Getting metal miter guides to slide smoothly on cross cut sled

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Forum topic by Don46 posted 08-14-2009 12:47 PM 2783 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 3631 days

08-14-2009 12:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter runners crosscut sled table saw

I’m building a cross cut sled and bought 2 metal miter runners to attach to the MDF base. I’m having trouble getting the assembled sled to glide smoothly.

I put the runners in the miter grooves, placed the base on top, pulled all pieces back over the edge of the TS base, drilled and set wood screws into the holes from the bottom. Then did the same thing for the other ends.
I used silicon spray on the grooves and runners to improve glide, but the sled is binding and after several measurements and adjustments I’m feeling there must be some technique to this that I’m missing. No instructions came w the miter runners, of course.

Question: each runner has spring loaded bead like bearings on one side that are intended to keep the runner in the groove and remove play. Which direction should they be facing: both to the right, left, or each side opposing the other with bearings on the inside or outside? I understand their function but can’t get my head around how to mount them.

Thanks for any help you can offer, Don

-- --Don, Folly Beach, SC

5 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 08-14-2009 03:03 PM

Don, I put the spacers (beads) to the inside so they oppose each other. Both on one side forces the runners into the edges of the table slots. Clean off that silicon real good, that stuff will screw up your finishing. I prefer a little baby powder when lubrication is needed, all residue blows right off.

View 45acpbuilder's profile


49 posts in 3242 days

#2 posted 08-16-2009 01:38 PM

Don, it’s also important to ensure that your miter slots are DEAD FLAT/DEAD STRAIGHT. I used my miter gage to test the slots and found several places where there were little imperfictions in the sides of the slots. I used a Sharpie to black out all the sides of the slots then slid the miter bar back and forth in the slots. The rubbed-off places are high spots. I then touched off the high spots with a flat jeweler’s file and finished up with a piece of 3/4 cold rolled steel and valve grtinding compound. I ended up with slots so flat and straight my dial indicator shows sub-.001 side play and the miter gage will slide across the table top in the slot without ANY catching or binding. When I put my sled together after cleaning up the slots it was glassy smooth. I also experimented with how to mount the runners and having them with the beads inside and opposing is the right way to do it.

-- M1911BLDR

View Don46's profile


44 posts in 3631 days

#3 posted 08-18-2009 01:19 PM

These are both very helpful. I now have the guides, with bead spacers toward the inside, installed.
The sled glides smoothly most of the way but it is catching and binding at about 2/3rd, right over the saw blade. I need to adjust this so it slides more smoothly, but I’m still not exactly clear on what to adjust.
I understand the concept of smoothing out and removing any imperfections in the slots themselves.
I also understand that the silicon needs to be applied in thin coats and buffed after it dries … I’ve not been doing that correctly.

Any further suggestions for correcting the partial binding I’m experiencing on the sled?

Apart from that, the sled works well and I was able to cut perfectly square shelves for some wine bins I’m putting together.
One issue is clamping down the piece. I improvised with a C clamp but I’m now looking at the Kreg Klamp Track system. I would welcome suggestions on this or other methods of securing wood one is cutting in a cross cut sled.

Thanks Don

-- --Don, Folly Beach, SC

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3734 days

#4 posted 08-18-2009 02:40 PM

Don, Could it be that as you are pushing through, the “bead spacers” are coming out the end of the slot causing a slight rack in the miter slides? Just a thought. As for hold downs, check out Eagle Lakes crosscut sled. His is the one I based mine off of, and it elimates the need to buy t-track. It just uses toilet t-bolts.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3555 days

#5 posted 08-18-2009 03:39 PM

Don, might I suggest that you use quartersawn white oak for the slides. This is what I have used for years on my crosscut sleds, and they are stable throughout the seasons, and only need a little paste wax every once in a while to keep them sliding easily.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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