Introduction: Homemade Table Saw - Part 2 - DIY Sledge, Runners & Mitre Slots

This is part two of the Homemade Table Saw video, where I make the mitre slots on the bed and my first basic sledge.  I decided to make a sledge first before a guide rail, partly because I'll probably wont need the guide rail while I have a skill saw.  I have never used a sledge before and have to admit this is the nicest way to work on a table saw.  It feel safe which is not a feeling I normally associate with table saws and I am already having several ideas of how to modify the sledge to allow for more interesting cuts.

0:07 I used a steel ruler to mark two parallel lines on either side of the blade.  From these marks I measured and drew two the mitre slot lines.
0:48 After removing the adjustable bed, set the depth of the skill saw and start channelling the grooves.  I cut two lines first and measured from them. 
1:50 Note that the teeth of your saw blade will vary, some leaving a flat cut and other needing paring.
2:00 chiselling away any excess and sanding.
2:11 I laminate the surface for the sledge.
2:31 Cutting the runners for the sledge and planning them down to size.
3:12 Using some pennies or washers in the mitre slots to raise the runners above the beds surface height, add glue and place sheet material in position.  I used weight to keep everything in place. 
3:38 When the glue dried simply hammer pin nails into runners to add further rigidity.
4:05 I made a cut into the sledge about half way.
4:26 Cutting the front and back fences for the sledge.
5:40 Using engineers squares I laid out the fence 90 degrees to the line and saw bald.
7:21 When the glue dried, removed all the clamps and crew the sledge to the fence, making sure to sink the head of the screw fully to prevent drag.
9:31 Running the entire sledge into the saw to cut the fences.
10:00 Cutting a bit of scrap to test the angle of the cut. By flipping the off cut around and pressing the cut surfaces against the fence and each other you can gage how accurate you have been.

In part 3 I will add a lead screw and stop along the fence of the sledge, which should help me to make finger / comb joints.  I will at some point also add this extraction unit!

Comments

author
claudg1950 (author)2013-08-25

Great job. Very efficiently done. It looks very nice.
Two comments:
1) Safety: You may consider installing an acrylic or transparent plastic strip (2 to 4 in wide) longitudinally on top of both fences, just over the blade's line. Also adding a block to the back of the rear fence, just where the blade cuts in, to prevent putting your hands accidentally on the line of the blade.
2) Accuracy,--i.e. setting the rear fence at 90 degrees to the blade: As error is proportional to distance, the larger the test piece, the better. The "flip-over" technique you used would be even better with a flat MDF or plywood rectangle or square, as large as your sled permits. Also you may try the "5 cuts" method to test accuracy, as done and lengthily explained by master craftsman William Ng in a Youtube video. All the best.

author
claudg1950 (author)2013-08-25

Simple, fast and well done.
Two comments:
1) Safety: you may consider attaching a 3 or 4 inches wide strip of acrylic (or other transparent plastic) longitudinally on top of both fences, right over the line of the blade. Also, you may glue a block of wood at the back of the rear fence, right where the saw cuts it; that would be to prevent your accidentally putting your hands in the line of the blade.
2) Accuracy: As error is proportional to distance, to ensure the rear fence is at 90 degrees to the saw blade the larger the test piece, the better: A thin piece of MDF or plywood --as large as your sled permits-- would give you more accuracy. Also, you may try the "5 cut method" to test the angle. There's a fellow William Ng that does that in a lengthy youtube video.

author
Mindmapper1 (author)2013-05-30

This is a great video but using the circular saw without the riving knife and a guard is dangerous. the riving knife is designed to stop the timber knipping the back of the blade and being flicked back at the operator. The guard does what a guard should do protect the user from a sharp rotating object.

author

Thanks for the comment. You'll be glad to here I am planning to put a riving knife on the table saw at some point, but will not be able to fit a guard because the sledge crosses along the blade. However, just to point out, if you look at the majority of re-enactments of accident you will see that the fence is almost always in place and the material is being over worked. It is more likely to get kickback if you work your material into the blade while against the fence while there is almost no risk of that happening on a sledge. Anyway since finishing the sledge, I don't know how anyone uses a table saw without one.

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andrea biffi (author)2013-05-21

great! it's a delight looking someone working with such attention and good skills!

author
danilo.bar1 (author)2013-05-21

I already knew your video on youtube, I'm glad to read you here too :-)
Great Job!