Finally made a new simple sled

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Project by DrDirt posted 06-30-2015 01:29 AM 1588 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So my old sled made of 1/2 inch birch ply (from home center) had developed a bit of a warp to it, such that the two sides of the sled were no longer flush. Saw the article in FWW 244 last October from Marc Adams, and decided it was time.

Made from 3/4 MDF, as well as the fence.
The bottom layer of the fence is 1/2 inch plywood, to hold screws better.

Went with William Ng video on the 5 cut method to square it up.

It is straight to .001 per foot, as seen in the pics, the difference .419 vs .424 is .005 out, but that is 4X the real offset. so since my piece was ~17 inches, my error, is 0.00125/17 inches

More than close enough for woodworking.

first offset was .092 for the 17 inches. used his method with feeler gauges, and went from +.092 to -.022, and ended up at +.005 as a front back difference in cut 5.

The screws in the safety box are #8 by 2 1/2 so there is 3 inches clearance from the table of the sled to the bottom of the screws, while the blade can only stick up 2.35 inches. So regardless of what I do or tilt there is no way to hit the screws.

Sprayed it with some rattle can laquer to make sure it gets a bit of protection from drips of sweat or water droplets bubling the surface. The fence definitely should stay dead flat. Perhaps at some point I might add a T-track from kreg to the top.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

8 comments so far

View Robsshop's profile


903 posts in 2728 days

#1 posted 06-30-2015 07:07 AM

Looks good there DrDirt, should hold up well over time and sounds like You have found acceptable accuracy! CC sleds are a must have IMO and a solid one like this is a pleasure to use. It sounds like you will add some accessories in time and I will offer my 2 cents of advice. I have found that a strip of plexiglass(Lexon) bridging across the entire saw blades cut is a great addition to sleds. It is a good safety feature to have(much like your rear guard block). It really helps with sawdust that flys back at the face as well as any mishaps with kickbacks that can occur! You can make it removable for when doing taller cuts and such. Anyways, Just thinking out loud, great looking upgrade and thanks for sharing !

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View Roger's profile


20871 posts in 2557 days

#2 posted 06-30-2015 01:02 PM

Oh yes! A sled is a necessity in my opinion

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View DrDirt's profile


4381 posts in 3495 days

#3 posted 06-30-2015 01:13 PM

Thanks Guys
Rob – a shield is certainly planned, because I do notice that with the sled, I get more chips out the top of the blade than when I am just using the saw without a sled.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View kiefer's profile


5466 posts in 2420 days

#4 posted 06-30-2015 02:35 PM

A solid and accurate sled for sure .
One observation are the two screws at the back of the guard and the width of the guard which could be problem if you tilt the blade .


-- Kiefer

View DrDirt's profile


4381 posts in 3495 days

#5 posted 06-30-2015 04:43 PM

Thanks Klaus – - that is why the screws are too short. Such that even if they were not off to either side the blade would go under them with 1.5 cm gap at full height from top of blade to tip of screw. With teh offset, there shoudl always be clearance.

Essentially with the blade at full height, there would not be a cut in the top two pieces of MDF rear fence. (the fence is 4.25 inches high 5 inches to the top of the rear guard.
Good Eye

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View Bermuda_Les's profile


152 posts in 982 days

#6 posted 07-06-2015 04:20 PM

I use William Ng’s 5 cut method also, it makes for an awesome sled. Let me ask, what do you do to stop your saw from going through the back of your safety box? I mounted a small block of wood on the side of my table, and corresponding block under the sled (My sled hangs over the table) and they stop the sled so it won’t go through the safety box. Great job on your sled.


-- Making sawdust in Bermuda. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it!

View kiefer's profile


5466 posts in 2420 days

#7 posted 07-06-2015 07:08 PM

Here is an easy sled stop that I posted recently .
It is more toward the centre of the sled because over time the constant contact with the stop block could jar the sled out of square .

-- Kiefer

View DrDirt's profile


4381 posts in 3495 days

#8 posted 07-06-2015 10:16 PM

Hey Les – -
I don’t do anything to stop from cutting through the back.

Have seen blocks on outfeed tables used, but with only the iron table… that isn’t a possibility.

However it has never come up as an issue. When I am cross cutting on the sled, I am usually looking down at the fence, so I wouldn’t keep cutting 6 inches past the end of the workpiece.
I always stop when the top of the blade reaches the back of the workpiece.

keifers design gets around needing an outfeed table, and also wouln’t have to be removed for long rip cuts, I would have to make mine much longer, because I have my rails extending ~4 inches out the front of the sled.

Just haven’t felt the need for that step.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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