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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone,

I often see jigs that are screwed to a piece of hardwood that slides in the miter track of the table saw top.

How do you make that piece of hardwood to fit or can it be purchased?

Thank you,
Fred
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Anyone,

I often see jigs that are screwed to a piece of hardwood that slides in the miter track of the table saw top.

How do you make that piece of hardwood to fit or can it be purchased?

Thank you,
Fred

I've made them on my table saw.....rip a board to the width of the table saw.......then adjust and rip off what you need for height. Round off edges a bit with sandpaper and your good to go.
 

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Old School
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The most common slot size is ¾" wide and 3/8" deep. I prefer to have face grain down, even though the guide doesn't necessarily have to ride on the bottom of the slot. Cutting a piece that small might be better done starting with a wider piece that is easier to control through the fence, to cut the 3/8" depth, and then cutting the ¾" rips.

Or, starting with a wider piece that's ¾" thick, and set the fence to have the waste piece 3/8".






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The only (small) reason not to use wood for the miter bar is that it expands and shrinks as humidity changes. Cut with the edge grain facing up is preferred as expansion is 1/3" that of face grain.
 

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RETCW4AV8R said:
Anyone,

I often see jigs that are screwed to a piece of hardwood that slides in the miter track of the table saw top.

How do you make that piece of hardwood to fit or can it be purchased?

Thank you,
Fred
You shouldn't have any trouble cutting it on the table saw. But if I was you I would make it slightly oversized and then work it in so it fits snug. It will loosen after you push it back and forth about three times. If it fits perfectly on its first time in the slot it will be too loose from there on.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?pid=12094&step=4&showunits=inches&id=889&top_cat=0

This is a pce of low carbon "tool steel".....ground/straight/parallel.And probably what the factory's use for their mitre bar runners.

If someone held a gun to my head and said ,"make one out of wood".The process would be waaaay easier than species selection.Would more than likely go with "action wood"(Maple strips epoxied together....look at laminated rifle stocks),because of the epoxy,stabilizing property's.

So going with action wood....next would bandsaw about .010" over size and then "grind" it to perfection with thickness sander.

But before any of that....would just get on ebay and buy a cheap mitre gauge to snag the runner.Also noticing how different gauges use differing techniques ofr "tightening" their runners.Some of which are downright Fred Flintstone....but hey,it works.Good luck.
 

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I use UHMW for all of my runners. I picked up a piece at a Woodcraft a while back. I think it was about 5" wide and 3' long. I have used it to make several jigs. If I recall it only cost about $30. Cheaper than what the same amount of runners would have cost and great performance.
 

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MTL said:
I use UHMW for all of my runners. I picked up a piece at a Woodcraft a while back. I think it was about 5" wide and 3' long. I have used it to make several jigs. If I recall it only cost about $30. Cheaper than what the same amount of runners would have cost and great performance.
Can you remove a small thickness in that stuff? I've used it for some applications but didn't have much luck dialing it in if needed.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Can you remove a small thickness in that stuff? I've used it for some applications but didn't have much luck dialing it in if needed.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
Never tried. Cut it close, counter sink the holes and attach with counter sunk screws (obviously). The stuff is flexible, so as you tighten the screws it will expand from the counter sunk holes and you can adjust to your drag liking that way. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is a pce of low carbon "tool steel".....ground/straight/parallel.And probably what the factory's use for their mitre bar runners.
How do you drill this stuff to fasten your jigs to it? I am going to guess you are going to say with a drill press which I just happen to not have. :eek:

But I am a little leary about trying to cut something so small with my rip fence. I guess I will have to get a better rip fence first, then fix my miter gauge and jig problems.
 

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The only (small) reason not to use wood for the miter bar is that it expands and shrinks as humidity changes. Cut with the edge grain facing up is preferred as expansion is 1/3" that of face grain.
Preferred by who? I've used wood for a miter guide on many gauges and sleds. It's so small that I've haven't experienced an E&C problem. I can have a 40%-50% RH change in the same day.

Using edge grain up can present a problem by grain splitting when screws or fasteners are used to install. Even though there is a pilot hole, the substantive surrounding wood is fairly unpredictable. Here is a dedicated 90 degree shop made miter gauge with a wood guide...
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Wood Plywood







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RETCW4AV8R said:
How do you drill this stuff to fasten your jigs to it? I am going to guess you are going to say with a drill press which I just happen to not have. :eek:

But I am a little leary about trying to cut something so small with my rip fence. I guess I will have to get a better rip fence first, then fix my miter gauge and jig problems.
Its really quite simple. Set the fence slightly more than 3/4" and rip. If you don't feel comfortable making the second cut thin. Set it up to be on the waste side and cut it out of larger stock. Sand or plane to fit.

Drilling is done on the saw with a hand drill. Position the sled part on the saw where you want it with one side against the fence with it in it's furthest position square to the blade. Make a cut far enough so the sled lays on the saw not all the way through the board. Turn off the saw and slide the rails in place. drill pilot holes through the sled and into the runners. Temp screw the runners to the sled. Remove the sled from the saw and finish attaching the rails with screws and nuts making both flush on top and on bottom. Don't glue them. Don't try to screw them on without drilling.

Put the sled back on the saw and install the fence closest to you making it perfectly square to the blade. Square it,clamp it,and and screw it to the sled base. Remove the sled and add a small fence/brace on the far side.

Don't wait to build one of these sleds. It's the best and safest way to cut wood on a table saw. It will greatly improve your work and make cutting many pieces much more accurate. Google it and find a plan or drawing you like.

Lastly. You don't need fancy plastic or steel runners. Sometimes guys on this site forget who they are talking to and offer advice only a professional can understand. Build it, you won't regret it and you'll wish you had done so sooner.

Al B Thayer

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Preferred by who? I've used wood for a miter guide on many gauges and sleds. It's so small that I've haven't experienced an E&C problem. I can have a 40%-50% RH change in the same day.
I prefer it. Although I don't make a wood bar very often, I'll plane a scrap down to 3/4" or find one already at 3/4" then slice off a 3/8" strip. As most boards are face grain up the resulting strip laid down is quarter sawn. I've never had any problem with them splitting. When I need one as tight a fit as I can get, I'll check my planing with a micrometer and against the slot. After going to that trouble I know I can expect the quarter sawn jig to work and remain tighter than any I've made face grain up all year long. True, the dimensional change won't be much in either case. It will be greater across face grain though, and when that matters I'm happier with my quarter sawn bars. I don't mind if you disagree. My experience is what I trust.
 
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