
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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wrote:

Thanks!
I need more sleds, though. I'd like to add a "reader submission" section for more ideas. Mine almost all look the same, with the same design.
Barry
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