Finish / Seal Crosscut sled

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Forum topic by kmerkle posted 10-14-2014 04:31 PM 999 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kmerkle's profile


33 posts in 2297 days

10-14-2014 04:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sealer humidity finishing

I made a crosscut sled from 1/2” baltic birch plywood with with oak runners. It worked great when I made it, which happened to be in the Spring when the humidity in SC is moderate. However, my shop is in my garage and my sled swells with the humidity and becomes nearly unusable.

I’m planning to set it out in the sun this Fall on a nice cool day, let it shrink back to original size, and then seal it with something that will hopefully prevent it from absorbing moisture and swelling when it becomes humid again.

My question is, what is the best thing to seal it with? Shellac? Polyurethane?



-- Every project is perfect until it's started.

6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4901 posts in 3923 days

#1 posted 10-14-2014 04:39 PM

Put some shellac on it. Let it dry, then wax it.


View bondogaposis's profile


4680 posts in 2314 days

#2 posted 10-14-2014 05:43 PM

If that doesn’t work you may want to replace the runners w/ something stable like aluminum or composite. A finish will slow the reaction to humidity but not stop it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ChefHDAN's profile


1047 posts in 2812 days

#3 posted 10-14-2014 07:13 PM

I use wipe on poly and wax, for runners I have corian counter top scraps which work really great for the runners, and you can machine it easily just like it’s wood, wear a mask though cause it really stinks.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5802 posts in 3157 days

#4 posted 10-14-2014 07:40 PM

A 50/ 50 mix of tung oil and mineral spirits…..I use it on all my sleds…..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7926 posts in 2291 days

#5 posted 10-14-2014 07:45 PM

I’ve had good luck with both UHMW runners (cut oversize and hand planed to a snug fitting width) as well as with extruded AL T-track.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View kmerkle's profile


33 posts in 2297 days

#6 posted 10-14-2014 07:46 PM

Thanks guys!

-- Every project is perfect until it's started.

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