Saw Sled for Segmented Turnings

by Peter Clark

Materials:

  • Plywood or MDF . %/16” or more, 18” long and wider than the interval between the saws mitre grooves.
  • Two lengths of hardwood about 1” wide, ½’ thick and each about 2” longer than the plywood.
  • Two pieces of hardwood, 6”+ long, 2” thick and 2”+ high.
  • MDF or plywood 18” long, 5/8” thick and 4”+ wide.
  • Double faced tape, Screws.

Make sure the plywood is of adequate size. Then make two runners to fit into the mitre grooves in your table. n my table theses are 15/16” wide at the bottom. ¾” wide at the top. You make these on the tablesaw , making sure that the resulting runners are at least 1/16” proud of the table when inserted. Make sure they glide smoothly.

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Tap and countersink both runners for 3 screw from the bottom up. The screw should be a tight fit. Remove the screws.

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Place two pieces of double faced tape on each runner between the two screws.

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Adjust the table fence so that the plywood placed on the runners ise roughly centered on them, and also abuts against the fence.

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Remove the cover off the tape and abutting the plywood against the fence slowly lower it onto the runners. Press firmly on the plywood to fix it to the runners.

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Mark the plywood and the runners. Screw the runners to the plywood firmly. You can use the fence like this, but I prefer to go on. Make sure the attached runners still move freely. I necessary , use a little sandpaper, and a candle to lubricate the runners.

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Remove the screws, and the tape. Apply a thin coat of glue to the plywood. Replace the runner and screw it back using the index holes you have made.

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Apply a block to each end of the sled, and glue it . If this were going to be a cut-off sled it would be extremely important that these are at right angles to the edge of the board, and hence the blade. Why not make it so anyway so you can use this as a small cutoff sled.

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Raise the blade and push the sled through the the blade to about halfway. You now have a cutoff sled.

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You need to put a cross cut guide at 22 ½ degrees. As you can see I use a very accurate protractor, But you can also divide a circle into eighths, or even better get someone who has this angle right to cut a piece of plywood as a guide. You are going to need two bolts to hold it.

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The bolts need to be inset, I use a chisel for the main bolt.

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Having got the angle clamp the guide and drill and counter sink the second hole.

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You need a length stop, which you can cut on the sled.

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The completed sled. If the screws were not countersunk enough or came through the face of the sled, they can now be removed.

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These are the off-cuts I will use to make a pencil pot. They only need to be 5/8” wide, and each course usees about 13” in length.

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Cut the first angle at the end of the stick.

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Next reverse the stick and cut off a wedge.

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Cut 8 wedges and fir them together in a hose clamp to make sure the angle is correct.

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The upper photo shows the 8 wedges put together and clamped up. It also shows (circled) that the wedges are not quite accurate as there is a slight gap. I corrected this by enlarging the hole for the smaller bolt by 1/16”, then reinserting the bolt with the crosspiece minimally flattened- by 1/32”, and then tightening the bolt again. This gave the bottom course where the angles are perfect, and meet exactly.

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I then marked the top and bottom of the crosspiece with a knife, so that if it ever moved I would be aware of it.

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To get an angle from someone who has a functioning angled sled, Cut a piece of plywood using the sled. The top angle is the one you need – marked with an ‘X’.

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This show the angled piece in place to angle the crosspiece.