Cutting wood against the grain is much safer and faster with a table saw sled. There are several technical approaches to building a table saw sled, but sometimes all you need is a quick and elegant solution. This is probably the simplest cross-cutting sled you can create while still getting precise results.
Cross cutting sleds are used to cut wood against the grain on a table saw or to cut very small pieces without risking cutting your fingers. Cross cutting is a subject covered on the table saw sled, which will take you from zero to hero in the world of table sawing.
How to Make a Table Saw Sled
Add Integrated Table Saw Sled Stop Block
I had to add a handhold to the end of the table saw sled before mounting the fences. To create the ends of the hand slot, I used a 12” forester bit.For repetitive cuts, I’d just use a scrap clamped to the fence on my old DIY table saw sled. In the fence, an incorporated stop block makes this a lot simpler. I’ll also make my own stop block with some Woodcraft supplies.
After that, I used the fence to mark where the track would come to a halt on either side of the blade. To make tearing out easier, I used blue tape. I’m going to leave a 2″ gap where the blade can come through the fence instead of running the track all the way around the back.
Super-Precise Crosscut Sled
While sleds can be very useful for making precise, repeatable cuts, as this plan explains, it can be difficult to line the sled up perfectly square to the blade. Another issue is correctly aligning two miter slot bars. You can, however, solve both problems at once by creating this crosscut sled.
With just four stages, this is a very easy plan to follow. Glue and screw a fence to the front and back of the sled after adding one miter bar to the sled frame. Cut the kerfs, then mount a second fence square to the kerfs – that’s all there is to it! A simple method for making a very useful sled.
Small Table Saw Sled
This is a cool idea for building a sled for a smaller table saw, such as a jobsite table saw. If you need to work on smaller bits, it can also be used on larger table saws. This is another well-written plan that comes with a video that demonstrates how to ensure you reach a high degree of accuracy.
We also appreciated the brief section at the end about the added safety features – table saws are inherently dangerous, so anything that can be done to make them safer is always appreciated. And how long would it take to finish? The author doesn’t know because he had an IT failure while shooting, but he estimates it to be about 30 minutes.
Attach Fences to Crosscut Sled
I attached an 18” by 18” recess to the bottom of the back fence when I was at the router table. This gives the sawdust somewhere to go so it doesn’t pile up between the work piece and your fence, causing your cuts to be messed up.
Cut Table Saw Sled Base and Fence Parts
For the table saw sled frame, I grabbed a big piece of 12” plywood and cut it down to 36 inches wide and 24 inches deep. This one is a little bigger than my old one to give me a little more storage space. The half-inch ply will keep the weight of the crosscut sled low.
For the fences, however, I’ll use double stacks of 34″ ply. I had a five-foot by nine-inch off cut that I broke into two 3.5-inch strips. After that, I cut both strips at 37” for the back fence. For the front fence, this left me with two strips of around 23” each.
The front fence might be made full width, but it would only add weight. The plywood should be glued together to create a strong fence, but it should also be as straight as possible. By flipping the boards in towards each other for the glue up, you can counteract any bow in the boards.
Cut Fences to Size and Mount Runners
After that, I squared one end of the long back fence. Then, using the table saw sled frame, I labeled the other cut. Since the length of the short fence is unimportant, I cut each end square. Then I rounded over all of the exposed edges.
I used a small piece of maple and some plywood scraps to make the runners. I made a few test cuts with the plywood to fine-tune the sizing. Then I used the maple board to cut the width of my runners.
Basic Table Saw Sled
Here’s a great place to start: this plan will show you how to make two table saw sleds: one for crosscuts and another for 45° miter cuts. Whatever type of table saw you use – from a small jobsite table saw to a large cabinet table saw – these two simple jigs will enable you to make a wide range of precise cuts.
This is also an excellent example of how to present plans. The instructions are simple, the pictures are helpful, and there are even diagrams showing the pieces of wood you’ll need to cut out in order to build the sleds. This is a fantastic resource.
Simple and Precise Crosscut Sled
A video showing how to make a simple crosscut sled for your table saw can be found here. The presenter in this video starts by describing why he wants to make a crosscut sled for his newly updated table saw before discussing how he went about doing so.
We enjoy videos in which Dryers and Woodworkers discuss their thought processes, giving you a glimpse into what is going on in their heads as they consider how to solve a dilemma. It helps us later on when we’re thinking about our own DIY projects.
We really like how he walks you through some of the issues he encountered and how he attempted to resolve them. Overall, this is an interesting video that is well worth watching.
Easy Table Saw Sled
The Instructorless website is a veritable treasure chest of simple plans for DIY projects, and that’s where we found this plan for making your own quick table saw sled. One aspect of this plan – like several others on the same web – that we like is that it is written for beginners, thoroughly describing it without assuming any prior experience.
Instead of thinking that anyone reading the document already knows what a “crosscut” is, the creator of this plan takes a few moments to clarify what it is. This makes it an excellent choice for someone who is just getting started in the world of woodworking and has little experience. If that fits you, this is probably the first strategy you can try.
Table Saw Extension and Crosscut Sled
This is an informative video to enjoy. This enthusiastic You Tuber not only shows you how to make a crosscut sled, but also how to make a storage area for it on the side, as well as a table saw extension table.
Of course, why wouldn’t you do all of that in one simple project?1erwz We like his energy, and his video is simple and easy to follow. It’s entertaining to watch him work as well as to see his development take shape. Another video that is well worth your time.