LumberJocks

SawStop Assembly #4: Crosscut Sled for Large Panels Completed

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 04-29-2016 03:11 AM 872 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Adjusted the Fence Rail Part 4 of SawStop Assembly series Part 5: Bob Van Dyke's Multi-Purpose Rip Fence JIG »

I should remember that there are no shortcuts to good work. It took longer to complete this sled build than it should have. I should have slowed down to get the countersinks drilled right the first time. Oh, well. The sled is done and is square. As I stated I used William Ng’s “5 Cuts to a Perfect Crosscut Sled”. It is just I took more than two sets of tests to get the front fence set to square. And so it goes.

-- --- Happy Howie



5 comments so far

View Lenny's profile

Lenny

1487 posts in 2987 days


#1 posted 05-07-2016 05:49 PM

A couple of things Howie. First, did you start with a different fence? In the photo there’s a kerf all the way through the sled table but not through the front fence (closest to operator). Secondly, do you plan to add a trailing safety block? I see you used a very beefy front fence. Was that in lieu of a trailing block? Lastly, Will you add Plexiglas over the kerf? It’s a great safety feature (even with a Sawstop).

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

325 posts in 1405 days


#2 posted 05-08-2016 07:04 AM

Hi Lenny, I do use a large 3 1/2” by 3 1/2” block for my front fence. In fact, both the front and rear fences were scrap pieces of lumber left over from when I made my super sawhorses. I have used these thick front fences for several crosscut sleds . I was going to embed a T-track for an integrated stop with the fence. It just did not work out well for that use. For stops, I use blocks of 3/4 inch MDF either clamped to my front fence or to my rip fence when I am cutting a wide panel where I want to start with a specified crosscut length, but as I cut the panel I do not want the right edge to ride up the entire distance against the rip fence. This is where a piece of lumber could be trapped between the blade and the fence thus causing a painful kick-back situation. Instead, I will I make my measurements from the sled’s kerf to a clamped small piece against the rip fence. I will then advance the panel by pushing the sled towards the blade and where the right edge of panel is free of touching the clamped stop and is some distance from touching the rip fence.

I prefer to use bolts to fasten my fences to the plywood sled. I recognize that I could simply use glue with screws or brads to fasten the rear fence since it does not have to be square to the saw kerf or blade. However, for the front fence I do follow Portland woodworking instructor Gary Rogowski’s method or use of nuts and bolts instead of wood screws to fasten the front fence to the sled’s bottom.

I have not discovered why my front fence moves on me as I attempting to square the fence to the blade per William Ng’s 5 Cut to a Perfect Crosscut Sled. If I do all the steps right I should be able to get the fence square within the second or third attempt. Getting this last sled square took me five attempts For my next sled I will use different clamps to hold my front fence as I bolt it. I will check to see if that helps.

I did change my pointy hardwood stick. When you are attempting to get your fence square within one thousandths of an inch, you can get off by that much if you put too much pressure on the fence to the pointy end; you could compress the wood’s point.

Well, since I watched Gary Rogowski using nuts and bolts instead of wood screws to fasten his front fence to his sleds, I have only used bolts myself when making my crosscut sleds.

Lenny, you have looked closely at my sled! I still have not broken the front edge of the fence with my saw blade. I usually do penetrate the front fence. It is just that I have not used this sled, as yet. Maybe one or two cuts. I have been building two mortising JIGS. All my time has been spent on those two projects. I have also been using my old Porter Cable contractor saw with the sleds I made for it. For instance, tonight besides a few crosscuts I made on the PC saw, I also used my 45 degree miter sled for the PC saw. I used the 45 degree angle sled so I could cut the front two corners of the toggle clamp block I made for use on my mortising JIG. Tomorrow I will photograph and show that mounting block I made for the toggle clamp. I made this mounting block so I could use one nice toggle clamp instead of permanently mounting three toggle clamps to the JIG.

Per your suggestions, I will add a box to my front fence so my fingers and thumbs will be protected when the saw blade passes through the fence.

I doubt I will add a Plexiglas cover over the saw kerf area of my sled. I have watched how William Ng uses acrylic to his sleds. His Plexiglas covers the entire area the saw would travel from the back fence to the front fence. As I watched Mr Ng demonstrate how he made and used this shield, it just seemed to get in the way too often as he laid out and cut his panels. I have never made a shield from my sleds. At this stage, I do not plan of adding a shield.

However, since you have warned me about the block or box I need on the front of my fence, I will get at that task. I’ve been warned, I know…

-- --- Happy Howie

View Lenny's profile

Lenny

1487 posts in 2987 days


#3 posted 05-08-2016 04:46 PM

Howie, thanks for the extensive explanation. If you will be using that front fence, you may not need the safety block because it is so thick. You would have to cut a very thick board for the blade to come out of that fence. Still, it can’t hurt to glue on a block. I don’t mean to belabor the point but I’m still unclear on how/when you made the kerf in the plywood base. In the photo, you can clearly see there is a kerf under the front fence. Yet, there’s no evident cut in the front fence. Did you make the saw kerf before attaching the front fence? On second thought, maybe that’s a pencil mark, not a saw kerf?

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

325 posts in 1405 days


#4 posted 05-08-2016 06:35 PM

Lenny, that is a short saw kerf. I have not cut a thick board as yet. Doing that may cause me to push the blade through the thick front fence. When I performed the 5 Cuts to a Perfect Crosscut Sled I used a 1/2 inch board of plywood; thus the short kerf under the front fence.

Yes, I will design and glue a block to protect my fingers and thumbs. Its just this time I want to design it to last longer than the other one I made for this thick fence. Some type of block that will also be screwed into place.

-- --- Happy Howie

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

325 posts in 1405 days


#5 posted 10-23-2016 01:07 AM

Lenny,

I finally got around to adding a safety block so my thumbs do not get cutoff, if I thrust my saw blade through my thick front fence.

When I made this cross-cut sled for my new Saw Stop table saw I posted an image of it on Lumberjocks. A fellow member there complemented me on the sled’s design. However, he noticed that I had a small kerf from a blade cut poking out on the operator’s side of the sled. He asked me if I was going to protect my thumbs by gluing on some sort of block. I stated that I intended to but on my previous sled the protecting block came loose and fell off. What I was going to do on this sled I wanted to think through the possibilities so the one placed on this sled would be permanent.

It is now nearly six months later and I finally came through with a great idea. I had some of the same material I used for the front fence leftover. It finally struck me to cut a block that fits between the two bolts I am using near the saw’s kerf and glue that onto the front fence.

My or anyone else’s thumbs will now be well protected from the saw blade, if it ever protrudes through the sled’s front fence.

-- --- Happy Howie

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com