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George Ledo
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"Measure once, cut twice, cuss three times."
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
On 2011-06-30 17:01, AGMagic wrote:
They sould fit the slots so the sled moves freely with no slop.

Mine has very little side to side slop, but even with that minimal amount, I tend to push the sled always snugged to one side. This makes certain that multiple cuts are more exact duplications.

Quote:
Whatever material you use, the runners should not come in contact with the bottom of the slot.


I do just the opposite. I find less friction having the runners as the points of contact, elevating the sled base above the table by a fraction of an inch. You loose a minimal amount of depth, but it has not been problematic for me.

Quote:
Build your sled and get it square, then carefully raise the blade up through the sled to make the cutting slot. This will insure that the blade does not bind in a pre-cut slot and will keep the kerf on the sled as narrow as possible. Make sure the fence on the sled has some adjustment so you can be sure that the fence is square to the blade. And make sure that your saw is properly set up BEFORE you make a sled.


I never precut the blade kerf in the sled. I begin with just the base on the runners. Then setting the blade to sufficient height to cut the base, I cut back to the mark where the backstop fence will be. This allows me to then attach the backstop squarely with the blade. Once it is in place, I finish cutting through to the back.

Not mentioned in any of my other posts is that the backstop should be at least twice as high as the slot cut through it. This uncut area at the top of the backstop is all that holds the two halves of the sled together.

Yes, this basically makes a zero clearance blade slot, which is crucial for the sometimes very thin plywoods that I cut. It keeps the edges of the wood from fraying, especially when you must trim off very small amounts from an edge.



Quote:
One thought on Michale's post above...don't use your rip fence for a stop block when crosscutting, it is very dangerous because the cut off piece can easily get caught between the blad and the fence. Instead, clamp a block of wood to the rip fence in front of the blade and use that your stop block. A 1" or thicker block works well. The work piece should be clear of the stop block before it reaches the blade. That way if the piece should happen to twist if will not get caught between the blade and the fence and become a thrown accross the shop or into you!


This is a good point that I overlooked. Thanks for calling me out on that! I have become more comfortable with my smaller saw. Jams tend to just stop the blade. Smile Larger, more powerful saws will not yield.

Quote:
Michael - my addition "To the man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."
Smile "To the wife, every butter knife looks like a screwdriver."
~michael baker
The Magic Company
AGMagic
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Michael, who am I to argue with success? My crosscut sled is about 3 ft. square so I like having it sit firmly on the saw table so it doesn't bow. I just keep everything waxed so it moves easily. The rest of your post I completely agree with.

"When you are up to your a** in alligators, it is difficult to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp"
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
AGMagic
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"Don't start vast projects with half-vast ideas"
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

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Quote:
On 2011-07-01 21:35, AGMagic wrote:
"Don't start vast projects with half-vast ideas"

Ha!!

Definition of "Separation anxiety" - the feeling that consumes you after you've CA glued your fingers to the little box.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
motivationalmagic
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Pennsylvania
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Craig’s List is GREAT! Today I found a seller that gave me quite a deal. I purchased all of the following used items for a total of only $40. 15” Bench Scroll Saw, 6” Sander/Polisher, Electric Grinder, large square, small square, electric chain saw.

The deals are out there, for sure. I found, though, that I have to check Craig’s List fairly often because the deals are snatched up very quickly. Speaking of which, someone needs to make an app whereby you can be notified by phone of a new listing on Craig’s List that matches your criteria!

=====

Michael,
Thank you for your wonderful kindness in creating a graphic image explaining the concept of the sled. That makes more sense to me now. I get it now. Keeps the board stable and prevents the board from kicking back while sawing. Sometimes I’m a little slow, but eventually things sink in! Also, too, I thank you for your patience in being willing to share your knowledge with someone new to wood working and building things. I am very eager to learn!

In your diagram, is the “rip fence” actually on the sled? Or is that the fence that is on the table saw?

In the second diagram, is there a slot in that fence for the saw blade to go through that fence? Or do you simply stop sawing when you get to that fence?

When I was at the Woodcraft store, I saw that they sell these metal “sleeves” that fit into the miter gauge slots of the table saw. However, when I inserted them into a table saw there in the store, I was surprised to see that they wiggled back and forth quite a bit. They sold these metal sleeves for $10 each. Is it better to make your own, so that there is less play back and forth? Don’t they make any such sleeves that are slightly more snug without any of that play back and forth? I want to get the most accurate cuts possible.

Can I assume that using the sled also aids in giving you a more accurate cut that is more “square”?

=====

George,
The class was at a wood working store here in Pennsylvania. It was 15 hours long over two days. The pace was fast, but full of information. I wish I were able to video tape it, because the information flew by so quickly. I did take extensive notes, though. I’ve hunted around for videos to purchase that might have all of that same information, but didn’t find anything so far.

=====

EsnRedshirt,
Yep! The shed I’m looking at actually is a garage (12x25), with a garage door and two windows, but it is sold as a shed. (Not sure why they don’t just call it a garage). Sells for $5400. They have one slightly smaller for $3500, which is 12x20, but those five feet really seem to make a difference when you go inside and visualize where this and that will go.

=====

gimpy2,
Thanks for the tips! I did that today and it worked much more nicely with straighter lines. It really surprises me how easy it is for that circular saw to veer off. I would have thought it would tend to make sraight lines. Sooo… now I focus my attention right at the tip of that blade. Much more effective that way! A great tip!

=====

AGMagic,
Great insights regarding sleds. I’ll have to start hunting around for YouTube videos and such to learn how to make the other sleds you described.

That’s a good idea to slowly raise the blade up into the sled. I was trying to figure out how I was going to put a slot in the sled without cutting the front and back! Your method now seems all too obivous!

Tim, may I ask what you use to “wax” up the table saw surface area? That sounds like a good idea.

What kind of material could I use to expand the surface area of my table saw?

Thanks again, everyone! Such a great thread!

Rich
Motivational Magic
"The Magician on a Mission to Motivate"
www.MotivationalMagic.com
AGMagic
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Rich, Great deal on Craig's list. I am jealous, but not too much as I just picked up my new bandsaw yesterday.

I use Johnson's floor paste wax on the saw table. There are other,very pricey, products sold in the woodworking stores that prevent rust and provide a slick surface, but I have found that paste wax works fine. If you have rust on the table and wings it can usually be cleaned up with WD-40 and Scotchbrite pads. Once the rust has been removed, remove any trace of the WD-40 with lacquer thinner then coat the table with paste wax. Do not use any wax with silicone in it. The silicone may rub off on your work piece and make it very difficult to finish (paint etc.)properly later.

As for expanding the surface area of the saw table, many build a plywood or MDF (medium density fiberboard) table and cover it with a laminate (like Formica) top. Google outfeed tables and I am sure you will find something suitable. Basically, you are looking for something to help stabilize larger pieces of sheet stock so you don't have to balance them as they go through the saw. Many of the plans you find can be easily modified to suit your situation and your shop.

One last thought. If the saw that you bought does not have the blade guard/splitter any longer, either replace it (recommended) and/or make or buy a splitter. The splitter sits behind the blade and keeps the kerf (cut) frome closing up and pinching the blade, creating the aforementioned projectile out of your work piece. DO NOT rip boards or cut large pieces of sheet goods without some kind of splitter on the saw. It is way too dangerous.

Woodworking and creating props is great fun but your magic will be better if you keep all of your fingers.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

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Answers to your questions directed at me...

The rip fence is the one that comes with the table saw.

The slot in the sled runs from the very front edge (the leading edge that comes to the blade first) and goes all the way through the sled, and out the back, including through the backstop fence. The backstop fence is at least twice as high as the blade. The cut is only through the lower half.

You can push the sled entirely through the blade and off onto the floor if you wanted to. The thumb guards described and shown in the earlier B&W drawing are there to make sure your thumbs don't accidentally lay over that blade slot as the blade is passing through the backstop fence and emerging from the back side of it.

Not sure about those metal "sleeves" you mentioned. I've never used them. The runners on the bottom of my sleds that actually run in the miter gauge slots are cut from hardwood... poplar, maple, etc. Just some kind of smooth grain wood unlikely to warp. I cut them so they fit in the slots, and move as desired with very little side to side play. Obviously, you need a bit of slack so they will slide and not stick. That small amount of play should be insignificant to your final results.

The sled serves a few different purposes, one of which is a more accurate, square cut. Other benefits include, reduced kickback potential, and more control over the workpiece as it goes through the saw.

If you've ever seen one of those circular blade meat slicers at the deli, they are doing kind of the same thing. The width of the cut is determined and the carriage (sled) holds the meat, as it is pushed through the blade, sometimes over and over. All cuts are uniform and it is easier than trying to push the hunk of meat through without it. Smile
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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