Sketchup Plan of the Dedicated Mitre Sled for the Tablesaw

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Blog entry by Bob Simmons posted 07-15-2010 01:14 AM 3794 reads 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Woodworking plans are great for the woodworker as they help you visualize the material that you need as well as give you the necessary layout.

A 3D model of the dedicated mitre sled is now available for download. It can be downloaded at this link. Google offers free accounts if you do not already have an existing account.

Keep in mind that the dimensions and the layout of the runners may vary for your tablesaw. Also, use the available materials that you have and customize the sled to your needs. You’ll find that building the mitre sled is an easy process that can greatly enhance your woodworking skills as well as give you greater control when creating your wood projects.

Video #6…Building a Dedicated Mitre Saw and Video #7…Mastering the Mitre Joint will help walk you thru the processes of building and using the sled.


...........................Learn more, Experience more!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

10 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 07-15-2010 04:28 AM

I get 45.1 :)

Great share! and a good accessory to have no doubt.

A few tips for the SU model though:

1. guide lines are there to help you as you construct the model – to guide you in your modeling process. it’s a good practice once you are done using them to delete them especially when sharing the model with others as all the extra lines are making the model very busy and can be confusing – remember, those are guidelines that YOU set for yourself, others do not know what those guide lines are supposed to guide.

2. Use components – this is a sketchup thing. whenever you create geometry in SU it just connects the faces (rectangles, circles, lines, etc) to one another – in your case, the entire model is a set of faces ‘glued’ together. if you wanted to take the front face aside – it would mangle the entire model as it would pull the rest of the geometry with it.

Instead – I like to consider each ‘part’ that I’m adding to the model a physical ‘board’ and will create them one at a time:

a. create a rectangle
b. select the rectangle (double click it with the select tool) and from the menu choose “create component” – you can name it and click “ok”
c. double click the component to edit it
d. at this point you can push/pull to give it volume or make any changes you’d like to it. but at this point – that component is a separate entity and will not affect the rest of your model as you change/move it as it will not automatically glued to the rest of the model , but you have full control over it

so in your model – the base would be 1 component, the front face would be component 2, the back face – component 3, the miter left fence component 4, and the miter right fence – component 5. Actually since component 4 and 5 are the same you could just copy one over and invert it – but that’s another lesson ;)

search youtube for sketchup tutorials – there are really good and simple ones to follow. look for components tutorial which may make more sense than reading my text :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 07-15-2010 05:19 AM

Dave…Thanks. My intentions in this rendering is for a mitre fence that totals 90 degrees with the left mitre and the right mitre each being 45 degrees. Fortunately, my woodworking skills are better than my sketchup skills. If you refer to the videos in of my blog, perhaps that will answer any question you may have.

PurpLev… Thank you for your tips as I certainly would like to improve my SU skills. I will study what you have shared with me. Greatly appreciated! Please allow a little time for me to absorb it tho… :)

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#3 posted 07-15-2010 05:21 AM

I had to create a new line that crossed the sled between the center of the front face to center of back face.

however measuring again from the line ‘separating’ the 2 miter fences to the miter face – I do get 43.9

Bob. If you’d like. I can do a step by step tutorial on how to model that miter sled using components, and making sure the cut angles are correct. what do you say?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3008 days

#4 posted 07-15-2010 05:24 AM

PurpLev…Go for it. This is your territory much more than mine. Thanks for the offering.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3155 days

#5 posted 07-15-2010 01:26 PM


Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you are taking their advice with a smile. I wish I had someone to point me to Components the 1st day I started using SU. That would have saved me WEEKS of time.

You can also make ‘boards’ into Groups. I find Groups easier unless I have many of the same component like pickets on a picket fence, then Components are better in case of future changes. Change one Component, and all components copied from that one are automagically changed. There are other suttle differences between Components and Groups. You can learn those differences as you go. Good job!

Purp/Dave, I got 45 deg. on the leading edge(where it counts) but 43.7 on the trailing edge.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#6 posted 07-15-2010 04:02 PM

OK. Here goes (bear with me – lots of pics, so it may seem long, Although it really isn’t):

1. First thing first – create a rectangle. I made mine with the rectangle tool (obviously), clicked anywhere (I clicked the center of origins) move the mouse in a certain direction, then typed 19,22 1/16 and clicked enter – this created a rectangle that is based on Bob’s dimensions

I double clicked the rectangle to select its face and all edges, and clicked edit->make component. I then named it with a descriptive name and click ‘create’:

This created a new component that currently is just a flat rectangle.

2. Double click the flat rectangle component, and you go into “component edit” mode in which the only thing that can be changed is the component you double clicked – so you are safe from mistakenly changing anything else in the model.

Once in component mode – I used push pull to push the rectangle, and entered (keyboard) 1/2” and clicked ‘enter’ to push the rectangle 1/2” to make the base of the sled:

Click anywhere OUTSIDE The component area, and you’re back in ‘model editing mode’ with the new component that represents the sled’s base:

3. Next, to make the sled support fences. I clicked on the corner of the base component, and positioned the mouse cursor on the opposite base line where the support fence will be, then typed in (keyboard) , 1 (comma 1) and clicked ‘enter’:

This will create a rectangle (that will be used to make the fence) that is 1’’ wide, and as long as the sled’s base.

I double clicked the new support base rectangle that was created, and edit->make component with an appropriate name:

4. I double clicked the new support fence component to go into component-edit-mode and using push/pull tool, pushed the rectangle 5 1/2’’ to make the fence:

5. here’s some fun with components – since each component is separate from the others, you can copy them to quicken and ensure your model uses same dimensions between similar parts.

I clicked the move tool, then clicked the ALT key – you’ll notice a + (plus) sign next to the move tool which means that it not only will move the component , but will move a copy of it:

and I moved the copy into the opposite edge of the sled:

how easy was THAT huh?

6. I made a guide line from the side edge of the sled to the middle of it:

Another guide line/point from the front face 2 1/2’’ into the sled (based on Bob’s dimensions):

Then made 2 guide lines at 45 degrees using the protractor tool:

And another guide line 1 1/2’’ offset from the miter guide:

At this point I know that all my angles and setup is precise and easy to follow. I simply traced those guide lines with the LINE tool to create the miter fence base:

I then created a component from that shape:

double clicked it to go into component-edit-mode and pushed it 3/4” to make the miter fence:

7. using the Move tool with ALT (move a copy) I copied the miter fence over, using the center guide line to position it exactly opposite the original component:

Then, Using the Edit->component->flip along->components Red I flipped the component to mirror it:

8.I deleted all the unneeded guide lines:

9. I created the miter slide in the same way I created all the other components (create rectangle, make component, edit component, push 3/8”) and copied it over to have 2 of them:

And I’m all done!

10. I added some dimensions to the model to make it more readable, and you can also see that because of the use of components. if you’ll look at the Outliner window in SU, you can actually see what parts, and how many of them are in the model – which can make things easy when going into the physical construction part of the project:

Thats is – if you are still reading this – hope it was helpful.
Feel free to PM me with any questions.


-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#7 posted 07-15-2010 04:47 PM

Thanks Dave… I tried to convert the OPTION on the Mac , and thought it was ALT on the PC – I stand corrected.

As for the flipping – my bad, it should have been flipped on the GREEN axis to maintain mirroring effect. :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Ampeater's profile


440 posts in 3741 days

#8 posted 07-15-2010 05:15 PM

I know that the main theme of the thread is about drawing the sled. On the practical side, the sled will only miter a board =< 1-11/16” wide. This is probably fine for the this intended use, but I would make the sled a little bigger to handle at least 2” wide boards. You could also move the miter fences closer to the front fence to handle this issue.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3008 days

#9 posted 07-15-2010 07:31 PM

Ampeater…Actually the original theme of the article is the mitre sled itself plus a drawing to go along with it, however the sketchup drawing has taken on a life of its own…and this is a good thing that’s taking place!
On the practical side…my mitre sled will cut widths 2-1/2” wide along the mitre fences and 2-1/2” wide at the front cut-off fence. (Keep in mind that my woodworking skills are better than my Sketchup skills.) You bring up some excellent points here and your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Rance…You’re welcome! Thank you as well. (If I ever have a flat tire late at night I hope you guys are near.. :)
This is my first time of hearing Components or Groups for that matter. I have stumbled through SU just through curiosity, however it’s apparent that SU has a great deal of power when one understands it. Thanks for your support! I feel fortunate that you guys found me.

DaveR…Thank you helping me out with my initial drawing and also for providing an accurate rendition.
FWIW…(sorry, I did not comprehend that.) I looked at your drawing and downloaded it. When I right click I notice that an area will be highlighted in Blue. That must be a component. Thanks for sharing your talents and for giving this article “legs”. You’ve taking it to a better place!

PurpLev…Like Dave says…”Excellent tutorial”. It sure helps when you know what you’re doing. You’ve given some great insight into Sketchup. Greatly appreciated! Having read your tutorial will save me a lot of time and give me a better understanding of SU.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View MickeyGee's profile


119 posts in 2888 days

#10 posted 07-16-2010 02:11 AM

Great discussion guys. This has been really helpful in understanding some of the finer details of the SU process. Thanks all.

-- -- Mike

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