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Thread: Do we really need another video on how to make a table saw crosscut sled ? YES !

  1. #1
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    Do we really need another video on how to make a table saw crosscut sled ? YES !

    My 30 year old sleds did not fit new table saw due to spacing of miter slots. Gave my old sleds to the guy who bought the old saw, and set out to make new sleds. Did some research on best practices in table saw sled construction and found the following great two ideas that were new to me and perhaps others:

    1. Alan Turner in FWW July/August issue 2012, squeezes the two halves of the sled together with a clamp, before gluing the rails in place. This eliminates play in the miter rail guides. Eliminating an annoying source of variation. See my photo below.
    2. William Ng demonstrated in a YouTube video the 5 cut method to very accurately measure the perpendicular error between blade and fence and then calculate how much to move one end of the fence. Difficult to explain this method so I refer you to his video if you are interested. Just search YouTube for “5 Cuts to a "Perfect" Cross-Cut Sled”

    To gain more control in adjusting the fence perpendicular, I glued a sacrificial fence in place, and clamped the final fence to the sacrificial fence. Then using the 5 cut method to determine how much the fence should move at one end, I selected a shim of that thickness to place between the sacrificial fence the final fence at one end. In a single adjustment this produced “perfect” perpendicular with no fiddling. Fence could then be screwed to bace and sacrificial fence cut off. See Photo below

    Here is a video showing all the construction steps https://youtu.be/twEc6LZHlJQ

    Now researching for design of a precise 45 degree miter sled for picture frames and for frame and panel doors with miter corners. If you have any suggestions please share.
    CrossCut Sled (1).jpg

    CrossCut Sled.jpg
    Last edited by Steven Woodward; 01-09-2021 at 9:36 PM. Reason: added more explanation

  2. #2
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    We need a new video? Who's we? After 48 years of woodworking, I'm pretty comfortable with not having another video. LOL But I do admit that's a clever way to market for more youtube subscribers.

  3. #3
    Nice video, Steven. Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Great video! Love the part where you sawed it in half.

  5. #5
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    Dangit..... You're two weeks too late. Loved the method you used to snug up the miter bars. I spent a couple hours filing down some aluminum bars after gluing mine to the base with S-glue, and not taking enough time to make sure they were snug - before securing them. I like the sacrificial fence idea too. That would have saved me a bunch of time as well.....

  6. #6
    Steven has deminstated the ONLY potential advantage of using two runners on a sled, and that is the fit can be "adjusted" by setting the distance between the two runners. However this scheme overlooks the potential problem of the fit becoming too loose or too tight as humidity changes cause the plywood or mdf base to grow or shrink. If mother nature controls the humidity in your shop, seriously consider a single width-adjustable runner. It is just as stable and strong. Yeah, I know I have harped on this perhaps too often, but my intentions are honorable.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Woodward View Post

    Now researching for design of a precise 45 degree miter sled for picture frames and for frame and panel doors with miter corners. If you have any suggestions please share.
    CrossCut Sled (1).jpg

    CrossCut Sled.jpg
    Find a video on the DUBBY. I only have one regret with my Dubby, I waited too long to buy one. Deadly accurate on miters. I watched Jerry Cole demonstrate the Dubby for years before buying one.

  8. #8
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    I really like your sacrificial fence approach, thanks for sharing that.

    My current sled is similar to yours. Iím considering adding a track to the fence for a movable stop to be adjusted more easily. Did you consider that?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cameron View Post
    Steven has deminstated the ONLY potential advantage of using two runners on a sled, and that is the fit can be "adjusted" by setting the distance between the two runners. However this scheme overlooks the potential problem of the fit becoming too loose or too tight as humidity changes cause the plywood or mdf base to grow or shrink. If mother nature controls the humidity in your shop, seriously consider a single width-adjustable runner. It is just as stable and strong. Yeah, I know I have harped on this perhaps too often, but my intentions are honorable.
    I had not thought about that humidity thing. Will see how it goes when the warmer humid weather comes. My shop does not have HVAC. My hope is that sheet material, like plywood and MDF only change dimension in thickness, not in length and width. But the proof will be in the pudding. Good or bad I will follow up in 6 month or so.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael W. Clark View Post
    I really like your sacrificial fence approach, thanks for sharing that.

    My current sled is similar to yours. Iím considering adding a track to the fence for a movable stop to be adjusted more easily. Did you consider that?
    I'm considering it now

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Woodward View Post
    I had not thought about that humidity thing. Will see how it goes when the warmer humid weather comes. My shop does not have HVAC. My hope is that sheet material, like plywood and MDF only change dimension in thickness, not in length and width. But the proof will be in the pudding. Good or bad I will follow up in 6 month or so.
    Sorry Steven, but the facts are that plywood and mdf do change dimensions with humidity changes. If you are putting down underlayment, for example, the building codes insist that you leave a gap between sheets. Your sled could become too tight to use or too loose to meet your accuracy requirements depending on how much humidity change occurs and in which direction. My mantra should be "stamp out dual runner sled videos"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cameron View Post
    Sorry Steven, but the facts are that plywood and mdf do change dimensions with humidity changes. If you are putting down underlayment, for example, the building codes insist that you leave a gap between sheets. Your sled could become too tight to use or too loose to meet your accuracy requirements depending on how much humidity change occurs and in which direction. My mantra should be "stamp out dual runner sled videos"
    It does change with humidity, but not near as much as solid wood. Plywood changes about the same as solid wood does along the grain.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    It does change with humidity, but not near as much as solid wood. Plywood changes about the same as solid wood does along the grain.
    It is true that plywood changes less than solid wood's changes across the grain (radial and tangential), but it changes MORE than solid wood's longitudinal changes. The alternating layers fight one another but reach a comprimise.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cameron View Post
    Steven has deminstated the ONLY potential advantage of using two runners on a sled, and that is the fit can be "adjusted" by setting the distance between the two runners. However this scheme overlooks the potential problem of the fit becoming too loose or too tight as humidity changes cause the plywood or mdf base to grow or shrink. If mother nature controls the humidity in your shop, seriously consider a single width-adjustable runner. It is just as stable and strong. Yeah, I know I have harped on this perhaps too often, but my intentions are honorable.
    Built my new Miter Sled with a single snug fit UHMW runner. It feels good - smooth sliding and play. Thanks to Dan for that. I am now a true believer in the single runner.

    Here is post on new Miter Sled: https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....12#post3102612

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Woodward View Post
    I had not thought about that humidity thing. Will see how it goes when the warmer humid weather comes. My shop does not have HVAC. My hope is that sheet material, like plywood and MDF only change dimension in thickness, not in length and width. But the proof will be in the pudding. Good or bad I will follow up in 6 month or so.

    UPDATE: One year later.
    As shown in the video, the sled is made with two runners and the runners do not have to fit snug in the table saw miter slots. One year later, having gone through the four seasons of humidity, I find the sled is a little loose in the runners. Other sleds I made with a single snug fitting runner have not become loose. My conclusion is that one runner is better than two, as long as the single runner can be made to fit snug in the miter slot. Here is a video showing how to cut snug fitting runners: https://youtu.be/MZu0JvW1g3k

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