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Question about building a cross cut sled for the table saw

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Forum topic by botanist posted 04-13-2014 06:11 PM 1083 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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botanist

167 posts in 3005 days


04-13-2014 06:11 PM

I’m planning on building a cross cut sled for my table saw using William Ng’s plans and method (video for the curious) but I had a couple of questions.

First, how important is it that the test panel you’re using is square before you start your test cuts?

Second, in his video Mr. Ng gets a negative value for the error so he has to move the fence down and I understand how to do that. My question is how do you set up your feeler gauge if you have to move the fence up? I just can’t visualize how to do that.


8 replies so far

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retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1135 days


#1 posted 04-13-2014 06:27 PM

For moving the fence up just put your feeler gauge against the fence and clamp you stop against the feeler gauge. Then unscrew the fence, move it up to the stop and screw it back in place. As far as the test panel it doesn’t really have to be square it just as to have 4 straight 90 degree edges. It can be rectangular or square.

-- Earl

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oldnovice

5731 posts in 2834 days


#2 posted 04-13-2014 09:31 PM

IMO, Mr. Ng, goes a little overboard in making his version of a cross cut sled accurate.
Search this site and you will see many sleds, built for accuracy, and much simpler.

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

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2710 days


#3 posted 04-14-2014 05:32 PM

My concern would be; after the sled is perfectly accurate, how long will it stay that way?

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BigMig

385 posts in 2080 days


#4 posted 04-14-2014 06:47 PM

The squareness of the test piece isn’t importnat in the beginning because you’re going to measure it after 5 cuts, so the squareness in the beginning isn’t important.

I’m assuming Mr Ng uses the saqme “5 cuts” method that the wood whisperer uses. The wood whipserer’s method worked well for me.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

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oldnovice

5731 posts in 2834 days


#5 posted 04-14-2014 07:15 PM

I agree with Mr. Ron, unless the sled is made out of some inorganic material the set up will change due to environmental conditions and just handling it.

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

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OggieOglethorpe

1213 posts in 1576 days


#6 posted 04-14-2014 07:59 PM

  • unless the sled is made out of some inorganic material the set up will change due to environmental conditions and just handling it.*

Only if you build in adjustability or poorly select stock for the reference fence…

I’ve seen fully glued, heavily used, sleds in pro shops, schools, and my own shop, stay accurate season after season for 10+ years. They’re either as accurate as the day they were made, or broken… Because they CAN’T change in the directions that matter.

Anything that is adjustable probably won’t stay in adjustment. Select rift sawn stock, of a properly dried, stable species, and you’ll be good to go for years.

I save 1 3/4” to 2” wide drops from white oak, cherry, mahogany, and walnut rips, glue them up into a 3-4” high stack stack, and forget about them for a while on the rack. When I need a fence, I cut off my required length, joint one face and edge of the stack, and optionally plane the other face. The jointed face becomes the reference face, and the jointed edge attaches to the sled floor.

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oldnovice

5731 posts in 2834 days


#7 posted 04-14-2014 08:48 PM

Barry I agree with you if it is glued solidly without any adjustments, otherwise all bets are off!

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

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botanist

167 posts in 3005 days


#8 posted 04-14-2014 09:21 PM

Thanks for all the help, guys. I’m planning on gluing together some straight plywood scraps I have for the fences so they’re a little more stable than solid wood.

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