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Best possible wood for skids on table saw crosscut sled and more

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Forum topic by TDog77 posted 04-01-2012 02:20 PM 4626 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TDog77

125 posts in 1814 days


04-01-2012 02:20 PM

I got the planer, jointer, new table saw all set up this week and my first small build needs to be a crosscut sled for my next few builds and I would like to know one or two suggestions for the best possible wood for the skids and for the main platform. I should mention that I have three sticks of mahogany that has been there about 2 years so it is fairly stable for my environment but honestly I was thinking of using it to face the jaws of my vises on my next project.


18 replies so far

View KenBry's profile

KenBry

470 posts in 1909 days


#1 posted 04-01-2012 02:29 PM

MDF. Go buy a 4’x8’ sheet of 3/4” thick MDF. You will use it to build jigs, crosscut sleds, and any number of things. Best thing a new woodworker can make are the jigs to build ne other things

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

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TDog77

125 posts in 1814 days


#2 posted 04-01-2012 02:33 PM

MDF for all parts?

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2530 days


#3 posted 04-01-2012 02:47 PM

MDF would probably be ok for the bed, but I would use something harder for the skids. Maple would be good or strips of a plastic cutting board.

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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5173 posts in 2656 days


#4 posted 04-01-2012 02:52 PM

NO…....the MDF is used only for the base of the sled…..Use any hardwoods like oak, maple, etc. for the runners…......You can also get 3/8×3/4” metal runners at amy woodworking store…..they all carry it….expensive, though….....I’d just as soon use hardwoods, and save that $$$ for something else…..

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Rick Dennington

5173 posts in 2656 days


#5 posted 04-01-2012 02:54 PM

Sorry Sawkerf…..........I think we were posting at the same time…..two good answers, though…lol.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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TDog77

125 posts in 1814 days


#6 posted 04-01-2012 03:01 PM

I know I will be using MDF a lot for jigs etc.. but say I wanted to go a little more classy in looks what could I use for the base? I saw wood whisperer use a plywood but I don’t know where to get the super duty stuff he was using and I don’t think my local orange big box is going to cut it. Do you think my mahogany would be ok for the front and rear fence?

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2038 days


#7 posted 04-01-2012 03:15 PM

MDF would work fine for the base; for a more permanent sled I’d use baltic birch plywood.
For the runners, wood runners will eventually need replacing. I like UHMW for low cost, or for higher cost, but will probably last a lifetime, incra runners. IMHO they have the best adjustment mechanism for fitting the slots. You tighten or loosen a screw from the top and a wedge inside the runner expands or contracts the wall of the runner for a perfect fit.

I have uhmw runners on my sled that are slightly undersized and shim them towards the blade for a snug fit.

You can get baltic birch plywood at pretty much any ww supplier. I get mine from rockler since there’s always a free shipping code floating around.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4450 posts in 3422 days


#8 posted 04-01-2012 03:25 PM

UHMW “plastic”. Put ‘em on and forget it. No swelling/movement. Get to work.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View TDog77's profile

TDog77

125 posts in 1814 days


#9 posted 04-01-2012 03:34 PM

UHMW..?

View TDog77's profile

TDog77

125 posts in 1814 days


#10 posted 04-01-2012 03:38 PM

Ah, Ultra High Molecular Weight plastic. Does it hold screws pretty well?

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2705 days


#11 posted 04-01-2012 07:34 PM

I would use a 1/2” Baltic Birch for the sled and a hardwood for the runners. Teak would be great because of it’s oily content, but Red Oak would work and it’s readily available.

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 1747 days


#12 posted 04-01-2012 08:28 PM

UHMW gets my vote. Lee Valley sells them for something like 5 bucks each. It’s what I use and they work well.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Rex Johnson's profile

Rex Johnson

6 posts in 2297 days


#13 posted 04-01-2012 08:49 PM

I agree with nwbusa – UHMW is the best. Or just go to a site like Rockler/Woodcraft and buy runners – that’s actually what I do.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8299 posts in 3109 days


#14 posted 04-01-2012 09:26 PM

You can get plastic runners from various suppliers as mentioned.

Oily, dense hardwoods work well too. Depending on the length
you need, you can get a b or c-grade guitar fretboard blank on ebay
for a few dollars, cut it into strips and use that.

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TDog77

125 posts in 1814 days


#15 posted 04-01-2012 10:48 PM

I like the idea of 1/2 inch birch for the extra depth of cut but is it stable enough over the long term compared to 3/4? I am heading up to Woodcraft tomorrow and they have a whole load of baltic birch, plastic etc. The mental problem that I am having with the pre built runners is no fixed reference point.

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