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Table saw sled safety question

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Forum topic by skatefriday posted 06-27-2014 11:28 PM 625 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skatefriday

151 posts in 133 days


06-27-2014 11:28 PM

So I made a sled for my table saw roughly following the Wood Whisperer
and other’s similar designs. I’ve found that if I want accurate cuts I need
to clamp the workpiece to fence otherwise I can’t get an accurate 90 degrees.

My fence is tall enough that I can’t comfortably get my fingers securely onto
the workpiece and I’d rather be concentrating on pushing the sled and
watching where my hands are relative to the saw blade than focusing on
ensuring the workpiece doesn’t move anyway.

The question is, is it safe to clamp stop blocks on both sides
of the workpiece if the workpiece is shorter than the fence
to keep it from moving side to side as it passes
through the blade, or do I really want a solution where I’m only
clamping one side?


10 replies so far

View TiggerWood's profile

TiggerWood

197 posts in 257 days


#1 posted 06-27-2014 11:58 PM

I’ve heard over and over again that that would be dangerous to clamp both sides.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

155 posts in 381 days


#2 posted 06-27-2014 11:59 PM

I don’t know what size your blade is, but when building slideboards for a 10” saw, I usually build my infeed and outfeed fence out of a 5” piece hickory or oak x width of saw table. The bottom of the board is usually Baltic Birch, but any good quality plywood will work.
Where the blade cuts through, measure 3” on either side, and then measure 2” down from the top. Mark a raduis or ogee connecting from the top to the lines. Cut the waste material away, leaving a a flat dome at the center of the fence, route the edges with a roundover bit, and assemble the slideboard. At the center you should have about 1 1/4” of solid wood above the blade height after cutting through, and about 2 1/4” on the outsides of the board giving you plenty of grip on your material without clamps. Stop blocks are good for multiple cuts, but you must be holding the wood if you don’t use other types of hold downs. Do not clamp both sides of the wood as you will likely get a kick back or catch that could possibly cause bodily injury of saw damage.
I’ve had over 60 of these slideboards in my shop when I was actively engaged in woodworking and consider myself knowledgable in their uses. If this site wasn’t such a pain in the butt to post pictures, I would post several if I had pictures.. Maybe tomorrow. Sometime before assembly, I usually chamfer the fence where it meets the plywood to eliminate chip/dust buildup that will eventually cause your piece to be out of square. .... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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skatefriday

151 posts in 133 days


#3 posted 06-28-2014 12:28 AM

Just clarify, I’m not clamping both sides, I’m using 1” scrap stop blocks on both sides and clamping the stop blocks to the fence. The workpiece has no direct clamping it just abuts the stop blocks on both sides.

I have a G1023. 10” blade with riving knife.

I made the back fence and fastened it before I realized it really needed to be shorter if I were to use hands to secure the workpiece.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10850 posts in 1341 days


#4 posted 06-28-2014 12:54 AM

A stop block on both side works reasonably well IF you never back your sled/workpiece up after a cut. But using one stop block and a holddown for your stock is best.

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

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

853 posts in 586 days


#5 posted 06-28-2014 02:03 AM

Mmmm…. I wouldn’t if I were you. gfadvm is probably correct in saying that if you never back up the sled, you might be ok, but I still wouldn’t put stop blocks on both ends.This is the scenario I worry about: You cut all the way through the board at the “front” side of the blade and proceed to push the board all the way through the blade. It is very possible that the two pieces that you just made by cutting one piece in half will want to drift against the body of the blade. This isn’t a big deal until you hit the teeth on the way out. I wouldn’t expect anything catastrophic, but you might end up nipping some of your fresh cut corners. Hope that made sense. I think it is much safer to put two clamps on the actual board you are cutting, preferably both on one side of the blade. That way they don’t move even after they are cut.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10850 posts in 1341 days


#6 posted 06-28-2014 01:56 PM

I agree with oyster. Clamps or holddowns are the safest way to go.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15695 posts in 2869 days


#7 posted 06-28-2014 03:23 PM

I agree the stop blocks are a bad idea. If you clamp them tightly enough against the ends of the work piece to keep it from moving, there may be enough tension to push the cut end into the blade as it passes through… not a great scenario.

I would say the fence should be low enough to hand-hold.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View steve_in_ohio's profile

steve_in_ohio

1066 posts in 261 days


#8 posted 06-28-2014 03:30 PM

look at my table saw sled V2 in my projects and I have the one stop block and a hold down clamp set up if you need some ideas

-- steve, simple and effective woodworking---

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

151 posts in 133 days


#9 posted 06-28-2014 05:27 PM

Nice sled design. The push/pull handle is awesome.

I suppose I have some work to do…

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

155 posts in 381 days


#10 posted 06-28-2014 08:00 PM

Here is the picture I said I’d post. I don’t have any problems securing my wood with my hands. No need for clamps or things like that, other than one for a stop block. ........... Jerry (in Tucson).

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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