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Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - Printable Version

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Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - lift mechanic - 01-20-2022

I have a sled that I made 10 - 15 years ago. The runner are made out of QSWO and have worn to the point of side to side movement. Thinking that they would never have to be replaced I screwed and glued the fence down. I bought some UHMW runners to replace the wood ones. Anyone have experience replacing them? My thought is to pre-drill the new runners and remove 1 at a time. Sliding the sled off the end of the saw and attach 1 end and then the other end. Then use a straight edge to get the rest of the screws installed. OR should I just build a new sled?

RE: Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - R Clark - 01-20-2022

If it was me, I'd build new.

Your old sled has served you well; time for retirement.  You'll spend just as much time taking the old sled apart and fussing to align it as you would spend to build a new one from scratch.

RE: Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - hcbph - 01-21-2022

Put your current sled to bed and make a new one IMO.  For runner(s) you can get some aluminum ones through Rockler, which I did the other week and it worked just fine for my project.

RE: Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - Hank Knight - 01-23-2022

I have done the exact replacement you are considering. I first made sure the UHMW runners fit comfortably in the miter tracks in my saw table and predrilled and countersunk them to make sure the screw heads would sink below the surface. Then taped the top surface with high quality double stick tape. Nothing much sticks to UHMW, but the tape will stick long eonough for you to complete this job. I placed the UHMW runners in the miter lots on top of shims to elevate them just slightly above the table surface. Then I raised the saw blade as high as it would go and slipped the sled over the blade and gently lowered in onto the new runners - an extra pair of hands helps with this part of the operation. If the side of your sled is parallel to the miter slots - and your rip fence - you can use the fence to position the sled over the runners instead of ther blade - it gives you a more solid registration point than using the blade alone. Just snug the fence up to the sled BEFORE you remove the old runners and lock it in place. Remove the sled, remove the old runners and proceed as described above, using the fence to locate the sled on the new runners. Once the sled settles onto the runners, press down on it hard to get as solid contact as you can with the double stick tape. Then gently slide the sled off the saw, turn it over and, using the pre-drilled holes in the runner, finish drilling the pilot holes into the bottom of the sled and screw the runners in place. If you're using standard flat head screws, the conical shaped heads will expand the width of the runners causing bulges that will bind in the miter slots. I took care of this by planing the bulges off with a shoulder plane adusting the fit carefully as I went. Pan head screws don't deform the UHMW runners as bad as flat heads, but you need to countersink them with a forstner bit when you predrill in order to get flat-bottomed holes.
Hope this makes sense and helps.

RE: Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - lift mechanic - 01-23-2022

Thanks Frank, This makes perfect sence. The double sided tape and using the rip fence to locate square. I figured the 82 deg flat head screws would bulge the UHMW. I was't sure how to correct the bulge, now I know. Thanks again. Mark

RE: Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - fredhargis - 01-24-2022

There is one tape I found to stick to UHMW, the Fast Cap speed tape. When this was introduced I read somewhere it might stick to the slick plastic materials and so I bought some. I found it holds UHMW amazingly well. At the time (back in 2014) I taped a small block of UHMW to a small piece of oak and it's still stuck firmly to it today. Fast Cap said that over time the bond becomes permanent, and that seems to be the case. Anyway, just in case you're interested.

RE: Tablesaw Sled Runner Replacement? - museumguy - 01-24-2022

Personally, I'd go a different route and use acrylic. When I worked in an exhibit shop, I made all of the tablesaw sleds and always used acrylic runners.