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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 01-17-2014 04:41 PM 4334 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1098 days


01-17-2014 04:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw sled runners craftsman

Wood Whisperer has a great instruction video on making a table saw sled at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE9f4bp_wm8

The question I have is my Craftsman Table Saw doesn’t have straight edges on the miter slots, so any ideas how I make the runners? Do I make my square stock runners and simply rabbit the top edges?

Notice the slot tabs that they use to hold the miter slide down.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!


17 replies so far

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crank49

3981 posts in 2439 days


#1 posted 01-17-2014 05:40 PM

Those “tabs” are one of the first things to avoid when shopping for a table saw.
But, now that you have them the next best thing to do is grind them off.

Many top end cabinet saws seem to manage just fine without any method to retain the miter gauge in the miter slot.

Note, however that your slot is possibly not standard size either, so you still won’t be able to use accessories like Incra miter gauges, tenon fixtures and such. But that depends on the saw model. A standard miter slot is 3/8” deep and 3/4” wide and many accessories are designed to fit these slots.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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anile8tor

15 posts in 1218 days


#2 posted 01-17-2014 05:44 PM

I had this same issue with my Craftsman table saw. I cant wait to get a larger shop so I can get a better saw, but this saw works for the time being. i ground off the tabs and made the slots standard shape as opposed to the “t” track shape. It ony took a few minutes and I have nto missed them since.

-- anile8tor

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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1098 days


#3 posted 01-17-2014 05:57 PM

Gee guys, why didn’t you tell me this stuff before I bought it? ;)
It’s what I could afford and I will make it work! Even if I have to go to your houses and steal your tools.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

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Picken5

224 posts in 2159 days


#4 posted 01-17-2014 06:43 PM

Steve—I used to have a TS with slots like that and I didn’t grind them off. (I feel your pain BTW.) What I did was to make my own runners by ripping some hardwood strips to the width and depth of the miter slots. Then, I used a router to cut rabbet along both edges of each strip to create a space for the “tabs”. If you’re careful, you can create a tighter fit than what you’re getting with your current miter gauge. The cross section of the new runner should be pretty much the same as the one on your miter gauge. If you apply some paste wax to the runners and to the inside of your TS slots, they’ll slide easier.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

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Picken5

224 posts in 2159 days


#5 posted 01-17-2014 06:50 PM

Another thing with those type miter slots—as Michael said, the slots may not be 3/4” wide—which is the de-facto standard for such things. When I was looking into feather boards I was deciding between making some versus buying them. And I found there are not too many choices for buying TS accessories for non-standard slots. But Milescraft made a few items that worked out OK—and not terribly expensive. (Yeah, they were plastic—but, as I said, they worked out OK.)

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

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Goodsh

57 posts in 1388 days


#6 posted 01-17-2014 07:46 PM

Judging from the picture I have the same crappy saw. It’s annoying for many reasons and has a lot of faults but I make it work. I’m definitely learning what I REALLY want in a table saw. The slots are not standard 3/4. I think it’s more like 5/8 but I can’t remember. There’s a few threads on this issue. For an alternative solution:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/26395

I used an angle grinder and removed the tabs and it’s much better now. Before I did that planed a piece of oak to the thickness of the mitre slot and then cut dadoes (just a saw kerf) in both faces of the board just up from the edge of the board (I forget the distance now but it was the distance of the bottom of the mitre slot to the stupid tabs – maybe 1/4”). The dadoes should be as deep as the distance that the tabs stick out. Then I moved the fence over a blade width and ripped a 3/8” piece that ran along the dado line. You end up with a “T” shaped runner fits slides freely through the mitre slot and tabs. Worked great.

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2281 days


#7 posted 01-17-2014 07:51 PM

Just mill hardwood strips to fit. I have made jigs and runners for that saw in the past. It works okay, but won’t fit other standard miter slot accessories. I sold the saw because the arbor nut wasn’t long enough for a full dado set.

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

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ScottStewart

119 posts in 1600 days


#8 posted 01-17-2014 08:04 PM

I used to have a Craftsman table saw with the same problem and liek Pintodeluxe, I milled wood for runners. (if you cut the edge off a plainsawn oak board and rotate, you get quartersawn runners for stability).

Mark’s information is good, and the information on how to square and attach the fence is great. The one thing I changed when I upgraded my TS was to make the fence out of a laminate of plywood and MDF (There is a FWW video on making the fence, but I think it’s behind the paywall.) This is my 3rd sled, and it’s the first one that the fence has stayed exactly 90 degrees to the blade. I bought lexan to make a guard, but haven’t assembled it yet.

Good luck, it looks challenging, but it will be worth it once you get it set up nicely.

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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1098 days


#9 posted 01-18-2014 02:38 PM

OK, I’m going to solve this problem. I am going to get a branch off my oak tree out back, get out my pocket knife and start whittlin.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

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retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1137 days


#10 posted 01-18-2014 05:01 PM

For those of you with non standard slots, these will fix your problem. http://www.microjig.com/products/zeroplay-guide-bar/

-- Earl

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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1098 days


#11 posted 01-18-2014 07:19 PM

They look great and they are only $35 for a pair with stops.

I just sent them an e-mail asking if they will work with the Craftsman Tabbed slots. If they say yes I’ll order them and let everyone know how they work.

Thanks Earl

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2439 days


#12 posted 01-18-2014 07:59 PM

They should work if they start out narrow enough for your slots. You will still have to remove the tabs, however.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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crank49

3981 posts in 2439 days


#13 posted 01-18-2014 08:01 PM

I think if I had those tabs in my slots I might try getting some HDPE (cutting board material) and milling some runners to fit the slot. Then, if that didn’t work I grind those suckers off.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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Goodsh

57 posts in 1388 days


#14 posted 01-19-2014 02:09 AM

According to their website it’s for standard (3/4”) slots mitre slots so I’m not sure it will work. The saw I have is the Craftsman 10” Table Saw with Laser Trac® (21807) and from your picture it looks the same. The mitre slot on mine is 5/8”. If yours is the same as mine I think the choices are either to mill a board to 5/8”, cut a runner, and find a way to put rabbets in it (either as I did or as Picken 5 described) so the runner fits tight in the bottom of the slot but will slide freely past the tabs that jut out into the slot or remove the tabs.

It’s unfortunately not as easy as just milling a runner to fit the width of the slot with those tabs jutting out and blocking the way. I suggest removing them. It took me five minutes and I’m so glad I took them off. They’re pointless and once removed all you have to do is mill a 5/8” board and rip 3/8” runners and you’re good.

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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1098 days


#15 posted 01-19-2014 01:47 PM

Several of you have talked about grinding the tabs off. How and I’m I likely to cause further problems?

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

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