Tool Review: MicroJig ZeroPlay 360 Sled Kit
Asa Christiana takes a look at a tablesaw sled kit with big potential
Microjig’s 360 sled kit is part of its MatchFit approach to jig-making, which relies on dovetail-shaped tracks that you rout in the sled of your choice. Into those tracks slide two types of clamps: dovetail clamps (F-style clamps reviewed in Tools & Materials FWW #260) and track screws of various lengths with nuts that twist on to do the clamping.
The genius of both types of clamps is how they slide along the shallow slots and lock in any position, as opposed to toggle clamps, for instance, which must be screwed in place.
The dovetail clamps work on their own, while the track screws are designed to pass through holes or slots in fences or stop blocks.
With the 360 Sled Kit you get four of the sliding track screws (and nuts), plus another smart solution from MicroJig: the ZeroPlay miter bar, a two-part expanding bar that can be adjusted and locked to fit any miter slot with smooth sliding action and no slop. It works well. I also like how the ZeroPlay bar is attached from above, with pan-head screws that pass through your plywood sled base into threaded inserts in the bar, spaced 2 in. apart so you know precisely where to drill and counterbore the plywood.
The dovetail bit is sold separately.
Along with the jig hardware, you get an excellent page of plans for an all-purpose sled and fence designed to cut wood in any direction with repeatability. One pair of track screws holds the fence on the sled, with criss-crossing dovetail slots allowing 360° adjustment, and the second pair holds a stop on the fence, which gets its own routed dovetail slot.
The plans call for holes to be drilled for attaching the miter bar in two orientations so either the long or short edge of the sled can ride past the blade.
While the sled will be an excellent addition to my shop, it became a revelation when I added the dovetail clamps ($40 per pair). If you decide on the sled kit, do yourself a favor and spring for the clamps. If you’re like me, you’ll quickly start thinking about all the other things you could do with the hardware.
—Asa Christiana is a woodworker and a freelance writer and editor in Portland, Ore.
Photos: Asa Christiana
From Fine Woodworking #284