Base plates for power tools come in for lots of abuse. Resulting scratches and dings can mar delicate or pre-finished surfaces. You could always replace the base plate, but the cost and time involved usually meant it was seldom done until the situation was really bad. Now there is a quick, low-cost solution: Slick Saw overlays.
What it is
Slick Saw overlays are pre-cut pressure sensitive material designed to stick on to base plates for circular saws, routers, jig saws and laminate trimmers. The overlay is made out of a Mylar-nylon composite that looks like brushed aluminum or stainless steel.
You apply the overlay to your tool base, effectively covering any scratches, dings or other defects. The Slick Saw overlay also provides a slicker surface than the typical base, allowing your tool to slide more easily over a work surface.
How it works
Slick Saw overlays come in generic sizes designed to fit most tools. We tried the ones designed to fit a round-base router and rectangular jig saw base. Following the manufacturer's instructions, we cleaned the old bases with mineral spirits and then applied the overlays, which all took less than a minute.
The round router overlay was just a bit larger than the Porter-Cable router base we tried it on, but it was simple to bend up the slight overhanging edge, as was recommended in the instructions. The jig saw overlay is designed to fit best on a Bosch jig saw, but we also tried it on a Porter-Cable jig saw that has a slightly narrower base with a different cutout. In this case, we used a razor knife to trim the excess overlay.
In both cases application was fast and easy. The resulting clean, slick, non-marring surface did seem to make the tools easier to slide over a work surface.
Slick-Saw overlays are sold in three-packs at about $3.50 for jig saw, router and laminate trimmer bases. Circular saw overlays are a bit more expensive. They are available from many distributors and some mail-order suppliers, such as Woodcraft. That makes for a fast, easy and economical way to renew scratched and damaged base plates.
For more information about Slick Saw overlays, visit www.slicksaw.com.
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