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"Panel sled" (eg., Norm's) vs. Xcut sled

forestgirl's picture

Finally plunked down the $$ for a couple of miter-sliders to build a cross-cut sled with.  Question though, I seem to remember Norm making a sled that only slides in one miter slot and  stops right at the blade.  But a cross-cut sled goes all the way across, right? with runners in both miter slots.


So, what gives?  Was Norm's just for plywood -- it's been awhile since I watched regularly! 


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

KenKing's picture

(post #98187, reply #1 of 27)

Yes, you are correct.  You can probably get a tighter fit with two runners.  I don't use a miter gauge at all any more.  I made another sled just for 45 degree miters and it is dead accurate every time. 


Ken

PhilS's picture

(post #98187, reply #2 of 27)

I believe that was a panel cutting jig.

I think the idea is that you can crosscut one edge straight and line that up against the back of the panel cutting jig. You then use the jig to rip one side perpendicular to that edge.

I don't know why this would be restricted to plywood only.

Just my recollection though.

forestgirl's picture

(post #98187, reply #3 of 27)

"you can crosscut one edge straight and line that up against the back of the panel cutting jig."   Ahhhh, that was the part I wasn't remembering!  Except wouldn't it make more sense that you would cross-cut one side, then flip the panel over (left-to-right) and cross-cut the opposite edge?

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

rrpm1's picture

(post #98187, reply #4 of 27)

FG,


Perhaps this is just semantics...crosscut vs. panel ...but the panel design(one runner) can accomodate much larger stock, plywood or solid wood. Making a double runner crosscut sled for large panels(table tops, case sides) would be quite heavy and unweildy. I found it difficult to build a double runner crosscut sled that was of sufficient utility size wise to be worth the work...so I bought the Incra....lol 


 

 

TomT226's picture

(post #98187, reply #5 of 27)

Built them both, and hardly ever use the "crosscut sled."  Use the panel cutter all the time.  Rip down ply to proper width. square one end, set the fence and trim the excess.  I routinely cut panels 24"+ with this set-up.  Made it with 1/4" MDF, maple runner and maple fence.  Leave the fence long, about 3', so you can clamp/screw a stop block for repetitive cuts.


One thing to watch for.  When crosscutting good ply, the cut is not supported so you may get some splintering on the bottom side.  Use some blue tape on the cut line.

 

forestgirl's picture

(post #98187, reply #9 of 27)

"the cut is not supported so you may get some splintering on the bottom side."  I figured I'd rig a support piece on the off-side of the blade somehow.  Imbedded magnets, probably.....yes! that should work.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

BrentS's picture

(post #98187, reply #6 of 27)

I made Norm's panel jig a few years ago and since then very rarely use my crosscut sled. The difference in the weight of the 2 justs makes it easier to reach for the panel jig.

forestgirl's picture

(post #98187, reply #10 of 27)

Based on the experiences reported here, sounds like I should build the one-runner sled first, then see if I actually need a double-runner cross-cut sled.  Glad I asked!  Later, I'll probably make a 45* sled for frames.  As to regular x-cut sled, seems like I could make a fairly small one for narrow pieces.  First, I'll push the new CMS and see if it's accurate enough to make frames with.  If it is, won't need a x-cut sled.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

sawdustom's picture

(post #98187, reply #11 of 27)

I built my one-runner sled differently. The fence is at the back of the sled (closest to the operator). When you feed the work into the saw, the fence is "pushing". The fence is an aluminum rail with t-slot. I built two quick release clamps that hold the work flat and tight against the fence. The miter runner extends significantly off the front of the sled.

I like having the fence in "push" mode but this design may limit size capacity.

I get the plywood pieces to rough size. It's best if you have at least one factory edge. I put the factory edge against the fence and cut one side. I then flip the board (keeping the factory edge against the fence) and cut the other side. Finally, rotate the work 90 degrees and cut the edge opposite the factory edge.

Midnight's picture

(post #98187, reply #13 of 27)

Tom... it's interesting to see someone else with exactly the same set up and technique...

Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

rrpm1's picture

(post #98187, reply #12 of 27)

FG,


As I recall, the runners come in two sizes: 18",24". I bought the 18" and I'm about to swap it out for the 24".  With the 24", as I do with the current 18", I'll attach it about 4-6" back from the front so I can have good stability for a 30" or more panel.  The MDF measures about 24x30....I want it to extend beyond the TS so I can clamp the stock/panel to the jig if I need to.   I also use this panel jig in conjunction with the TS fense for accurate glue ups. good luck


 

 

nikkiwood's picture

(post #98187, reply #7 of 27)

I made one soon after I saw Norm using it. Ended up giving my cross cut sled away.

I use it for anything that I can't cross cut on my SCMS -- which pretty much rules out solid lumber.

I made mine out of 1/2" baltic Birch, and since the off cut (on the right side) is unsupported, I keep a strip of 1/2" stock to slip under the cut piece when that seems advisable.

Since the fence runs only along the front edge, the beauty of this jig is that you can cut wider stock that might not fit in a cross cut sled. I made mine about 20" or so; The length is arbitrary too, but I made it so it will balance on the saw table on its own, without falling off.

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-
forestgirl's picture

(post #98187, reply #8 of 27)

"but I made it so it will balance on the saw table on its own, without falling off."  Ahhh, there's a trick.  How you do dat?  Also, does the runner extend beyond the front of the sled?


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

nikkiwood's picture

(post #98187, reply #18 of 27)

<< 'but I made it so it will balance on the saw table on its own, without falling off.' Ahhh, there's a trick. How you do dat?">>

Very scientifically: first version hung over the table 8-10" -- which was too wide (i.e. it fell off the table). So I kept ripping off an inch at a time, until it was balanced.

<<"Also, does the runner extend beyond the front of the sled?">> Yes, by about 6-8 inches. I made my runner from hard maple, I think -- slightly proud of 3/8" thick by 3/4" wide. Oak would work too.

However, I know about those Incra sliders you bought, and I like them a lot. If you can get one long enough to accommodate the depth of your panel, plus at least a couple of inches, I think that's the best way to go (because they can so easily be adjusted to your mitre slot for a good fit)>

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-
Midnight's picture

(post #98187, reply #14 of 27)

I've built both the cross cut sled (2 runners) and the large pannel jig; I look at them as course / fine tolerence jigs, the panel jig gets me in the ballpark while I use the cross cut to nail an exact size.


I use a pair of roller / bearing stands to support the LHS of the jig; they're far from ideal but they get the job done... just gotta watch em like a hawk...


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

Napie's picture

(post #98187, reply #15 of 27)

I built my single runner panel jig a couple of years ago and I just ran the double runner sled through the wood stove.

billballeza's picture

(post #98187, reply #16 of 27)

I made both a panel jig and a crosscut jig. The panel cutting jig comes in handy for trimming up panels and crosscutting just about anything..


but the crosscut jig is nice when you want to set a stop and crosscut a number of sticks the same size. It also give you zero clearance for your blade.. and eliminates the problem of drop off (and accompanying tear out) you sometimes get with the panel cutter.


 

Alphonse's picture

(post #98187, reply #17 of 27)

You could try something to solve your splintering/unsupported cut-off  problem.


Either make a throat insert that has half of it at the elevation of your panel sled,or add a piece to the insert that hugs the blade and is removable.

TomT226's picture

(post #98187, reply #19 of 27)

The advantage/problem with a "panel sled," is that the blade side is open.  This allows the operator to trim a panel of any width, and push it completely through the blade.


I usually build the panel sled, including the "fence" at the head, and push it through the saw with a good crosscut blade, to set the edge where I line up the work.  You might want to note (on the panel sled) the blade you use so as to get the same kerf every time.

 

Alphonse's picture

(post #98187, reply #20 of 27)

Perhaps I misunderstand.The workpiece sits on the panel sled,right?The sled moves past the blade.


 What I'm saying,the part that supports the off cut/prevents splintering,has the same thickness as your sled,"hugs" the blade at the front&side (back,too,if you wish) but doesn't  move.The sled slides against its edge.It could be attached to the throat plate as one piece,or keyed to the saw,mebbe by the other miter slot.

migraine's picture

(post #98187, reply #21 of 27)

I'm not sure about Norm's sled but the one we used to make were about 48"x48" and had two Runners and these slid al the way through.  We also used 1/2" 9-ply Balitc bitch of the runners. Once you have the parts, it onlty takes a hour or two to complete the sled


First we would make some two 1 1/2"x6"x48" stips out of laminated plywood or solid lumber.  These need to be tall enough to not let the saw blade cut through them when the blade was fully extended up.


We would make sure the runners were the correct width of the mitre grooves and the then make a perfectly square piece of light weight  1/2" plywood.  We would theset the birch strips in the channels and set the plywood on top of that.  Next we used the fence that was aligned exactly with the channels as our reference .  we would then use a few screw to attack the 1/2" plywood to the balitc birch strips.  We would then turn the sled over and attack the front and back rail through the bottom with glue and screws..  .


Then we would turn it back over and raise the blade to about 1 1/2" and run the sled through the saw.  Then the trick was to cut a few pices of 24"-30" wide scrape to see if the parts are perfectly square. If it is off, then the baltic birch strips are adjusted, or, if you didn't glue the front  rail, you could adjust it that way(my preference).


When it's all done, screw the bejebers out of the channels and front/back rails. 


We would also trim down the bront and rear rails so that the only 4'6" high pat of the rails was around where the blade passes through, about 3-4" on each side of the blade.  The rest of the rails were around 2 1/2" high.


The most important thing is to hang the jigh upright on the wall with a few holes drilled in the top. Make sure the completed sled is sealer/waxed evenly on both sides and never leave the sled on the saw for prolongd periods of time or the plywood on the sled could/will warp/twist.


*We also used these same sled to make finger joints on*

BorisYeltsin's picture

(post #98187, reply #22 of 27)

Take a look at HTC's sliding panel mitre saw. Nice product, not for you to buy, but for you to copy.

Regards,
Boris

"Sir, I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow" -- WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

Regards, Boris "Sir, I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow" -- WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934
forestgirl's picture

(post #98187, reply #23 of 27)

:You have a link for me to follow?  A quick google didn't get me anywhere, and I haven't seen a "home page" for HTC.  Would love to look at the tool.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

Lilshaver's picture

(post #98187, reply #24 of 27)

Here I thought I knew everything, but I'm really lost in knowing exactly what the difference is between the two different sled designs. Other than one runner or two, of course. Can someone please post some photos illustrating the two, especially the one runner variety that allows a cross-cut of unlimited length.

Jeff

forestgirl's picture

(post #98187, reply #26 of 27)

I tried to find a pic on Norm's web site, but no luck.  I think, perhaps, the panel slide has the "fence" in a leading position (closest to the blade) where a x-cut sled has the fence in the normal position, on the operator's side.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

BrentS's picture

(post #98187, reply #27 of 27)

The old sled had the fence on the leading edge. Norm made a new one with the fence on the rear edge.That's the one I made and find it great. If you go to Norm's page and check the panoramic view of the workshop you'll see the panel cutting jig hanging on the wall just below the F in furniture, you'll see that the runner extends out about 8" in front and back.


                                                        Brent


Edited 3/16/2005 7:00 pm ET by brent

BorisYeltsin's picture

(post #98187, reply #25 of 27)

I don't have a page for you but can describe the sled.

It is made out of melamine coated 12 ply baltic birch ply. It has 2 runners which are installed by the user with epoxy drizzled on top and the sled set on top.

There is a large fence (again baltic birch w/melamine) which is screwd into the sled. It matters not if this is square, because the sled is squared up with the blade when the unit is epoxy'ed to the runners, if you understand.

The fence has a dentil shaped piece of metal shaped which is screwed onto each side of the fence then goes up about an inch or two, then across where the blade will travel, then back down to the other side of the fence. This metal brace has the effect of holding the two halves of the sled together, and I believe there is one on each end of the sled.

I think they were about $300, so if you can build your own, you are way ahead. I love mine, and it is a great design, but I must confess I only use it about once a year.

I'll try to find a link for you, girl.

Regards,
Boris

"Sir, I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow" -- WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

Regards, Boris "Sir, I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow" -- WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934