Crosscut Sled Design Guide

All the woodworking magazines periodically have a featured plan for building some sort of crosscut sled for the tablesaw. Attaching the blanks is fairly easy, depending on what you are using, If you are using the plastic blanks, it’s important to countersink them first otherwise they can push themselves away from the plywood base with excruded plastic as screws are beind driven in. After the base is attached to the blanks, the unit should be sliding smoothly on the table saw top.

Using your feeler gauge method, I clamped a long board across the table saw with the miter fence firmly against it. Then loosened the bolts on the miter gauge for adjustment, slid in the appropriate feeler gauge between the fence and the clamped board on the appropriate end- (I did 1/2 of the measured error – front to back on the cut strip) – then while pressing the miter gauge firmly against the feeler and block, tightened the adjustment bolts.

Cabinet saws are heavier and offer the following advantages over contractor saws: heavier construction for lower vibration and increased durability; a cabinet-mounted trunnion (the mechanism that incorporates the saw blade mount and allows for height and tilt adjustment); improved dust collection due to the totally enclosed cabinet and common incorporation of a dust collection port.

A word of caution; Extra care must be taken with this time of sled as the blade can come through the rear fence and endanger the hands / fingers unless measures are taken to limit the travel of the sled across the table and also the keep the hands /fingers well above and out of the path of the blade. Who really is pushing the boundaries again as to what you can do with a table saw.table saw sled design

In a modern table saw, the depth of the cut is varied by moving the blade up and down: the higher the blade protrudes above the table, the deeper the cut that is made in the material. Outfeed tables: Table saws are often used to rip long boards or sheets of plywood or other sheet materials. I’m sure there is a design out there that would allow for interchangeable fences and inserts, but that would take some careful designing.

I don’t see any point in adding a miter fence to the large one because it will be so big and heavy, you won’t want to put it on the saw anyway. It is important that the sled slides free but no play should occur that would allow side to side movement. I’m contemplating a smaller sled as a more manageable option to my larger one for smaller pieces, so I’ll put these tips to use. The stiff fence of a cabinet saw increases accuracy and safety due to not flexing and allowing kickback (as easily). You will have a true sliding table saw with scoring blade at this point, albeit a very budget one and it is best used as such.

The next step is selecting material for the runners that fit into the T-Track slots on the tablesaw table. Most of the time, unless I am ripping a pile of stock, it just lives on my saw top, although staying there too long may promote the collection of moisture which is not good for the saw or the sled. Benchtop saws are the smallest type of table saw and have the least mass, potentially resulting in increased vibration during a cut. Fences is in quotes because these are not actually your fence, but they are there to hold your sled together as you will be cutting your base into two pieces. The first step is simply making a sled with a 90 degree fence that slides on your tables mitre tracks.

Since this wood has nothing to do with the actual cutting, it only needs to be flat on the bottom and well attached with screws every 4 – 5 inches along length of the sled. Then I can start thinking up something else instead of staring at the sled with a blank look. Just found a really cool cross-cut sled plan which allows for dados and box jig alignment. I really like this jig from Jack Houweling from where he has made a very simple and effective small part jig for his table saw. Again this is for safety and a visual reference of where the blade exits the sled.

In recent years, new technology has been developed which can dramatically reduce the risk of serious injury caused by table saws. Since I made my last sled after this video was released, the plywood I used for the base had warped and it was throwing off my accuracy. Add a thin line of glue to the runners and rest the base on the strips, aligning the center mark with the saw blade. If you use your miter gauge to crosscut, as you guide the wood through the blade, the bottom of it is gliding along against the top surface of the table saw. There is a third reason why sleds are superior to miter gauges, however it doesn’t apply to all crosscut sleds.

Make sure your horizontal position is where you want it, attach your stop block across the front edge of the saw’s table top, and push the Sled Base firmly up against the stop block Apply several weights on top of the Sled Base and let it dry. The secret to making an accurate, smooth-sliding sled is to build both halves of the base separately, then use the front and back fences to join them together.table saw sled design