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miter track problem

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Forum topic by tigger959 posted 1127 days ago 1767 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tigger959

50 posts in 2366 days


1127 days ago

I own a Craftsman table saw. Purchased featherboards to cut thin strips but learned Craftsman has a different size track then everyone else. Was building a miter jig and cut some poplar to serve as runners. Well, this has turned into quite the project. I am having problems cutting the runners. Seems I cut them too exact (they slide in track and under the guard(?))but when I screw them to the sled they lock in place andthe sled won’t slide. Any thought?

-- Tigger, Texas


24 replies so far

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 1668 days


#1 posted 1127 days ago

your screws may be the problem… widening the runners as they are sunk in….just a thought.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1705 days


#2 posted 1127 days ago

Your screws are swelling the runners just enough to lock them to the sides of the track. Give them a coat of furniture wax and see if that doesn’t free them up.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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tigger959

50 posts in 2366 days


#3 posted 1127 days ago

Thanks fellows but it’s not the sides that are the problem. When I tighten them, the runners tighten to the base and then I can’t get the unit started in the track. There’s a runner lead of 4 inches before the base slides onto the table. As you push the base onto the table the base catches at the front of the saw top and you can’t lift it to go any further. Should I cut the tracks so they do not have any chance of locking (top to bottom, not side to side) within the track? If so, does this do anything to the integrity of the unit?

-- Tigger, Texas

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MarcusM

36 posts in 1617 days


#4 posted 1127 days ago

Tigger, putting some thin shim stock between the runners and the base should fix that. Might take some trial and error to find the right thickness…maybe some thin card stock or even double-faced tape would work. Hope that helps.

Mark.

-- Tilbilly Mark

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tigger959

50 posts in 2366 days


#5 posted 1127 days ago

Thanks, MarcusM, will give it a try.

-- Tigger, Texas

View mrg's profile

mrg

521 posts in 1636 days


#6 posted 1127 days ago

You could try some thin flat washers between the runners and base. Also you could recut the runners and make them slightly proud.

-- mrg

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2285 days


#7 posted 1127 days ago

the runners are not supposed to bottom out in the miter slots – so shimming the runners to the sled is not really the right way to go about it here as it may and will lift your sled above the table top which might render it with full support on the table.

miter slots are not always perfectly machined and the screws also might be swelling up your runners.

to deal with the swelling of the runners you can try and plane the runners down just where the screws are at so that when you tighten the screw it won’t bulge out in thickness

if that does not help it might be due to your runners being pulled left/right when you tighten them to the sled. if thats the case, try planing the entire runners a sinch down so that it won’t bind.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1705 days


#8 posted 1127 days ago

I still think that your screws are swelling your runners and causing them to bind. From your description, your runner lead slides ok, but when you get to the screw location you’re binding up. I’ve fixed this by using a sanding block to carefully sand down the swollen runner and/or waxing them.

Another question is why you want a lead on the runners? I did that on one sled once, but decided that it didn’t add anything and haven’t done it for years.

I would also use something harder than poplar for my runners. I usually use maple and they last for years.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View mrg's profile

mrg

521 posts in 1636 days


#9 posted 1127 days ago

I read his reply, when he slides the sled in the bottom of the work surface hits the table. This was the reason I suggested the washers.

If the runners are slid in then the the sled screwed down this may take care of the problem since you would be only tightening as far a the table surface would permit. Also as Purplev suggested to shve the runner just a bit should get him working.

-- mrg

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tigger959

50 posts in 2366 days


#10 posted 1127 days ago

The plan came from:

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-plans/tablesaw/tablesaw-miter-jig/

if you want to look at it. Maybe it will give you a better idea of what I am saying. Especially where it comes to the ‘lead’ on the runners. I tried to use Maple (bought it at Rockler in Houston) but it split on me. The poplar did not. Don’t know if it’s because of the size (5/8×3/16) or not. A good friend suggests I use brads rather than the #8×1” screws. Personally, after you countersink the holes, a 3/4” would do just as fine and I wouldn’t have to sand (grind) the tips off as it indicates. By the way, is there a difference between brass screws and the steel ones or did he suggest the brass purely for ‘looks’?

I am deeply appreciative for all of your input. Currently, I’m building a workshop and haven’t finished it because I have a severe case of tennis elbow (hit a knot and didn’t brace myself) and am working under the carport (20’ x 30’) until I do. Today, the temp was 105 degrees and since I don’t get home until 1pm, I didn’t spend enough time outside to complete any suggestions. Can’t wait for it to cool down to 100!

-- Tigger, Texas

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10760 posts in 1327 days


#11 posted 1127 days ago

I have attached runners [maple, plastic, and aluminum] with the “permanent” [red] double faced tape from Staples Office Supply to avoid the screws following the grain, spreading the runner, penetrating the surface, etc. I am amazed how strong this stuff binds! Im not sure I could remove them without a heat gun and or solvent. Just a thought.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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tigger959

50 posts in 2366 days


#12 posted 1126 days ago

bentlyj: No, but I plan to before I try anything else.

gfadvm: If the above doesn’t work consistently, I’m going to try yours. In fact, I’ll buy the double faced tape no matter just to try on another project.

Thanks to all for your tips!

-- Tigger, Texas

View jeth's profile

jeth

210 posts in 1474 days


#13 posted 1126 days ago

From what I understand of his original post sounds like he has two runners and the dimensions are ok as they run in the slots fine when not attached to the sled, but the sled binds with the runners in place? If thats the case then perhaps the two runners are not perfectly parallel?

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tigger959

50 posts in 2366 days


#14 posted 1126 days ago

The problem is not parallel. The problem is the base pulls the runners up until they lock to the miter (there’s a small inset 2” in from the ends of the miter track. It’s at this point that the runners stick. I tried screwing, putting a brad & a staple into the maple runners and they split. The dimensions of the runners are 3/16” high by 5/8” wide. I cut the runners to equal the length of the base (12-1/4”). I’m going to cut some more runners from both the Maple I have and something from Lowe’s that I’ll buy tomorrow. Then, I’m going to buy some 2 sided tape to try.

-- Tigger, Texas

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10760 posts in 1327 days


#15 posted 1125 days ago

I have runners in various jigs made of maple, alum, plastic [like cutting board materiel from the dollar store] and I like the plastic ones the best. They dont seem to swell or shrink, dont have grain to deflect screws and drill bits, and slide nicely with a little paste wax

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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