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
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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:
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:
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.
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