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View AJswoodshop's profile

What do you use? Wood runners, or aluminum runners?

by AJswoodshop
posted 10-25-2012 01:24 AM


20 replies so far

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

191 posts in 2957 days


#1 posted 10-25-2012 01:56 AM

I’m sure that there are a variety of opinions on this, but I used aluminum bar stock. I then tapped threaded holes in the sides for nylon set screws for micro-adjust capability. I have been very happy.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1021 posts in 2342 days


#2 posted 10-25-2012 01:58 AM

Neither :) I use UHMW: http://www.leevalley.com/en/hardware/page.aspx?p=32045&cat=3,43576,32045

These Incra steel bars are really nice, too: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43455&p=65247

-- John, BC, Canada

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2737 posts in 2633 days


#3 posted 10-25-2012 01:59 AM

I like metal runners. I plan on getting a couple of incra's new glide lock runners. They’re the same they use on their miter gauges and are amazingly smooth sliding and adjust for the fit.

Wood runners will work fine though, so long as you choose a stable hard wood.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 2333 days


#4 posted 10-25-2012 02:57 AM

Thanks for the comments guys. I think I might try aluminum runners soon.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10156 posts in 4108 days


#5 posted 10-25-2012 03:01 AM

I use wood runners…

These are pretty good Metal runners... (if you want to pay the price)

I also use UHMW strips, one on each side of the bottom… Slides really SMOOTH…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3610 posts in 2308 days


#6 posted 10-25-2012 03:03 AM

Hardwood runners on my crosscut sled.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1678 posts in 2680 days


#7 posted 10-25-2012 03:14 AM

Mine are all wood. some of my one time jigs, I use mdf. For things I will use more than once I use maple. On jigs like the miter slot cutter, I tear one up a year, I save them for the next one. I really should make a nice miter slot cutting jig. I paste em together and just saw through them, where ever the slot needs to be cut.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5726 posts in 2869 days


#8 posted 10-25-2012 03:18 AM

For my crosscut sled I use metal runners with the small ball bearings on the side to eliminate any slop.
Most of my other jigs use the fence, rather than the miter slots. My tapering jig is held against the fence with a featherboard. My tenoning jig rides over the fence.

Good luck AJ

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Woodknack's profile (online now)

Woodknack

12084 posts in 2436 days


#9 posted 10-25-2012 06:32 AM

Plywood, hardboard or plastic. No idea what the plastic is but it’s slick, I got a bunch of it for free.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2298 posts in 2426 days


#10 posted 10-25-2012 12:27 PM

I use scrap wood because I’m cheap like that. Never had any issues. Metal or plastic would be nice, but so long as I have scrap, I have runners.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20781 posts in 3161 days


#11 posted 10-25-2012 12:47 PM

Hi AJ. My table saw is different from most, it is a Ryobi and has no slot in the top for the typical runner. My sled fits over the center housing and I made slippery plastic glides for the bottom and sides so it slides effortlessly back and forth. I have a lot of this stuff, so if it would wear, I’d just cut another piece and replace it.

First I had to machine the center section of that Ryobi saw. It is not meant to have a sled. It has a sliding table on the side but that is too ” off center” for mounting a sled to. So, I set up some fences parallel with the saw blade and used a router and carbide bit to cut the sides of that aluminum housing to make it truly parallel with the blade. Then I fit the sled to the size of the center section…...............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 2333 days


#12 posted 10-25-2012 01:04 PM

Sounds like most of you guys use wood runners.

Jim,
I’ve seen those table saws with sliding tables, they look cool! Yeah, that is strange that your table saw doesn’t have slots in the table.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2298 posts in 2426 days


#13 posted 10-25-2012 01:20 PM

AJ, I rip the wood to just shy of the depth of the slot. Then I flip that on it’s side and rip it to the width of the slot. That gets me a runner that with edge grain on top and bottom, if it expands, it should expand mostly in the vertical direction, which is why I left it a hair short (it doesn’t need to ride on the bottom of the slot). I like to rip the width so it’s tight in the slot. One or two passes with a sanding block until it slides nicely will give you a runner with no wiggle room.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6952 posts in 3424 days


#14 posted 10-25-2012 03:16 PM

On a TS with a cast iron top almost any material will work. On an aluminum top, don’t use aluminum runner.

I use steel bar stock that fits perfectly, better than the original, in my 40 year old Craftsman. I have four pieces of that stock!

I have used UHMW runners for some jigs.
Never used any wood runners … no reason why!
Never used aluminum … !

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Zinderin's profile

Zinderin

94 posts in 2188 days


#15 posted 10-25-2012 05:39 PM

I use hardwood or polyethylene (when I can get it) ... my philosophy is simple …

a) I’m cheap,
b) I usually redesign or re-purpose jigs long before the wood wears out, and
c) I just don’t like the idea of metal on metal with my miter-slot … I’m ‘skeered’ it will cause slop.

Hardwood with a little bee’s wax … its awesome in my book.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6952 posts in 3424 days


#16 posted 10-25-2012 05:49 PM

Zinderin to be ‘skeered’, sloppy fit cause more slop and a good fit won’t.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

816 posts in 3121 days


#17 posted 10-25-2012 06:03 PM

What BinghamtonEd said + 1. I saw Wm. Ng use this method in his table saw sled video and tried it and am pleased with the results. I also have used Incra Miter Sliders and like their adjustability, but the “Qtr sawn” runner technique works so well, I will probably save my money in the future. Whatever works best for YOU and makes YOU happy is the one to use. No hard and fast rules on this one.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View TVT's profile

TVT

36 posts in 2254 days


#18 posted 12-10-2012 10:27 PM

I have used both but really like to use aluminum bar stock for my runners. I am cheap but found if I buy a 12’ stick from a local vendor it is only .99 a foot. That is worth the time and money considering the time it takes to make the runners. They are more consistant and less drag then wood.

-- Measure once, cut twice - you think I would learn!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2166 days


#19 posted 12-10-2012 11:52 PM

I use 1/4” baltic birch plywood, precisely gang planed to fit MY slots.

This is as stable as anything else, extremely durable, as you’re sliding on end grain, and the end grain holds wax nicely. There is no reason for a runner to go deeper than 1/4”, as there’s usually nothing to run against below 1/4”.

Some well regarded woodworking schools also use BB ply, with the sleds lasting years in daily use, through four distinct seasons. Once the wax burnishes into the end grain, there’s nothing as durable that moves this smoothly.

Did I mention they’re free, from skinny offcuts from cabinet backs and drawer bottoms?

View USMC_Buckaroo's profile

USMC_Buckaroo

20 posts in 2095 days


#20 posted 12-11-2012 02:59 PM

..._Hi AJ. My table saw is different from most, it is a Ryobi and has no slot in the top for the typical runner. My sled fits over the center housing and I made slippery plastic glides for the bottom and sides so it slides effortlessly back and forth. I have a lot of this stuff, so if it would wear, I’d just cut another piece and replace it.

First I had to machine the center section of that Ryobi saw. It is not meant to have a sled. It has a sliding table on the side but that is too ” off center” for mounting a sled to. So, I set up some fences parallel with the saw blade and used a router and carbide bit to cut the sides of that aluminum housing to make it truly parallel with the blade. Then I fit the sled to the size of the center section……............Jim...”

Sounds like you own a BT3 there Jim ; – )

I own a BT3 as well…(actually, two of them) and am presently in the process of addressing the lack of miter slots in the STANDARD Ryobi table design.

As you can see in the pic below, Ryobi DID offer miter slot accessory pieces that had slots built into them…(actually, DUAL miter slots) unfortunately they chose to NOT include them in the basic table itself. They could be ordered for your table for a little over $100 sheckles apiece!

Hence my efforts to “address” the lack of slots in my tables in a more homemade (read; cheaper) fashion which I’ll share at a later date (and in a different thread) ; – )

As to your runner question: I have experimented with several mediums and found they all obviously serve the purpose. But, I recently tried a strip of HDPE plastic which I cut from a cheap cutting board from Walbarf and coated with a spritz of clear silicone spray and all I can say is; if there was any friction AT ALL, I couldn’t feel it.
That, combined with a wax coating on the bottom of the sled and cutting is smooooooth as silk!

HTH.

Buck.

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