|Project by Lenny||posted 05-31-2013 09:58 PM||4078 views||53 times favorited||34 comments|
Hello Fellow Jocks! It is with great pleasure that I post my first project since my table saw injury last August. I am officially back in the shop making sawdust. Actually, I am in the process of making gifts for several of my caretakers and have completed some but not others. I will post one or more of them once they are all done. During my down time, I read a lot of woodworking related material. I bought a copy of Woodsmith’s, “The Ultimate Table Saw Handbook” and saw this sled, front and center, on the cover. I have yet to make a box that includes splines so I decided I would make this project. The authors refer to it as a 4-in-1 Box-Building Sled. The four functions are: 90 degree cuts, 45 degree cuts, a jig for spline-making and a jig for box joints. Since I use my Incra LS Positioner for box joints, I opted to eliminate that jig, rendering my version a 3-in-1 sled.
The base (24” by 14”) is made from ½” Baltic Birch. The authors sandwiched theirs between plastic laminate but I didn’t see a need for that. I purchased a commercial miter bar called a miter slider (Incra, I think). It is adjustable so you get a snug fit. I used quartersawn douglas fir for the front fence (closest to operator) as it will tend to stay stable and hard maple for the rear fence. A slight chamfer at the inside bottom of the fences will help prevent dust/chips buildup. They suggested a fence track that costs about $32. I got another version on sale at Woodcraft for about $11. The track is used for a moveable stop to make repeatable cuts and also to hold down the spline jig.
The sled is placed in the left miter slot to cut the 90 degree kerf and in the right slot for the 45 degree kerf. The left miter slot is also used when cutting splines. One thing Woodsmith missed on this build is a safety feature at the spot where the blade exits the sled. I added a beefy block at both kerfs. I might also add a Plexiglas shield front to back when making the 90 and 45 degree cuts.
The spline-cutting jig provides an angled bed for holding the box but it also has an indexing system that allows for slots in precise increments. There is a fixed portion that gets clamped to the sled with two knobs via a mounting cleat at the rear of the jig. A ¼” index pin sits dead center of the fixed angled bed and you simply move the adjustable assembly over in ¼” increments to the spot you desire. The adjustable assembly has a cleat that registers the box square to the blade. Should you need something other than the ¼” increments, you use a spacer between the box and the cleat. Lastly, there is a length of t-track along the adjustable assembly to add a hold down to secure the box.
There are certainly simpler spline jigs out there and I haven’t even tried this out yet but, I think it will be a handy and effective box-making sled/spline cutter. Thanks for stopping by.
-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI