New cross cut sled for Rigid R4512

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Project by MikeSpanky posted 11-06-2014 03:32 AM 3546 views 10 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The 20 year old Craftsman table saw that was a hand-me-down from my dad finally stopped working last Friday as I was re-sawing some oak. I could have located parts to repair but knew the cost would be more than I was willing to pay on such an old saw, at least for now. With so many things to build before Christmas I decided to dish out money for a new. Christmas was the only thing I was considering. The wife and I are hoping to begin construction on a new kitchen in the first part of 2015. We will also be building a set of custom hickory cabinets.

I headed Saturday morning to the big orange box store and bought one after tons of research on the mid-grade style stationery saw.

After purchasing the Rigid R4512 I was suddenly without a crosscut sled. Yesterday
I took a few hours to put together this one. It’s heavy I know, but will handle most anything I throw at it.

One thing about the R4512 I immediately noticed was the power. While it’s not a professional grade saw it has way more amps than my old vintage version. I supposed that was why more dust was coming back in my face when using the cross sled. Decided to address the problem this morning by adding a neat plexiglas guard. Its great for safety and excellent blocking dust throw back.

-- There's no crying in woodworking. Just measure and cut again.

5 comments so far

View redsox9's profile


105 posts in 1709 days

#1 posted 11-06-2014 01:43 PM

Very nice – the guard feature is a smart addition!

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

View WoodSupt's profile


10 posts in 1022 days

#2 posted 11-06-2014 01:44 PM

MS – Great looking sled. I also had to purchase a new TS this year and like you went with the R4512. Been very happy with the saw todate. I have never used a cross cut sled in the past, but lately thinking this needs to be brought to the top of my projects list. Can you provide some additional info on dimensions and type of material. As I mentioned I’ve never used/had a sled so any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

View JWilberger's profile


9 posts in 722 days

#3 posted 11-06-2014 03:55 PM

Nice work.
I ask the same – Can you provide some additional info on dimensions and type of material? I’ve never used/had too a sled so any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

-- JW, born and living in Brasil

View MikeSpanky's profile


177 posts in 786 days

#4 posted 11-06-2014 04:28 PM

Thanks Redsox9. Nothing better than safety.

Woodsupt there are lots of ideas out there on you tube. I’ve seen a lot of them but built mine more specific to my needs. And I wanted a large sled. I decided on 27×36 with 3/4 plywood for the base and back fence. 3/4 plywood makes it a little heavier but more stable. With my other saw I had used 1/2 and eventually it began to be unstable. I’m almost certain it was the thickness of the wood causing it.

The near rail is cut at 48” which at times gets in the way in my small shop. But I’ve had times I wanted to cut longer material. With my older sled it was difficult. I’m sure I’ll make a lighter, smaller version at some point.

For the runners I used oak because of the durability. Any hardwood will work or you can purchase alum runners already sized for this saw. There are many available I’m sure but I liked fitting the runners specifically to the saw’s mitre slots. I started with 3/8×3/4+. Kept the width a bit proud and then fit with hand sanding.

I used oak also as a blade stop for safety. Unlike my old sled I don’t have to worry about accidentally touching the blade where it makes its stop.

The far fence is for support. Most anything will work for it, just make sure it’s wide enough for the blade to come through without becoming unstable.

There are several videos on youtube on how to align a sled. Once I had mine close with a square I then used a dial indicator at the front and back of blade to bring it to within .002. I’m happy because cuts all seemed to be square.

I began using a sled when I needed cross cuts wider than my mitre saw will accept. I also like that I can clamp a stop block when I want multiple cuts. Precision of the matching cuts is great with a sled.

That’s pretty much it. Hope this helps.

-- There's no crying in woodworking. Just measure and cut again.

View kmerkle's profile


32 posts in 1757 days

#5 posted 11-06-2014 07:00 PM

William Ng has an excellent video for a sled that’s nearly perfectly square:

-- Every project is perfect until it's started.

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