Table saw prep for sled making - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Table saw prep for sled making

Making some sleds today (crosscut & miter) and I was wondering...

Can I grind out these tabs without hindering any future uses?!?
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 12:16 PM
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hmm...I can't remember ever seeing those before on any saw table.
What is it on??
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 12:43 PM
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that's the table top of a relatively inexpensive benchtop TS. not sure i'd invest a lot of time trying to accessorize it. they are usually universal motor direct drive saws and poor on accuracy. rather, look for a preowned contractor saw and, if necessary, add an aftermarket fence. that's a saw that's worth some time building jigs for.

there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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In a perfect world I'd have the best of everything. Unfortunately this isn't a perfect world and I have to make do with what I have. My thinking is that if I can make a couple jigs to help with the accuracy I can do ok.

but thanks for the helpful advice of getting better tools
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 12:52 PM
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Grind it off!

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OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #6 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinsKaos View Post
Making some sleds today (crosscut & miter) and I was wondering...

Can I grind out these tabs without hindering any future uses?!?
Perhaps. Can you post of picture of the cross section of the slot?

I am thinking this may be an inexpensive method of having a "T", in this case by these wings.

A T slot is common.

You could leave the tabs in place and make the sled rails look like an upside down T. May be less work than grinding off the wings.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 01:33 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Saw them off!

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Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
Grind it off!
It's aluminum, so it won't grind well without clogging up your grinding wheel. A hack saw with a vertical guide block to keep the blade straight would work. It's just a cheapie saw so no big deal anyway. The slot will be 5/8" wide by 1/4" ... IF I recall from other posts on the exact same issue. You will just have to make non-standard runners for your sled.

After you saw them "close" to to the edge, take a file and make flush them to the slot. There may not be enough material to saw, so a file would be the only method I can think of....maybe sandpaper?

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-18-2013 at 01:35 PM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a couple pics of the slot/tabs and the miter gauge that came with the saw
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
It's aluminum, so it won't grind well without clogging up your grinding wheel. A hack saw with a vertical guide block to keep the blade straight would work. It's just a cheapie saw so no big deal anyway. The slot will be 5/8" wide by 1/4" ... IF I recall from other posts on the exact same issue. You will just have to make non-standard runners for your sled.

After you saw them "close" to to the edge, take a file and make flush them to the slot. There may not be enough material to saw, so a file would be the only method I can think of....maybe sandpaper?
I was actually thinking of taking the dremel to them, think that will work ok?
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinsKaos View Post
I was actually thinking of taking the dremel to them, think that will work ok?
Thanks for the additional pictures, it confirms what I suspected, an inexpensive method to get a T slot.

You can either make runners like the mitre gauge picture or you can grind them off with angle grinder or Dremel.

Your original question was what functionality would be lost if you grind these off.

The answer is the ability to have the front of the mitre gauge held down when starting a cut with the mitre gauge off the table.

You may not have needed this with a mitre gauge, but it may be more useful with a mitre sled. Give this some consideration before you go at it with the Dremel.
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 03:26 PM
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If the top is aluminum your best bet is a simple file. You'll have a hard time keeping a dremel or a grinder from getting clogged. While a flat file will also clog up, it is easily cleaned whereas grinding wheels are harder to dress. Using a hand held flat file will take longer, but in the end you'll be much happier with the results. I also agree with Dave. You may regret removing those tabs on a small table if you need to keep the miter gauge in place at the beginning of cuts. A sled can be built so that it already sits over the leading edge of the blade and so alignment isn't as important at the start of a cut.

I used a bench top saw for years and build many jigs for it until I could afford a "real" table saw. I often thought I was the only idiot who did that until I found out that Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals fame also did the same thing. Just don't spend a fortune on materials to make jigs. The money is better off saved and put toward a good used cast iron topped saw. Use scraps and cut offs from projects to make you jigs.

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post #12 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinsKaos View Post
I was actually thinking of taking the dremel to them, think that will work ok?
Do you have a 4" (or other small angle grinder)angle grinder, A metal blade for that is cheap and it will not matter if the aluminum fills the blade.

As noted it would probably easiest to just make the runner of the sled the shape of the miter bar.

George
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 08:39 PM
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perfect world,,, we all start somewhere with something less than what we wish we had, I did anyway and I would make a T shaped runner, I did for a router table worked fine.
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 08:59 PM
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it was either wood or american woodworker that did a short tip or article about a CC sled for a saw like that with those miter slots. in that instance, square aluminum stock was located that fit in the space between the tabs that top each miter slot and also stuck up above the saw table top ~ 3/8". the CC sled then had slots dadoed into the bottom of the sled to the size of the square aluminum stock. so the sled rode on the saw table but was guided by the square aluminum stock in each miter slot (rather than having the CC sled guide bars attached to the sled and sliding in the miter slots, as would be done on any old used 10" 113 series c-man TS, many of which are available for <$100 on CL).

hoe this helps.

there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 09:46 PM
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Before I got a good saw I had one like you have. I grinded the tabs off with an angle grinder. Made a few jigs that did acceptable work. But, defintily look into getting a good saw later on.
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post #16 of 19 Old 03-18-2013, 10:47 PM
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I had that EXACT same problem with my TS when making a sled. I used a larger sized cutting wheel on my Dremel. Start of with a light touch to get your line started. It took me about 10 min to cut them off, and had no problems with clogging.
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-19-2013, 10:35 AM
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The distance from the saw blade to the front edge of the saw is very short. When pulling back the miter gauge, just the weight of the head will cause it to drop. The tabs are there to prevent this. It's difficult to know how accurately the slots are cut into the table top. Any sled runners will have to fit tightly so there is no side to side play or a sled won't work accurately. You also need to make sure you can adjust the blade so it's exactly parallel with the miter ways. Why not make some wood slides to match the miter gauge bar. Your first sleds may not be the greatest, consider them as an experiment. If it works, great, if not, you can look for other solutions. Once the tabs are cut, you can't put them back.
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helpful and informative replies. I am going to try a couple different approaches and go with the one that gives the best results. I will leave the tabs for now. See where that gets me and go from there.

On a side note, I am always on the lookout for a nicer saw, so far there has been no luck in my local CL. I check every CL that is remotely close to me several times a day. Patience and perserverance will pay off.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 09:18 AM
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that's where the components for this saw, asembled from a couple/few CL buys, came from:
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there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.
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