Squaring up a crosscut sled

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Forum topic by Routerisstillmyname posted 11-28-2009 03:50 AM 5907 views 5 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4043 days

11-28-2009 03:50 AM

I give up. Either I’m over 0.001 or under 0.001. Can’t do any better squaring up my new crosscut sled.
I’ve used the 3 cut and 5 cut test methods. And also tested with digital protractor.
Is it necessary to be @ 0.000 or is mostly physiological since we are talking about wood working and not precision instrumentation design here. What is acceptable?
I guess I feel a gypped I can’t get it 100%

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

13 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3902 days

#1 posted 11-28-2009 03:57 AM

I used a square to attach the first runner. Slid the sled through the blade and turned off the saw. Slid the second runner into the slot with 2 sided tape on it and pried up the ends. Removed sled and screwed on the second runner. Close enough, I never checked the accuracy of it.

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 4244 days

#2 posted 11-28-2009 04:27 AM

One of our members, Niki has what has to be the best method to line up a sled checkout


-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4752 days

#3 posted 11-28-2009 04:43 PM

Papadan said it best. Wood is not metal. Having your sled square down to the thousandth is really meaningless when you consider all the other variables like arbor runout, wood movement, etc. If you’ve got it down to +/- .001, you are already even more accurate than you need to be.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6680 posts in 3728 days

#4 posted 11-28-2009 04:48 PM

It don’t get any better than that——go fot it, and put it to use. Keep on keeping on!!!!!!!!!

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4043 days

#5 posted 11-29-2009 06:33 AM

Thanks for the comments.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View KevinVan's profile


91 posts in 3685 days

#6 posted 11-29-2009 07:01 AM

Do a test piece.

Cross cut a piece of 1 X 6 or anything with parallel edges in half.

A ripped piece of scrap MDF works great.

Take one of the halves and flip it so the bottom is now on top.

Match up the cut edges while holding both halves against the fence.

If you see a noticeable gap, then continue to adjust.

When it is a perfect 90, there will be no gap.

The process works great for miter saws too.

No square, No measuring required.

-- ALS IK KAN “to the best of my ability,”

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3882 days

#7 posted 11-29-2009 07:23 PM

Charile is dead on (pun intended). I grew up in a tool and die machine shop with a Shopsmith in the garage at home. Every material and craft has its own tolerances. The idea that woodworking has tolerances of +/-.001 would be laughed at in the machine shop.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3887 days

#8 posted 11-29-2009 08:34 PM

I really like this method. (Not my idea it was in one of the magazines.)

I put one screw in on the right holding the fence as a pivot point I’ll line it up as best as possible with a square and then put one screw on the far left and then test it. I’ll adjust it by making the left hole for the screw a slot and repeat the process till it’s dead on then clamp the fence and put the rest of the screws in. Then one final test.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3801 days

#9 posted 11-29-2009 09:10 PM

is your blade exactly .000 inline with your miter slots? if it isnt youll always be off.

i say just make sure your blade is as close to parallel as possible, fit your miter bars and make a kerf cut. then use a framing square and set your fence. thats how norm does it

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4043 days

#10 posted 11-30-2009 05:35 AM

Yes, the blade is 0.000 inline with miter tracks.
I found the culprit and it has been eliminated permanently. Hence, new design to follow.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View ADKAmateur's profile


9 posts in 3661 days

#11 posted 12-13-2009 06:18 AM

For what it is worth, the guy that sold me my sawstop and other tools (powermatic drill press, band saw and mortiser, and delta jointer and planer) said that if you were within .003” you were fine. I agree with CharlieM1958 – this is wood, not metal. The variation in humidity and temperature from one day to the next will increase/decrease your 0.001” offset.

View griph0n's profile


68 posts in 3877 days

#12 posted 12-13-2009 06:30 AM

Bolt it instead of screwing it, like this one: Can be fixed in a minute if it ever goes out of square. Just don’t drop it.

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 3969 days

#13 posted 12-13-2009 07:32 AM

Thanks for posting that link Blankman. It would have been impossible for me to figure it out if they hadn’t made it as simple as they did.

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