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This has been an interesting project for me to research as well as to build, in that I sure had my challenges with the router. ;-) I not only read/watched everything that Eagle Lake Woodworking has on this table saw sled design and build, I also looked elsewhere for tips and techniques to make my execution/build of this project as accurate as possible. Steve Marin has a neat YouTube Video on accurately aligning and installing runners and fences that I found useful as well. Armed with this information I was off to the shop and making dust!
Some of the modifications that I made include:
++ Used 3/4in plywood for base— I want more durability/longevity and besides I can still cut 2 1/4in even with this thick of base ;-)
++ A 56in long main fence— I wanted to be able to cut multiple pieces as long as 36in in length, so I made the fence on the left stick out 38in to include enough for a stop block as well. Do note the gap in the vertical T-Track on the main fence so that the TS blade doesn’t have to cut through the T-Track.
++ I moved the “adjustable” fence slots closer together than the original plans called for as well— The plans called for the slots to be 7 1/2in apart, however, I found that only got me down to a max/min angle of ~60/30 degrees. I made the slots just 6in apart and when finished I can actually get a max/min angle 70/20 degrees, so that 22 1/2 degree angle is a doable on this sled.
++ I surface mounted the T-Track on the “adjustable” fences instead of routing them flush here— I did this in order to NOT have to depend on just 1/4in of material to hold down the T-Track. This works fine and does NOT try to pull the T-Track away from what it is mounted to.
++ I added the second “main fence” T-track as recommended on Eagle Lake WW Improvements— I did, however, move the vertical facing T-Track down to mid-board as in the Steve Marin video. I think that works better in that position.
++ Added a second “round-over” piece to the push/pull handle— I had this left over from making a longer piece for my handle needs and decided to use the leftovers as well. In the second image you can see a lower round-over piece on the handle that I placed there to keep my thumb from migrating any closer/lower toward the blade than it needed to be. It seems to serve as a tactile reminder of where to keep my thumb when pushing/pulling the sled (a safety feature).
(below) Once base board is squared and clamped in place, rslowly raise the running blade up through the base. This sets/locks the position in place.
(below) I glued the miter runners in place, using the precut raised blade slot as a reference to keep things straight.
(next two below) Making the adjustable fences for making angled cuts.
(last two below) My main fence, showing T-track and handle in place. I used a full 2in wide piece of Ash on this, as well as having the two T-tracks at right angles. This should keep everything very straight for a long time. These fences are screwed in place so that I can remove them and replace the plywood base as needed in the future. Thus far, 3yr down the road, that has not been needed.
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