Tips and Jigs for the Shop #7: Revised sled.......Soooper Sled Design

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 12-19-2009 05:49 AM 2155 reads 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Tool Totes – Purpose, Philosophy, Design, Construction, and Usage Part 7 of Tips and Jigs for the Shop series Part 8: Second Revision.......Super Sled Sketchup Design »

After patron, Timbo, stefang, Scott, and NBeener goaded me on, and dbHost had more ideas, I decided I had to do the SoooperSled. So I ordered the stuff from Rockler, and now it is here. So I made a design. Still not sure whether to use plywood or MDF for the base, the plywood up here is kinda marginal. Can use it for the fences, glue up a couple of layers and make sure it is straight, but don’t know for the base yet. Got a message into Timbo re that.

So assuming I use plywood I have a design. Not much new, I had Nixon’s stuff and Scott’s stuff up on my side computers (I frequently use three computers, one is my last main computer, the other is a cheap thing I built, and my aging main computer, all running on old, but good, 21” monitors).

I digress… you ever think how much heat these things give off, infrared, I am always toastie, browning in front of these monitors…......(-:

So anyway, I made a design and I am looking for comments….....cause I will be working on it soon.

Here it is from the front:

...from the back:

Tomorrow morning I will post a link to the Sketchup File and the textures I am using….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 12-19-2009 05:51 AM

Looks like a great sled Jim

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#2 posted 12-19-2009 06:00 AM

Thanks…......the parts are in, sooooooooo… now I have to make it…....(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3560 days

#3 posted 12-19-2009 06:08 AM

Looking good Jim, you might consider making the rear fence longer, once you make your first cut, the front and rear fence are what hold the two base pieces together.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3227 days

#4 posted 12-19-2009 08:14 AM

I had an idea? No clue where that came from!

Seriously though. That design is looking really good… Can’t wait to see it done…

Looks like something that should be featured in one of the magazines…..

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#5 posted 12-19-2009 01:45 PM

Jim, this is a nice looking sled (I should say that it looks a lot like the one I built LOL). It should be a pretty good addition to your shop. The only comment I would make is that, since it is similar to mine, I find that the star knob that holds the stop block on the T-track will hit the blade guard when cutting small pieces. I am going to replace mine with something smaller… someday. This is not a big issue but it is a minor annoyance.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#6 posted 12-19-2009 04:09 PM

Your plan looks great and you’ve done a very good drawing of it. To be honest Jim, I don’t know much about these sleds as I don’t need one with my sliding miter table. I will make a few observations, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t help you much (or at all).

1. I agree with Timbo that you should have a board all across the back similar to your front board to stiffen up the sled which will be mostly sliced in two after your first cut.

2. The push handle, if that’s what it is, seems to be located in a dangerous place if the saw blade will be coming all the way or part way into the box on the front of the sled.

3. I’m not sure what the purpose of the box over the blade is. I think it will limit visibility and not add any safey. However, I know you are a smart guy and probably have a good reason for having it that I haven’t thought of. If you keep it, then you might consider putting a small vacuum hose mount on it for dust removal.

4. I can see no reason why you couldn’t use MDF on the base. It will be fully supported by your saw table and presumably your outfeed table, so strength isn’t as issue. If you use screws to mount your fences this could be an issue, but I think those terrace board or plasterboard screws or whatever you call them might work ok.

My comments here are probably way over the top or just plain dumb, but I hope you find them useful anyway.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3169 days

#7 posted 12-19-2009 05:03 PM

If you use the right density of hardwood for the transom, you should be able to get at least a two or three horsepower trolling motor on the back of that thing ;-)

Looks great! I actually agree with the stiffening concept. My first sled had inadequate bracing (that the back board/fence provides). After the first cut, the cut—the thickness of the blade’s kerf—wanted to close up about half-way. Luckily, I noticed it, but … nothing I cut would have been square if I hadn’t.

Nice, nice Sketchup drawing, incidentally!

I also found that I needed the plexiglass to be about three times thicker than I thought it would require. It has a fairly large clear span, from front to back. My first plex (0.093”, IIRC) seemed pretty flimsy.

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#8 posted 12-19-2009 06:49 PM

Had your sled blog up on my left hand computer (I run three) while I did the Sketchup, Nixon’s pdf of his sled on the right one.

Timbo, Mike, Neil
If I shorten the protractor arms to 24” instead of 28” I should be able to run a complete board across the back without it interfering with the arms. I’ll model the postioning in Sketchup to verify that. I am trying to watch the weight.

I have some 1/4” high impact plexi that should work nicely for the guard.

The fighting chair is on order…................(-: . Re the chair, it has dual bottle holders, an ice bucket, and piped in sound…..............................

The blade is much lower than the sled handle, and will not come through the bottom of the box, it has a 3/4” ply hollow block underneath it that is higher than the maximum height of the blade. I am thinking of trolling (like that Neil?) a hook like thing behind it that will stop the sled when the saw is through the material, but still
in the safety block. The little box on top of the block is for stops, holddowns, etc.

I like the idea of a cover for the blade if at all possible. I have seen some of the craziest things happen, and have heard of worse, such as dropped objects, etc. My RAS does not have the best guard in the world, but
since I don’t rip with it, there is no issue because your hands are not moving. I think I will put in the guard, and the dust control will be an add on as needed. On my drill press, I split the DC feed in a wooden box so that it sucks from underneath the table as well as through a flexible hose on the top. The combo works very well, although the flexible part is a work in progress. I might have a similiar split arrangement on the TS eventually. DC on the TS is a ways away yet.

I really can hardy believe the quality of the cuts of that TS since I tricked it out, what an improvement.

So the upshot is:
I can make the base out of 1/2” MDF, even with the slots for the for the protractor arms, if I stiffen the back with a full length board. Do all you kibitzers agree with that?

Thanks guys, this is a great way to design something.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#9 posted 12-19-2009 07:48 PM


Timbo and I have been messaging back and forth, and it occurred to me that the miter slides will be a structural element since I will make them out of MDF and aluminum bar.

So full length front and back fences, and strong miter slides should make MDF the best choice is seems to me. Especially with the crappy plywood I have access to here. I’ll screw the miter slides all the way into the fences after I get the slides and fences perfectly aligned….........

How does that sound?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#10 posted 12-19-2009 07:50 PM

Off to do some errands and get on the hated elliptical trainer, weights, etc, back in an hour or so…........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3283 days

#11 posted 12-19-2009 08:33 PM

nice sled i made one of these and the only thing i want to add is to put some rubber bumpers on all the corners or even the plastic table edgeing. the one where u have to rout a groove and glue in the plastic toung, cuz i store mine on the floor and my shop floor is not smooth at all so the corner of my sled got a little ruffed up.but all in all the sled works great. the additions u made are nice and look to have made the sled safer to use.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#12 posted 12-20-2009 12:06 AM

Good suggestion about the corners, especially since it looks like I will use MDF for the main board. I will store mine on then wall, but the corners are going to get hit. I will probably put something strong on the corners, will have to look at Lowe’s and see what they have.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3128 days

#13 posted 12-21-2009 09:02 AM

I wanted to use som t-molding on a project last year. I searched the web, and found the best price to be at You can get a very reasonably priced edge banding trimmer at Lowes.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#14 posted 12-21-2009 05:16 PM

Thanks for the comments. I will save the sources for future orders. Might actually get a little work done on this thing later in the week, we’ll see. Busy week.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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