how snug is too snug

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Forum topic by squazo posted 12-30-2014 11:19 PM 1349 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View squazo's profile


62 posts in 1639 days

12-30-2014 11:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

I am building a new cross cut sled, for the runners I have found some 1/8 inch thick 3/4 wide aluminum that fits quite nicely. It has just a little but of slop which I can barely get a piece of aluminum foil through. This would seem good enough but my other cross cut sled has homemade wood runners with absolutely zero slop, when its 70 degrees and 50 percent humidity, problem is there wood and expand and contract, so I want aluminum. What do you guys think.

7 replies so far

View Wally331's profile


350 posts in 2019 days

#1 posted 12-30-2014 11:24 PM

You can always use a ball peen hammer to slightly mushroom the aluminum out so there is no play whatsoever. Just be careful not to go too far!

Aluminum foil is pretty thin, that seems like it would be tight enough tolerances. Depends on how fine of work your doing I suppose.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2669 days

#2 posted 12-30-2014 11:27 PM

If you can get 2 runners you cold adjust them both to the outside or both to the inside and that would make them tight. I think you are tight enough anyway. You aren’t aiming for the moon.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3103 days

#3 posted 12-30-2014 11:55 PM

Standard aluminum foil is .002”. I’d be happy with that. You will probably never see that in the saw marks.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View squazo's profile


62 posts in 1639 days

#4 posted 12-31-2014 07:26 PM

those pieces of aluminum worked so well, as for the slop I dont know what happened but there is none at all. It slides so well I am as happy as can be. keep a look out for these aluminum bars they are made by Stanley and are only 6 bucks each for 4 ft of the stuff.

View Kelly's profile


2025 posts in 2938 days

#5 posted 01-04-2015 03:38 AM

I make my own aluminum guides. For example, for my last run, I bought a piece out of the metal supply house’s cut offs. It was 3/8” x 5” x 60”.

Check out metal supply places (NOT a big box store) for your rough stock. For as few bucks, I ended up with nearly a couple hundred dollars worth of guides to fit my table saw, sander, band saw or router table.

I cut my guides long, and to accommodate the jig they’re used on, to insure the jig is where it’s supposed to be before it enters the work surface. As such, it’s nice having longer pieces to play with.

Keep in mind, you don’t need a ten inch blade to cut the 3/8” thick stock. A 7-1/4” blade will do fine. Of course, it’s cheaper than a 10” blade.

In the past, I used a fine tooth, cross cut, carbide blade. Now I use blades made for non-ferrous metal and dedicate them to that one task.

When I prep for a cut, I make a test cut to insure I’ve got the dimension I want. Of course, I use feather boards, and push shoes to keep the dimensions.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


706 posts in 3267 days

#6 posted 01-04-2015 04:45 AM

What Grandpa said!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1216 days

#7 posted 01-24-2015 01:31 AM

I have 2 slides on my panel sled the right one is UHMW the left came from Kreg with adjustable sides to -0- slop. it also has a flared front that prevents the sled from tilting down when I’m working a wide board. Never been sorry for the purchase.

-- I meant to do that!

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