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Using UHMW for Miter Bar

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  • Using UHMW for Miter Bar

    I'm in the process of building a panel cutting sled for my 3650. I'm using a plan from Woodcraft Magazine that calls for the miter bar to be of UHMW material, which I purchased at a local woodworking supply store. My problem is that the bar will not stay straight when I attach it to the 3/4" MDF with 1 inch #8 screws. After putting in only 4 of the dozen or screws called for in the plan, I test fit it only to find the miter bar won't go into the miter slot very far without binding. The plan tells you to bore the pilot holes on a drill press, which I don't have yet. I used a hand drill. I suspect that is my problem, and I need to be drilling at an exact 90 degree angle. My thought is to put a shallow dado into the MDF for the miter bar, and then screw it into the sled base. Any thoughts or other suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Using UHMW for Miter Bar

    You could try two sided carpet tape to hold it in place.
    The shallow dado is also a good idea but leaves no room for error

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    • #3
      Re: Using UHMW for Miter Bar

      Have you verified that the bar is straight before mounting it to your sled? If so, I wonder if a little sanding of the bar might help. Of course, if you ever take the bar off and remount it, it might move the high spots to a new location. ????

      I've only used aluminum miter bars (this Incra) which has three adjustment screws for getting a snug fit...no problems there.

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      • #4
        Re: Using UHMW for Miter Bar

        The bar was straight and fit the miter slot fine before I attached it to the sled base. As I wanted to get it finished this past weekend, I came up with a solution that worked for me. I used two clamp on bars to capture the UHMW bar between them and keep it straight while drilling the pilot holes and installing the screws. This kept the miter bar straight.
        I still had some minor binding after it was installed, but learned I could back out the screws a partial turn to eliminate this. The sled turned out great and I've already used it to sqare off some 3/4" plywood panels that I'm using in my bookshelf project. Thanks for everyone's assistance.

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