table saw sled

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dimensions. . .I would be interested in some dimension you all have built. I don't want to build one I need help moving to the saw. I have a Delta contractor style saw with 30" Unifence and extension on a Delta mobile base. The panel body will be 1/2" Baltic birch, the two runners will be red oak and the front and rear fences will be from 2x lumber. Any suggestions and/or caveats would be much appreciated. I have done extensive web searching with at least 4 different search engines and nothing strikes me as what I would like. TIA.
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -
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SwampBug wrote:

don't want to build one I need help moving to the saw. I have a Delta contractor style saw with 30" Unifence and extension on a Delta mobile base. The panel body will be 1/2" Baltic birch, the two runners will be red oak and the front and rear fences will be from 2x lumber. Any suggestions and/or caveats would be much appreciated. I have done extensive web searching with at least 4 different search engines and nothing strikes me as what I would like.

I have exactly the saw set up you have.
Get Fred Bingham's book, Practical Yacht Joinery from the library and read the section on what he calls a SLAT, everybody here calls a sled.
After you read his reasons for making what he made, it may have some impact on what you build.
BTW, I build Bingham's version using 9 ply for the base and 13 ply for the fence.
A tad heavy, but it works great.
HTH
Lew
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I can search local libraries online but I do not see that book listed, tho I may have a chance at books-a-million. I am leaning towards what seems to be a 'large' sled'. I will gather parts cut to size and check weight then decide if smaller is better! Thanks.
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -
SwampBug wrote:

I have exactly the saw set up you have.
Get Fred Bingham's book, Practical Yacht Joinery from the library and read the section on what he calls a SLAT, everybody here calls a sled.
After you read his reasons for making what he made, it may have some impact on what you build.
BTW, I build Bingham's version using 9 ply for the base and 13 ply for the fence.
A tad heavy, but it works great.
HTH
Lew
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SwampBug wrote:

may have a chance at books-a-million. I am leaning towards what seems to be a 'large' sled'. I will gather parts cut to size and check weight then decide if smaller is better! Thanks.

Try searching for Fred Bingham.
Lew
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Oh, I will go there and inquire, bypass the 'modern conveniences'. . .<s> Thanks again.
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -
SwampBug wrote:

Try searching for Fred Bingham.
Lew
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I used 1/4" for the body panel. It is lighter and gets you a 1/4" closer to the saw. Just a bit more difficult to attach the fences. It has held up fine for a year now. (I also used 5/4 oak for the fences, but if you didn't happen to buy more than you will ever use for $0.50/bf, you probably wouldn't want to do that.)
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Ha! I should have access to 5/4 oak for $0.50/bf.. .<g> thanks.
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -
I used 1/4" for the body panel. It is lighter and gets you a 1/4" closer to the saw. Just a bit more difficult to attach the fences. It has held up fine for a year now. (I also used 5/4 oak for the fences, but if you didn't happen to buy more than you will ever use for $0.50/bf, you probably wouldn't want to do that.)
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"SwampBug" wrote in message dimensions. . .I would be interested in some dimension you all have built. I don't want to build one I need help moving to the saw. I have a Delta contractor style saw with 30" Unifence and extension on a Delta mobile base. The panel body will be 1/2" Baltic birch, the two runners will be red oak and the front and rear fences will be from 2x lumber. Any suggestions and/or caveats would be much appreciated. I have done extensive web searching with at least 4 different search engines and nothing strikes me as what I would like.
I have three in the shop right now. The most useful is a smaller one I just made a couple of weeks ago to cut a ton of drawer parts. It will cut a 13" panel if need be, but is the perfect size for about 90% of the smaller parts like aprons, table legs and drawer sides.
I've always had a tendency to use my sliding miter saw for crosscuts, but since making this particular sled I've been reaching for it instead.
Nothing fancy, but there is a picture, and some rough dimensions, on the Jigs portion of my site below ...if you have any questions, just ask away.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/14/05
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I like the proportions of your sled tho I find no dimensions. I am thinking 20x44 for the base but I will still have to use 2x lumber for fences. . .dressed of course. thanks.
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -
"SwampBug" wrote in message dimensions. . .I would be interested in some dimension you all have built. I don't want to build one I need help moving to the saw. I have a Delta contractor style saw with 30" Unifence and extension on a Delta mobile base. The panel body will be 1/2" Baltic birch, the two runners will be red oak and the front and rear fences will be from 2x lumber. Any suggestions and/or caveats would be much appreciated. I have done extensive web searching with at least 4 different search engines and nothing strikes me as what I would like.
I have three in the shop right now. The most useful is a smaller one I just made a couple of weeks ago to cut a ton of drawer parts. It will cut a 13" panel if need be, but is the perfect size for about 90% of the smaller parts like aprons, table legs and drawer sides.
I've always had a tendency to use my sliding miter saw for crosscuts, but since making this particular sled I've been reaching for it instead.
Nothing fancy, but there is a picture, and some rough dimensions, on the Jigs portion of my site below ...if you have any questions, just ask away.
-- www.e-woodshop.net Last update: 5/14/05
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<snip>

Mine look like Swingman's, for some strange reason. ;-) And I agree, the smallest gets the most use, and seems to be the most accurate.
The front and back fences in mine are dressed KD Vertical Grain Douglas Fir. A $20 2x6 that started straight and has stayed straight. An oak safety block has been attached to the blade exit point where thumbs might otherwise be endangered.
Patriarch
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I made one using a 24x48" piece of 1/2 inch birch ply -- I used the whole piece. Like you, I have a Delta Contractor Saw, and I like the stability of the sled this size. I can crosscut pieces up to about 22" wide.
One tip I came across when searching for plans was to cut a small rabbet along the bottom of the front fence (closer to you) to give the sawdust someplace to accumulate.
I used UHMW strips for the runners, because I didn't have any hardwood around.
Here's a couple URL's I saved when I was searching. Good luck, and have fun!
http://www.imaging.robarts.ca/~amulder/wood/j.sled2 / http://webpages.charter.net/pminmo/wood1.htm http://www.inthewoodshop.org/projects/xcutsled.shtml
SwampBug wrote:

don't want to build one I need help moving to the saw. I have a Delta contractor style saw with 30" Unifence and extension on a Delta mobile base. The panel body will be 1/2" Baltic birch, the two runners will be red oak and the front and rear fences will be from 2x lumber. Any suggestions and/or caveats would be much appreciated. I have done extensive web searching with at least 4 different search engines and nothing strikes me as what I would like.

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Thanks for the links and the tip on the sawdust relief. . .capital idea! <s> I'll need a helper to move that thang to the sawer. . .<s> -- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -
I made one using a 24x48" piece of 1/2 inch birch ply -- I used the whole piece. Like you, I have a Delta Contractor Saw, and I like the stability of the sled this size. I can crosscut pieces up to about 22" wide.
One tip I came across when searching for plans was to cut a small rabbet along the bottom of the front fence (closer to you) to give the sawdust someplace to accumulate.
I used UHMW strips for the runners, because I didn't have any hardwood around.
Here's a couple URL's I saved when I was searching. Good luck, and have fun!
http://www.imaging.robarts.ca/~amulder/wood/j.sled2 / http://webpages.charter.net/pminmo/wood1.htm http://www.inthewoodshop.org/projects/xcutsled.shtml
SwampBug wrote:

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Mine is 1/2" plywood, runners are hard maple, and the rear fence is 2x1/2" laminated plywood, about 8" high. The front fence is just a chunk of 2x6, neither as wide nor as flat as the other.
For years my rear fence was just glued onto the base, but after it got knocked over a couple of times (I leave it on the floor standing under the TS extension wing when I'm not using it) the wood (not the glue) gave way. So now it's screwed and glued in place. Make sure you don't screw it where the blade's going to go!
I periodically screw a block of wood at a 45 degree angle onto the middle of the sled. It's 90 degree leading corner acts as a fence when I want to cut complementary miters for picture frames and the like. Just make sure your rear fence isn't so wide that you're limited in the length of stock you can miter. Moving the block closer to the front of the sled would also give you more width to play with at the fence line. My rear fence is 28" wide.
The total width of the sled is 4'. It's depth is a little less than the depth of the table saw. You want to make sure it's not going to want to tip over once you push the fence past the centre of the blade. Sometimes mine does this and it's annoying, but it only does it when I go too far, maybe on the day I give the bottom a fresh rubbing of wax.
It's one of my most useful tools.
- Owen -
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I will consider the 'miter' feature with a shortened back fence. I may have need of that in the near future if I can't tame my Dewalt 12" CMS. How did you orient the grain in the runners, along the width(3/4") or the height(3/8")? Thanks
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -

Mine is 1/2" plywood, runners are hard maple, and the rear fence is 2x1/2" laminated plywood, about 8" high. The front fence is just a chunk of 2x6, neither as wide nor as flat as the other.
For years my rear fence was just glued onto the base, but after it got knocked over a couple of times (I leave it on the floor standing under the TS extension wing when I'm not using it) the wood (not the glue) gave way. So now it's screwed and glued in place. Make sure you don't screw it where the blade's going to go!
I periodically screw a block of wood at a 45 degree angle onto the middle of the sled. It's 90 degree leading corner acts as a fence when I want to cut complementary miters for picture frames and the like. Just make sure your rear fence isn't so wide that you're limited in the length of stock you can miter. Moving the block closer to the front of the sled would also give you more width to play with at the fence line. My rear fence is 28" wide.
The total width of the sled is 4'. It's depth is a little less than the depth of the table saw. You want to make sure it's not going to want to tip over once you push the fence past the centre of the blade. Sometimes mine does this and it's annoying, but it only does it when I go too far, maybe on the day I give the bottom a fresh rubbing of wax.
It's one of my most useful tools.
- Owen -
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I'm not sure. I have long grain parallel to the miter slot, and the runner fills the width of the slot, but not the depth (leaving room for some sawdust below it). In really humid weather it might make enough difference for me to add a bit of wax but I've never had any problems with binding or with slop. Maybe I don't understand the question.
- Owen -
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I apologize for the poorly worded question. Let me try this approach. . .if you view a runner on end as it sits on the saw , is the end grain vertical or horizontal? Seems like it would make a difference somehow. . .maybe it won't but I would still to know. <s>
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm not sure. I have long grain parallel to the miter slot, and the runner fills the width of the slot, but not the depth (leaving room for some sawdust below it). In really humid weather it might make enough difference for me to add a bit of wax but I've never had any problems with binding or with slop. Maybe I don't understand the question.
- Owen -
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wrote:

view a runner on end as it sits on the saw , is the end grain vertical or horizontal? Seems like it would make a difference somehow. . .maybe it won't but I would still to know. <s>
The grain oriented horizontally would probably be best, but I've honestly never paid attention on mine. <G>
Barry
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Ba r r y wrote:

you view a runner on end as it sits on the saw , is the end grain vertical or horizontal? Seems like it would make a difference somehow. . .maybe it won't but I would still to know. <s>

I think you are probably right. OTOH, I have two sleds and the grain is oriented vertically and I don't have any problem (but I live where high humidity is not a problem).
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I took a look, and the grain is oriented vertically, and I think I know why. The runners were ripped off the edge of a wide board that already had exactly the thickness I needed as the width. Now that you mention it, it seems like a good idea to pay attention next time (when I build my _fourth_ sled), but as I said before, it hasn't really been a problem.
For me the hardest part was making absolutely sure the fence was perpendicular to the blade. I wouldn't say these things are exactly easy to build, but that's me. I'm really glad for having done it, anyway.
- Owen -
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I was curious but with splitting in mind. Seems like one way would be more prone to splitting.
-- SwampBug - - - - - - - - - - - -

I took a look, and the grain is oriented vertically, and I think I know why. The runners were ripped off the edge of a wide board that already had exactly the thickness I needed as the width. Now that you mention it, it seems like a good idea to pay attention next time (when I build my _fourth_ sled), but as I said before, it hasn't really been a problem.
For me the hardest part was making absolutely sure the fence was perpendicular to the blade. I wouldn't say these things are exactly easy to build, but that's me. I'm really glad for having done it, anyway.
- Owen -
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