Sticky Miter Slots - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-24-2017, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sticky Miter Slots

I am new to woodworking. I just purchased a DEWALT DWE7491RS job site saw. This is just a stopgap until I can get a cabinet saw. I realize this will never be as good as a full-size cabinet saw. Being a job site saw it has a painted cast aluminum table top. I noticed on my very first project that the hardwood runners I made for a crosscut sled are binding at certain spots and had paint from the table top rubbing off on them. I suppose I could try to file the miter slots but I I would prefer to try other less destructive solutions first. I have a polyurethane cutting board in the mail and hope making runners from this will slide better than oak.

My question is would stripping the paint and apply some other protective such as wax be a good idea. Or would I regret doing this? The saw will never leave my basement so I am not worried about it being exposed to the elements.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-24-2017, 09:38 PM
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If you are using two runners on the cross-cut sled it could be that they are not exactly parallel to each other. When I have made jigs for a tablesaw and they are sticky I keep pushing them in/out of the slots until they slide better - time consuming but you don't want to get them sloppy in the slots.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-24-2017, 09:55 PM
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My first cross cut sled effort had a binding issue. I hand worked the runners for bit of time. Then I reached for the wax and waxed the bottom of the sled and the runners. The thing slid just fine but illustrated that my hand work effort was over done and the sled was loose.

We learn through our mistakes.

Good luck
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-24-2017, 10:06 PM
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Was the top factory painted or did someone else painted. If it was factory painted the runners on your sled are probably a tiny bit oversized. If that is the case I would sand on the runners instead of the saw and wax them with a paste wax.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-24-2017, 10:22 PM
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I think you may find polyurethane rather unstable in different temperatures, I once used a polyurethane cutting board for a router plate for one of my lighter routers, fitted it on a cool day, went back on a hot day and the thing had expanded and I couldn't get it out of the table.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-24-2017, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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It is factory painted by DeWalt. At the moment I am just playing with the runners without a sled attached yet. I was working on this last night and posted today after work before looking at it again. After closer examination tonight I can't detect any imperfections in the straightness of the slots. I used a nice Veritas steel straight edge that extended the length of the miter slot to check and could not detect any gaps.

I suppose I just need to just sand the runners down a tiny bit. Actually, I am likely just going to wait until I get the polyurethane cutting board and start over using that since I did not get very far with this yet.

I still don't like the fact that paint is rubbing off and sticking to the wood.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-25-2017, 02:18 AM
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Are you certain it's paint?

My Bosch portable saw has a baked on Teflon coating that looks like paint. It's very slick, but it also wears off.
My first thought is to try a silicone lube OR a dry lube. I know all the warnings about silicone, but I've used it for years with no issues. By the time the wood goes through all the processing any residual silicon ends up as saw or sanding dust.

Next resort is to sand your rails slightly. Next after that is to wet sand the slots using a snug fitting wood block with wet dry 320 or 400 wrapped around it. If it is paint it won't matter.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-25-2017, 12:05 PM
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>>>I can't detect any imperfections in the straightness of the slots.
without some sensitive measuring tools (dial indicator, with perhaps a lever arm) you won't spot minor width differences.

for example - my Krieg miter gauge - has multiple cross drilled & threaded holes for set screws to tweak the fit to the miter slot. the set screws are 10-32 - that's 32 threads per inch... about 1/16 of a turn is enough to allow/block the miter gauge to go into the slot - so that is 32 threads per inch or 0.03125 advance per turn, 1/16 of a turn = 0.00195xx inch difference is a 'go/no go' and a 'rub' would be even less.

if the rail is rubbing all along the slot, probably a high spot on the rail.
if the rail rubs in the same spot in the slot, probably the combination of a wide spot on the rail and a narrow spot in the slot.

paint/powder coatings will always have uneven thickness spots - so that may be the issue more so than poor quality machining.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-11-2019, 04:44 PM
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Same Issue With Saw

I have the same problems with my saw. The paint melts off on the wood and the miter slits stick. I brought the saw to a DeWALT authorized warranty repair center. They called me about three weeks later to tell me it was ready to be picked up. I asked what was done, I was told a tune up. They did not address the paint issue and said the DeWALT miter gauge worked fine in the slot. I was aware of the sloppy gauge before I bought the saw so later bought an Incra miter gauge that adjusts to the saw. When I adjust the gauge correctly in one spot and slide it, it binds, so it is probably not the sled you made but the slots in the table. I am waiting for DeWALT corporate to get back to me because they don't have any service / tech support you can speak with when you call there.

My experience at the service center was less than I expected. On my first visit to drop it off I was told they were probably going to replace the saw, they would call me later to let me know. Of course I had to call them, when I did they said DeWALT was sending a new table, they would call me when it was done in about a week. I made sure they were going to adjust it after they replaced the top, they said yes. Two weeks later I called to find out what was going on, they said it would be worked on before the end of the week. I got a call to only find out they tuned it up but did nothing to alleviate my problems. They explained several times the miter gauge works fine and asked me what do I want him to do, heat up the table and test it? I do factory authorized service for several brands of office equipment, if I did what they did I would be on the phone getting an earful from corporate.

I understand that it is a jobsite saw and not built to produce fine furniture but the problems you and I are having are jobsite quality issues. I will follow up when I get my answer from DeWALT
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