Oh my! You guys have no idea how happy I am right now. It took about two weeks, a digital angle finder, a dial indicator, a new Biesemeyer fence, table saw extensions, and a lot of sweat, but this crosscut sled is done! Well, almost. Still have to build accessories, paint it, and make it look all pretty and whatnot, but at the very least, I can use it to cut, or more exactly to crosscut.
You are probably wondering how on earth can a simple sled make a guy this kuckoo right? It is by no means the simple sled Norm was using on the New Yankee. This James Hamilton guy, aka Stumpy Nubs, designed the very best crosscut sled, in my humble opinion. I won’t go into details, but you can watch the two part video series at www.stumpynubs.com.
Having a crosscut sled in a backyard shop is having one less tool, the compound miter saw, to take out of the shed. That means less setup time, more making dust time. And I’ve been looking all spring to find one that I would like, and that would include some sort of gadgetry, like a tenoning gig, some t-tracks, and so forth. It had to remain light, and fit over the table saw to be able to store it.
Here are my results:
As you can see, there is some oak and some plywood. A jig, in my opinion, does not have to look showroom ready. It has to be functional and most of all, it has to be true. In Nova Scotia, plywood is not cheap, and this sled was made of select 3/4 ply. For the sled alone, it took a little less than a half sheet, so I was able to save on cost, or so I thought!
I was so excited to build this thing that I completely overlooked the fact that “G”, the fence board itself, was not in the cut list. That’s right, Stumpy just decided to skip random letters Willy Nelly. After the initial shock, I remembered I had some oak stock from Kent laying about. I figured since that stuff is cheap, about 10$ for a 3/4”x4”x8’, and much harder than plywood, it would make a good fence system. So all the blocks, the fence, and the extensions are made of oak.
For the underbelly of the beast, Stumpy recommends annoying the wife and using plastic from cutting boards to make the runners. I used some oak cutoffs, and it works great. It also slides very easily, and I don’t have to chop my veggies on the countertop.
All in all, not a very hard project, but one that will make my life, and maybe yours, much easier going forward. I ended up with a 1/64” over 8ft of cutting, not too bad for a backyard! But I do have a game for you today, try to find the spot where I sneezed while routing!
Now go out, and enjoy your backyard! And please, don’t break anything you can’t fix!
-- -Jeff. My shop is huge, it just doesn't have a ceiling. Or walls.