|Project by BTimmons||posted 08-03-2012 04:14 PM||3547 views||7 times favorited||8 comments|
Following instructions from a recent issue of Fine Woodworking, I finally knocked out a basic sled for myself. The construction method in the article made it pretty simple. Instead of attaching two runners to the underside of the sled at the same time and then raising the blade through, this method attaches one runner to one side, then trims off the excess as you run it past the blade. Repeat the same process on the same side. Make sure the runners are pulled tight toward the center, then attach your fences. Pretty easy. It’s made from maple plywood, with solid maple for the fences.
For a while I used it as is, without waxing the underside. Once I did though, wow! Now this thing flies, and it’s so easy to make fine movements that take more control.
Like my other recently posted project, it’s nothing glamorous, but it sure is progress for my little garage shop. I finished this about a month ago and I use it all the time now!
Forgot to mention the method for attaching the rear fence, which I thought was quite brilliant. Apply your glue to the underside of the rear fence, then drill a countersunk screw up into one far corner. Here’s the important part – Get the fence as close to square as you can relative to the saw kerf running down the middle of the sled. Then drive a thin nail (I used my air nail gun for this) into the other corner. Then immediately cut a wide board (10 to 12 inches or so) on your sled. Flip one end of the newly cut board over and press the freshly cut surfaces together. If there is no gap whatsoever, you’re dead square so go ahead and clamp the fence down and let it dry. If there is a gap though, you can use a hammer to lightly knock the nailed end of the fence. this bends the nail in infinitesimal increments, which allows you to make extremely fine adjustments. You can’t make those fine tweaks once the glue is dry, so you’ve got to work quick. Keep repeating and creeping up on it until your wide boards don’t have a gap after you cut and flip one, then clamp it all down and call it a day.
-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com