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Thread: I Needed to Make Some Boxes

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools

    I Needed to Make Some Boxes

    And my old cross cut sled was in sad shape, so I made another one. It's got integrated sliding workholding clamps to help keep my fingers on my hands and dual HDPE guides on the bottom for easier but precise sliding. A coat of linseed oil and beeswax on the bottom for smooth sliding and Robert is your father's brother. I would have liked to have made it from thinner plywood for additional depth of cut but " was all that I had (though it is plenty rigid and delivers beautiful sharp cuts). Now on to those boxes.

    I Needed to Make Some Boxes-sled.jpg

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    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    Thanks Crusty! We've added your Crosscut Sled to our Sleds category,
    as well as to your builder page: Crusty's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Stokestack's Tools
    Nice! I got some toggle clamps for this purpose but haven't gotten around to putting them on yet. I got the metal runners (sold by Rockler I think) and they work pretty well.

    My sled was very square when I built it, but seems to have shifted slightly out of square now. Have you seen any method of mounting the vertical boards to make them more easily adjusted? It's such a PITA that I haven't even bothered attempting to fix it; I'm just living with crappy cuts at the moment.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    I was going to use toggle clamps too but when I put the first one together I didn't like the way that it operated and switched to trigger clamps and they work to my satisfaction. If I need to hold a piece vertically against the fence my parallel jaw carpenter's clamps work fine.

    I used a good quality framing square to layout a perpendicular line for the fence (using a knife, not a pencil) with the through cut as my reference, added the fence with only one screw at each end and then made some test cuts to fine tune it. With only two screws the fence could be shifted a small amount with a mallet until it was virtually square and then a lot more screws were added to hold the fence in place on the platen.

    I'm a fan of those cheap, thin HDPE cutting boards at Target for runners. It's simple to shave an edge with a knife and get them operating easily but precisely. With two runners, only the very outermost edges need to register against the slots edges so there's no super finicky cutting of the runner width to fit the slot.
    Last edited by Crusty; 01-20-2021 at 04:07 PM.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    Stokestack's Tools
    Thanks! All good points. I have a bit of slop in my runners, so I need to move them out to hit the edges of the channels as you describe.

    I did secure the fence that way too, but I'd love to have some kind of very fine-pitched screw or something to act as a worm gear to move one end forward or backward. But really... I'm just too lazy to fix it at the moment!

    I looked for some very thin, flexible HDPE sheet to use for another project, but haven't been able to find any. Seems like that would be a good coating for the underside, doesn't it? If you could find a way to attach it with countersunk screws or something, since I don't expect any adhesive to work on it.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Check Target online - they sell a 3 pack of thin HDPE cutting boards that I've used for some time. I used #4 flat head screws to hold them to the underside of the platen. I fasten mine where they're tight and then scrape the edges with a sharp knife until they slide to my satisfaction.

    Do you use the 5 cuts method for verifying squareness? Cut a piece of plywood 5 times, rotating the piece 90 after every cut and then check the last corner for squareness - if it's square you're close enough for all practical purposes because the error in it is 4x that of a single cut.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

  7. #7

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    Stokestack's Tools
    Thanks. I did numerous cuts and really had it square. I'll check out the Target option!



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