LumberJocks

Table saw sled - What's the secret?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by jesinfla posted 04-28-2016 02:07 AM 1544 views 2 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jesinfla's profile

jesinfla

274 posts in 603 days


04-28-2016 02:07 AM

I’ve made 2 table saw sleds so far and I’ve yet to be able to get them correct.

There must be a secret to this.

My problem is I can never get the 90 to the blade correct.

I know about Ng’s video, but I get lost listening to him – way beyond my abilities.

The ramsey one seems ok, to understand but again, the getting the 90 degree to the blade is always off and my cuts end up skewed every time.

The only thing I’ve been able to get to work is the miter that came with the table saw and a 2×2 board attached to it.

Thanks in advance as always for the advice

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(


29 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1507 posts in 2274 days


#1 posted 04-28-2016 02:22 AM

All i have ever used is a framing square.

I get very close tolerances by simply raising the blade high and laying the squares blade against the saw blade plate to align the runner location.

Seems most people over think this deal.

JB

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2764 days


#2 posted 04-28-2016 02:28 AM

I’ve never had any problems getting the fence of my crosscut sled square to the blade. My first one I used a framing square, and the current one I used the “five cut” method. Both came out square.

Check out Marc Spagnolo’s (The Wood Whisperer) video on it.

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/the-cross-cut-sled/

The latest one I did I used Marc’s method, clamping a straight piece of wood to the sled and shimming the fence back with feeler gauges where needed. Be sure to drill new holes to hold it down. Other than that it really isn’t difficult.

View jesinfla's profile

jesinfla

274 posts in 603 days


#3 posted 04-28-2016 02:31 AM

Thanks Jonah – I actually have that video bookmarked and forgot about it.

I’ll watch it again – getting tired of wasting mdf and wood

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2764 days


#4 posted 04-28-2016 02:38 AM

I’m not sure I’d make a crosscut sled out of MDF, honestly. It may be flat most of the time, but it’s heavy and actually prone to warping if not stored either flat or upright. It also doesn’t hold screws worth a damn.

I’d use good quality plywood, and be sure it’s reasonably flat. Most crappy big box plywood actually isn’t very flat at all.

View widdle's profile

widdle

2057 posts in 2464 days


#5 posted 04-28-2016 02:47 AM

you could try installing a sub fence 1” x 2” + -. square that up to your saw kerf..And than add your Taller fence to that…Gives you a second chance to shim it square…

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

385 posts in 2079 days


#6 posted 04-28-2016 02:55 AM

I made one also from the Wood Whisperer and used Baltic birch ply for the base, and multiple layers of that same plywood for the fences…came out great. I did go through maybe 3 or 4 iterations till I was satisfied with the accuracy.

It’s heavy, but very reliable. Oh, by the way, I’m a novice, but I am satisfied with the sled – and the cutoffs that come from it. I think you will also.

Best of luck.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#7 posted 04-28-2016 03:16 AM

I just took a screen shot of the formula William Ng uses and took me two times on the last sled. I found the pic easier than trying to keep referencing the video.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7176 posts in 2042 days


#8 posted 04-28-2016 03:19 AM

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

140 posts in 282 days


#9 posted 04-28-2016 03:40 AM

First, your fence must be flat—and a cheap straight edge isn’t adequate to measure it. You need a precision straight edge and a feeler gauge to determine that. Whatever construction method you choose, you need to build it so that one end of the fence is a pivot point and the other is firmly but temporarily temporarily by a screw in such a way the angle can be adjusted. Using the 5 cut method, measure, adjust and measure again until the angle is 90. Once you get the fence perpendicular to the blade, then come back and add permanent screws to hold the fence in place permanently.

View jesinfla's profile

jesinfla

274 posts in 603 days


#10 posted 04-28-2016 11:20 AM

Thanks all – I’ll be trying again this week.
Not looking forward to it though :(

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

111 posts in 1200 days


#11 posted 04-28-2016 03:12 PM

I’ve built a couple cross cut sleds as well. One thing I’ve realized is that it is much easier to square up a fence when it is an “L” shape fence with triangular or square supports. With a couple bolts sticking up through the bottom of the L, it is very easy to square the fence, tighten the bolts to keep the fence from moving, then add some screws on the bottom to lock it down.

I’ve also found the 5 cut method to be needlessly fussy – at least for my needs. I find I rarely cut anything over 6” wide with my sled. Trying to get to 0.005” over 5 successive foot long cuts eats a lot of time (and a lot of plywood) that really isn’t necessary to cut 6” drawer sides.

If you find yourself regularly cutting 2ft wide boards and need that kind of accuracy, then by all means fret over the 5 cut method. For stock that size, I would tend to use my circular saw and guide anyway, and my sled is more accurate than that.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of making a small, narrow sled with a telescoping stop block for repeatable cuts on long, thin stock. I’d probably use that much more often.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View jesinfla's profile

jesinfla

274 posts in 603 days


#12 posted 04-28-2016 03:22 PM

Yah Tony – Thx – that 5 cut method really is perplexing to me

I just want a simple, accurate sled – no T slides, no wing dings, no fancy stuff – Just enough to accurately cut up to about 12-16 inches

I use a ‘C’ clamp and a piece of scrap 2×4 for a stop block now on my miter slide and it works fine

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View toolie's profile

toolie

2025 posts in 2094 days


#13 posted 04-28-2016 04:26 PM

done this twice. both sleds DOBA.

https://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/power-tools/woodworking-discussion-forum/14335-crosscut-sled-different-way?t=13945

just make sure that the blade is parallel to the miter slot the sled will ride in before kerfing the sled.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 946 days


#14 posted 04-28-2016 04:32 PM

Ng’s video has a good demonstration of how to dial in the fence using stop blocks and feeler gauges.

Don’t get anal about it. 1/64th in 12” is plenty accurate enough.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

692 posts in 1263 days


#15 posted 04-28-2016 05:24 PM

I’ll tell what the secret is ya gotta make at least a half dozen of them before you earn the right to make one that cuts square.Thats how it went for me.I can now make one quick and dirty in less then a hour.Im guessing it’s just parts of the unspoken dues we pay!
Willam Ng probably made 20 or more before he figured it out.

showing 1 through 15 of 29 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com