Mitre Slot runners

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Forum topic by papwalkre posted 09-11-2012 12:57 PM 6249 views 3 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2355 days

09-11-2012 12:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: trick jig tip

Wanting to build a featherboard for my sawbench. I saw lots of guys using timber for the mitre slot runners but I wondered about weather and humidity.
I had a flash of using a durable polypropylene cutting board material.
A quick trip to the supermarket yielded several promising boards.
Some machining with the dremel attachments and bobs yer uncle.

7 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5168 posts in 4230 days

#1 posted 09-11-2012 01:26 PM

UHMW plastic is what ya have. The cutting board route is the best way to buy it if you can find the correct thickness. Otherwise, you’re payin’ thru the nose for the stuff.
Well done.

-- [email protected]

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2380 days

#2 posted 09-11-2012 02:28 PM

My favorite miter slot runners are 1/4” Baltic birch plywood, with the top and bottom plies oriented parallel to the slot.

Here’s why:
- The runner bearing surface ends up being end grain birch. End grain birch is HARD, and the end grain holds wax and burnishes to a very smooth surface.
- BB ply is very stable. There is no seasonal change to these runners.
- Due to the “washer slot”, there’s no bearing surface below 1/4”, so no need for a thicker runner.
- Skinny BB ply offcuts often get tossed in the trash. FREE runners!

You can gang a bunch of stock together on edge and run it through your planer. Sneak up on perfect fit for YOUR miter slots. This is tough on planer knives, so run it at the edges of your machine, or whip up some stock right before you’re changing knives.

For years, I used hardwood and UMHW runners, but I’ve completely switched to plywood. Will Neptune shared this tip during a class I took, and I’ve witnessed the durability of this technique on sleds that receive heavy use at CT Valley School of Woodworking.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18463 posts in 3945 days

#3 posted 09-11-2012 06:47 PM

Nice tip CPB. thanks

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3192 days

#4 posted 09-11-2012 06:54 PM

If you use cutting boards,the Dollar stores are the best place to buy. Cheap.

-- Life is good.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3957 days

#5 posted 09-11-2012 07:01 PM

Rick L , thanks for that link : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View anobium's profile


64 posts in 2614 days

#6 posted 10-07-2012 09:45 PM

I am glad you like my idea but regular PE (Polyethylen) is too soft. PA (Polyamid) is harder. Almost no wear but it is also a pain in the butt to work it. I tend to order it then all you gotta do is make them run.

-- Whoever finds mistakes can keep them. English is a foreign language to me.

View Woodbum's profile


849 posts in 3335 days

#7 posted 10-09-2012 05:03 PM

If you want to use hardwood runners, cut them so that the grain runs perperdicular to the saw top, and don’t bottom them out in the miter slot. That way seasonal expansion is up and down in the slot and not left to right causing binding.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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