Table Saw Sled Finish

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 02-22-2010 09:14 PM 2480 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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271 posts in 3275 days

02-22-2010 09:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig tablesaw question

I’ve recently discovered the usefulness of a table saw sled and would like to upgrade from the very basic one I threw together from scraps. My question is, with a plywood base and hardwood fence, should I put a finish on the sled to minimize wood movement and ensure squareness to the blade and in the runners? If so, what kind? I will probably buy some UHMWPU for the runners, but Im still concerned about the fence. Thanks.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

7 replies so far

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3368 days

#1 posted 02-22-2010 10:10 PM

I used poly-u on mine. Use whatever you have extra of. It is a shop project, so on those I use “scrap” finishes. That doesn’t mean it won’t look good. I would not recommend the UHMW runners though. I know they are available at a reasonable cost, but they are not so durable. As the UMHW wears away, you will get sloppiness in your sled. I recommend a steel runner – you can get them on Amazon for $25-ish depending upon the length. If you don’t want to part with the cash, use hardwood for your runners. It will wear better than the UHMW.

View unisaw2's profile


209 posts in 3058 days

#2 posted 02-22-2010 10:47 PM

Yes, sleds open up all kinds of options for the table saw. I find that wax over poly really helps tight hardwood runners to move smoothly. Although I have all hardwood runners, I agree, steel is a better way to go.

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

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228 posts in 3368 days

#3 posted 02-22-2010 11:33 PM

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3228 days

#4 posted 02-23-2010 05:28 AM

Steel runners are the better ones. I have hardwood runners poly’d so the oak doesn’t move on me. They slide easy enough, but if I had a preference I’d use stell runners.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3275 days

#5 posted 02-23-2010 03:30 PM

Thanks for the input, I’ll probably go the poly/wax route. Those steel runners do look like they would work very well, unfortunately I’m working with a bottom of the line Ryobi and its abnormal miter slots, so cutting the runners to size is a prerequisite. Someday…

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View peggyraye's profile


8 posts in 3091 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 04:15 PM

Thermo Plastic: the stuff commercial cutting boards is made of makes great runners. Mine have lasted a long time. I got some of mine at Woodcraft. They call it something different but it is the same. I recently found one at the thrift store (the price was right). This is the material I am talking about.

I am sure you can find it cheaper at other places but I haven’t had time to look. I am only suggesting the material. Maybe one of the others will have a name and cheap suggestion for purchase. I could use that info too.

Livin’ on a dime!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3079 days

#7 posted 02-26-2010 05:08 AM

My sled is unfinished. I wax the bottom and the runners occassionally to make it slide easily, but that’s all.

-- Glen

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