T-track

I have a older Craftsman contractor table saw with the motor hanging out the back. The miter slot is the standard 'not 3/4' that craftsman uses. Does anyone know of a source for track that will fit this slot on the craftsman TS?
Paul T.
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UHMW plastic, trim to fit, attach to bottom of sled or whatever
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Hello, I posted my solution to this issue a couple of days ago. I'm not exactly sure what your slots look like but mine (also craftsman) had a ridge in the center of the slot and four 'rabbit ears' (two closest to front of saw, two closest to back). My slots are 3/8" x 5/8". The table top is cast aluminum.
What I did is file the rabbit ears even with the slot sides. Their shape restricts the height of the slot from 3/8" to a little less (roughly 1/16" if I recall). Thus you have to use a very thin bar with them and any screws on the bar must be dead center to slide without catching on them. Next I routed the slot flat. again, there was a ridge in mine, roughly 1/32", possibly 1/16". Leaving the ridge would ensure any slide would rock over it, side to side and also reduces full height of slot and use of a decent miter slot bar. The slots, prior to routing flat, may not be level with the table, (mine weren't) which is another problem because your bar would ride at an angle. This process was very very easy, took about 30 minutes using metal file and router with flat bit. The only thing to be careful about it to not file the sides of the slot and make sure you only take off what you need from the slot when routing. The table top (mine at least) was very soft aluminum and easily cut.
After that I had a 3/8" x 5/8" slot I could use flat bar stock for any jigs. Now comes the seemingly tricky part. Standard slots are 3/8 x 3/4, which means that any 'standard' jig you buy will not fit (too wide). You could widen the slot but I'm concerned there probably isn't much metal there to give up, also you'd have to be very careful to not throw the slot out of alignment with the blade. Thus, what I did, was ordered custom metal from an online source. What you want is either aluminum or steel flat bar. I ordered mine from MetalsDepot (see Google). You have to special order it but it's pretty cheap. I ordered 4 aluminum bars, 3" long, 3/8"x5/8" and they cost me about $11.84/ea. It took about 3 days for them to come in. You could order steel for more rigidity but I find these aluminum strips very solid. They don't even compare to the crappy slot that came with the original miter gauge. They make a rock solid fit and slide with ease.
Metals Depot address: http://www.metalsdepot.com/index.phtml?aident
Now you could order plastics to fit as well. The most common plastic used for slides is Ultra-High Molecular Weight Plastic (UHMW). Again, you'd have to have the plastic custom cut but it's probably not terribly expensive. Good places to get plastic from include Interstate Plastics or United States Plastics Corp. Both will custom cut material for you and offer a wide selection of possible plastics with very detailed information about their use, potential applications and when not to use them.
Interstate Plastics address: http://www.interstateplastics.com/materials /
USPC address: http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.asp
For standard applications there are a couple of good sources to get T or U track as well as standard sized UHMW. LeeValley/Veritas is where I'd go first, then Rockler then Hartford Tool. These are good places to get standard track for jigs you may build yourself where you're not limited to the slot size of the Craftsman saw (i.e. drill press table, router table, etc.). I prefer LeeValley/Veritas over them all but that's just me.
A note on using UHMW vs. Aluminum. UHMW slides like a dream against a miter slot but it wants to flex/bow/cup/curve. Many people use them for things like Miter sleds, and for such a use UHMW is great because the weight of the sled/jig counters the flex of the UHMW bar. Also, low friction is great when sliding heavy objects. However, in my experience I would go with the Aluminum. It is sturdy, easily machined and if one desires low friction they can buy and affice UHMW tape to the bottom (which LeeValley/Veritas, Rockler, Hartford Tools as well as industrial suppliers like Enco and MSC) all sell (currently $10.30 for a 1 inch x18 foot roll at LeeValley/Veritas). Thus you get rigidity, durability and low friction.
Hope this helps.
P.Thorsted wrote:

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P.Thorsted wrote:

I realize this doesn't give you the where, but it should help with the what...
http://www.woodbutcher.net/miterslot.htm
This page has the size/shape of the miterslots and matches for ya...
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