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Thread: Sloppy miter slots

  1. #1

    Sloppy miter slots

    I have a hand me down delta Unisaw and I think I have an issue with the miter slots. I have a miter sled that you can adjust to take out lateral movements when it runs in the miter slots but if I tighten it too much it gets stuck while running the length of the slot and if I loosen up just a bit I can still wiggle the sled from side to side. There is no in between adjustment to dial in perfection. The movement is very minimal but it still movement enough to concern me about something going out of square if I cut it with the sled.

    Is there a practical solution to fix this? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,616
    Does your miter sled have one miter bar or two? If it has two, your miter bars might not be parallel and it starts to bind as you push it through.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,606
    I bought a Unisaw cheap, and later found out there was wear in one miter slot where it had been used a lot for making short cuts with a miter gauge. A few years later, someone gave me another, older one, and I swapped the tops on them. I gave away the one that was given to me, now with the worn top on it.

  4. #4
    I have the incra miter sled and both parts have one miter bar each and I get more issues on one slot more than the other.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,524
    1: Have you tried feeling the miter slot for possible nicks on the edges. You might try running a flat file along the edges to make sure there are no dings or rust spots that hang up your bar.

    2: Make sure there is no gunk on the inside edges of the T slots. Wire brush them.

    Basic, but perhaps the problem.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,074
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hassad View Post
    I have a hand me down delta Unisaw and I think I have an issue with the miter slots. I have a miter sled that you can adjust to take out lateral movements when it runs in the miter slots but if I tighten it too much it gets stuck while running the length of the slot and if I loosen up just a bit I can still wiggle the sled from side to side. There is no in between adjustment to dial in perfection. The movement is very minimal but it still movement enough to concern me about something going out of square if I cut it with the sled.

    Is there a practical solution to fix this? Thank you in advance.
    Tom, my thought is to find the narrow width and check that it is common. That is, are there just sections where the slot is wider? If so, simply make a bar that fits the narrower (common) section, and make it longer. This way there will be registration at a few points, and this will ensure better/sufficient accuracy.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,797
    When I bought my first aftermarket miter gauge, I found that the left miter slot on my table saw was about 10 thousandths narrow for the last 1.5" at the exit (backside) and the miter bar would stick at that point. I have no idea how that could happen in the milling of the slots, but, none-the-less, I used a mill file to open the slot up to a uniform width.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,966
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hassad View Post
    I have the incra miter sled and both parts have one miter bar each and I get more issues on one slot more than the other.

    Given that product and how it works I will assume the left slot is your trouble maker. This would be the slot most used for most operations so wear or abuse could be present. Since you do not require both slots for your sled, I would not hesitate to mill a piece of hardwood to .73" or whatever it too, wrap it with some high grit paper and smooth out the slot. This is something you want to do in baby-steps. I did this on an older Craftsman contractor with good success. I was actually able to get both slots working well with dual runner sleds. Just take it slow and steady.
    Who knows what stands in front of,
    our lives; I fashion my future on films in space.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the suggestions - I will look at this very closely this weekend and report back what I found/did.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,142
    Mine has a wandering slot but I am able to work with it. I use a sled for crosscuts and my push keeps it in tight to the blade so it is consistent.

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