MicroJig MatchFit Sled

glenn bradley

Member
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9,989
Location
SoCal
With my current between-shop limitations I needed a longer, narrower sled for Grandpa's saw. I have some Matchfit fixtures and decided to go with that. My router table is normally attached to my tablesaw giving both tools the benefit of the larger work surface and fence positions. This meant I could only get so far on the RT under my current conditions.
Matchfit-Sled (1).jpg
I grabbed a piece of scrap that I had been using as a backer board at the drill press (therefor the random holes and such) to make a guided jig for the handheld router. I let a piece of 1/4" MDF into a dado to act as a runner.
Matchfit-Sled (3).jpg
I measured off the offset for the bit position and drilled a hole. I confirmed center with a positioning pin and sized the hole for this template guide.
Matchfit-Sled (2).jpg
I took off the plate and put the guide in the hole. This let me mark the router base hole positions with a transfer punch.
Matchfit-Sled (4).jpg
I drilled the mounting holes, counter bored them to accept the normal base plate screws and attached the router base. I popped the motor in and gave it a test fit. This is when I realized that I had purposely used a resharpened spiral bit that was now undersized from 1/4". Doh! . . . I scraped the runner a few times and it now fits fine.
Matchfit-Sled (5).jpg
Although the shellac'd and waxed bottom and runner slide well I din't feel I had confident control of the fixture. I added one of those handles I bought a bunch of at the "Re-Store".
Matchfit-Sled (6).jpg
Feels good. Time to give it a whirl.

P.s. This is yet another project out of that free plywood my Son in Law came up with. It's amazing how creative you get when the cost is near-zero. 😆
 

glenn bradley

Member
Messages
9,989
Location
SoCal
I am always sort of surprised when these things work out.
Matchfit-Sled (7).jpg
The rather basic Milwaukee dust hood did an admirable job so, shout out to them.
Matchfit-Sled (8).jpg
My handy dandy piece-o-scrap Matchfit Bit Height jig.
Matchfit-Sled (9).jpg
I had two rows left to be converted from slots to dovetails but, alas all the other slots were now dovetails . . . how to guide my router? Then it hit me; use the thing you've just made you ding-a-ling. I grab a piece of a bed frame support made of 1" ply. This is from a beat up mahogany swan-neck bed was given to me by a co-worker years ago. I broke the broken down bed frame into lumber and made them a picture frame as payment for them gifting me the wood. Anyway, a couple of long slots . . .
Matchfit-Sled (10).jpg
And my problem is solved.
Matchfit-Sled (11).jpg
Now for the fences, front and rear. I have to percolate about adding a ZCI like I normally do for sleds. I guess I may as well. I have always been glad to have them.
 

glenn bradley

Member
Messages
9,989
Location
SoCal
I was going to use the Matchfit hardware to afix the fence but, having had a bad experience with plywood delaminating under stress on another jig I opted for my usual t-bolt through the works method. I drill a counter bore to accept a washer and nut and a through hole that fits the 1/4" t-bolt tightly.
Matchfit-Sled (15).jpg
The through hole in the sled's base is oversized and the recess on the bottom of the base for the t-bolt head is lengthened as well to allow for adjustment. A spin-tight is used to snug things during the 5-cut alignment and to tighten things up once adjusted.
Matchfit-Sled (16).jpg . Matchfit-Sled (14).jpg
The rear fence blocks one dovetail slot so I cut an easement to allow that one to drop in from that position.
Matchfit-Sled (17).jpg . Matchfit-Sled (18).jpg
I have used this jig to work on this jig a couple of times. I do not recall doing this for other jigs and think it is kinda cool. I use a sliding fence and a piece of Matchfit hardware to act as a guide and a stop for the dovetail groove expansion.
Matchfit-Sled (19).jpg . Matchfit-Sled (20).jpg
cont'd . . .
 
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glenn bradley

Member
Messages
9,989
Location
SoCal
The fence on this saw only goes to 11 inches so I cannot use it to help me setup the guide bars. I position the saw next to the bench and position a piece of stock to act as a reference surface.
Matchfit-Sled (21).jpg
I put double stick tape on the runners and trim to fit.
Matchfit-Sled (22).jpg . Matchfit-Sled (23).jpg
I trim it so there is a bit of space back from the edge. Failure to do this a few sleds ago led to the tape's adhesive causing drag and therefor a cleanup effort. This avoids that.
Matchfit-Sled (24).jpg
Put the rails in the miter slots and elevate them so that the sled base will contact them firmly when it is lowered onto them. I use a few pennies in each slot to accomplish this. Peel the tape, rest the edge of the base against your reference surface but, not touching the tape, and lower away.
Matchfit-Sled (25).jpg
Press down firmly, flip the sled and add the screws.
Matchfit-Sled (26).jpg
I'm gonna grab a snack. Be back in a bit . . .
 
Last edited:

glenn bradley

Member
Messages
9,989
Location
SoCal
Forgot a couple of pics. For those of you who use wood or UHMW runners, here's how I fit them. I mill them to fit really well in the slots to start with. I shellac my shop fixtures once they get to a version 2 (or higher :sneaky:) so this tip assumes a sealed surface. It also assumes you did not get a perfectly smooth gliding sled right off the bat. I wax the runners and the bottom of the sled. I then take a felt pen and run a thick mark down each side of each runner.

Matchfit-Sled (28).jpg
I slide the sled back and forth a few times and the ink rubs off where things are rubbing.
Matchfit-Sled (29).jpg
I then use a card scraper to tune the fit addressing those areas. This generally gets me to a nice smooth sliding fit pretty quickly.
 
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