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Thread: Sliding table or crosscut sled

  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    Sliding table or crosscut sled

    Good evening all,

    I have a Dewalt DW746 hybrid saw that I really like. I'm trying to decide between adding the Dewalt sliding table to the saw or making/buying a good crosscut sled.

    The sliding table costs $450 and will do everything I want except support the crosscut on the right side of the blade. In addition to the expense, I'm sure it will be a PITA to install for a generally mechanically disinclined person. One other thing - I currently have my router table in the left extension table of the saw - I'll have to do something different if I buy the slider.

    A quality sled can be purchased for $250 (anyone seen or bought the new one from Woodhaven?), but it does fewer things than the slider.

    Finally, I could make a sled, but by the time I figure my time and quality materials, and the fact that it won't be perfect, I'm not sure I'm going to be saving anything.

    Any thoughts? Thanks...... Dave.

  2. #2
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    I hate to do this to you but with the router table there & it also sounds like you need the practice go ahead & make the sled. They are really very easy to make. If your fence is square to the miter slots & blade, cut your base square out of 1/4" plywood & mount your fence either on the front or back edge (your preference) then make the runners for miter slots lay them in the miter slots or slot if your only making it to run on one side of the blade make it so you'll cut a little off when you finish it. Now drop your blade below the table & bring your fence over where you can put the base of the sled against it & clamp it down & pre drill for the screws at each end of the sled & runners & screw down through the base & into the miter slot runners to fasten the sled base to the runners. You can either finish pre drilling & screwing more screws while its on the saw or remove it to finish this little chore.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  3. #3
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    Who says that you can't make a "perfect" sled? It really isn't that hard and the satisfaction that you "did it yourself" once its done and its doing a great job is more than worth the time and effort put into it. I made my crosscut sled about a year ago and get lots of use out of it. Give it a try. It will certainly be lots more inexpensive than your other options.

    Fred Voorhees

  4. #4
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    If I may, I would recommend that you make a sled out of less expensive materials like a plywood body and maple ends and runners. Use it for a few projects and make a list of likes / dislikes. You'll have about $25 worth of materials + time.

    Then make your decision on the sled / table. If you choose to go with the sled then make a new sled with better quality materials and incorporate design changes to remove as many dislikes as possible.

    That's the route I took (except I wasn't debating the table) and actually ended up making two "cheap" trial models. The first gave me enough ideas that I was afraid that I was over-reaching in going to the high-end sled. Using the second sled made me re-think a couple of the changes and also added a couple more.

    I have been very pleased with the result.

  5. #5
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    Dave:

    I understand the quandary. I'm in the process of moving the router to the right side so that I might have the option of using the DeWalt sliding table.

    Reviews on Amazon are mixed - some people had a real %^#^%&** time installing it. But once there, people seem to love it.

    Of course, the sliding table and the cross cut sled are not mutually exclusive! Indeed, they are very different! A fixed sled allows better control over itty bitty pieces and such nice things as a plexi-glass cover, etc. (or so I'm told... haven't made mine yet...). But the sliding table gives you angles!

    My plan... do both. Someday. Definitely not this month. Or the one after that.

    Eliot,
    wanting stuff in Waunakee

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Powell
    If I may, I would recommend that you make a sled out of less expensive materials like a plywood body and maple ends and runners. Use it for a few projects and make a list of likes / dislikes. You'll have about $25 worth of materials + time.

    Then make your decision on the sled / table. If you choose to go with the sled then make a new sled with better quality materials and incorporate design changes to remove as many dislikes as possible.

    That's the route I took (except I wasn't debating the table) and actually ended up making two "cheap" trial models. The first gave me enough ideas that I was afraid that I was over-reaching in going to the high-end sled. Using the second sled made me re-think a couple of the changes and also added a couple more.

    I have been very pleased with the result.
    Good idea Steve...... thanks to you and the others for the responses. Dave.

  7. #7
    One of the biggest downsides to a sled is that you have to remove the blade guard to use it. Plus, pull it off the wall and mount it, and wrestle a big sled for a 24" crosscut like you can get on the dewalt slider.


    Here's more comments on sliding tables vs crosscut sled from Phil Bumbalough website:

    http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/Cr...ign_guide.html

    Recommendations

    In my assessment the sliding table solution is so superior, a sled system should not even be considered. Although even at $300 this solution seems costly, they are one of the most beneficial accessories you could add to the tablesaw. A sliding table will make a tablesaw fully twice as useful and safer as well.


    If you want to make a crosscut sled, you should make more than one. A large one can be used for large plywood crosscuts and special jigs. This sled would operate with a fixed 90 degree fence. I don't see any point in adding a miter fence to the large one because it will be so big and heavy, you won't want to put it on the saw anyway. For mitering, and smaller crosscuts you can continue to use the sloppy OEM miter gauge or build a pivoting fence sled similar to the Dubby.

    Having "been-there-done-that", I would re-recommend the Real Solution mentioned above. I would even go so far to say that the Real Solution can be more economical than building several sleds. One often neglected element of "building your own" is that you usually end up re-making the jig later because of some deficiency in the original "prototype".


    If you want to buy a crosscut SLED solution, I would recommend the Dubby if you can locate one. It serves as a more accurate miter gauge, has a stop block, and a relatively wide support surface. The Dubby or something like it will probably serve acceptably well for about 80% of your needs.

    ====================

    Another plug for a sliding table was one of the wood working shows on DIY network. He built a sliding table for making miter cuts which guaranteed a perfect miter. It was very slikck and about the same amount of work as making a regular crosscut sled.

  8. #8
    Dave,

    OK......I'll play devil's advocate here.....

    I've built multiple sleds for crosscutting. They all worked fine, but I have never seen a home made crosscut sled that would do this....

    <IMG SRC="http://www.terryhatfield.com/exaktorbigcut.jpg">

    I bought the sliding table to deal with large panels and sheet goods. It excells at the task. The extra table space on the LH side of the saw is nice for ripping large pieces also.

    <IMG SRC="http://www.terryhatfield.com/tsl.jpg">

    Just my .02,

    Terry

  9. #9
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    The only problem I see is that there is now a router table in the left wing. Unless Dave has the room in his shop to switch the router table to the right wing it will be a little hard to install a sliding table on the left side of the saw.

    I have this same problem so his post hits closer to home with me.

    My saw sets close to the right wall of my shop so I won't be switching the router table to the right side anytime soon.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  10. #10
    Bart,

    I understand your/Dave's situation. I'm just saying that the sliding table has many advantages over a sled. If you got the room they are great. If you don't have the room, then a sled or series of sleds is the way to go.

    t

  11. #11
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    Dec 2003
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    Battletown, KY
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    Terry,
    I have seen photos of the Dewalt sled and it sure doesn't look like it will do what your photos are showing. Is that an after market sled from another manufacuter?
    Jim Carpenter
    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

  12. #12
    Jim,

    Mine's an Exaktor and I admit it has more capacity than the Dewalt, but the Dewalt will crosscut up to 30". Crosscutting panels that wide would be more difficult to do with a homemade sled than with the sliding table. IMHO, of course.

    Terry

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Hatfield
    Bart,

    I understand your/Dave's situation. I'm just saying that the sliding table has many advantages over a sled. If you got the room they are great. If you don't have the room, then a sled or series of sleds is the way to go.

    t

    Sorry Terry I wasn't trying to single you out or step on your toes.

    I run a sled that is 33" x 48" with 31 7/8" to the left & 17 1/8" to the right & 30" between the from & back rails. Yes I wish I could have a sliding table because it is difficult to cut wide panels on a sled.

    The next step up for me is a sled where I put the material against the back fence to cut it. I had the opportunity to try one at a friends shop that had 1 runner & was just on the left side of the blade. With the right edge of the panel sled & back fence as a guide to line up my reference mark it was real slick to work with. This sled wasn't quite as deep front to back.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 01-15-2004 at 9:12 AM.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  14. #14
    Bart,

    Not to worry my friend. I didn't take any offense to anything. I just wanted to point out that there are advantages to the sliding table over the sleds.

    t

  15. #15
    HHHHHHmmmmmm
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    I used to just take it from day to day, and now I just take it till noon.

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