Quantcast

thoughts on using a table saw sled

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

trojan62

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2011
Messages
80
Reaction score
0
Location
Welwyn Garden City, Herts
hi,
ive been tempted to make a sled for my new table saw, after viewing quite a few american websites.
although they look very handy, you obviously have to remove your riving knife and guard, which im a bit reluctant to do.
i was just interested what people on this forum do as regards table saw sleds.
 

marcros

(Trevanion)+1
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,263
Reaction score
204
Location
Leeds
you may need to remove the existing guard, but there are alternative methods of guarding. The usual recommendation is the Steve Maskery DVD which discusses this in depth, and provides advice and plans for overhead guarding.

Do you need to remove the riving knife, or just modify it to make so that it only petrudes to just below the height of the top of the blade? Riving knives are pretty simple to make from a piece of gauge plate. I believe that this is probably also covered by the DVD. Others on the forum have made them from alternative materials- carbon fibre for one (woodbloke IIRC).
 

Lord Kitchener

Established Member
Joined
11 Jul 2011
Messages
465
Reaction score
2
Location
Aylesbury
Sleds are mostly used for crosscutting, so the riving knife isn't so important in that application. As long as adequate alternative guarding is present, you are probably ok to remove the knife altogether.
 

dedee

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Messages
2,637
Reaction score
1
Location
14860, France
This is a sled that I knocked up a couple of weeks ago. Although pictured without it, the riving knife does fit through slot in the far end. No guard as such but the lump of timber attached front to back will, I hope, stop anything being flung back towards me.



Basic design copied from Mark The Wood Whisperer here


Andy
 

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,749
Reaction score
79
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Sleds are great if you don't have a dedicated crosscut saw. On many saws you do have to remove the guard and RK, in which case you must build guarding into the design of your sled. There is particular risk at the end of the cut as the blade exits the fence closest to the operator. The RK is not important for cross-cutting, but obviously, if you take it off, you must remember to put it back on again afterwards.
One of the great benefits of a sled is that you can see exactly where the cut is going to be made, before you make it.

Cheers
Steve
 

marcros

(Trevanion)+1
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,263
Reaction score
204
Location
Leeds
you dont say whether you are doing this as a hobby, or as part of your business- there is some legislation regarding removal of the riving knife that could be relevant if it is more than a hobby (I believe)
 

SurreyHills

Established Member
Joined
5 May 2010
Messages
302
Reaction score
0
Location
Fetcham, Surrey
I found that the sled I made wasn't that stable - it tended to flex too much. I think for them to work you really need the runners on the underside to run in 2 T Track slots. Mine only has one and the fit of the single runner was too sloppy and the resulting cuts weren't very accurate.
 

Digit

Established Member
Joined
11 Nov 2007
Messages
10,222
Reaction score
0
Location
Wales
I use sleds for cross cutting and for mitres, they are inherently safe as there is no requirement for your hands to be any where near the blade.
For accuracy I make the runner from paxolin as it wears better than timber.

Roy.
 

andersonec

Established Member
Joined
25 Jun 2010
Messages
1,443
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincolnshire
My thoughts on a sled......Lots of controversy about these but I would like to add my pennies worth.
We must remember that a riving knife is to prevent the work from twisting into the back of the blade and being picked up and flung over the top of the blade back towards the operator, the fence on a sled is what pushes the work forward at right angles to the blade thereby negating the risk of the work twisting into the blade, consider the action of a SCMS and turn it upside down, as has been said earlier, the knife can be adapted to stay on the machine or the front and back fence on your sled could be made higher to accommodate the knife, the first cut would have to be made without the knife but this is just to make the slot in the sled.
I personally find that this is one of the most useful bits of homemade work-aids I have and with the mitre guides and a digital mitre gauge I can cut very accurate mitres at any given angle

Here is one of the best sleds I have seen on the intranet, I copied it but added overhead guarding and a perspex cover where the blade protrudes at the front) http://www.eaglelakewoodworking.com/pos ... -Sled.aspx

And here is the way to check for perfect squareness..http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/ ... -cut-sled/

Andy
 
Top