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

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Forum topic by AJswoodshop posted 10-25-2012 01:24 AM 4294 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1057 posts in 2270 days

10-25-2012 01:24 AM

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?

20 replies so far

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 2894 days

#1 posted 10-25-2012 01:56 AM

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


1021 posts in 2280 days

#2 posted 10-25-2012 01:58 AM

Neither :) I use UHMW:,43576,32045

These Incra steel bars are really nice, too:,43455&p=65247

-- John, BC, Canada

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2570 days

#3 posted 10-25-2012 01:59 AM

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


1057 posts in 2270 days

#4 posted 10-25-2012 02:57 AM

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10091 posts in 4046 days

#5 posted 10-25-2012 03:01 AM

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: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3546 posts in 2245 days

#6 posted 10-25-2012 03:03 AM

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


1676 posts in 2618 days

#7 posted 10-25-2012 03:14 AM

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 (online now)


5653 posts in 2807 days

#8 posted 10-25-2012 03:18 AM

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 Woodknack's profile


11601 posts in 2373 days

#9 posted 10-25-2012 06:32 AM

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

-- Rick M,

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2363 days

#10 posted 10-25-2012 12:27 PM

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

20451 posts in 3099 days

#11 posted 10-25-2012 12:47 PM

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


1057 posts in 2270 days

#12 posted 10-25-2012 01:04 PM

Sounds like most of you guys use wood runners.

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.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2363 days

#13 posted 10-25-2012 01:20 PM

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


6830 posts in 3361 days

#14 posted 10-25-2012 03:16 PM

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


94 posts in 2126 days

#15 posted 10-25-2012 05:39 PM

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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