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Crosscut sled for a Skil 3305?

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 675 days ago 1966 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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paxorion

599 posts in 677 days


675 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: jig skil crosscut sled tablesaw

Several Black Fridays ago when I was looking to get into more DIY projects around the house, I purchased a Skil 3305 table saw from Lowes. Now that my interest has evolved more into woodworking, I am looking to build some jigs to make the saw a bit more usable in the near future. I know that the miter gauge slots aren’t standard (sorta like a T-slot), and has been a sore point in figuring out how to make and attach runners. Does anyone have any advice?

The dimensions of the slots are as follows: – Width (top of miter gauge slot): 11/16” – Width (bottom of miter gauge slot): 13/16” – Height: 3/16”

I also want to say that I don’t have a dedicated space for a workshop. As a result, I am not looking to replace the table saw until my wife and I move, and I have the space for a better contractor or hybrid saw.

-- paxorion


9 replies so far

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2723 days


#1 posted 675 days ago

I have t-slots on mine and use lots of jigs that are fitted to the top of the slots dimension. I cut my own hardwood runners and have several crosscut jigs, a miter jig, and a new dado sled.

Are you looking to buy runners that fit like your miter gauge?

-- Nicky

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paxorion

599 posts in 677 days


#2 posted 675 days ago

Nicky, I’m hoping to build my own. Since I have very few tools atm, I’m wondering what would be the best way to go about making the runners, and what material i can use. I am curious if 3/16 hardboard would be a bad idea to use as runners, since the height is practically perfect, and all i’d have to do is cut it to width/length.

-- paxorion

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NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1208 days


#3 posted 675 days ago

Use a hardwood for the runners. Just take your time cutting them to size.
Do a quick search on crosscut sleds; there’s tons of info out there. :)

No need to worry about the t-slot. Just go by the dimensions for the top part.

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

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mIps

174 posts in 686 days


#4 posted 675 days ago

I am about to build a sled of my own and kind of ran into the same issue with my slots. In my research, the common threads that I have seen would suggest that you make the runners 11/16 wide by 1/4 tall. That will fit into the main part of the runner slot, won’t bottom out in the slots and the sled bottom will sit on the table. Just don’t worry about the “T” at the bottom. Also, runners should be the hardest wood you can get your hands on, high density plastic or metal (I vote wood). If you go with wood, look for the tightest, straightest grain you can find and cut it so the grain is running vertical. That way any expansion will not affect the fit of the runners (will expand into the space below).
If you search for SuperSled either here or on google you can find a good example. Also, there is a interesting version here. It has some features that you may want to consider. With hardboard, I would be more concerned about moisture expansion than with “real wood”. I found a decent scrap of walnut at my local hardwood dealer for $1.50 and will be using that. Hardwood would be great for a saw deck though as it slides well. You might also check with your hardwood dealer for plywood cutoffs. I got a 2’ x 4’ piece of cherry plywood for $7.00 that will become my sled. Best of luck and pics when it’s done!

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.

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Nicky

636 posts in 2723 days


#5 posted 675 days ago

mIps, that is a slick sled.

I too would use a hard wood for the runners. Look around for used pallets as they are often made of hardwoods and I’m sure you could cut around defects. I’ve never tried hardboard for this, but I do believe that you should use whats available to you. I’d be concerned that it would not last as the slots will rub against the runners and scrape the hardboard and over time wear faster then hardwood. I never glue the runners so I can replace them as I wear them down.

-- Nicky

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paxorion

599 posts in 677 days


#6 posted 673 days ago

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I’m thinking I will get some 1/4 or 1/2 inch hardwood and cut grooves into a plywood base, to attach. Will post back up when I manage to get this done.

-- paxorion

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paxorion

599 posts in 677 days


#7 posted 582 days ago

Hi everyone, I thought I’d give a quick update on the status of this jig project.

Short version: It’s DOA thanks to the saw being out of parallel to the miter slots

Long version:
After picking up some 1/4” oak for the runners and 3/4 birch plywood, I was all ready to dive head first into the project. As I started doing the preparations, I decided to do one last check before I committed to cutting the material, just to make sure the blade was in fact parallel to the miter slots. With a lack of tools, I thought I’d just use a combination square, and sure enough, found that there was a 1/32” difference between the front and back of the blade. This explains the recent burning that I started to see when doing some rip and cross cuts on the saw. After fighting to loosen the lock nuts that hold the saw motor into position, I succeeded only in stripping 3 over the span of 6 total hours. I’ll take this as a huge lesson in getting what you pay for. In short, I’ve decided to axe my crosscut sled plans for this saw.

Now I am faced with a dilemma…given my limited space (where I have to move all my equipment into my backyard to do any work) do I fork out the cash to replace the saw with a better benchtop table saw (like the bosch 4100 or ridgid r4510), or keep the saw and fall back onto the circular saw/straight edge option when necessary while for as long as I can. Of all irony, the only reason the saw would be worth keeping, is because the fence has significant play which allows me to lock it down parallel to the blade.

Any opinions would certainly be appreciated.

-- paxorion

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

179 posts in 1589 days


#8 posted 580 days ago

Paxorion, sounds like you’re giving up too soon. Via re-tapping or inserts can you repair the stripped out fasteners and bolt holes? If so then you’re halfway home.

No offense meant, but I believe that your saw is a bottom feeder. But it’s yours now, and as exasperating as they may be, junk tools usually still outperform NO tools. The Bosch 4100 is mobile and versatile, but for $600 you’ll still be out of alignment by a few or a dozen or more thousandths. So you’ll need much more money to spend your way out of the inaccuracy hole.

Why not still make a sled? The slots may be off square, but by definition your cut through the sled’s base will be in alignment with the blade. ( assuming here that you can get the runner(s) snug) What you now want is the back fence of the sled to be perpendicularly aligned with the blade, and you’ll get that by fastening one end of the fence and then swinging the other per the guidance of your setup tools to a point of perfection. Yes, your sled might ride somewhat sideways across the tabletop, but workpieces squared to the squared fence will get an accurate 90 cut.

If money is no object then use this saw as a boat anchor. But if you’re up to the challenge of conserving cash and snatching victory from defeat then kick some sled butt!

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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paxorion

599 posts in 677 days


#9 posted 580 days ago

Fuigb, thanks for the advice. I do believe that burning a good amount of time has me very discouraged. Even if I were able to get to the stripped nut, I am still concerned by the inability to properly access 2 of the 8 nuts that may have to be loosened. Perhaps when I have had some time to unwind from this headaches I’ll give it another shot. In addition, I will still consider giving the sled a shot.

I also admit that the saw is a bottom feeder. I blame my my naive old self from before I decided to take on woodworking. I suppose the question I was asking, is if I got a better benchtop table saw, would I be repeating the same headache with a more expensive saw. It sounds like the answer is “very likely”. If anything, this entire experience has taught me that when I replace my saw, I really should be looking for a saw that is easier to align.

-- paxorion

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