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Thread: Crosscut sled for router table?

  1. #1
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    Crosscut sled for router table?

    Hi,

    I did a search on here and woodnet for a crosscut sled used on a router table but didn't come up with anything. So has anyone used a crosscut sled on their router table? I work with different materials often and I've been using my sliding table to crosscut pieces and then router down the edges. But the angles don't always come out right and its hard to edge up a 6' *2' piece when your doing it on the 2' side without a sled. I've got some ideas but wondering if anyone has tackled this already. I'm still thinking about how to incorporate using different router bits but still support the work piece as close to the cutter as possible.

    I just order a bench dog promax table and lift and plan to attach a long table to the left of it. I'm strictly going to be using this for crosscutting so I was thinking of lowering the promax with respect to the extension tables and leaving the sled on top of the promax on a permanent basis.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    I kept putting crosscut in my searches but once I took it out I found this really nice example.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...t=COPING+SLEDS

    So I'd like to do this except a little bigger.

  3. #3
    Here's another example:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=40640

    I don't know if your RT is a TS extension type. One advantage of this is that I can use a large sled on top of my TS and feed the opposite (and therefor normal) direction into the router bit. This allows the two miter slots of the TS to help with control and the large table surface to provide support.

    If your RT is stand alone, it sounds like you are already on the right track. Generally speaking, once my material reaches a certain size I prefer taking the cutter to the piece for safety's sake. Is hand routing these pieces not an option due to quantity, multiple profiles, etc.? Just curious and wanting to learn from what you're doing.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Thanks Glenn! My searching skills were really off today.

    The table, strangely enough, is going right behind my table saw and to the right of my exaktor sliding table. But there's no way for me to get into a position to feed it properly with the sliding table and still be pushing work instead of me pulling it which I really don't like doing. So its really going to function as a stand alone.

    I know a lot of people like to use hand power tools for certain things but for the amount of times I will be doing these cuts, just holding the router with its vibrations would be a pain. Especially, since there are other options out there that would work extremely well. I sure guides work fine but this takes almost all the users responsibilities out of the process. Like with yours, all you have to do is grab the handle and push. This is really just for get nice simple crosscuts.

    Also, for some reason it just seems safer to me because your hand is no where near the cutter and the router is stationary.

  5. #5
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    And here are another 2 examples

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=59841

    niki

  6. #6

    I too think that most go to hand held for your application

    I'm not sure how much positive input I can provide but the first thing that came to mind was that the operation you describe was with a 6 X 2 foot piece and it would just be done with a hand held router. I am just putting together my third router table, first one was years ago, second shop built. I looked at all the tables, accessories, and so on. Way to go on that promax choice, excellent foundation. Anyway I ended up with a Jessem Miter-R max fence and it has an option for a pretty hefty cross cut set up although not exactly what you decided on. Ultimately though I passed on the cross cut piece.

    I guess my point is that I had already decided on an optomized hand held router station that would be sitting there ready to go and convenient and did not find anything commercially available or any DIY plans or examples that beat hand held for the size you are cutting. I would suggest going to patwarner.com and looking over some of his products and especially educational materials. I purchased a Dewalt router that has dust control in the handle and am setting up a drop down hose and have purchased some accessories like a guide and plate from Pat. The router will be plugged in to a Fein vacuum that goes on when you power up whatever is plugged in to it as will be my orbital sander and Festool circular saw. Maybe take a look at the microfence site too. If you use the same roundover most of the time it seems like one of those microfences hooked up to the palm router of choice just ready to go with your fave bit would be a winner in the speed and convenience dept.

    If you do end up with a slider that can do the 2 foot edge on that 2 X 6 piece let us know. I'm thinking it would be more like one of the Jessem aftermarket sliding tables for a table saw that a home built rig. Hope any of this was positive. I learned a lot over at Pat Warner's site and really improved my control and accuracy for hand held routing with some relatively inexpensive accessories.

    Best of luck, Larry R

  7. #7
    "but for the amount of times I will be doing these cuts"

    There's the deciding factor. Doing the same thing many times is the perfect time to build a solution as you're talking about. Perhaps the extension table you're talking about building could incorporate a couple miter slots or dados to assist in keeping those larger, longer boards on track. Let us know what you decide ;-)
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Rasmussen View Post
    I'm not sure how much positive input I can provide but the first thing that came to mind was that the operation you describe was with a 6 X 2 foot piece and it would just be done with a hand held router. I am just putting together my third router table, first one was years ago, second shop built. I looked at all the tables, accessories, and so on. Way to go on that promax choice, excellent foundation. Anyway I ended up with a Jessem Miter-R max fence and it has an option for a pretty hefty cross cut set up although not exactly what you decided on. Ultimately though I passed on the cross cut piece.

    I guess my point is that I had already decided on an optomized hand held router station that would be sitting there ready to go and convenient and did not find anything commercially available or any DIY plans or examples that beat hand held for the size you are cutting. I would suggest going to patwarner.com and looking over some of his products and especially educational materials. I purchased a Dewalt router that has dust control in the handle and am setting up a drop down hose and have purchased some accessories like a guide and plate from Pat. The router will be plugged in to a Fein vacuum that goes on when you power up whatever is plugged in to it as will be my orbital sander and Festool circular saw. Maybe take a look at the microfence site too. If you use the same roundover most of the time it seems like one of those microfences hooked up to the palm router of choice just ready to go with your fave bit would be a winner in the speed and convenience dept.

    If you do end up with a slider that can do the 2 foot edge on that 2 X 6 piece let us know. I'm thinking it would be more like one of the Jessem aftermarket sliding tables for a table saw that a home built rig. Hope any of this was positive. I learned a lot over at Pat Warner's site and really improved my control and accuracy for hand held routing with some relatively inexpensive accessories.

    Best of luck, Larry R
    Hey Larry,

    Thanks for responding. I actually thought about doing the jessem mite-r-slide but doing so would require me to change the fence and I'm not sure how strong it would be at such a large distance. That's a lot of work to do for $400 (slide and fence).

    I didn't really explain what I'll be cutting before but most of the time I will be cutting hard plastics and if you've ever cut hard plastics before you know that they are no where close to being as forgiving as wood is in that respect. If I was cutting wood I would just use my tablesaw and be done with it. I get awesome cuts in wood just using my saw's stock 60 tooth blade, but I can get a $200 forrest no melt or general saw plastic blade and the edges in plastic will still look horrible. That why using a router is so necessary.

    I have been to pat warner's site and I've looked at his 90deg template which you have to use a template bit for. I do 1" stock sometimes and for that you really want to use the pc 7518 going at 21000rpm. Can you imagine how it feels to use it like that repeatedly? You need a slower feed rate because your doing it handheld which will make it even longer and you have to concentrate on keeping the bearing touching the template. I've done this before and its a lot harder than you think. I wouldn't be able to even use most pieces because of pitting (i.e. the router bit digging slightly into the piece). So I could go thru all of that or I can build a sled that I can lock the piece down, then push with one hand and relax while I do several cuts.

    And I haven't even talked about vibration. You mentioned the promax, I got the bench dog specifically for vibrations. I've tried some router plates by some companies which left horrible edge finishes because they weren't rigid enough even for a 2.25 hp pc router. And I can't see my hands being better, woods yes, plastics no. Those vibrations that don't show in wood, do show up in plastics.

    I've even looked at the festool saw guides, those things look cool, their lightweight and seem accurate. But thats for a circular saw where the cut rotation is perpendicular to the edge. With routers the cut rotation is parallel to the edge, so the rigidity is needed in that direction. If there is a commercially available guide system for a router let me know. It would be great to see how it handles vibration. Do people use the festool saw guide system for accurate non-thru cuts where vertical vibration might matter, I don't know?

    I think using a sled as opposed to handheld is a good idea. Like Glenn said and someone else in another forum, two miter slots would definitely do the trick. The only concern I have is making sure they are both parallel. The sled will control all but one of the degrees of freedom whereas doing it free hand I'll have to worry about several.

  9. #9

    Oh I get it now.

    You said different materials in your post but I wasn't paying as much attention as I could have been. It's really difficult to get things convenient I'm finding so was pretty exited about the way things are coming together for me as I put my shop back together. Didn't help you much though.

    I have had really pretty decent luck with single dado jigs on the router table and else where but when I went to a two slot plan for a couple of sliding tables I made for a Grizzly table saw I could never get them to slide as smoothly. So you're correct, make sure the slots are parallel. That still kind of bugs me now that I think about it. I just took one of the Incra rails off each jig and they worked great. I might be inclined to try that slippery white stuff who's name eludes me in a wider slot perhaps. I preferred wood to the incra rails. It can't be long before someone comes out with a matching rail and dado insert for do it your selfers.

    Ok vibration. One thing I noticed on the little jigs for rail and style cabinet doors is that a couple of companies including Infinity have one made with a metal base that they claim really quiets down any vibration.

    Anyway just wanted to say good luck and acknowledge the tangent I went off on away from your application. I hope you can find a little time to post your creation and let us know how it works.

    Larry

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