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September 26, 2017

Band Saw Sled – 60 Degrees

Band Saw Sled – 60 degrees

60 Degree Band Saw Sled for wood inlay bandings and parquetryThe 60 degree band saw is an extremely useful crosscut sled for creating wood inlay banding and parquetry. It is simple to construct, very economical, and highly accurate. Plus, this bandsaw accessory easily can be made in 15- 30 minutes.  How accurate is the 60 degree band saw sled? That depends on one’s skill level. Trust me tho, building this crosscut sled is not rocket science. However, once the sled is completed you will be able to create some wonderful  woodworking projects that will amaze you. Let’s get started.

 

Why create a 60 Degree Band Saw Sled?

 

60 Degree Band Saw Sled - Parquetry Star PatternThe 60 degree band saw sled was developed by The Apprentice and The Journeyman to create parquetry and wood inlay bandings in a safe and highly accurate manner. This crosscut sled along with a clamped stop-block ensures that the woodworker can make duplicatable and repeatable cuts. This is essential when creating geometric patterns for parquetry and wood inlay bandings.

A woodworker’s skill level, woodworking needs, and imagination all come into play when working with the 60 degree band saw sled. Build this crosscut sled, make a few angled cuts on some scrap material, and you will quickly see for yourself. You will learn how to cut diamonds. Before long, you will be creating beautiful diamond wood inlay banding and stunning hardwood veneers of parquetry. All of this can be performed on the wood band saw.

60 Degree Band Saw Sled - Parquetry Star pattern 2Once you create diamonds on the 60 degree band saw sled, you will likely find yourself rearranging the diamonds to create a decorative star pattern. Then you may start to experiment with the colors of your wood design by adding contrasting wood tones. For example, try cutting wood segments of maple, walnut, and cherry with this band saw accessory. Play around with the colors of these wood segments and find a design that works best for you. Once you get started, it just may surprise you. You will be coming up with ideas for wood projects before you know it.

Can a 60 degree sled be used on a table saw? The answer is “Yes, of course.” As a matter of fact, there is a tablesaw crosscut sled in my woodworking shop as well. However, the 60 degree band saw sled will allow you to safely work with small wood pieces. Working with small wooden pieces on the table saw with or without crosscut sleds can be a challenge due to its rapidly spinning saw blade.  There is little chance of small wooden pieces flying about the woodworking shop when using the 60 degree band saw sled. However, it is a very good idea to keep the bearing guide assembly to a height just above the material being cut. Why? Working safely is a good habit. This will limit the band saw blade exposure to the woodworker’s hands. Working safely is a good habit.

 

How to Build the 60 Degree Band Saw Sled  

 

60 Degree Band Saw Sled - Diamond Wood Inlay Banding PatternAs you can see in the photos and video, the sled is made from scrap material. Find some extra material that you have in your workshop. You can use MDF, plywood, or particle board for the crosscut sled. However, make sure that your choice is flat. We want the 60 degree band saw sled to be perfectly parallel to the band saw table during the cutting operations. In essence, the flatness of our crosscut sleds enhance our ability to make accurate cuts.

The runner for the 60 degree band saw sled fits into the miter gauge slot. Choose a straight grained hardwood such as maple, ash, or oak. Dimension the runner for a good fit. We want the sled to slide across the table in a controlled manner.

Once the 60 degree band saw sled is built, it is important to check the settings on the band saw. Adjust the table to the band saw blade and make sure it is at a 90 degree angle. An 8″ Wixey digital angle gauge is an excellent choice for measuring the angle.

60 Degree Band Saw Sled - Creating ParquetryThe next step is to set the angle for the crosscut fence. First, align the runner of the 60 degree band saw sled into the miter gauge. Turn on the band saw and make a  cut about halfway through the sled. Now, take 30-60-90 drafting triangle or the Wixey digital angle gauge and set one edge along the saw kerf of the sled. Measure an angle of 60 degrees. This determines the angle of the fence. Be sure to select a straight length of hardwood for the fence.

If you have a spray sealer handy, it’s a good idea to seal the 60 degree band saw sled. This will help to seal out moisture and thus stabilize the sled’s dimensions. Also, the sled’s bottom can be waxed with paraffin to enhance the sliding action.

Enjoy this great crosscut sled to customize your furniture projects, picture frames, jewelry boxes, cutting boards, etc.

Let me know how it works out for you. Your thoughts are welcomed.


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