Sled Base Lubricants

Has anyone tried using a dry lube like graphite or molybdenum sprays on the sled base. Trying to find a cheaper option than uhmw sheeting.

-Tim

What is your sled made out of?

Mine is made of Baltic Birch plywood. I sanded the base with a progression of 180, 220, and 320 grit. I then applied a coat of butchers block oil. Finally, two coats of butchers wax, with a drying time in between coats. It’s as smooth as a wood surface can be realistically speaking. Not perfect and I have to rewax every so often but it does the job.

It’s the original sled from Makermade and is pretty smooth. Was looking for a easy spray alternative to waxing.

-Tim

Ah, ok.

I haven’t heard of anyone using any form of spray lube for the bottom of the sled. I personally just use some Johnson’s past wax (the yellow can that seems to be what you find everywhere) I think I reapply like once a year depending on the use and materials I am cutting. seems to work really well, and doesn’t need all that much.

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Hi Tim,

I’m very new to this type of CNC, but I could not help considering the function of the sled base, and the new owner complaining of it displaying “stiction”, or vibration, and chatter type of behaviour at times.

We’re going to try something simple, fast and easy like ArmourAll, or maybe some automotive silicone lube spray. And give it a wipe/polish clean between jobs.

I’ll get back when we have some practical results from trying this.

@Geezer I look forward from hearing back on your results. The only thing I have seen others caution when trying to used any form of lube (paste wax included) would depend on the type of material you are cutting. Since the sled rides on the surface of the “stock,” the lube may transfer onto that material, which could cause staining or issues when attempting to finish it (paint/stain/oil/wax). Just something to keep in mind and look out for.

If the product requires painting, it may require a light, fine sanding to remove any residue from wax, silicone, or any other slippery/water resistant product that might transfer onto the workpiece.
Currently, this new owner of the machine needs to sand the work coming off his machine anyway, so it’s probably nothing big to worry about. But I’ll report back after we try anything.

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I have used Blaster graphite dry spray on the bottom of my sled, don’t know that it made much difference but it didn’t hurt anything.

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I’m not to keen on the price for uhmw sheeting, but the tape is pretty inexpensive. I’m looking at trying the 3" wide tape. Has anyone tried this? Will it peel back as the sled moves? If the adhesive is strong and I line up the seams perfectly without overlaping or leaving a gap.

-Tim

I haven’t heard of anyone trying that particular tape before, I’d be interested to hear your results.

HUMW is very similar to HDPE which is often used for cutting boards. A couple folks have bought cheap cutting boards to cut sleds out of which seems to work well.

I sanded the sled smooth and then used Johnson’s Paste Wax. – It worked very well.

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No need to get too techie here - make sure the underside of the sled is sanded smooth (no rough bits to catch), and just dust the bottom of the sled with baby (talcum) powder.
As a bonus, everything will smell nice, too!

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I got the 10mil 3" wide UHMW tape. It seemed stickey enough and adhered well to the sled. I tried to line up the seams the best I could. Folding the tape over the edge was a bit troublesome, maybe 5mil will be better since it’s thinner it should be less stiff I hot glued the over the ends of the tape to try and prevent it from peeling back. It’s noticably slipperier. This is what I used.

I’ll let you know how well it works and holds up.

-Tim

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After 2x 5 hour cuts. It seems to be holding up fine.

-Tim

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Thought I’d add my 2 cents, for what it’s worth… I have painted cars professionally but mostly as a hobby over the past 40 years and my hairs stand on end everytime I see products with silicone or even wax for that matter. I don’t wax my cars, period. I think someone mentioned armor-all, which is totally banned in my shop. The reason is that waxes and silicone can cause problems with paint jobs and finishes in general. Have you ever rattle can sprayed something and the paint is repelled, leaving craters where the surface has no paint? That is called “fish eyes” and it is caused by silicone or wax. I’m just mentioning this because I wouldn’t want anyone to have problems with wood not taking stain or having varnish repel off of certain areas. Wood is more forgiving than a car but why introduce a potential problem down the road? For this reason, I would recommend a solid lubricant or smooth finish as many have suggested rather than a spray or liquid. I don’t think a rubbed in and dried wood wax would cause any issues, I’m just suggesting staying away from anything that could rub off on the wood.
Jerry

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