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Thread: Can I ask about crosscut sleds?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Can I ask about crosscut sleds?

    I just built a small crosscut sled to aid me in box building. I used ½” phenolic faced plywood for the base with hard maple for the fence and Incra miter sliders. It’s only 12” deep since I never use lumber wider than 8” to 10” anyway.
    My question to all the experts and users of crosscut sleds is: How precise should I expect to get this set up?
    After 6 tries using the 5 cut method, I have 1/64” or .0145” difference in a 8” cut. Is that considered close enough?
    I just want my boxes to come out square along with some small molding I use on some styles I build.
    Thank you all in advance for your thoughts on this.

  2. #2
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    My feeling on tolerances is that the smaller the project, the more exacting you need to be. An error of 1/64" may not seem like much on a 5 foot by 5 foot box but it will have much more impact on a 5 inch by 5 inch item.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
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    I shoot for about .001" over 12" or so. What design did you use to adjust the fence? I use t-bolts with tight fitting holes through the fence, oversized holes in the sled base and elongated holes to allow the heads to move forward and backward a bit. I loosen all four bolts, snug one of the ends . . .

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    and just tap the fence the direction I want to go. Snug the other three bolts and test, loosen, tap, snug, test, etc. Takes a few tries but not many. Some have used a really clever threaded gizmo to allow very controlled adjustment. Maybe they will chime in. Smaller items are much less tolerant of deviation than larger pieces. A 30" square lower cabinet might accept 1/64" deviation on a miter but a 5" square box end would not IMHO.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 05-27-2012 at 08:32 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  4. #4
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    another vote for tighter tolerances,, and if i were you i would make it to accept larger stock, think plywood pieces..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    Thank you for your input.
    After re-reading the 5 cut method, I discovered that the final difference has to be divided by 5.
    Therefore, I really have a .0029" differential. I think that's close enough for my needs.
    But, Glenn, I really like your idea on fence mounting. How did you get the oval mortises in your base? I think I'll incorporate that concept in my miter sled.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Pozzi View Post
    Thank you for your input.
    After re-reading the 5 cut method, I discovered that the final difference has to be divided by 5.
    Therefore, I really have a .0029" differential. I think that's close enough for my needs.
    But, Glenn, I really like your idea on fence mounting. How did you get the oval mortises in your base? I think I'll incorporate that concept in my miter sled.
    I used a Forstner bit to drill two shallow mortises and then used a chisel to connect them.

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    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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