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I'm thru with the crosscut sled, Incra here I come

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 12-01-2014 11:24 PM 2811 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


12-01-2014 11:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter gauge sled

Hey guys,

This past week, I made it a goal to replace my old not-so-accurate homemade crosscut sled with a more accurate new homemade one. I finally have the necessity for a perfect 90 as I have started down the dovetailing path. This was my 5th table saw sled, so I had gotten relatively decent at making them, at least I thought I had. I worked and worked and followed all of the steps and directions and I still couldn’t get a perfect 90. I’ve tried all the tricks and adjustments and I have determined that if it isn’t futile, it’s pretty freaking close. I’m ready to end the frustration. I’ve hit that point where my shop time is more important than money, so I am thinking I want to get an Incra, JDS, or Kreg sled or miter gauge. I was thinking about the Incra 5000 sled as it looks pretty spectacular. The Incra 1000HD also looks good, but I figure $100 or so more gets me the 5000 sled instead of just the miter gauge.

What are the big differences between high end prefab sleds and miter gauges?

If the sled is more functional and comfortable, I’ll splurge for it, but if it really presents no advantages over a good miter gauge, I don’t see a reason to get the sled. The reason I ask is because in my 4 years of woodworking I have never used a miter gauge, so I am pretty clueless on how they perform vs sleds. Just so you know, the majority of the work I do is basic furniture building. The largest pieces I cut are probably bed rail type pieces, but that isn’t often. Mostly tables and chairs and the like.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster


28 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1625 posts in 2098 days


#1 posted 12-01-2014 11:31 PM

If you’re just looking for perfect, 90~ cuts….try tweaking your existing miter gauge. The 30 year old dinosaur that came with my craftsman table saw is fine for 90~ cuts….once I got it set-up and locked-down just right.
Of course, other angles is a different story. Which is why I just ordered an Incra V27 from Amazon.

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#2 posted 12-01-2014 11:41 PM

Tedstor, I would give that a shot, but I bought my saw used and it didn’t come with a miter gauge. Oops. The old fellow who sold me the saw called me later and said he forgot to give me the miter gauge. But, it was a 2 hour drive one way, and I didn’t feel like going to get it.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View RockyTopScott's profile

RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2943 days


#3 posted 12-01-2014 11:51 PM

I have the 5000 and you still need to tune the saw so the blade is parallel to the miter slots, etc.

I spent a good hour last night doing just that and never got it dead on. Ill try some more this weekend.

I am thinking a shooting board is the best way to a perfect 90 degree cut. I am going to build one very very soon.

Edit: try the incra miter slides on your sled and see if that help. Might be a less expensive way to start. Get the solid ones, not the aluminum.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#4 posted 12-02-2014 03:51 AM

Scott – I hear where you’re coming from. I do need to get the dial indicator and set my saw blade perfectly parallel to my slots. I suppose that may help fix the problem, but I am sure I had more issues than just that.

I would make a shooting board, but it seems like that would be just as hard to perfect as a crosscut sled. Plus you end up trimming your stuff to different lengths and then you’re back at square one.

I did a lot of work to make really accurate HDPE miter slides that are a perfect fit, so I know that isn’t the issue.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 889 days


#5 posted 12-02-2014 04:07 AM

You may also want to look at the Osbourne EB3 miter gauge.

The only time I use a sled any more is to cross cut a wide panel.

I use the Woodpecker Saw gauge for set up\calibration.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7174 posts in 2042 days


#6 posted 12-02-2014 04:12 AM

Incras’ rock. I got this one and it’s great:

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#7 posted 12-02-2014 01:45 PM

Can that handle be moved so that it runs in the right slot instead of the left slot? My shop is tight and my saw it tight against a wall about 2 feet left from where the blade is.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View RockyTopScott's profile

RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2943 days


#8 posted 12-02-2014 02:30 PM

You can move it. Yes

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7174 posts in 2042 days


#9 posted 12-02-2014 02:30 PM

You can move the gauge to any miter slot.

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

419 posts in 1010 days


#10 posted 12-02-2014 04:44 PM

I’ve got the Kreg miter gauge and I really like that one for what it’s worth. I looked at the incra one and thought about getting it I got mine at Menards during one of their 11% off everything sales. I can’t say I’m dissapointed at all in my decision.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

881 posts in 1901 days


#11 posted 12-02-2014 05:03 PM



Scott – I hear where you re coming from. I do need to get the dial indicator and set my saw blade perfectly parallel to my slots. I suppose that may help fix the problem, but I am sure I had more issues than just that.

- TheWoodenOyster

Am I wrong in thinking that even with the top of the line Incra guage and sled you’re not going to fix the problem until the slots and blade are parallel? I would think that would be the first step.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1834 days


#12 posted 12-02-2014 05:46 PM

Am I wrong in thinking that even with the top of the line Incra guage and sled you re not going to fix the problem until the slots and blade are parallel? I would think that would be the first step.

- muleskinner

I agree. Until you have the setup nailed down, it won’t help. If your slot is not parallel to the blade, your work piece is going to move towards or away from the blade as you make your cut, no matter what gauge you put on there.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2282 days


#13 posted 12-02-2014 06:04 PM

One advantage of the sled over the miter gauge is the fact that it allows you to crosscut wider boards and panels. Even fancy miter gauges limit you to pretty narrow boards.. So they’re great for making picture frames, but if you want to dovetail a blanket box you may have some issues. Or maybe I’m missing something – I’ve never used one of the after-market miter gauges.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

330 posts in 1434 days


#14 posted 12-02-2014 06:14 PM

Squaring up a miter gauge or a sled is a difficult and long process. First you have to have your saw aligned perfectly. For this you really need a dial indicator. Get the blade aligned to the miter slots within a couple of thousandths. Then you need to perform a five cut test with your sled or miter gauge. Measure the difference with a digital caliper, and then adjust the fence position using a dial indicator. After 3 or 4 hours you can probably get within 0.001” per inch or square. This is 10 thousands out of square over 10”.

View unbob's profile

unbob

718 posts in 1368 days


#15 posted 12-02-2014 09:39 PM

I have really struggled with getting good line up on the thin skinned ply doing 12” lengths using the lock miter joint. 8 critical cuts for length and square on a box, being much more then .002” out total really shows on the outer skin. A tuned sled seems to work best for me…..I have the Incra.

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