If you've been following along on our Instagram page “@therollercoasterproject” you may have seen some work with the table saw. What I have been working on is creating a few cross-cut sleds for the table saw and band saw. What is a cross-cut sled you ask?
Now, this isn’t my image but it is a good example of a completed cross-cut sled. The sled allows the user to cut repeatable and varying size parts. How does this stack up for mini roller coasters? I’m glad you ask.
For our building materials, we have been using basswood for most of the structure and track. This can be relatively expensive with a wooden coaster since there are so many components. But, now that we have a thickness planer and a table saw, the doors are open to making our own building lumber!
To sum it up, each 24” stick of 1/4” basswood is $0.55, and based on the desired amounts per stick we can get 3 8” sections. Now, if we have a sheet of basswood at a quarter of an inch, we can cut up to 94 of the 8 inch sections. The price per sheet is $15.80, and if we do the math we save a tremendous amount. But what if we use pine boards for our structure? An 8 ft pine board is roughly $8 at one inch thick. Now that we have a thickness planer, we can get it down to our desired thickness and cross cut each 1/4” strip. This saves so much money and allows for more control and inventory.
These oak strips are cut to fit in the slots on my Ridgid table saw. Once I place some 3/4” birch plywood on them and square it to the blade, you have an accurate cutting method.
The oak board was actually twice as thick as shown in the picture above. By using our thickness planer, it was brough to correct dimensions.
The roller coaster will be made of pine!