Interesting Woodworking Link

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Episode #87 - Crosscut Sled

This episode features a new crosscut sled built for the shop. The plan set and
SketchUp drawings are available for download.

I found inspiration for this sled in books from my library and countless Internet searches. This simple project can be built in a couple of afternoons. A crosscut sled will increase safety, speed and accuracy of your crosscuts on the table saw.

The construction starts with a 3/4 MDF base. Incra miter bars are secured to the bottom of the base. These bars have an adjustment from the top that allows for a nice way to take up any slack in the miter slots.

The fences are 10/4 Maple. The rear fence is fastened to the base with 1-1/2 Kreg square drive screws.

The front fence is mounted with ¼-20 x 4 hex head bolts to steel threaded inserts in the MDF base. Oversized holes in the front fence allow for fine adjustment of the fence square to the blade. This feature makes realignment a snap.

A piece of T-Track is inset into the face of the front fence providing an attachment point for a stop block and hold down clamps.

I still have to build the top and rear blade guards.

I got a significant degree of inspiration for this sled from Gary Rogowski's Fine Woodworking article Build a Simple Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw: Essential jig ensures square cuts.

Hopefully this will inspire a sled for your shop!


Anonymous said...


Nice job on the cross cut sled. Another accessory that is nice to have is a extension rod for a stop guide that you can use for longer pieces of wood. You can use a 3/4" x 1" x 3' piece of wood with other small piece of wood attached to it on one end. The other end of the wood use t bolts that fit into your Kreg track.


Unknown said...

David.........the ole crosscut sled. Those incra sliders underneath are sweet, the nylon washers you mentioned really do work to remove the slop. It's funny how that T-Track keeps popping up. 3 tubes of Rockler T-Track kits are stuffed around the shop, every once in awhile they run a ridiculous bargain sale on that kit and I can resist.

Your stop has you set up nicely for repeitive cuts, nice TS edition.

Simple, sweet and to the point.

David Pruett said...

Chuck -

Always great to get one of your comments!

Funny you should mention a method to extend the stop guide reach for longer pieces. I was thinking of similar ideas as I used the sled for it's first project which happened to be a set of smaller project pieces. I great;y appreciate your idea.


David Pruett said...

Neil -

I have a similar story regarding Rockler T-Track. I think I bought 4-5 tubes when they had it on sale for $9.99 / tube. This piece was leftover scrap from my workbench build.

The repetitive cut feature works great. I just used the sled for a small project that required and the stop guide worked perfectly.


Anonymous said...

How did you get the screw holes on the top of the sled to line up with the Incra bars? I've tried this before but wound up getting completely out of alignment.

David Pruett said...

I put small pieces of double stick tape on the bottoms of the Incra bars. They were then gently laid in the miter slots elevated off the bottom of the miter slot with a number of evenly spaced washers. The sled was then paid down on the miter bars. After gently lifting the sled up off the the table saw the bars were adhered to the base in a perfect position. I then used a self-centering punch to mark the hole locations. Before removing the bars I marked each one for orientation and location. I then drilled the holes very slightly oversized for the 10-24x1 flat head cap screws. The countersinks in the MDF were "hardened" with a coat of Superglue. I also marked and drilled holes (oversized) for the adjustment screws at this time. When the Superglue was dry, I loosely assembled the bars on the MDF sled and re-positioned the assembly on the miter slots on the table saw. The last step was to securely tighten the miter bar screws and snug up the adjustment screws. I hope this rather wordy explanation was helpful! If not, please let me know and I will try to shoot a small video that covers this.

Best Regards,

David Pruett said...

I forgot to mention, and this occurred to me as I was assembling the sled. You could just get the bars lined up and adhered to the sled and then just screw them to the base from below. There is plenty of room under the bars for the head to be out of the way.


GEORGE6149 said...

Nice sled,what's your thoughts with adding a miter gauge on like the Rockler or Incra sled? Thanks

David Pruett said...

George -

Great idea! I have thought of this but did not incorporate this idea initially as I needed the sled immediately for a project that required cutting some small pieces at 90°.

I can envision a set 45° miter held in place with alignment pins and rare earth magnets, as well as, an adjustable miter arm.


griph0n said...

How's the height working out? The sleds I've used have a step up over the blade and I thought the track might get in the way, but the track looks like a fantastic addition. I've thought of building a new sled with an extra 12" on the side for more stop length when cutting longer stiles, but the extension arm seems like a better idea. I'm a little worried about twist from the long sides added drag. Any ideas?

Great looking work!


David Pruett said...

Dave -

The height is working out great. I made this to cut frame stock, which for my projects tends to be no more than 5/4 stock. For thicker stock I would use a sled with a higher front & back. So, for the majority of my work the height and track position work out well.

I am thinking of working out an extension for longer stock attachment & support are important considerations.

John Nixon at Eagle Lake Woodworking has a great sled to look at and get ideas.


hughmac13 said...

What happens when the seasons change and the figured maple you used for the fences moves over time, causing the once flat plane of the fence face to expand, contract, and possibly curve? For that reason I used plywood for my fences.