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Table saw sled - Need help

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Forum topic by 1yeldud1 posted 11-07-2013 11:36 PM 1251 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1yeldud1

298 posts in 1788 days


11-07-2013 11:36 PM

Purchased a used powermatic 2000 table saw. I am in need of building a new set of sleds for this saw. I in the past used 3/4 inch MDF for these sleds. I was wondering if I am using too thick material. What is the consensus from the members of lumberjocks for the proper thickness and what material to use for the cobstruction of these sleds (crosscut, 45 degree, ect.) Thanks for your help and suggestions


16 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112852 posts in 2323 days


#1 posted 11-07-2013 11:38 PM

Most of my sleds are 3/4 ply ,the disadvantage is MDF is heavy.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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1yeldud1

298 posts in 1788 days


#2 posted 11-07-2013 11:47 PM

I have a set of sleds that I built for a Ridgid table saw – I used some 5/8 and some 3/4 MDF for all of these (mostly because I had to purchase a full sheet at my lumber yard) – Didnt know if plywood would be as stable as MDF I kept the MDF waxed and had pretty good luck except when I dropped or banged the sleds into something. Then I had to cut a small amount off of these or chamfer the edge to make them work.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1929 posts in 544 days


#3 posted 11-07-2013 11:53 PM

My former sled was 3/4 MDF. My new sled, over twice as big, is 1/2 hardwood plywood, and it is great. I can’t imagine how heavy a 3/4 MDF sled would be of that size. The 1/2 has served me well.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

533 posts in 1333 days


#4 posted 11-08-2013 12:47 AM

My sled is 3/4” birch plywood.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11497 posts in 1436 days


#5 posted 11-08-2013 01:43 AM

My “Super Sled” has a 1/2” Baltic Birch ply base and has held up very well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Scott's profile

Scott

104 posts in 970 days


#6 posted 11-08-2013 05:29 AM

Same here, 1/2” birch ply for my large crosscut sled. Miter sled I used 3/4 on because that’s what I had on hand.

Only reason I can think of going thicker than 1/2” is if you wanted some flush mount t-tracks installed for some reason.

View rad457's profile

rad457

271 posts in 552 days


#7 posted 11-08-2013 06:47 AM

I use 1/2” (Baltic) for base and 3/4” for fence(with T-tracks stops), and oak for rails.
Tried some 1/4” hardboard on one sled for the base which was fine as long as it was on the
saw!

-- Andre of Alberta. Are you Kidding me?

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

486 posts in 1812 days


#8 posted 11-08-2013 12:50 PM

For me too, 1/2” Baltic birch ply for the base. For the fences, I laminated 4 layers of Baltic birch plywood. I made sure that the runners, made of hard maple, were cut with the grain running vertically so that when they swell or shrink with humidity ( and they will) the fit remains the way they were originally cut and fitted. I set the rear fence using the Wm. Ng 5 cut method. Very accurate results if you faithfully follow William’s method. The sled is large and some would say cumbersome, but it works very well for me and has lasted quite a while. I am satisfied with it.

-- Improvidus, Apto quod Victum-- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

623 posts in 855 days


#9 posted 11-08-2013 01:25 PM

I have three crosscut sleds – one small and one large sled that straddle the blade, and I recently made the Simple Crosscut Sled from this design: http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/shop/archive/2009/08/26/4-handy-tablesaw-jigs.aspx. I like that I can use that sled without having to lower the riving knife, and the lack of a rear fence gives it a lot of versatility for cutting large panels.

I used 1/2” or 3/4” melamine for the bases, depending on the size of the sled. I like the smooth slide. Not sure whether it’s ideal material long-term, but I made the big sled 1.5 years ago and it’s still holding up nicely.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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TeamTurpin

85 posts in 808 days


#10 posted 11-08-2013 01:48 PM

My base is 1/2” birch ply. I hang this on the wall, so I wouldn’t want anything heavier.

-- http://www.teamturpin.org/house/shop.htm

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

279 posts in 1360 days


#11 posted 11-08-2013 03:22 PM

I used 3/4 baltic for the base and 3 layers of the same for the fences. Quite solid.

I departed from convention and used aluminum t-track for the runners. they work GREAT, won’t warp, bend, crack, nor split. I used the stuff from rockler because I was struggling with getting some hardwood the exact right width and thickness and placement. With the Rockler track – I got it mounted correctly quite easily.

Now – many months later, still performs flawlessly.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2597 posts in 2488 days


#12 posted 11-08-2013 03:30 PM

Use the 3/4

I used 1/2 inch Baltic Birch – and it has curled along the saw Kerf on the right hand side.
Nice and flat at the rear fence and the front rail – but in the middle it developed a hump – just enough that it catches when i slide stock across it.
I am just “dealing with it” as with most things, Making new stuff tends to always be ahead of rebuilding old jigs – that still are working.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View tool_junkie's profile

tool_junkie

244 posts in 1275 days


#13 posted 11-08-2013 03:36 PM

Mike, I would like to see some pics of your sled with t-track runners. Can you please post some?

Thanks!

View 1yeldud1's profile

1yeldud1

298 posts in 1788 days


#14 posted 11-08-2013 06:10 PM

sounds like I need to look for some good plywood for my next series of sleds – Thanks Guys for the input on this subject I do appreciate your input – this is a great web site to find GREAT information !!!

View mrbreezeet1's profile

mrbreezeet1

60 posts in 899 days


#15 posted 11-14-2013 03:22 AM

I ordered the 1/2” thick phenolic covered plywood from Rockler.
http://www.rockler.com/light-brown-phenolic-faced-plywood-sheets
Have not built the sled yet.
When using hardwood for the runners, with the grain running vertical, is there any swelling in humid conditions?
Are you guys having good luck with the hardwood runners?

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