About sliding table saws- Thin strips for example - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 26 Old 04-16-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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About sliding table saws- Thin strips for example

There's been mention of sliders a few times recently that didn't seem to capture the advantages. Beyond being useful, in the larger sizes, for slicing up many sheets of plywood quickly, safely, and accurately they provide some interesting options. Earlier this week there was a discussion on jigs for cutting thin strips and it seems like that might be a good example of working with a slider table saw, which can be a very different system.
For many of the cuts with a slider the work is clamped to the slide which carries the work through the blade. Because the work is clamped it makes a smoother cut- it doesn't move around while the cut is happening. The typical work position can also be different, many of the cuts are made while standing to the left of the saw/sawblade. There is a stop station on the side and a handle on the slide to facilitate working from the side. While making these strips the hand position was a foot to the left of the blade and kickbacks just don't happen.

For this example the Unifence was positioned to the right of the blade using a .1" bamboo spacer. Two Kreg Automax bench clamps on sliding bases stand ready to capture the work.

Next the work is pushed to the fence, which has been slid back off the table about 18". The work is now clamped.

The first cut is made, clamps released, work moved to the fence, the cut made, and repeated, total 5 strips. Total time maybe two minutes.

After 5 cuts the strips are stacked and measured. In this case 5 x .1" = .506, which is more accurate than I thought it would be so figure a little luck was in play. But it is a very accurate system.
Depending on the kind of work you do a slider can be faster, safer, and provide better results than typical saws. For some it will be worth money and the hassle, and it can be very difficult to go back.

I hope you found this post interesting.
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-16-2017, 08:26 PM
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Interesting. Not sure I'm getting it, 100% though.....
So, the fence never moves out of the way (just like normal). So repeated cuts are always as exact as they've always been?
But you're cutting strips 0.10", and the fence is a couple inches away, so I don't think I'm correct.
The wood rests on a sled and the sled contains the clamps holding the wood, so you don't have to touch the wood while it's being fed through?

If so, the cut piece would end right at the end of the blade. Wouldn't the blade "nick" at the piece as it rattles around until you reach over there and pull it out?

I'm also not understanding what the plywood piece on the fence (1st photo) is for, then removed for the other photos.

And.. How is the workpiece squared up each time for repeated cuts?

If the sled is working like I'm imagining, it's pretty cool, I'm just not quite grasping a few things.
My wife says I'm dense sometimes.
DEFINITELY intrigued, as I'm not happy with my sled and have been looking for "newer, better, faster, more".

Thanks, and sorry I'm dumb.
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-16-2017, 08:55 PM
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woodworking for dummies .....


I also wondered how you keep the workpiece from getting "off parallel" or twisting each time you reclamp it.

Got a video for us dummies?

My buddy had a couple of Unisaws bolted together in a large surround and he thought that was the cat's meow. Then he found a steal of a deal on a SCMI slider, when he asked for my advice, I said" drive as fast as your truck will go and get it for $1200.00" He may have paid a bit less, I donno? Now he loves that saw so much he sleeps on it... He tore apart the Unisaws and now favors the slider for just about everything except rabbets or dados. He's got old Craftsman tables saws stacked up to the ceiling now and some old Craftsman RAS as well.

You do need a good size footprint for a slider ..... and a bank account with 6 figures as a rule for the new ones.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-16-2017, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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"Interesting. Not sure I'm getting it, 100% though.....
So, the fence never moves out of the way (just like normal). So repeated cuts are always as exact as they've always been?

The fence started out next to the blade and .1" away, just like normal. Then I slid the fence rail back so I could push the entire work-piece against the blade. The fence is acting as a positioning device to set the clamps.

But you're cutting strips 0.10", and the fence is a couple inches away, so I don't think I'm correct.

You are thinking the tall part of the Unifence is what was setting the wood position, but there is a shorter part of the fence that is in contact with the wood.

The wood rests on a sled and the sled contains the clamps holding the wood, so you don't have to touch the wood while it's being fed through?

Exactly right.

If so, the cut piece would end right at the end of the blade. Wouldn't the blade "nick" at the piece as it rattles around until you reach over there and pull it out?

In practice the riving knife is pushing the strip away from the blade, it falls away without touching.

I'm also not understanding what the plywood piece on the fence (1st photo) is for, then removed for the other photos.

I'm confusing you for no reason. I had to rip the live edge off the board to true it up, you can see it at the top of photo #2. When I did that I used a 'push-stick', which in my case is that plywood piece which has a delrin bearing/guide strip that runs in the slot in the top of the fence rail. I like the control it gives me, I don't have to think about it's alignment with the work, I just slide it along the fence rail. While cutting the strips it's flipped around to the other side 'cause I'm not using it.

And.. How is the workpiece squared up each time for repeated cuts?

always against the fence, which was never unlocked from step #1 and the bamboo .1" spacer.

If the sled is working like I'm imagining, it's pretty cool, I'm just not quite grasping a few things.

My wife says I'm dense sometimes.

You should remind your wife you were smart enough to marry her. I keep telling my wife that her low expectations are the key to our marital happiness.

DEFINITELY intrigued, as I'm not happy with my sled and have been looking for "newer, better, faster, more".

Thanks, and sorry I'm dumb."
Seems like my post was the problem. here are a couple more images, first one of the sliding pusher, then one showing the fence pulled back behind the blade and being used as the positioning guide.
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 09:00 PM
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Ohhhh... You're using the fence as a "positioning guide".
That makes more sense. It's all coming together now, thank you.
My fence won't do that, but there's no reason the "real" table saw fence has to be the positioning guide.
Anything "stable and immovable" could serve that purpose.
This is cool, and something I MUST copy and implement. Thank you VERY much!
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 09:04 PM
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You got a slider?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
Ohhhh... You're using the fence as a "positioning guide".
That makes more sense. It's all coming together now, thank you.
My fence won't do that, but there's no reason the "real" table saw fence has to be the positioning guide.
Anything "stable and immovable" could serve that purpose.
This is cool, and something I MUST copy and implement. Thank you VERY much!
So I'm guessin' on the statement above you also have a slider? What brand? Got a photo?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 09:22 PM
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I do not have a slider, and don't have any pics of the sled. It's a VERY basic hunk of 3/4" BB ply.
Somehow, not quite sure when or how, it warped a bit so accuracy is just a tad better than using a skilsaw. (insert eye roll here).
I've needed something small to replace it, but have also daydreamt about something larger that had more capability.
Yours is the latter.

If you're curious, here's my table saw thread;
My new (used) Jet table saw
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 10:17 PM
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So there is a sled in your idea?

"A thin strip jig for limited length pieces using a sled "...
Thread title

How about this idea. Make a means to secure the workpiece on the left side of your sled using hold downs, factory issue or shop built.

Next, place a thin strip of the desired dimension you need to duplicate against the blade just for spacing OR make a stopped kerf on a workpiece ( no.1) with the desired thickness remaining on the left side of the blade while registering the right side against the fence to maintain a parallel condition... hard to follow?

Now using the workpiece (no.2) you intend to make the thin strips with register it against workpiece (no. 1) against the blade for the distance. Now the strip will be parallel when you clamp it down... hard to follow?

Whether you use a sled and reclamp the workpiece OR use the fence and reclamp/reset the fence doesn't eliminate that step.
The fence on the sled that you push on doesn't come into play with this idea. It's all about keeping the workpiece parallel each time you make a new pass. .... other ideas?

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post #9 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 10:20 PM
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using the fence as a positiong guide...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
Ohhhh... You're using the fence as a "positioning guide".
That makes more sense. It's all coming together now, thank you.
My fence won't do that, but there's no reason the "real" table saw fence has to be the positioning guide.
Anything "stable and immovable" could serve that purpose.
This is cool, and something I MUST copy and implement. Thank you VERY much!
That leaves the thin strip "loose" between the blade and the fence as shown in the photo, unless there is a means to push it all the way through past the rear of the blade. Yes? I understand the need to reposition the workpiece parallel to the fence/blade each time.
On the other jigs the thin strip is on the off fall side OR left of the blade and drops harmlessly away. You could use a 2" strip on the left side of the fence as a spacer to get the workpiece parallel and then remove it for the cutting operation leaving it free to fall to the right of the blade..... hard to follow?


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

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post #10 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 11:00 PM
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I think I see what he's doing. The waste pieces are now falling off to the right.
His fence has the ability to slide 'backwards" (Six o'clock, beside your right hip), therefore, the cut piece has nothing to it's right.
The blade is to its left, so it falls harmlessly off to the right.
That correct?
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post #11 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
I think I see what he's doing. The waste pieces are now falling off to the right.
His fence has the ability to slide 'backwards" (Six o'clock, beside your right hip), therefore, the cut piece has nothing to it's right.
The blade is to its left, so it falls harmlessly off to the right.
That correct?
It's a Delta Unifence and it slides back. The riving knife is a player here as it pushes the strip to the right and the fence is out of the picture by then.

Woodenthings mentioned the space a slider takes up, but for me it is the opposite. This machine is 42" wide and 54" long while at rest. In use the slider moves out several feet fore and aft but so would a board while being ripped. And this machine is a 12" saw, 12" planer, 12" joiner, and shaper all sharing that same space. In a small shop like mine, 12' x 22', it's the only way I could have three big machines. As to cost I probably have $7,000 into it, but I make good money directly and indirectly from it and my company bought it and wrote it off so I got the tax breaks. The economics are so different when you can bill some of your time.
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 08:37 AM
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Cool. Yea, I got the picture now. I dig it, a lot.
My shop equipment doesn't "pay for itself", it's bought itself over the years. haha
With every new 'job', I buy something bigger, better, faster, more accurate.
Nice when a hobby is self sustaining!
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 08:52 AM
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I get the slider conmcept also, cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
I do not have a slider, and don't have any pics of the sled. It's a VERY basic hunk of 3/4" BB ply.
Somehow, not quite sure when or how, it warped a bit so accuracy is just a tad better than using a skilsaw. (insert eye roll here).
I've needed something small to replace it, but have also daydreamt about something larger that had more capability.
Yours is the latter.

If you're curious, here's my table saw thread;
My new (used) Jet table saw
I also have the Delta Unifence that slides and flips from tall to short, very handy! So, Bob if you have a sled what method would you use for "ripping thin strips" the sled or a jig like the Rockler or clone? If you would use your sled how would it work?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 09:19 AM
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Well, honestly, I don't have a way to make repeated cuts with the level of accuracy you've got with anything thinner than a 1/4" push stick can guide through. I'd do it up against the fence "the good ol fashion way". At that point, things are getting too "sketchy" for my liking.
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:01 AM
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don't settle for sketchy !

If your fence locks down parallel to the slot, why not use the Rockler jig or clone thereof and have the off fall to the left of the blade? If the fence is "sketchy" then it won't work for much else either. Time for an upgrade maybe? I had some Craftsman fences that wouldn't lock down in the same place twice and after making some mods I was able to do much better. Then I discovered the Biesemeyer when I bought a 12" Powermatic and what a world of difference. There are clones of that as well.
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post #16 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 11:00 AM
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Cool, thank you!
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post #17 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I also have the Delta Unifence that slides and flips from tall to short, very handy! So, Bob if you have a sled what method would you use for "ripping thin strips" the sled or a jig like the Rockler or clone? If you would use your sled how would it work?
Seems like it would be easy to build a very useful "half-sled" by attaching a guide to run in the miter slot to the bottom of plywood and a couple Kreg bench clamps or similar to the top. Then a riving-knife or rigging up a long wedge on the right side of the blade to guide the strip away from the blade. I would just stick the wedge to the saw top with VHB tape. Finish with a positioning spacer attached to the fence.

Not just for strips, a slider or the above half-sled has also sorts of applications, like making tenons. Here's an example of that, using 90 degree jigs I made with an online laser service-
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post #18 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 03:23 PM
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Nice!
Yea, this photos have my creative juices flowing. Thank you!
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post #19 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 04:55 PM
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Ah Ha, you need a two axis sled!

The sliding table is so different than a typical table saw it's hard to make the conversion. I thought about a typical sled riding in the left miter slot AND a sliding table on top at 90 degrees. The top table would secure the workpiece in fixed position with clamps, but keep it parallel to the slot at all times. Now we can slide the sled or the top in both axis.
All we need to do is establish the desired distance from the blade using a thin spacer. Register the spacer between the blade and to the workpiece then clamp the top table and run your pass. Seems like a whole lot of jiggin' to get from here to there, but it just may work?

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post #20 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The sliding table is so different than a typical table saw it's hard to make the conversion. I thought about a typical sled riding in the left miter slot AND a sliding table on top at 90 degrees. The top table would secure the workpiece in fixed position with clamps, but keep it parallel to the slot at all times. Now we can slide the sled or the top in both axis.
All we need to do is establish the desired distance from the blade using a thin spacer. Register the spacer between the blade and to the workpiece then clamp the top table and run your pass. Seems like a whole lot of jiggin' to get from here to there, but it just may work?
I would just get a slider myself......................OK, I talked myself into it
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