Has anyone tried using some strips of UHMW tape on the bottom of the sled. I was thinking a radial pattern out to cut down on actual surface area touch the stock to be cut?
Another thought was to either cut either a golf ball type shape into the bottom of the sled to reduce friction with a round nose bit, or slight rounded slots (just a few mm deep) to cut friction down?
I got some of this to try. VERY slippery stuff.
I was thinking of trying Tuck tape.
I’ve currently got some uhmw tape on the bottom of my sled. It’s great until you run over areas you have cut previously, then any exposed edges will catch. In order to use it, you’d have to cover the entire bottom of the sled with uhmw tape, so I’m going to be stripping off the 3/4 inch wide tape and switching to 4 of these for ease of application: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032AM6I4
I already ordered them, and they didn’t come flat, rather sort of curled up in the shipping box, so for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been flattening them out on a shelf so that when I apply them they actually stick to the sled.
That was the concern I have. I have other need for the tape so I figured I’d try it out. I wish I could get a wider roll to do it with one piece.
I recently came across the Maslow design (have not committed to building one yet) and my first thought was to build the sled out of 1/2" HDPE sheet to reduce friction… It’s not exactly cheap but if it works well I believe it might be worth the cost… I have used HDPE for misc part of jigs over the years when I needed a part with lower friction, and I have also used ‘synthetic wood’ decking the HDPE and sawdust type to make entire jigs because it machines real clean and has no grain…
I used 1/2" ply with a 1/8" HDPE sheet to reduce the cost. It’s been working well. The ‘synthetic wood’ sounds interesting - have you found a source?
In regards to synthetic wood, I don’t have a source for sheet stock, I have only seen mention of it online… But for 1" stock there are a few companies making decking boards and there are a few companies making 1/4" deck trim boards and some other deck parts things like 2x2 balusters that can more easily be found, even at some big box hardware stores… I have even seen some landscaping timbers made out of it for edging gardens and there was a local machine shop by me that I was getting used skids from that had a contract to build display (full sized) sections of railroad tracks for museums and such and he was getting WPC railroad ties and machining small grooves into and drill spike holes into for ease of assembly at the museums or wherever… I have also seen it popping up in playgrounds and such as an alternative to treated woods as well, so it’s out there you just need to source it…
If you want to talk to a local lumber yard about it or Google more about it, it’s called WPC (wood plastic composite) lumber…
I have also thought that formica laminate might be a good material for the bottom of the sled, if you have extra from another project. Unfortunately, it comes in 4’ x 8’ x 1/32" sheets that cost around $100 here, and that’s a bit much to spend on the sled for me.
Try making your sled from a sink cutout. They’re essentially scrap cut out of a countertop to install a non-proverbial kitchen sink. I read that cabinet shops may give these away free, but since there aren’t any in Mooseville try a small contractor and see if they’ll part with one for a few bucks