Another Table Saw Upgrade
A quality cross cut sled has been on my to-do list for some time. I have seen many plans in the magazines over the years but have never built one. Now that I have finished my first cross cut sled, I don’t know how I got along without it.
Desired Cross Cut Sled Features
1) I wanted a sled that would handle 24” wide panels.
2) needs a dedicated easy to adjust stop block for repeat cuts.
3) needs to accommodate zero-clearance on both the bottom and front fence to prevent chip out.
4) needs to accommodate zero-clearance for both standard saw blades and dado blades. This meant that the sled needed replaceable zero-clearance inserts.
5) needs to provide dead on square cross cuts
It Just Arrived in the Mail one Day
I saw a nearly perfect representation of the sled I wanted to build in the Vol. 22 Issue 130 (July/August 2013) shop notes magazine. I did not follow their exact pattern and I added a zero-clearance insert to the fence but otherwise their plan fit the bill for what I wanted.
My journey to dead on square cross cuts
Before I started building the sled I re-tuned the table saw and took special care to verify the fence and miter slots were parallel to the blade. I used a shop made jig with a dial indicator to tune the saw to less than 0.002” run-out between the miter slots and the blade and over the length of the fence.
My approach did not allow for any adjustment of the fence to square it up to the blade. Instead I used a dado blade to notch the bottom of the sled base for the runners (uses two runners for added stability through the cut) and again to notch the top of the sled base for the sled fence. If the table saw fence and miter slots are truly parallel to the blade, this approach should align the sled miter bars dead-on perpendicular to the sled fence. The approach worked great and the sled produces dead on square cuts.
The finished Sled
The sled is 54” wide with a 24” extension. The zero-clearance inserts are made from ¼” hardboard and are attached with 8-32” countersunk machine screws and thread inserts in the sled base. I used ¾” plywood for the base, ¾” plywood laminated together for the fence and stop block, 1” x ¾” oak for the extension cleat, and aluminum miter bars.
Sled with optional extension
The full sled provides support for large panels
Replaceable zero clearance inserts to reduce chip out on bottom and rear of work piece
Thanks for taking a look. Now that I see how useful this sled is, I want to build a light duty sled with an optional add-on box joint jig feature.