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What do you use? Wood runners, or aluminum runners?

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Forum topic by AJswoodshop posted 665 days ago 1684 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 902 days


665 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

On all of my sleds and TS jigs I cut my runners out of hardwood. My TS sled slides nicely but I wonder how aluminum runners slide? What do you use? Aluminum runners, or wood runners?

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop


20 replies so far

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1526 days


#1 posted 665 days ago

I’m sure that there are a variety of opinions on this, but I used aluminum bar stock. I then tapped threaded holes in the sides for nylon set screws for micro-adjust capability. I have been very happy.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1016 posts in 912 days


#2 posted 665 days ago

Neither :) I use UHMW: http://www.leevalley.com/en/hardware/page.aspx?p=32045&cat=3,43576,32045

These Incra steel bars are really nice, too: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43455&p=65247

-- John, BC, Canada

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1202 days


#3 posted 665 days ago

I like metal runners. I plan on getting a couple of incra's new glide lock runners. They’re the same they use on their miter gauges and are amazingly smooth sliding and adjust for the fit.

Wood runners will work fine though, so long as you choose a stable hard wood.

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

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 902 days


#4 posted 665 days ago

Thanks for the comments guys. I think I might try aluminum runners soon.

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7675 posts in 2678 days


#5 posted 665 days ago

I use wood runners…

These are pretty good Metal runners... (if you want to pay the price)

I also use UHMW strips, one on each side of the bottom… Slides really SMOOTH…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1927 posts in 877 days


#6 posted 665 days ago

Hardwood runners on my crosscut sled.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1176 posts in 1249 days


#7 posted 665 days ago

Mine are all wood. some of my one time jigs, I use mdf. For things I will use more than once I use maple. On jigs like the miter slot cutter, I tear one up a year, I save them for the next one. I really should make a nice miter slot cutting jig. I paste em together and just saw through them, where ever the slot needs to be cut.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3318 posts in 1439 days


#8 posted 665 days ago

For my crosscut sled I use metal runners with the small ball bearings on the side to eliminate any slop.
Most of my other jigs use the fence, rather than the miter slots. My tapering jig is held against the fence with a featherboard. My tenoning jig rides over the fence.

Good luck AJ

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1005 days


#9 posted 665 days ago

Plywood, hardboard or plastic. No idea what the plastic is but it’s slick, I got a bunch of it for free.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1243 posts in 995 days


#10 posted 665 days ago

I use scrap wood because I’m cheap like that. Never had any issues. Metal or plastic would be nice, but so long as I have scrap, I have runners.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11285 posts in 1731 days


#11 posted 665 days ago

Hi AJ. My table saw is different from most, it is a Ryobi and has no slot in the top for the typical runner. My sled fits over the center housing and I made slippery plastic glides for the bottom and sides so it slides effortlessly back and forth. I have a lot of this stuff, so if it would wear, I’d just cut another piece and replace it.

First I had to machine the center section of that Ryobi saw. It is not meant to have a sled. It has a sliding table on the side but that is too ” off center” for mounting a sled to. So, I set up some fences parallel with the saw blade and used a router and carbide bit to cut the sides of that aluminum housing to make it truly parallel with the blade. Then I fit the sled to the size of the center section…...............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 902 days


#12 posted 665 days ago

Sounds like most of you guys use wood runners.

Jim,
I’ve seen those table saws with sliding tables, they look cool! Yeah, that is strange that your table saw doesn’t have slots in the table.

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1243 posts in 995 days


#13 posted 665 days ago

AJ, I rip the wood to just shy of the depth of the slot. Then I flip that on it’s side and rip it to the width of the slot. That gets me a runner that with edge grain on top and bottom, if it expands, it should expand mostly in the vertical direction, which is why I left it a hair short (it doesn’t need to ride on the bottom of the slot). I like to rip the width so it’s tight in the slot. One or two passes with a sanding block until it slides nicely will give you a runner with no wiggle room.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3686 posts in 1993 days


#14 posted 665 days ago

On a TS with a cast iron top almost any material will work. On an aluminum top, don’t use aluminum runner.

I use steel bar stock that fits perfectly, better than the original, in my 40 year old Craftsman. I have four pieces of that stock!

I have used UHMW runners for some jigs.
Never used any wood runners … no reason why!
Never used aluminum … !

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Zinderin's profile

Zinderin

94 posts in 758 days


#15 posted 665 days ago

I use hardwood or polyethylene (when I can get it) ... my philosophy is simple …

a) I’m cheap,
b) I usually redesign or re-purpose jigs long before the wood wears out, and
c) I just don’t like the idea of metal on metal with my miter-slot … I’m ‘skeered’ it will cause slop.

Hardwood with a little bee’s wax … its awesome in my book.

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