I'm building a crosscut sled.
I have a Rigid TS3650 which has the t-slots. I would love to find a
material for the miter slides that I could use that would take
advantage of the t-slot but I am coming up empty in my search.
Looking for any suggestions.
Why not use some phenolic strips (i.e. from lee valley), and do the same as a miter gauge.. Screw a washer in from the bottom?
wrote:<BR>> <BR>>>I'm building a crosscut sled.<BR>>><BR>>>I have a Rigid TS3650 which has the t-slots.
I would love to find a<BR>>>material for the miter slides that I could use
that would take<BR>>>advantage of the t-slot but I am coming up empty in
my search.<BR>> <BR>> You might try look here too.<BR>> <BR>>
</FONT><A href="http://www.woodpeck.com/tmiterchannel.html "><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.woodpeck.com/tmiterchannel.html </FONT></A><BR><FONT face=Arial size=2>> <BR>> Mike O.</FONT></BODY></HTML>
The answers so far have directed you to plain rectangular bars. From
your question, I'm guessing that you may be hoping to find a T section
I don't know of any T section bars commercially available. The T slots
in different brands of saws vary a bit in their dimensions, which may
be one reason no one has made bars available. They don't vary much,
but there are differences. In particular, in the thickness of the
"ledges" over the slot. All of the slots, however, should take a
standard 3/8" x 3/4" bar. You can get steel bar of this size in either
plain cold rolled or precision ground flat stock, at a local steel
distributor or by mail. In my experience, the cold rolled has been
So, why do I know all this about table saw T slots? A number of years
ago, I made up some featherboards for my Delta saw that used T nut
studs I had milled on my milling machine. A local hardwood and
millwork company asked me to make some for their shop and for sale,
which I did. All I could guarantee was that they fit the slots in my
saw. Some of the people with other saws - particularly Powermatic -
found that the nuts when tightened were very slightly above the table
surface. Thinner ledges.
For my own sled I just use the 3/8 x 3/4 steel bar. I could use 3/8 x
7/8 or so bar and mill the steps into it if I wished, but I haven't yet
seen the need. Or, I could mill the bar at the ends and screw on a
plate or washer to engage the T slot, as some of the miter gauges do.
One thing to keep in mind, though - those T slot ledges are much more
delicate than those on, say, a milling machine. The featherboard nuts
are fine, since they are in the middle of the table. But, with
something unwieldy like a sled, you could conceivably exert enough
force when putting it on or taking it off to chip out a T slot.
Steel, aluminum, wood or some of those UHMW plastic bars - any of them
should be fine.
More than you wanted to know, probably.
take a $20 dial caliper to the wood aisle, find the closest width larger,
then sand down. rip to lengths. Build sled platform. Place strips in
slots. Place sled platform on top. Screw from top down. Raise blade.
Adjust (|-- , not |>--screws from bottom up for fence(s). |>-- will pull to
center of hole, (|-- allow alignment on shoulder.
I bought a Rockwell/Delta 12/14 saw made in the mid 50's whic, of
course, came with no miter gauge.
The miter slots are made in a T-Slot configuration and do not match the
original specs (due to normal wear and tear combined with a Blanchard
I am not a machinest and do not own any metal working equipment other
than hand tools.
I used 3/8 x 1" cold rolled steel bar stock from the local steel supply
house. The bar stock did not fit as snugly as I wanted due to wear and
tear on the miter slot sides. I drilled and tapped an 8-32 through
hole (slightly lower than center of the 3/8" side to engage the
machined T-slots) at the front and rear of each piece of bar stock. I
ran an allen head set screw (coated with Loc-Tite in from each side of
the bar stock, fiddled with the adjustment for a while and now have
miter slides that are a jam-up rock solid fit.
Of course the set screws will wear, but can be easily replaced in the
next 50 years or so (my son will have the machine by that time).
It worked for me and miight work for you.
If you have to do it again, there's another option to consider.
Precision ground flat stock is available from various metalworking
suppliers. For something like this, I'd normally choose the low carbon
steel over the higher carbon varieties that may be oil or air hardened.
However, the higher carbon varieties are usually available in both
standard sizes and in pieces that are slightly oversized to allow for
grinding after hardening. I don't know about all manufacturers, but I
do know that the Starrett oversize stock is .010" to .015" over nominal
size. You can file it to fit. Sounds as though you may have had to
file or grind the thickness anyway to allow for the re-ground top.
The set screws are far harder than the cast iron. The slots will wear first.
I don't remember who sells it but there is a kit out there that does the
same thing but uses wear pads of a softer material.
Why worry about the "tee"?
I build sleds all the time, often building one-off jobbies for specific
tasks. My runners are simply scrap maple, birch, oak, walnut, whatever
is within reach, planed to fit the slots.
If you're wanting extra room as the device enters or leaves the saw
table, leave the runners long.
I actually remove the little washers off store bought devices, as I find
they cause more problems than they cure.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.