Attaching miter slot runners to a jig. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Attaching miter slot runners to a jig.

I just made me a crosscut sled for my table saw. In the process I learned how to attach runners to a jig. For the benefit of anyone who may be wondering how to attach miter slot runners to a sled (or other jig), I'm going to show the key steps. This is my first time doing it and I must say it turned out perfectly. The runners are a perfect fit and the sled slides very straight and smoothly.

Make your runners from hard wood (I used oak) so they won't swell, warp or otherwise bind when the weather changes. Cut them slightly shallower than your miter slots so that they won't bottom out and drag when in use. And make they a hair narrower than the slots. But not much. Just enough to prevent drag but not enough to give you side to side play. Length, of course, will be determined by the jig you're making.

Then use spacers of some sort (I used American dimes) to shim the runners flush with the table...

Attaching miter slot runners to a jig.-2011-10-12_20-12-16_938.jpg

and set the runners in place.

Attaching miter slot runners to a jig.-2011-10-12_20-12-53_701.jpg

Next I ensured my regular rip fence was square to the miter slots and to the blade. I used the rip fence to square up the crosscut sled I was making. I lined up my cut line (in this case, the halfway point) with the blade and tightened down the rip fence.

Attaching miter slot runners to a jig.-2011-10-12_20-18-21_581.jpg

Mark a center line where the runners are and tack them in place with 1" brads. Leave the heads proud for easy removal later.

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Then you simply drill...

Attaching miter slot runners to a jig.-2011-10-12_20-42-26_294.jpg
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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... and attach the runners firmly with enough countersunk screws to prevent any warpage or bowing.

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Then pull the brads out and you're all set.

Attaching miter slot runners to a jig.-2011-10-12_21-22-07_475.jpg

Luckily, mine were lined up perfectly and did not rub or bind. But if yours do, you can rub the sides of your miter slots with a wide carpenter's pencil then slide the runners along the miter slots a few times. The graphite from the pencil will show you the "high" spots where it's rubbing. Use sandpaper or a butt plane to shave it down a hair until your jig glides smoothly.

And it's that simple.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 07:24 PM
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Nice Steve! Thanks for sharing.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 07:46 PM
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Nice write up.
One thing I do is on the top of the runners, I cut a small (1/16" - 3/32") rabbit on the top edges. This makes it a lot easier, if you need to trim for a good fit. You don't have to sand into the corner, where the runner meets the jig.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Nice write up.
One thing I do is on the top of the runners, I cut a small (1/16" - 3/32") rabbit on the top edges. This makes it a lot easier, if you need to trim for a good fit. You don't have to sand into the corner, where the runner meets the jig.
Ah, that's a really good idea. Thank you.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 12:57 PM
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I did something similar to this for my miter sled (90 deg for picture frames)....I put the runners on nuts and then tacked them with brads. It worked really well, but I still ended up with just a *small* amount of wiggle....enough to where I can feel it though I don't think I could measure it. I don't think the runners could be any tighter to the slots, but I got wiggle in there somehow. Is there some easy way to remove that slight looseness without removing and reattaching one of the runners?

I have the same issue with my "super sled" crosscut sled, but for that I just move the fence up against the edge, and that removes any wiggling.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 02:24 PM
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Okay, putting this in the tutorials thread... thanks Steve.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-21-2011, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beelzerob View Post
I did something similar to this for my miter sled (90 deg for picture frames)....I put the runners on nuts and then tacked them with brads. It worked really well, but I still ended up with just a *small* amount of wiggle....enough to where I can feel it though I don't think I could measure it. I don't think the runners could be any tighter to the slots, but I got wiggle in there somehow. Is there some easy way to remove that slight looseness without removing and reattaching one of the runners?

I have the same issue with my "super sled" crosscut sled, but for that I just move the fence up against the edge, and that removes any wiggling.
To prevent the "wiggle", cut the runners a hair narrow, then temporarily shim them toward each other when they are in the slots with whatever will fit. The slop on the outside edges won't matter once they are secured to the bottom of the sled.

Bud

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-22-2011, 04:56 PM
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nice sled and looks like you did a good job attaching the runners. I hope the oak runners work out well for you although I have never been satisfied with the inconsistancy of wood with the changes in the weather(maybe I should have made sure to use Q/S to make them more stable). I regularly use several different sleds and I have found that the hard white plastic strips(I think its a type of polyethylene or plexi) have been a real improvement over wood. I'm in no way being critical, just thouht I'd add my 2 cents.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-22-2011, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beelzerob View Post
Is there some easy way to remove that slight looseness without removing and reattaching one of the runners?
Could countersink some small, like #6, brass screws into the edges of the runners and back them out or screw them in to get the fit you want. Probably would be easier to do if adjustment was planned into the design and the pilots and countersinks drilled before assembly.

John

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post #11 of 11 Old 10-24-2011, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, putting this in the tutorials thread... thanks Steve.
Is there one? If so, where is it? If not, we should have one and it should be stickied at the top of one of the subforums where it can be found easily.
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