Shop built Sliding table for Tablesaw #1: Building a sliding table for my Grizzly tablesaw

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Blog entry by Todd Swartwood posted 11-22-2014 10:19 PM 7278 reads 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop built Sliding table for Tablesaw series Part 2: Building a sliding table for my Grizzly tablesaw »

I have been wanting a sliding table for my tablesaw for quite some time. The thing that has kept me from starting this project has been the bearing system. I also have been researching a shop built CNC, and that is
where I got the Idea for my linear bearings.

This is the sliding Table mostly done

This is the bearing system I decided to use:

To make these bearings I started with some 3/4” aluminum I found at the scrap yard.

First I cut all the aluminum 2” X 6” on the table saw. I then cleaned the blanks, the long edges I ran across
my jointer. Then cleaned the blanks up on the disc sander and my belt edge sander.
For the center bearing grooves I started with setting up the drill press, the fence so that I was drilling as close to exactly to the center as possible. I then set a stop block to drill back in from the end 1”. After drilling 5/16” holes in 10 bearing blanks, I went back to the table saw and with the help of my TS sled, I set it up to cut with
the blank standing on end and to meet the edge of the hole already drilled. After that I would unclamp and rotate the piece (with out flipping end for end) and make the second cut allowing the center waste to fall away.
then I flipped it end for end and made the second 2 cuts in the same way. I repeated this for all 10 of the bearing blanks. The blanks will become what is called a bearing truck so I will call it the BT from now on.

Please continue to check back as I continue to explain the build. Also I do not type so I put a great deal of effort into a long entry like this.

I do not know if I will get back to this tonight, but it will be soon.

Thank you all for looking, and comments are encouraging, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

11 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2086 days

#1 posted 11-23-2014 01:46 PM

What kind of blade do you use on a tablesaw to cut 3/4” aluminum? I’ll bet the sparks really fly when you’re doing that.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

258 posts in 1804 days

#2 posted 11-23-2014 02:13 PM

No sparks Joe, it cuts like butter with just a plain Steel blade. But I did not have any to fit my TS so I just used the 40 tooth ATB I had in the saw. It cuts pretty much like wood. It does heat up a little with carbide, but with a plain steel blade it does not even heat up. Aluminum is really pretty cool to work with, you can work it pretty much like wood. I have even put it through my planer. I would not do that but I have carbide inserts and It does not seem to bother it at all.

Thanks for commenting Joe, Have a great day, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View RPhillips's profile


1186 posts in 1915 days

#3 posted 11-23-2014 08:54 PM

Nice, look forward to seeing the finished product.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View SPalm's profile


5321 posts in 3961 days

#4 posted 11-23-2014 10:39 PM

Interesting build. I have always been intrigued by a sliding table.

Your trucks remind me of these. You saved a lot of money, but these are adjustable.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

258 posts in 1804 days

#5 posted 11-23-2014 11:27 PM

Steve, I actually used a PDF file of theirs to get me going on these trucks.
Thanks, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View playingwithmywood's profile


424 posts in 1676 days

#6 posted 12-04-2014 04:47 AM

I would love to see a video of you sending aluminum through your planner or the aluminum across your jointer

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3664 days

#7 posted 12-04-2014 07:54 PM

Aluminium cuts, just like any hardwood and no sparks.It is really safe and easy to cut even on a bandsaw really, I do it all the time your project is a very clever idea.I bought a very heavy duty sliding table saw made by my favourite firm Wadkin.Mine does not have the three and a half metre table it actually has exactly the same set up with a sliding table of just over two metres as the big table is not needed by me neither do I really have the room it needs to operate either.This one I bought is called a dimension saw not a panel saw,which has thew full length table, and has a main motor of seven and a half horse power and a maximum blade of sixteen inches.It Also comes with another motor of two horse power for the scoring blade which is designed to eliminate breakout of the woodfibres and makes an ecellent cut on even plywood and melamine faced kitchen worktops with no furring or chips om the plastic coated worktops .Your set up is a very clever idea I wish you lots of fun with it.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

258 posts in 1804 days

#8 posted 12-04-2014 10:31 PM

Well Playingwithwood, I don’t even have the camera mastered for still shots. I would probably have better luck making a video camera out of wood than using one. The best thing about cutting aluminum is that it actually cuts better with cheap HSS blades and cutters.

Alister, are you busting my chops or have you cut aluminum?
If I had the money I would have bought one of the big saws a number of years ago. I did get a kick out of sizing a sheet of plywood today, it was awesome.

Thanks guys and have a great evening, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View perfectcut12's profile


3 posts in 523 days

#9 posted 03-09-2017 12:38 AM

Tod, What is the shape of the aluminum rails that the bearings ride on? where did you aquire them? I looked carefully at the pictures but I couldn’t tell !!!

-- Denny, NE Ohio woodworker

View perfectcut12's profile


3 posts in 523 days

#10 posted 03-09-2017 12:48 AM

Tod , Is there a chance that you can post a close-up picture(s) of the rails? I really like your project!! I need to rebuild the slider that I built several years ago and your plan looks great!!

-- Denny, NE Ohio woodworker

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

258 posts in 1804 days

#11 posted 03-21-2017 01:38 PM

Hi Denny, Those rails are 3/16 steel bed rails. however I want to replace them with a solid piece of steel plate attached to the top of the main frame work.
Sorry it took me a while to respond but I’m crazy busy. I can’t believe how much I use the sliding table, and how I managed before I had it.

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

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