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New Crosscut Sled

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 01-04-2017 05:04 AM 2233 reads 12 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well it was about time to retire/replace the crosscut sled I made about 10 years ago. It served good duty, but after being tossed around in the back of my truck and used and abused by the guys on the job, I thought I’d make myself a new sled with a few extras.

I reclaimed the fence from the old sled, as it is laminated hard maple. It only needed a few passes over the jointer and planer to get it nick free and spiffy looking. Since I want this sled to handle dados and possibly bevel cuts, I thought I’d make some parts of it replaceable. For that I chose to mill those sections out ( the bed and fence where the kerf will be ) and use hardboard as the surface. I had 1/8” on hand. Eventually it may need to be 3/16” tempered board, which will require milling those areas deeper, but for now this will do.

I installed a top track on the fence for a sliding stop and a tape measure, and some track for hold downs. The bed is 3/4” MDF that was given a few coats of Minwax wood hardener. The MDF soaked the stuff in pretty well. It really makes the surface harder and resistant to dings and gouges.

I made more progress today than the pics show, but I’ll post the final product as a project.

I was a little concerned how flat the hardboard would lay once mated to the bed and fence, but it really did work out well. I know I saw a sled or two that used a sliding bed and fence to accommodate a dado stack, but I thought I’d give this a try to see how well it works.

Last item I need to make, aside from the stop, is a blade guard. Didn’t have one on the old sled, but thought maybe it’s not a bad idea to have one ;)

...........

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)



8 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2819 posts in 2013 days


#1 posted 01-04-2017 10:40 PM

Bill, this is another well designed and executed project. Well done!

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1753 posts in 696 days


#2 posted 01-04-2017 11:13 PM

Hey Art. Happy New Year and thanks :) It still needs a little cleanup, some wipe-on finish and I want to make some rounded off end caps for the fence so I don’t go cutting my hand on the top track. :) But for the most part, it’s done. This will be a welcome addition. My old sled was dismantled months back and I missed having one.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View NormG's profile

NormG

5855 posts in 2760 days


#3 posted 01-06-2017 03:55 AM

That is a very nice, well thought out sled, thank you for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1753 posts in 696 days


#4 posted 01-06-2017 04:46 AM

Thanks Norm. You know when you look at something for a bit and see better possibilities? Well that something dawned on me earlier today. Wasn’t in the shop. Just doing some things around the house and I realized this could be much better, easier to make and easier to effect the changes when different blades are required. I’m going to do a sketch or two to illustrate what I envisioned. For now this will do, but down the road I’ll need to make another bed with the design I have in mind. I can reuse both fences and the rest of the components, but the bed needs to be modified. It’s just so simple. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before heading down this road and not sure I’ve ever seen it done the way I think it can be done.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View magaoitin's profile

magaoitin

245 posts in 705 days


#5 posted 01-06-2017 04:10 PM

Great looking sled. I would like to place an order for two of them. A couple questions (as this is exactly the first project I have planned for my new saws):

1. What material did you use for the runners; strips of lumber, mfg track, or ???
2. I have never used Wood Hardener on MDF before, how does the treated MDF compare to a plywood base?

Thanks, and again nice looking sled.

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1753 posts in 696 days


#6 posted 01-06-2017 05:50 PM

Hey Jeff. My old sled had a “plywood” base or table. It was baltic birch veneer core. I had it on hand at the time and it worked. Same here. I had the MDF on hand so I used it. However I like the MDF as it’s heavier and tends to want to lay flat. It mills better – rounding over the underside edges, the dado slots and the relief for the zero clearance inserts.

I never used the wood hardener on MDF prior to this either, but I have put clear finish on it and it tends to really soak up what ever it may be. The hardener has – from what I’ve read around the net – epoxy in the mix. I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try. I also had it on hand and no other use for it. It does seem to have made a hard surface coating on the MDF and sealed it pretty well.

The runner was taken off my Incra Miter 5000. I wasn’t really happy with that sled. I’ve since ordered their metal runners and await their delivery. I’ll replace the 5000 runner when they arrive. Not sure I’ll go with one or two runners. One seems to work really well. The 5000 only has one runner just as a miter gauge has one. I may just use a short runner milled from MDF for the other side. I’ll have to see if there’s any reason to add a second.


Great looking sled. I would like to place an order for two of them. A couple questions (as this is exactly the first project I have planned for my new saws):

1. What material did you use for the runners; strips of lumber, mfg track, or ???
2. I have never used Wood Hardener on MDF before, how does the treated MDF compare to a plywood base?

Thanks, and again nice looking sled.

- magaoitin


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27800 posts in 2622 days


#7 posted 01-06-2017 09:36 PM

This is a very nice crosscut sled and will be a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1753 posts in 696 days


#8 posted 01-06-2017 10:18 PM

Thanks Charles. I guess I can call it a wrap :) Hopefully it helps me make better projects. I think I need to start making something other than shop fixtures and yard projects. Furniture would be a fun for a change :)

Note to self – don’t use plywood when hardwood is available. I sanded thru the veneer on the blade guard and that will always bug me. So will the burn marks from the router, but that I can fix with sharper, less abused bits :(

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

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