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Old 03-15-2018, 01:54 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 268
Default Made First Dedicated Saw Base Today

This probably isn't all that exciting to those who have been making their own equipment for a while, but it made me happy.

So far I have my seriously beat up makita and my brand new Bosch on EZ bases, both of which are not doing so well. The makita's base is cracked in two different places such that it wouldn't survive being put on and taken off the UEG again so it shall be relegated to the track and when it dies, I believe the base will die with it. The Bosch's track has never been right, it started off warped and it's always been a bit "off", but it kind of works.

So I have this nice 18V Ridgid that I haven't been able to use on the track, and I am not comfortable stressing either of the existing bases so I decided to make one for it.I learned a few things and figured out something in the process. One of my big fears in making my own track was not being able to get the saw blade aligned, or at least having a hard time doing so, but I came up with an idea, and it seemed good enough to share.

When I made this base I knew I wanted the blade 3" from the center rail, so I cut a strip of 1/4" MDF at exactly 3" wide. I made 2 pieces of that the length I wanted my base to be and laid them on the track on either side of the center rail. Now, the rest of the pieces I patched together one thing at a time without too much of a plan. Next time I will use what i figured out here to have better sizes, but as it went, I just patchworked it together. I laid a piece across the two pieces with the center rail captured between them and stapled them in place. (Not the best technique, but meh, it worked. I did the same with the front, and both sides. I then raised the saw all the way up and added another piece closing up the gap so the saw had no where to come back down. So now the saw base is completely trapped on all sides by the MDF. I drilled from the bottom and screwed the plywood chunks in place. Then I powered up the saw and released it down through the second piece of MDF that had been placed against the first 3" one and it has a lovely zero clearance cut. (if I were using it flat on its own).Add a coat of wax and take pictures.
  • It slides nice, but I can hear some scraping so I know at least one of my screws or staples is proud on the bottom. I should try to find that before it actually scratches the track.
  • It is longer than the EZ base, but I think I can shorten it without much difficulty. I am pretty sure that once shortened, I can add a pair of tabs across each side to accommodate the UEG.
  • I did not add a fin, but none of the fins I ever had seemed to work right. Now that I have a kerf to work with I might be able to extend it and add a piece of something in it like the after market riving knives that go into the special throat plate. But again, I am not sure it is worth the effort.
  • I also did not add the zero clearance for the off-cut side of the blade. I believe all I need is to add a piece of 1/2" MDF near the front of the cut. If this saw were dedicated to the track, and I wasn't using the ACE, I could put it all the way up to the track and accomplish true zero clearance. However this would have to be removable to accommodate the UEG. So maybe something that can be screwed in place.
  • I haven't cut a clearance hole for the blade guard to fall through. Maybe I can add a spring and make this a rear plunge saw.
  • Staples and 1/4" MDF not exactly a perfect marriage.
  • The top pieces could all have been made from wood, allowing all the assembly to be screws instead of staples.

No pictures = it didn't happen... so pictures are attached.
Be kind, but please give me some feedback on ways I can improve this, things I missed, and whatever else seems appropriate.

-- Abs
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Last edited by Absinthe; 03-15-2018 at 02:40 AM. Reason: missed a line
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2018, 12:09 PM
tofu tofu is offline
 
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Hey Abs,

Looks good. When I made a wood base for my cordless, I put it together like an old moduni base -- 1/4 strips of wood with two 1/2 perpendicular strips on top edges to hold it all together. I just used automotive double sided tape to stick my saw to it, and it has held together for years.

As for screws and Staples scraping, I didn't have a counter sink bit at the time, so I just glued it together with titebond and removed the screws once dry.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:00 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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It is kind of a "process. However, making a base that will do double duty for the track and the ueg might not be the right solution. Perhaps, I make one base for the UEG, and a different one for the track. Since I am not screwing them into the metal of the saw base itself, they should switch out rather easily. If I have a saw, dedicated to the UEG, that might not even be an issue at all, once mounted, it might simply stay there, or at least the base might stay put, with the saw being removed for off-track/off-UEG usage.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:10 PM
tofu tofu is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
It is kind of a "process. However, making a base that will do double duty for the track and the ueg might not be the right solution. Perhaps, I make one base for the UEG, and a different one for the track. Since I am not screwing them into the metal of the saw base itself, they should switch out rather easily. If I have a saw, dedicated to the UEG, that might not even be an issue at all, once mounted, it might simply stay there, or at least the base might stay put, with the saw being removed for off-track/off-UEG usage.
It might be worth the effort and stress savings to find a used cordless for the UEG on Craig's or eBay. It's nice having my ueg and saw attached and hanging on the wall, ready to go. Since I only do sheet goods on the UEG, a really light low power cordless works fine and is nice and quiet.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:21 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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I have another cordless in mind, but it is a 5-1/2" Craftsman C3, with the motor and blade going in the wrong direction That was kind of my thoughts on simply making one base that works on the track and another that works on the UEG. Starting out with 1-9/16" capacity, subtracting another 3/4" for the track and base would bring me down to 13/16" which feels a little tight. As it was, I was going to try to make its base from 1/8" Masonite to gain some depth, but if I relegate it to the UEG, I would feel comfortable with a 1-5/16" depth on any sheet goods I can ever imagine cutting.
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