LumberJocks

Improved Miter gauge or Sled

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Ebald posted 01-07-2012 07:16 PM 1799 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ebald's profile

Ebald

11 posts in 1831 days


01-07-2012 07:16 PM

I brought this question over from the “Reviews” section. A Rockler sled was reviewed and I asked a few questions regarding the decision of which way to go but wasn’t geting much responce.

To all, I’ve been contemplating the sled purchase vs a much improved miter gauge such as an osbourne. It seems to me a sled is a miter gauge on steroids, both in size & performance and using a sled would negate using a miter gauge?

Then this leads me to the next question, if i buy a sled do I need to keep my radial arm saw? The RA is strong at crosscuts but beyond that the table saw is superior. I could sure use the room etc if I got rid of the RA. The RA is a favorite in my heart (first big purchase inthe wood shop) but each day I use it less and less.

I would really like some opinions so don’t hold back. I need the food for thought to make my decisions.

Thanks!


18 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#1 posted 01-07-2012 07:26 PM

Radial arm saws aren’t as reliable as a table saw sled for
squaring panels. A radial saw is nice to have if you have the
space. You can tune your radial arm saw to dead square
and leave it there, making jigs that you put on the table
for angles.

For crosscutting heavy solid wood boards the RAS is useful
to have on hand.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#2 posted 01-07-2012 08:15 PM

I thought I had previously responded to this, but I don’t see my response here.

I can’t tell you what to do, but I will share my experience.

I once had a RAS. I only used it occasionally for some unique cuts. I’m sure that, even on those unique cuts, I could have found another way to make the cut with a little creative thinking. Finally, I decided that it was taking up more space than it was worth and I got rid of it. At the time I did that, I only had a miter saw and a modest table saw as alternatives to the RAS. It was still the right decision then. Since then, I have acquired a plunge saw with track, a sled for my TS and a SCMS to replace my basic non-sliding miter saw. These tools even further diminish the need for a RAS.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#3 posted 01-07-2012 08:51 PM

The RAS is capable of some amazing stuff, but some of them
don’t hold settings very well. Curtis Epelding wrote at least one
article I read about precision joinery on the radial arm saw (he
used a Craftsman). You can do some cool stuff with it, even use
it as an overarm router.

View Viking's profile

Viking

878 posts in 2661 days


#4 posted 01-07-2012 09:01 PM

My very first saw was a Craftsman RA and I never could keep it square to the fence. It also scared the crap out of me every time i used it.

I finally gave up and sold it and got a table saw. I have never looked back.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#5 posted 01-07-2012 10:26 PM

Viking – RAS work best if you chicken fry them and serve them with a generous portion of gravy.

For those who think I have gone crazy – it’s an inside joke.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Viking's profile

Viking

878 posts in 2661 days


#6 posted 01-08-2012 01:57 AM

Ha! Good one Rich!

Toooo Shaaaaaay!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Ebald's profile

Ebald

11 posts in 1831 days


#7 posted 01-08-2012 07:09 AM

thanks guys, All good points. I like the saw but feel like it can be easily elimanted and not missed. The other thing I don’t care too much for is, by trying all the different cuts and angles you are steadily eating up your fence.

View Viking's profile

Viking

878 posts in 2661 days


#8 posted 01-08-2012 02:57 PM

Ebald;

Just make a new fence from a piece of 1/2” or 3/4” MDF? The fence is your zero clearance insert on a RAS.

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View ldl's profile

ldl

1135 posts in 1831 days


#9 posted 01-08-2012 07:52 PM

I have a Craftsman 10” RS and for several years didn’t have a table saw. I got good at ripping and i used it to cross cut. I have used it as a router and a moulder cutter also. It is a dangerous machine in that you have to really hold the handle to keep it from jumping and also make sure the head is all way back before you cut it on. Don’t ask how I know this. It was the only saw I had so I learned to make the most of it. Now I have a table saw and miter saw and except for the need to cut wider than 10” I seldom use it.

Never thought about selling it though. That’s a though and that would help me upgrade my TS. Idea!

It was the first large power tool I bought back in the 80’s

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View sras's profile

sras

4392 posts in 2595 days


#10 posted 01-08-2012 09:23 PM

To your question about the miter gauge.

Since I got my sled I have not used my miter gauge once. I do have a chop saw that I use for cross cuts on small parts.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 1796 days


#11 posted 01-08-2012 10:07 PM

I say a sled is the way to go. Much more versatile and worlds more stable than a miter gauge. I personally would never spend the kind of money on one from rockler of anywhere else though. I built a few over the years to fit different saws I’ve owned and I get dead on square crosscuts. Mine never had the bells and whistles that the manufactured ones do, but they accommodate a wide range of jigs and additions to accomplish nearly anything

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 1796 days


#12 posted 01-08-2012 10:11 PM

I also tend not to buy anything I can build and personalize to my own standards and uses. Using a tool you build yourself is a special kind of satisfaction you just cant buy.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Ebald's profile

Ebald

11 posts in 1831 days


#13 posted 01-09-2012 03:07 AM

I put the RA on craigslist this afternoon. It was the first big purchase years ago and has served well.
Im going to build a sled. I like the Rockler and the quality but would rather build to my liking. It’ll be fun.
Thanks everybody for the help!

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 1796 days


#14 posted 01-09-2012 05:16 AM

Look around here and the web a bit, you’ll find a lot of sleds that people have built. You’ll get a good general idea how you want to go about it and what might work best for you.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View ChunkyC's profile

ChunkyC

856 posts in 2720 days


#15 posted 01-09-2012 05:27 AM

I have an Osborn EB-3 and it is an excellent miter gauge. My sled is far more reliable at giving me more actuate and consistent cuts than the miter gauge. And I have more confidence in my sled. Make yourself a mid sized sled and never look back. The Woodwhisper has a podcast where he shows how he makes a sled and tunes it. Although his math in how to calculate how much to move the fence is flawed in the tuning method, the basic principles to tuning a sled are spot on. Give it a watch.

c

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

showing 1 through 15 of 18 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