As far as I can tell, the standard material for Cross Cut Sled runners is hardwood and typically 2 are used. However, I saw a couple of plans that use aluminum as the runners and even one that suggests a single miter gauge bar as the only runner.
I think I see advantages and disadvantages of all options, but I'd like to hear your opinions.
"2 hardwood runners is the way that it's always been done" will not automatically be considered an "advantage". ;-)
On 02/02/2015 2:38 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
I vote against Al because it tends to gall/stick worse than steel.
Other than that I have no real strong opinion although I am partial hard
maple as the material of choice simply 'cuz it's easiest to sneak up on
the prefect fit...even the purchased steel runners are typically a
Actually, was thinking after the previous I should've mentioned that --
I used one w/ my original Craftsman TS but it had unique slots that
didn't fit the PM when got it so let the sled go w/ the saw...
But, they make good stock albeit the size of sled is limited by their
length so for larger sleds may be short.
That is what I prefer. I have a large commercial cutting board which I
stopped using in the kitchen because of the accrued nicks and cut but which
works great at providing UHMW stock in the shop. I've been cutting bits and
pieces from it for years and it isn't even half gone yet. My _unique_
Robland saw has a bizarre oddly-sized dovetail slot (along with the sliding
table of course) and no standard fixture fits it. I don't try to match the
dovetail but a well sized runner works fine.
'sneak up' is the key here.
I've read (and it's true for my tablesaw) that Delta slots are a tad
over 3/4". This makes using a piece of 3/4" Aluminum bar not so good
unless I use both miter slots and shift the bars together (or apart) to
rub on a single edge. Every aftermarket miter slot dodad I have gives me
grief. The bulldog featherboard works great, but I have to tighten the
snot out of it to get the expanding wedge to grip the miter slot tightly.
Using wood lets you get a perfect fit.
On 2/7/15, 10:24 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have an Incra miter. This miter uses nylon 'washers' that expand
outwards with a screw. In theory it works fine, but on my table saw they
are expanded to the limit and tend to wear quickly. The original Delta
miter bar has a perfect fit, but the bar is too short to transfer it
over to my Incra. I can't really see how the bar sold by Rockler
adjusts, I assume it also expands where the slots are. A better solution
but with only two points of adjustment there would be issues when the
bar has only one of the points in the slot, such as when mitering a wide
I solved the problem by drilling a bunch of threaded holes through the
side of the Incra miter bar and installing set screws with the spring
loaded ball bearing tips (problem solved). Being that the OEM Delta bar
has a great fit, the sizes seem to be standard within a manufacture (my
old Craftsman saw had slots narrower than 3/4"). It would be nice to
just be able to buy a miter with a manufacture-specific bar.
On 2/8/15, 5:01 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Unisaur, 2002 thereabouts (Platinum 75th Ed.), .758"
My Incara bar is .728".
I have some of the blue anodized Rockler miter bar left over from my
router table. It measures .748" and is a bit too wobbly on the table saw.
Have a few TS sleds with both hardwood (oak) and aluminum runners over
ten years old, can only say there is no practical/noticeable difference
in accuracy over time thus far, the only thing I concern myself with.
The aluminum runners to be appear to be ever so slightly more subject to
the shop's ambient temperature (looses in cold, tighter in heat) but
that can easily be adjusted out.
For me it basically boils down to need and availability.
I've used hardwood and the aftermarket adjustable aluminum runners
available from different tool suppliers. If you're using two runners
then a perfect fit in the slot isn't that necessary because as long as
each runner is pushing against its slot opposite of the other, the sled
runs true and stable. In other words, if they are both pushing inward
or both pushing outward against the slots, you're good.
When only one runner is used, it has to fit the slot very well and being
adjustable might be preferred, so an aluminum pre-made runner might work
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