Sled with "roller bearing" support for table saw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 32 Old 01-13-2016, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Sled with "roller bearing" support for table saw?

I may be asking here for something that might not exist, at least in the size and type I would like, but let's give it a try.

Some of you know that I am planning on getting a SawStop Jobsite table saw, to be the main machine in a highly compact, lightweight, and portable "shop".

I will be cutting a lot of small exotic hardwoods parts, and am impressed by what an Incra Miter Express plus Incra Miter 1000HD “combo” can do.

For those not familiar with Incra tools:

the Miter Express is Incra's "compact" solution for a SLED that fits most table saws, including the SawStop Jobsite saw. The sled uses fully tunable guides that you custom adjust to the actual width of your saw's miter slots. It gets custom cut by you to your saw's specific table dimensions, and ends up with two plates, one on each side of the saw blade, providing true "zero clearance". The plates each slide in one of your table's miter slots, and each have recessed clamping rails which you can use to clamp workpieces firmly in place for precision cuts.

The Incra 1000HD miter is a compact but high-precision miter that cna be set to sub-degree accuracy and includes an 18" miter fence that expands to over 2 feet in length when needed.

Because both Incra tools use a lot of machined or tooled metal parts, and the Miter Express uses an MDF base that is just 1/2" thick, you only reduce your 10" saw's cutting depth capacity by 1/2".

What I would really like though is a sled, with all the above features, that also rides on roller bearings of some sort, to take virtually all the friction out of sliding the workpiece into and through the blade.

I realize that such "sliding tables" exist, but they are usually only found on European table saws, or on a few of the really large U.S. table saws. I have looked hard and cannot find any COMPACT saw, European or U.S., that has such a sliding table (which typically rides on bearings or machined ways of some form).

I don't want to build my own, since I'd have to use wood (I have no metalworking or metal cutting tools or skill sets) to get the necessary strength, durability, wear resistance, and miniaturized size to be anywhere near as usable as the Incra products.

Is there such a sliding table or sled product, designed to work on COMPACT table saws, that "slides" on bearings or other low friction systems?

I need the compact size of even the clamps and rails, as some of the pieces I will be cutting will involve multiple sequenced miter, bevel, or compound cuts on pieces that start out as small as 3/4" x 2" x 2" befire the compound cuts. I need to be able to clamp those parts securely, using clamps and support systems that are small enough (i.e. thin metal versus thick wood) to not "get in the way" of either the cut or reasonable visibility. I also don't want the sensitivity of wood to ambient humidity, and I really like the Incra's ability to adjust the miter slot guides to essentially zero clearance.

Why not hold by hand? I just regard that as a bad unsafe habit, and even though I will be using a SawStop saw, and probably wouldn't lose any fingers doing it, I'd rather not "test" the saw stopping technology, AND it would still cost me about $170 ($70 blade cartridge and $100 blade) every time I managed to "get too close" to those blade teeth.

Is there a suitable commercial product out there to meet my need here, or should I just accept the Incra tools as "the closest I can get"?

Jim G
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post #2 of 32 Old 01-13-2016, 09:14 PM
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This may be what you are looking for...?

This is a sliding table attachment for a table saw. It well made with precision bearings and anodized aluminum and if it's anything my other Jessem products it's outstanding.

http://www.jessemdirect.com/Mast_R_Slide_p/07500.htm

You probably won't need the miter gauge with this unit and just substitute a digital angle gauge for precision cuts to 1/10th of a degree.





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post #3 of 32 Old 01-13-2016, 10:36 PM
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Why would you need roller bearings? A coat of wax on the tabletop and you have no real friction with a sled made of mdf, or with anything really. Roller bearing would just be a fantastic way to spend a lot of money, not to mention wear a groove in your tabletop

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post #4 of 32 Old 01-13-2016, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48
Why would you need roller bearings? A coat of wax on the tabletop and you have no real friction with a sled made of mdf, or with anything really. Roller bearing would just be a fantastic way to spend a lot of money, not to mention wear a groove in your tabletop
It would be cool. Besides you can't take the money with you. Might as well spend it.
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-13-2016, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
This is a sliding table attachment for a table saw. It well made with precision bearings and anodized aluminum and if it's anything my other Jessem products it's outstanding.

http://www.jessemdirect.com/Mast_R_Slide_p/07500.htm

You probably won't need the miter gauge with this unit and just substitute a digital angle gauge for precision cuts to 1/10th of a degree.




Thank-you, WoodnThings! I am researching it. SO FAR, here are the issues or questions raised about it:

- JessEm says it need a cast iron table to attach to. The SawStop Jobsite has a lightweight aluminum top, which may not be sufficient to support the JessEm. There is NO OTHER support for the JessEm other than the bolts that attach its EDGE to the EDGE of the saw table.

- It may require butchering (cutting off!) the left ends of the fence, which permanently alters and devalues the saw. This is what a number of buyers on Amazon discovered AFTER buying it.

- It is currently unavailable from JessEm (per the JessEm website)

- When available, it costs $599

- It does NOT support the workpiece all the way to the blad. The sliding/rolling bed is ENTIRELY to the left edge of the saw table. This means that the anti-friction feature won't work for me with my short workpieces

- This also means that the only clamping surface is the JessEm fence. I also need clamping surface on the TABLE (the horizontal surface) for many of my cuts

Still looking into it more though, in case I am missing something about other clamping surfaces . . .

Jim G
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-13-2016, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Why would you need roller bearings? A coat of wax on the tabletop and you have no real friction with a sled made of mdf, or with anything really. Roller bearing would just be a fantastic way to spend a lot of money, not to mention wear a groove in your tabletop
The JessEm does NOT ride on the table, It rides BESIDE the left edge of the table (only).

While a waxed table certainly improves things, a roller bearing mlounted slide makes the movement VERY precisely smooth and controllable.

Jim G
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post #7 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 12:36 AM
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I would guess that you're looking for a 'do-all' type solution, which may not even exist. The reason I say this is because you're talking about making 'compound cuts on a 3/4 X 2 X 2' piece of wood. If you try to cut that with the blade angled, it's going to be very difficult to cut, and to clamp, just because there's not much material to hold.

My guess it that you will have to build specific jigs/sleds for specific cuts, and that some sort of 'do-all' solution probably won't work.

It looks like Bosch had something like what you're talking about, but it may not be available in the US or just discontinued.
http://toolguyd.com/bosch-gts10xc-table-saw/
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post #8 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 01:09 AM
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more food for thought ...

Since you have such specific requirements I got to thinking about other ways to accomplish this:

I need the compact size of even the clamps and rails, as some of the pieces I will be cutting will involve multiple sequenced miter, bevel, or compound cuts on pieces that start out as small as 3/4" x 2" x 2" before the compound cuts. I need to be able to clamp those parts securely, using clamps and support systems that are small enough (i.e. thin metal versus thick wood) to not "get in the way" of either the cut or reasonable visibility. I also don't want the sensitivity of wood to ambient humidity, and I really like the Incra's ability to adjust the miter slot guides to essentially zero clearance.

I came up with a compound sliding miter saw and a specific holding "trough" for each size blocks, much like the old wood miter guide for use with a back saw for picture frames. This jig would have a cam clamp to hold the pieces securely while your fingers are safely away from the blade. It would have stops so that all you do is drop your piece in, bump it to the stop, lock it down and make your cut. It would be dedicated for that particular dimension and angle of cut. It would be indexed to the saw table or fence for repeatability. You could make multiple cuts in the identical manner each time. You would need more than one jig for your different bevels and angles.... unless the resultant cuts did not alter the jig structurally.

You might research "segmented" bowls for info on how those folks make small identical pieces with compound bevels and angles.

If your Saw Stop table is like my Bosch job site, it is Teflon coated or some other propriety coating. It is very slick and smooth, no need for bearings in my opinion.

There are other sliding means than ball bearings such as this from Ebay:

80/20 Inc 10 Series Single Short UniBearing, Part #6760.
This unibearing measures 1.875" wide x 2.062" long and is used in 10 Series UniBearing sliding applications. It has white unibearing pads which are made from UHMW-PE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethelene). Comes with extra shims.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/8020-T-Slot-...oAAOSwYHxWO3Pg

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Last edited by woodnthings; 01-14-2016 at 01:26 AM.
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Why would you need roller bearings? A coat of wax on the tabletop and you have no real friction with a sled made of mdf, or with anything really. Roller bearing would just be a fantastic way to spend a lot of money, not to mention wear a groove in your tabletop
Totally agree. My plywood, homemade sled slides just fine. Even with a heavy load.

Remember the KISS principle.

George
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pweller View Post
I would guess that you're looking for a 'do-all' type solution, which may not even exist. The reason I say this is because you're talking about making 'compound cuts on a 3/4 X 2 X 2' piece of wood. If you try to cut that with the blade angled, it's going to be very difficult to cut, and to clamp, just because there's not much material to hold.

My guess it that you will have to build specific jigs/sleds for specific cuts, and that some sort of 'do-all' solution probably won't work.

It looks like Bosch had something like what you're talking about, but it may not be available in the US or just discontinued.
http://toolguyd.com/bosch-gts10xc-table-saw/
Yes! But per the article:

"The GTS 10 XC Professional is only available in the UK and EU."

Interestingly, even though I had googled "European table saws" a couple of days ago, it did not come up.

Jim G
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post #11 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Since you have such specific requirements I got to thinking about other ways to accomplish this:

I need the compact size of even the clamps and rails, as some of the pieces I will be cutting will involve multiple sequenced miter, bevel, or compound cuts on pieces that start out as small as 3/4" x 2" x 2" before the compound cuts. I need to be able to clamp those parts securely, using clamps and support systems that are small enough (i.e. thin metal versus thick wood) to not "get in the way" of either the cut or reasonable visibility. I also don't want the sensitivity of wood to ambient humidity, and I really like the Incra's ability to adjust the miter slot guides to essentially zero clearance.

I came up with a compound sliding miter saw and a specific holding "trough" for each size blocks, much like the old wood miter guide for use with a back saw for picture frames. This jig would have a cam clamp to hold the pieces securely while your fingers are safely away from the blade. It would have stops so that all you do is drop your piece in, bump it to the stop, lock it down and make your cut. It would be dedicated for that particular dimension and angle of cut. It would be indexed to the saw table or fence for repeatability. You could make multiple cuts in the identical manner each time. You would need more than one jig for your different bevels and angles.... unless the resultant cuts did not alter the jig structurally.

You might research "segmented" bowls for info on how those folks make small identical pieces with compound bevels and angles.

If your Saw Stop table is like my Bosch job site, it is Teflon coated or some other propriety coating. It is very slick and smooth, no need for bearings in my opinion.

There are other sliding means than ball bearings such as this from Ebay:

80/20 Inc 10 Series Single Short UniBearing, Part #6760.
This unibearing measures 1.875" wide x 2.062" long and is used in 10 Series UniBearing sliding applications. It has white unibearing pads which are made from UHMW-PE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethelene). Comes with extra shims.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/8020-T-Slot-...oAAOSwYHxWO3Pg
The compound sliding miter saw is something I considered, and actually played with 3 of them in store displays imagining making the cuts, but ended up concluding that while it would work on SOME work pieces, various parts of the moving saw head would collide with the workpiece or clamps on other work pieces. I COULD consider having BOTH a table saw and sliding compound miter saw, but that fights the compact shop requirement. Still, a possibility.

I have saved that eBay link for the sliding bearing. I need to think about how I could use a set of those for a sliding setup that would still be thin.

Thanks for the ideas!

Jim G
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Totally agree. My plywood, homemade sled slides just fine. Even with a heavy load.

Remember the KISS principle.

George
You might well be right. Since I don't have the SawStop Jobsite yet, I just don't know yet.

That model saw does have a powdercoated aluminum table, which may well be slick enough.

Jim G
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post #13 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 08:47 AM
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miter slot size?

The Saw Stop job site saw may have "non-standard" miter slots.... I donno? The standard size is 3/8" X 3/4".

http://www.ptreeusa.com/uhmwproducts.htm

This UHMW plastic comes in standard and smaller strip for making sleds that fit the miter slots. As someone who made my first table saw sled just a few years ago after decades of not having one, I can attest that it is not difficult to make. Mine was a bit advanced, with adjustable fences right and left and a fixed fence at the front edge.


Here's the build thread:
Table Saw Sled Build

Here's another way to make a "sled" using identical miter gauges:
crosscut sled/jig


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post #14 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 11:22 AM
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Jim, you are severely overthinking/overengineering this one.

A good sled is a precision piece of equipment. It seems the aluminum vs cast table is validly concerning you. I can put your mind at ease with the fact that I've used plywood sleds on my Bosch 4100 (alum table as well) and it works just fine. An MDF or especially anything with a melamine (or similar) coating will glide even smoother.

I agree with woodnthings on the UHMW runners and use them on all of my sleds. I bought a "sampler pack" of different thicknesses and just rip the 3/4" one into strips.
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post #15 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 01:50 PM
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I built this sled a while back specifically to cut small pieces. I know it looks dead simple, and it essentially is, but it is also very effective. It holds your workpiece firmly, and keeps your hands well away from the blade. It also allows you to safely cut pieces with no straight sides, you can just clamp it in any position and make a straight side.



There's a bit more information about it here: Table saw sled build

I built another one, which runs on the right side of the blade only, so it can be used to cut bevels (since my blade tilts to the left). I also built a holder for that one to allow me to cut tenons as well. It's a versatile set up, and very safe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The Saw Stop job site saw may have "non-standard" miter slots.... I donno? The standard size is 3/8" X 3/4".

http://www.ptreeusa.com/uhmwproducts.htm

This UHMW plastic comes in standard and smaller strip for making sleds that fit the miter slots. As someone who made my first table saw sled just a few years ago after decades of not having one, I can attest that it is not difficult to make. Mine was a bit advanced, with adjustable fences right and left and a fixed fence at the front edge.


Here's the build thread:
Table Saw Sled Build

Here's another way to make a "sled" using identical miter gauges:
crosscut sled/jig

The SawStop Jobsite does have standard sized miter slots - I checked a few days ago.

The UHMV does interest me a lot. Thank-you!

Jim G

Jim G

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post #17 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pweller View Post
I built this sled a while back specifically to cut small pieces. I know it looks dead simple, and it essentially is, but it is also very effective. It holds your workpiece firmly, and keeps your hands well away from the blade. It also allows you to safely cut pieces with no straight sides, you can just clamp it in any position and make a straight side.



There's a bit more information about it here: Table saw sled build

I built another one, which runs on the right side of the blade only, so it can be used to cut bevels (since my blade tilts to the left). I also built a holder for that one to allow me to cut tenons as well. It's a versatile set up, and very safe.
I like your clamping arrangement especially. It has a lot of "reach" for different sized work pieces.

Jim G
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post #18 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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I just realized:

Incra ships some pieces of "tape" with the Miter Express to use a friction reducers applied to the bottom of the sled. I'll bet that the tape is the "UHMV Slick Tape" seen at the bottom of the UHMV product page you linked! :)

Jim G
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post #19 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGnitecki View Post
The JessEm does NOT ride on the table, It rides BESIDE the left edge of the table (only).

While a waxed table certainly improves things, a roller bearing mlounted slide makes the movement VERY precisely smooth and controllable.

Jim G
The point I was making is that roller bearings won't be much of a noticeable improvement over standard plywood sled. The only thing they'll do is empty your wallet faster and wear grooves into your table top, provided you can even find a sled with roller bearings. I suspect, however, that you won't be able to.

Keep in mind that I'm referring to a sled, something that would ride on top of the existing table, NOT something like a sliding table. Different concepts at work there.

Again though, you really shouldn't be worried about excess friction with a sled. Build it right and it'll move when you blow on it, no trouble with controllability or accuracy there. Besides, if there were too much friction for the sled to move, there'd be too much friction to slide anything across the top to cut

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post #20 of 32 Old 01-14-2016, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings;1230986
Here's another way to make a "sled" using identical miter gauges:
[url
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/crosscut-sled-jig-30811/[/url]

Another example where the splitter will need to be removed.
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