type of material to make crosscut sled

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wrote:

Exactly.
A little bit of both, sometimes with a tiny bit of variance. Don't get me wrong the SCMS is plenty accurate for typical trim jobs, baseboard, flooring, and of course, anything that requires less accuracy, like rough shortening or framing work.
For furniture or cabinet work, the table saw is the rig of choice. I know pro finish guys who drag Unisaws from job to job.
Of course dados and rabbets are a whole 'nuther story. While they can be routed, my own personal preference is the sled and table saw for dadoing, rabbets get cut as rips with a dado set.
Barry
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And that sled is nothing more then 3/4 ply and ??? thick fences? I like the way that seems to perform for you. Side support is high on my list of things to accomplish.
SteveP.
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On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 09:34:21 -0400, "Steven P"
An 4/4 ash front and 8/4 ash rear fence. If the wood starts to lift the sled, I put a paint can or a weight plate, as in barbell, to offset things.
Barry
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Best bet, if you are stuck with HD plywood, is to buy a sheet (or a 1/2 sheet) of 1/2" plywood ... the best grade they have and as flat as you can find.
Forego the 2 X lumber completely.
Use the 1/2" thickness plywood for your base.
The make a laminated fence(s) by cutting multiple identical parts and glue them together with a good wood glue to a desired thickness. No need to clamp, just screw the fence parts together with well placed screws.
This way you get a better depth of cut with the 1/2" thick base, and you get the dimensional stability of plywood throughout your sled parts.
Use hardwood runners for your miter slots ... HD oak is fine, and you won't need much.
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I personally only really use the sled for panels, so 3/4" stock isn't going to cut into my max depth too much. I used baltic birch, but it fell out of square so I decided to make a new one. I'm thinking MDF. Cheap and flat. I hear a lot about MDF swelling, but in my experience, unless untreated and submerged, this really isn't a problem. I'll use Watco, paint or formica for to seal it. The extra weight is nice so the side of a bookcase won't pull the sled off the table.
On my old sled I had a fence made out of 2 3/4" pieces of MDF glued together and then laminated on both side with some old formica I had laying around. I was stupid and used glue and the nail gun to fasten it to the base. The nails almost always split the MDF a little, meaning my fence was out of square a little, wherever there was a nail. Did some research and read Pat Warner's article about tapping MDF. Seems like the best option, but I would like to hear any opinions.
What kind of wood would be recommend for the fence? I have maple, cherry, walnut, mdf and plywood on hand. Any suggestions? I may go the same route with the MDF but am consider one of those longer fences that extend past the end of the table. Maybe 50" long. ( per this style http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/CrosscutSleds/CrosscutSledArticle.pdf )
I'm tired of ruining a bookshelf when making that final trim cut and want to do this right.
Chuck
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I'm still very happy with Sled #2. 1/2" Baltic Birch for base; MDF for the fence. BB is a great/stable plywood. 1/2" is nice thickness (1/4" too thin - flex) 3/4" a smidge heavy. Not a fan of MDF for base - heavy and dingable. If I couldn't find BB, I'd buy the nicest sheet of Plywood HD had - or pick up some ApplePly from a local lumber yard.
Fence needs to be square and flat. That's where MDF, as a man-made product, excels. Fence #2 was a 1x6"x6' hunk of primed MDF from HD. Cut in two - glued together to make it 1 3/4" thick. Bandsaw'd to produce pleasing curves.
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Melamine rocks as a sled material---it is slippery, flat, and easy to work with. Only drawback is that it is bloody heavy and thus may pull your fences out of shape from putting it on and taking it off the table, but you are probably going to be building new sleds long before that happens. :)
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Being completely anal about a sled this time, I just DAGS and here are the highlights:
http://www.inthewoodshop.org/projects/xcutsled.shtml     this whole page is a good referenece http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/CrosscutSleds/crosscutsled_design_guide.html     also a good all around reference, especially the "materials" section http://home.earthlink.net/%7Esonnypie/sledding.htm http://www.woodworking.com/articles/index.cfm?fa=show&idR     -Don't set the rear fence at the very edge of the base. If you set it in an inch, it will protect the fence from bumps and jarring when off the saw. http://32mm.dalrun.com/System_Tools/Cutting/sled.html     -3/4 strip with stops that fits on the end of the table extension http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/etip030822wb.html     -add a chamfer for dust relief http://www.hannawoodworks.com/crosscutsleds.html     -the cross bar pieces of wood between the fence are interesting, I wonder if it would help keep the fences square over the long haul. PITA to slid the panels in though.
Still would be interested to hear what material people would use on one of those long 50" fences.
Chuck
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Used 1/2" Baltic birch for the base. laminated two pieces of the same for the front and back fences, and cut maple strips for the runners.
I sealed the top of the base with poly, waxed the bottom with finishing wax.
The design was from Kelly Mehler's "The Table Saw Book" Bc path.walk.at.cen.tury.tel.net
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Just made one out of MDF. I like working with it more than ply. Heavier than ply, but it's my preference to use it. Whatever you use, seal it all around and wax the bottom. Mark
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I made mine from 1/4" plywood from Home Depot. It was fine when I made it. But after I left it in my garage woodshop for a couple weeks, it bowed (because of the relatively high humidity level). I had already put finish on the plywood when I made the sled; but that didn't prevent it from becoming bowed.
On the other hand, a piece of unfinished MDF that I left near the ground level (4" off the ground) for one year is still straight.
When I re-do mine, I will use MDF or melamine.
Jay Chan
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Howdy!

I've used some leftover laminate flooring, shiny-side down.
It's stiff and flat and has served me well for my purposes...
yours, Michael
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