Table saw sleds - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-01-2018, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Table saw sleds

The last crosscut sled I made was 3/8 ply and it works great. I normally use 1/2 or 3/4 because I usually have enough scrap to make what I need. I need to make a bigger crosscut sled and another sled to joint some 6' to 7' long 11" wide cherry. Since I need to purchase material to make these sleds I was thinking thinner might be better. Maybe even 1/8 or 3/16 hardboard. It would be lighter, allow a deeper cut and be easier to store. My thinking is, it really doesn't need to be ridged (flat) as long as it stays square. Are there any good reasons to use a thicker material since the table of the saw makes the sled flat anyway?
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-01-2018, 03:53 PM
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I would stick with the 3/8" material if it did good. I do not want something flexible as it could possibly(Just guessing as I have no specific) possible somehow effect the accuracy.


How are you going to use a sled in jointing long boards? A sled is normally used for cross cutting.



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post #3 of 10 Old 06-01-2018, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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How are you going to use a sled in jointing long boards? A sled is normally used for cross cutting.
There are many different versions. I've used double sided tape with a known good edge in a pinch. Just run it through with the good edge on the fence and a decent ripping blade and you can get a pretty good glue joint. Search for jointing on a table saw and you will see different methods and lots of jigs/sleds.

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post #4 of 10 Old 06-01-2018, 06:44 PM
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"Just run it through with the good edge on the fence and a decent ripping blade and you can get a pretty good glue joint." Yes, no need of a sled.


Asledwould just get in the way.


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post #5 of 10 Old 06-01-2018, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
"
A sled would just get in the way.
George - i think you are assuming a sled must have runners that fit in the miter slot or slots. A sled or jig that allows you to joint rides on the saw, against the fence with the board you are jointing attached to the sled.

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-02-2018, 12:23 AM
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I think that @GeorgeC may be thinking something different. Here is what I think @regesullivan is asking:

Imagine that your board has two irregular sides that bend out slightly, like a somewhat oval shape. You want to turn your board into a regular board with two straight, parallel edges.

You can't press your board against a table saw fence and cut it, because both edges of the board are curved. That's dangerous, because the tiniest swing in either direction could cause a kickback. It's dangerous even if the edge is concave, because your board can move in the wrong direction when the end of your board passes the end of the fence and also cause a kickback. At best, the edge won't be straight.

The solution is to use another flat board with a known straight edge. It must be as long as your board. I will call it a "straightedge board." You could use a piece of hardboard, which is cheap and comes with a factory straight edge.

Clamp your board on top of the straightedge board so that one side of your board hangs beyond the straightedge board. There are different ways to clamp your board to the straightedge board. You could use double sided "carpet tape", for example. (The "usual places" didn't have it, including carpet stores. I found it at the local woodworking store.) Make sure that your board is tightly clamped to the straightedge board.

Place the straight part of the straightedge board against the table saw fence. Adjust the fence so that the blade will cut the side of your board farthest from the fence. Make sure your safeties are installed and ready, then rip cut your board by pushing the clamped boards across the table saw.

Remove your board from the straightedge board and put the straightedge board away. Flip your board over so that the new edge on your board is against the fence. Adjust the fence so that the blade will cut the other side of your board.

Now you have a board with two straight sides that are parallel to one another. They should also be square to the top/bottom surfaces.

Safeties: In addition to the blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, riving knife, splitter, push blocks, dust mask, hearing protection, eye protection, etc. etc. etc., think about featherboards. Also plan the safest way to stand and push the wood through the saw before you make the cut.

I wonder whether my "straightedge board" is @regesullivan's "sled."
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-02-2018, 03:16 AM
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sleds VS jigs .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by regesullivan View Post
There are many different versions. I've used double sided tape with a known good edge in a pinch. Just run it through with the good edge on the fence and a decent ripping blade and you can get a pretty good glue joint. Search for jointing on a table saw and you will see different methods and lots of jigs/sleds.

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"Just run it through with the good edge on the fence and a decent ripping blade and you can get a pretty good glue joint." Yes, no need of a sled.


A sled would just get in the way.
George
The terms aren't the same. No need for a "sled" which is typically used to cross cut on the table saw. I would use a "straight line rip jig". This can be as simple as described above or have hold down clamps like this:


I made two different lengths, one 5 ft and one 8 ft. I rip a lot of rough sawn lumber usually with a live or curved edge, so it was worth it to make a more sophisticated jig.

It may not have been clear that your jig/sled must be wider than your workpiece so the factory straight edge can register against the fence and still allow the workpiece to hang off the cut side a bit.
Be cautious using double side tape IF the board has a twist or is cupped! There won't be enough contact area for the tape to do it's job.

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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 10 Old 06-02-2018, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the explanation Woodenthings. Those are two great jigs for jointing on the table saw. I guess my terminology (sled vs jig) is not correct. I've always called anything you put something on and slide it along a "sled".

Anyway... my original question was about the base material for these jigs. I am thinking thinner might be better (lighter, easier to store, cheaper) since the saw table would add the rigidity needed for a crosscut sled and the jointing jig would get rigidity from the table piece you are jointing. I was hoping I would hear from some that tried it and benefit from their experience.

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post #9 of 10 Old 06-02-2018, 10:20 AM
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I use hardboard, which is thin. Mine is not nearly as fancy as @woodnthings. I just grab what is around when I need it and use the tape to hold it. I don't want to build and store straight line rip jigs that I might use on rare occasions, although I admit that I admire woodnthings' jigs. Nice!
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-02-2018, 03:49 PM
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depending on the length you need to rip-to-straight . . .


I use a 10' length of aluminum angle iron, clamped to the fence spaced 1/4" or so off the table. gives you a (thick) knife edge for a fence.


that length allows me to rip a 5 foot length without "leaving" the fence as a guide. (roller stand(s) at the outfeed...)


put the convex edge to the fence first - that allows me to slice/rip off the center "bow" to a straight edge.
flip and slice off the convex "points" at the ends....


obviously the "trick" here is a long fence - same idea as the sled/jig....
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