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post #1 of 10 Old 12-18-2013, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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What did I do?

Guys,

Working on my first cutting board. I built a crosscut sled to make sure I got all my final strips cut exactly the same width. I have my sled aligned very well using the 5 cut method (at least I thought I did). I clamped a stop block 1 5/8" to the right side of the kerf. As I was cutting my strips with the sled it was almost as if there was some binding going on - in that the cutoff was popping to the right when it was cut. Then after I finished cutting the pieces I laid the first cutoff next to the last cutoff.... . There was a 1/8" difference! As I was cutting the difference was very minimal so I didn't see it from one to the next, 1/8" over 18". What happened? All I can think is that my stop block must have moved so ever slightly with each cut as a result from the little bit of bind. And maybe I am getting the bind from my sled not being dead on? I trimmed the pieces with the fence and table saw so everything is well again - just a little discouraged as I thought that by using the sled and stop block I was eliminating potential error.

We all learn from mistakes. Appreciate all the advice on here.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-18-2013, 01:44 PM
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Seems like you where having pieces partially jamming ( close to a kick back). Do you pull back the sled with the pieces held tightly in place ?. When I use a stop I keep the face of it as narrow as is sensible and have the rest cut back at 45 degrees, I find this gives the off-cuts an escape route. Although I use my sled for ripping shorter strips also I can't claim to be experienced with a sled.

If it doesn't feel safe, it probably isn't.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-18-2013, 10:27 PM
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Glue up the board oversize, then cut the ends to square up. Don't try to line up a bunch of pieces perfectly in the glue up. Sounds like your blade isn't parallel with the miter way the sled runs in, or, the fence is out if your sled runs against that.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-18-2013, 11:36 PM
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under the 5 step method it will make sure you are square to your guides but if you blade to the guides are off, narrower pieces will still taper. Put a square against your blade to your sled and check. You can also run a piece of melamine through the sled and see which side off the cut chips the most

"If the tool's not right, the man's not bright"
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-19-2013, 02:25 AM
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It does sound like the blade may not be parallel to the miter slot. It's important to align the blade and the fence to the slot.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-20-2013, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I did some measuring with a metal ruler last night and it was a little off, just under a 1/16" across the length of the blade, which would have been magnified when I cut a larger piece. I made some adjustments and got it pretty close I think. How do you guys recommend to check for parallel? just measuring from the blade to the slot? Or should you clamp a straightedge to the blade and check across a longer distance?
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 04:23 AM
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I think most people will measure just the blade. With the blade raised all the way up, measure one tooth to the slot, then rotate the blade and use the same tooth to measure from the opposite side of the blade to the slot. Some guys measure with a dial indicator and many just use a combo square. With the combo square, extend the ruler until it just barely kisses the tooth, then see how that compares when you measure that same tooth after rotating the blade 180 degrees.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 09:46 AM
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Yes, hold a straight edge against the blade, it doesn't have to be clamped, just lay it tight against the blade body. The extra length will exaggerate any discrepancy that you may not see just measuring to the blade. Making any necessary correction will depend on the type of saw you have. The 5 cut method gives you the potential of making 5 mistakes and you won't know if one or all are involved. Make a cut and check it with a square, that's what you want as a result and the way you should check a cut.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-26-2013, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Guys, thanks for all your comments. I finished my first cutting board the other day and gave it to my mother for Christmas. Had a lot of fun making it and learned a few things along the way. And mom was impressed too!
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-26-2013, 03:30 PM
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looks fantastic!
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