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Thread: table saw add-on for cutting sheet goods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    table saw add-on for cutting sheet goods

    I have a G0690 table saw and am looking for an after-market rig that I can attach to my saw that will allow me to make accurate cuts/dados across long/narrow sheet goods. I'm building 96" tall cabinets, typically with 12-15" deep sides...so the stock will be 12-15" wide and 96" long. I need to be able to crosscut accurate dados and rabbets. I'm currently doing this with a hand held router and a straight edge, which works but setup time is unacceptable for production work. I need a rig that will hold the stock square to the blade and support the long end with a telescopic feature. Does it exist?

    Darn, should have bought a slider in the first place!

    thanks
    Last edited by scott vroom; 04-29-2011 at 2:09 PM.
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  2. #2
    Exactor makes a model for $800-900.

    I have the excalibur attachment which is very similar. Got it used for $200 and works fine. Just keep all the moving parts clean and lubricated so nothing binds and it works well. Setup was a bit of a pain though.

    For repeating tasks, the flip stop will make accurate cross dados on your 96" x 15" wide sheet goods with no problem. You should buy additional flip stops and really speed up the process if you have to make multiple dados in one sheet. (Or with two flip stops you can make two cuts on one sheet right after another like to cut both ends of a sheet)

    The sliding attachment makes cross cuts effortless that I prefer to make crosscuts on long pieces than rip cuts on long pieces. When I only had a rip fence it was the other way around.

    A true sliding table saw is ideal, but spending $800 or so on the attachment might be worth it if it saves you a lot of time and gives you better accuracy than "hand" setups. One caveat is that these rigs will take up a lot of space, especially if you choose to leave the wing on your grizzly and not remove it and cut your fence rails.

    I left the wing on my grizzly only because I didn't want to cut my fence rails since I plan on selling the saw and slider separately.

  3. #3
    I made the router jig from shopnotes. It looks a bit like the Woodhaven 790XL 50" Dado Jig on Amazon. It captures the router and allows you to route the full width of the dado on one setup. I'm not sure what kind of production run you are talking about, but I was able to route dados for a 7' book shelf in about 20 min. As for a tablesaw setup, what about a crosscut sled with a really long fence?

  4. #4
    The router is the right job for this in small quantity. For production work this job belongs to a RAS.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I've had an excalibur for years and I love it. It will do 49" cross cut and it holds the settings perfectly. It sure makes dado's easy in cab's. I got mine at tools-plus(dot)com

  6. #6
    I had a similar project and made a crosscut sled about as wide as the table saw. to support the ends of the plywood hanging off either side I use roller stands. I made this many years ago and it made me a real believer in crosscut sleds. I still use this one and have made many others over the years.

    Reduce friction: Finish the bottom of the sled with poly and rub out any nibs. Then coat with something like topcoat or paste wax.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I'm with Mitch. I also made a big crosscut sled a few years back. I've used it for a bunch of cabinets, all of which turned out fine. If you're going to cut dados with the same sled, you'll have to devise some sort of replaceable zero clearance inserts. Otherwise, just make two sleds.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Redwood City, CA
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    One fix is to abandon the dados and rabbets. Use some other scheme to locate the shelves, like biscuits. Dados locate the shelves on the uprights, but they don't really add much wrack-resistance to the cabinet. And what holds the upright to the shelf is glue on the end of the shelf. Biscuits are pretty much equivalent: they locate the shelves, but don't add much wrack resistance, and what holds the shelf to the upright is glue on the end of the shelf.

    You can cut biscuit slots a lot faster than a router can cut dados. Here's how. Put an upright down flat on the bench. Mark where the top edge of a shelf will go. Put a shelf down on the upright, with its top face down. The shelf is the correct length and the ends are cut square. Align the front edges, align the shelf end with your mark on the upright, and clamp it. With pencil or chalk, mark on the shelf where the center lines of the biscuit will go. Put the jointer down flat on the upright. You're not using the jointer's fence; it is just sitting flat on the upright. Cut the slots in the end of the shelf. Flip the jointer ninety degrees, and use the shelf edge as a fence while you cut the slots in the upright. Done! It has taken me a lot longer to write this out than it takes to actually do it.

    One nice thing about this biscuit approach is that it doesn't care about the thickness of the plywood. You have to get dados exactly the size of the plywood or they look sloppy. You wind up needing to make two passes with the router in each dado.

    You don't say whether the outside of your cabinets is visible or not. If it is not seen, like many kitchen cabinets, I generally run screws through the upright to pull shelves and uprights together. If you just use glue and clamps, it is difficult to move the cabinet before the glue dries. In my small shop, it is important to be able to immediately move stuff around to get to the next operation.
    Last edited by Jamie Buxton; 04-30-2011 at 9:14 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    +1 for a RAS. Cheaper than an add-on and ideal for the job. I do have an exaktor sliding table on my saw, but I'd go for the RAS first. The exaktor would do as good a job though.

    In my experience dados do work better than biscuits producing a stronger cabinet.

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