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Got lucky on new crosscut sled

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Forum topic by Rich posted 05-18-2017 02:47 PM 861 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rich

1565 posts in 346 days


05-18-2017 02:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

I put this sled together over the past two days. I wanted one that could handle larger boards, so this is 36” wide and can accommodate up to 27-1/2” crosscuts. It’s totally old school, which is how I like it. No bells, no whistles, just a workhorse.

So why was I lucky, and why am I bothering to post about a sled with no new cool features to show? The first try at setting the fence and doing a 5-cut test resulted in a 0.000052” per inch error. Actually, the first test was about three times that value, probably because having the fence anchored at only two points that were 32” apart was letting it flex a bit. After running screws down the length every 4 inches or so, it locked down for that 52 millionths of an inch.

Sounds crazy I know, but I was using a 24” square board to test on, and the final gross error was only about 5 thousandths, so finishing the math gave me a pretty surprising (and satisfying) result.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.


9 replies so far

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

80 posts in 169 days


#1 posted 05-18-2017 03:10 PM

I am looking to make a much smaller sled. Would you mind identifying the wood materials you used. Looks like plywood for the fence and particle board for the base. I would imagine that the straightness and flatness of the materials is an important factor.

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Rich

1565 posts in 346 days


#2 posted 05-18-2017 03:45 PM

You’re right about straight and flat. That’s one reason I like MDF. The base is 1/2” MDF and the fences are 1/2” baltic birch plywood, stacked 3 high. I made the runners out of pecan, although any very hard wood will work. The little block on the back obviously isn’t a safety guard since the blade comes through it, but just a block to keep my thumbs from accidentally getting too close.

I have a little one with a 12” capacity that I use for very small parts. It’s identical, but scaled down, with 1/4” MDF and fences stacked 2 high.

One tip I use is to dedicate a nice, straight board for jig runners and joint and plane it to just fit in the miter slots. Then, you can just rip thin pieces for your runners, and the width is perfect.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Hockey

80 posts in 169 days


#3 posted 05-18-2017 04:09 PM

Thanks, Rich.

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Rich

1565 posts in 346 days


#4 posted 05-18-2017 04:20 PM

You’re welcome, Hockey. Feel free to PM me with any questions. Also, look around LJ. You’ll find tons of very cool designs.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

615 posts in 252 days


#5 posted 05-19-2017 01:05 AM

“first try” .....nice!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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Rich

1565 posts in 346 days


#6 posted 05-19-2017 03:46 AM

Thanks Tung. Nice — and lucky. Most of my other sleds have at least a half-dozen holes underneath from chasing square. It’s great to have a sled that I know I can count on, especially given the long cuts it can make.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Lefley's profile

Lefley

22 posts in 267 days


#7 posted 05-19-2017 03:57 AM

Id like to make a sled like that. The holes youve drilled. Im new at this. Can you explain distance and size of holes and how you attach something to give you required angles.

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papadan

3584 posts in 3125 days


#8 posted 05-19-2017 04:43 AM

Lefley, those are not holes. Those are the screw heads holding the runners on the bottom.

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

View Rich's profile

Rich

1565 posts in 346 days


#9 posted 05-19-2017 04:49 AM

Lefley, for starters, here is a great video by William Ng who is credited with the 5-cut test for squareness. Regardless of what design you choose for your sled, his method is the best way to get it square. All of the details of building a sled are too involved for a simple post here. Videos are very valuable to seeing what goes on, and there are hundreds out there.

I can’t stress enough that this sort of jig is unique to the individual’s needs. LJ is a great resource for different, very creative designs, and I do encourage you to look at all of the possibilities you’ll find here. Mine is very basic, but it fits how I work.

Back to your question, the holes you see are spaced out of convenience. The length from the front screw to the back was 27”, so I took my dividers, set it to 3” and walked the spacing out. Not very scientific at all.

Take time to scope out the tons of information out there and choose what you think will work for you. There’s no one right way to do it.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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