|Project by Glenn||posted 11-02-2009 04:55 AM||3546 views||13 times favorited||6 comments|
Going through Doug Stowe’s book, Basic Box Making, and these are three jigs/sleds he recommends to make it easier to work with small/thin parts. The ability to use stop blocks with these sleds has brought a level of precision to my work that I never had with using just the tape for each piece and cut.
The first is a basic cross-cut sled out of ply with ash fence and runners. I added the blade guard behind the fence to keep the thumbs out of the way and found that it strengthens the fence as a side benefit. Fence and guards are dadoed into the ply base and attached with screws from underneath. Runners are attached with screws.
The second is a miter sled designed for use with the blade at a 45’ angle. MDF base and ash fences and runners. Fences are in an edge groove and attached with screws from underneath.
The third is a miter sled designed for use with the blade at 90’ and the stock at 45’. MDF base and fence support, ash runners, white oak fences. Fences attached with screws from underneath. Let me tell ya: the setup on this was hell! I drug out every square and tape and ruler and other measuring device I own to try to get the angle on this precise. I think it turned out pretty good.
These three little sleds have proven invaluable for many things, not just boxes. Before making them, I was very, very hesitant to do any crosscutting on the table saw and relied mostly on my compound miter saw. I never really trusted the miter gauges that come with the table saw. Even a long fence attached to the gauge didn’t give me a sense of control of the work piece that I needed for piece of mind. Last weekend, however, I was cutting a long, thin piece on the miter saw (it was only about 1/2” thick), and as soon as the blade touched the piece it grabbed it and shattered it against the aluminum fence spraying me with splinters. Now that I’ve used both methods, the miter saw and these sleds, for several projects, I can see where each would be the more appropriate tool for the job. I can highly recommend the addition of these sleds to your workshop.
-- Glenn, Arkansas