There have been a few cross cut sleds posted recently and it motivated me to replace mine. The original was a little small and a little heavy. My max capacity was about 14”. I used maple and cherry for the fences, which looked nice, but weighed too much. A few other lessons learned gave way to Version 2.0:
Overall size is 24” x 36”, quite a bit larger than my previous sled. Capacity on this sled is 21”. Base is 1/2” birch ply.
The rear fence features sliding replaceable faces. I had a lot of tear out on my previous sled, this should solve that. It’s made from poplar and 1/2” MDF for the faces. Thick and stable, but a lot lighter than the maple and cherry. The movable faces have a chamfer along the bottom. This allows dust to gather there, rather than on the face (thanks, Woodwhisperer!).
I considered making a super-sled-like handle to go over the blade exit area, but I never like my hands over a blade, even if they’re well above it. The old sled had a large block of hardwood. On this one it’s a smaller piece of poplar. Enough to keep my thumbs from sliding into the exit area.
My previous sled had home-made runners. On this one I bought miter bars from Rockler. The fit is perfect, they’ll never wear out, and I can easily re-use them on Version 3.0!
I mounted t-track to the face of the rear fence. This makes it easy for stop blocks or other attachments. On my previous sled I would clamp a piece of wood to the fence, this is quicker and locks down tight with no slipping.
To attach the rear fence I used oversize holes and bolts. It was extremely easy to square it up and make adjustments. After I dialed it in with the 5 cut method, I used 4 additional screws to lock it down.
Overall I’m really pleased with this version. I’m sure I’ll learn some more lessons from this one and be ready for Version 3.0 in another couple of years.
Thanks for looking.
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