Since I now have a “real” table saw (thanks Timbo!) and my current project is going to call for a mitred “frame”, I decided now is a great time for a 45 degree mitre sled. Thanks to RKW's mitre sled project (and thanks to RKW for answering my additional questions), I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do.
Some info and decisions:
1) I enjoy working with tools that look as nice as the projects I work on, so I’ll use leftover “nice” wood for all of the parts of the sled. That isn’t to say there is anything wrong with an mdf table saw sled, as long as it gets the job done that’s what matters most, to me personally there’s just something about working with things I’ve made that I feel look nice as well.
2) I want to build as much of the sled as possible and purchase as few parts as I can manage.
3) I want each side of the fence to be 24” (plus some extra so that stop block can actually be positioned at 24”)
4) I’ll build t-slots into the fence to take stop blocks and put some measuring tape on them for accuracy.
5) I’ll also add t-slots into the main sled base for hold-downs
To start, I milled 2 left over pieces of curly maple and squared them up (amazing how easy that is with a real table saw, did I mention I got a new table saw this weekend, thanks Timbo!) Final dimensions 10”x35”x 3/4” thick. I joined these together with pocket hole screws to get the main table of my sled at 20”x35”.
For the mitre slot rails, I have a good sized board sitting in my wood pile that I’m fairly sure if lignum vitea, but for some reason I keep wanting to say it’s ipe. (It’s amazingly heavy for it’s size and very very slick right off the table saw. If you can tell from my awful pictures what it is, please chime in. I’ll get a better picture of the board for the next post) I ripped a 3/4” strip off the side of this board, and then flipped that piece and ripped that into 3/8” pieces, giving me (2) 3/4”x3/8”x(more than long enough) mitre rails.
Finally, I laid the rails into the mitre slots on my table saw, brushed on some 5-minute 2-part epoxy (what can I say, I’m not very patient sometimes) and laid the board on top of the rails, doing the best I could to line up my centerline on the main sled base with my table saw blade and making sure the bottm edge is lined up with the edge of the table saw. (I’ll be adding a “frame” to the sled towards the end, so I’m not horribly concerned with it being deadon center).
Sadly, I don’t have any 3/4” screws to finish attaching the rails to the sled (and I found out fairly quickly that I can’t sink 1/2” screws in far enough to hold the rails on) so it’s off to the store at lunch time tomorrow for some screws to finish up the mitre rails.
After that, I’ll get to work on the fence part of the sled.