Think three times, measure twice, cut once


I was making a new sled for the table saw that addressed some deficiencies I'd found in the old one. One thing I wanted to to was make it longer front to back so I could put the fence in from the part that I pushed with that I wouldn't be leaning over the saw at the end of the cut, and to help keep my hands away from the blade.
So I carefully measured and cut a piece of Baltic Birch for the base, marked it up, and was all set to start drilling and routing various slots and holes when the awful realization dawned on me--while I had precisely measure it, I had precisely measured it THE SAME SIZE as the one I was replacing.
Lesson learned: Think first, before you measure.
Didn't cost me anything but a little bit of plywood that I'm sure I'll find a use for eventually, so it's a cheap lesson, but I figured it was worth sharing.
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I took some time and built a very accurate smaller sled, maybe 24" wide by 15" deep to use for cross cutting stick type work. Used 1/2" mdf for the base, light, flat, waxed it and it is speedy. I made dual runners from oak, it was tight and square. Nicely smoothed everywhere a hand touches it. Nice blade protection out the back. Nice sliding stop block with quick clamp. A dream to use.
Then the weather changed and it jammed in the miter slots. Lots of sanding, testing and looking for shiney spots on the runners and more sanding. Back in beautiful shape. Then the weather changed. Sloppy to the point it is no longer zero clearance.
Time to rebuild and buy adjustable runners.
Live and learn.
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HDPE. The shit is the...errr...shit for runners. Stable, easy to work, slides like greased snot and it won't bark if you accidentally drop the sled in your bathtub. The MDF is another matter.
R
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The runner issue is easy to fix:
http://www.woodpeck.com/incramiterslide.html#52
On 8/19/2010 1:44 PM, RicodJour wrote:

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On 8/19/2010 1:19 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

I need to put together a howto on making adjustable runners. That's one thing the sled I have has on it. The new one's going to have the same only UHMW.
The basic idea is simple--make the runner on the same principle as the locking ones for featherboards in <http://lumberjocks.com/Gord/blog/2080 , but use the countersunk screw to adjust instead of to lock.
Along the length put 3 or 4 or however many you need of the slots and countersunk screws. In between put some counterbored holes. Put counterbored holes on the _top_ of the sled deep enough to hold a blind nut a little below the surface (or if you want to get fancy and the sled is thick enough use threaded inserts). Once it's all together, put in your flathead screws with a little blue Loctite (the repositionable kind) and tighten them to adjust the fit. If things loosen up tighten them down a little more, if things tighten up then loosen them a little.
I'll try to get a picture or two up to show the principle.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote: ...

...
Nah, time to move to where it doesn't rain so much...or more continusously, maybe for the other direction solution! :)
--
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If you really want to do it right have somebody jump into the planning and measuring in the middle of things... you'll have a lot more small pieces to work with. ;~(
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